I don't think this book is trustworthy. In the first chapter he seems to misquote the Bible, to get his own point across. Not in small trivial ways, but in serious ways (such as explaining the woman at the well passage as: proof that men and women in the church can be friends and not awkward, since She was flirting with Jesus and he did not sin.) (What????)
Eldredge catches the eye of many readers by the title alone. What would have thought that holiness is a relief? His opening chapter pretty much sums up the book. Holiness is an utter relief, an absolute utter relief. He continues in the rest of the book to establish this point through biblical exegesis and practical examples. Half of the book is made up of biblical passages (which is good) but he then goes on to re-tell what was just told, which is unnecessary, and then explains the text in his signature, make-you-think-outside-the-box style. It is very simple reading. Outside of the title of the book, nothing much profound is said. But nothing really needs to be. It's pretty simple. Allowing God to restore us by his grace alone and then in response to pursue holiness, this is the main thrust of the book. There is nothing magic or tricky about it. It is simply faithful obedience in response to the great love that God has lavished upon us. This book is definitely worth reading for all and skimming for most. Hopefully it will inspire follows of Christ to follow more closely. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher and was not obligated to give a positive review.
John Eldredge in his new book, "The Utter Relief Of Holiness" published by FaithWords shows us How God's Goodness Frees Us from Everything that Plagues Us.
From the back cover: In the depths of your being, you ache for goodness; we all do. (Something caused you to pick up a book with the word holiness in the title!) We are made for goodness just as we are made to breathe, just as we are made to love. Whatever life has to throw at you, friends, goodness is your strength, your refuge in the storm. What a relief it would be to be set free from all that plagues us -- the inner struggle with anger, or contempt, the habitual sins. And there is a way to be good again.
Here is a book that explores the beauty of the genuine goodness available to us in Jesus Christ, and guides us through the process whereby God makes us whole and holy by his love. You will be relieved. Utterly.
God tells us, "Be ye holy as I am holy." That is where most people walk away. How can we be holy like God? What does it mean to be holy? All holy means is one notch higher, a higher quality, to be at the level of God. Can we be that high? John Eldredge points out what Paul wrote, "Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love." (Eph 1:4) So the answer is yes. Holiness is something we all long for just, somehow, do not know how to attain it. John Eldredge has broken down his book into two sections: Section One is The Surprise of Holiness and Section Two is The Way to Holiness. Six chapters in each section give us an understanding of what God has always meant for us and what actions we need to take to receive what God has for us. It is time to be relieved and "The Utter Relief Of Holiness" is a great resource to get there. Not only will you be blessed by reading it if you give it as a gift to your friends and family then they will be blessed also.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from FaithWords. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."