Friday, May 21, 2010

Book Review: Captivating: Unveiling The Mystery of a Woman's Soul by John & Stasi Eldredge

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge - New Age Packaged as Christian Doctrine, April 27, 2010
As posted on 
First off, this book is supposed to encourage the heart of every woman to become "Captivating" as God designed her to be. However, the message is muddied as Biblical references are inaccurately used to prove the message that the heart of a woman is anything but deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). Depicting our heart as deserving of all with God in us - especially in the "warrior woman" was the first red flag I experienced in reading this book. As a born-again Bible toting Christian believer, I found this message to support New Age philosophy using Scripture to inaccurately state principles about the heart of a woman.

In this review I will give short statements so the potential buyer of this book is not deceived by the subtle introduction of New Age in Captivating. From a structural standpoint, I found using "we" to prove points frustrating. Because this book is co-authored, I found it confusing at times to realize whether John or Stasi was speaking. The "we" though did not apply to the co-authors but was referring to the reader! However, the "we" is used which irritated me the reader because Scripture was thrown in with oodles of assumptions and generalizations.

I did enjoy several personal accounts of Stasi's and related to what she was sharing. I give grace to Stasi as this is her first book. And for that reason I did give this book 1 star out of 5. However, her husband John has authored several books and he should have known better in writing a book in the third person - especially a non-fiction book.

My objections: John plugging his book for men Wild at Heart often, Bible verses were not cited with versions, one verse was quoted by Dan Allender - who is???(p.51), Anderson quote - where is that argument supported in the Bible? (p.104), elevating Cinderella over the Proverbs 31 Woman, promotion of two New Age books written by Frances Hodgson Burnett (A Little Princess, Secret Garden), The Essence of a Woman New Age (p.132 & 134).

"The War Against Femininity?"I am not familiar with what that war is about but in my Bible the war is against good (God) vs. evil (Satan), Eve was a helper to Adam and God gave Adam domininion over all (p.134). Lastly, what made this book a train wreck for me personally, was the endless references to secular movies, books and quotations (I do not look to Bruce Springsteen for inspiration, Jerry Maguire's "You Complete Me" is not biblical, Dan Fogelberg's "Longer" song I wish had never been brought back up into my memory bank and lastly, Harrison Ford does not make this woman "weak in the knees" Stasi! (p.131).

When I review any book, I try to find the inspiration - the takeaway for the reader. The takeaway in this book was zero other than several of Stasi's stories as mentioned above. I cannot promote a book that disguises itself as a Christian work when it is clearly steeped in not only secular culture, but sadly deceptive New Age doctrine that may be "Captivating" to a new believer or true seeker of God's Truth. I pray these authors do not author any more books in the Christian non-fiction genre unless they get their Scripture in context and accurately stated and properly referenced.

Poor Apostle Peter- he is accused of "trying" to convey a Truth in 1 Peter 3:3-4 (p 136). This heresy is anything but "Captivating!" but downright insulting to the God of the Universe and the Holy Spirit that moved the Apostle Peter's hand to pen the Scripture.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. 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.”

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