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Wild at Heart: Discovering The Secret of a Man's Soul Hardcover – April 1, 2001
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If Christian men are going to change from a pitiful, wimpy bunch of "really nice guys" to men who are made in the image of God, they must reexamine their preconceptions about who God is and recover their true "wild" hearts, writes bestselling author John Eldredge in Wild at Heart: Discovering a Life of Passion, Freedom, and Adventure. Eldredge throws down the gauntlet--men are bored; they fear risk, they refuse to pay attention to their deepest desires. He challenges Christian men to return to authentic masculinity without resorting to a "macho man" mentality. Men often seek validation in venues such as work, or in the conquest of women, Eldredge observes. He urges men to take time out and come to grips with the "secret longings" of their hearts. Although the book succeeds best in its slant toward a male audience, it also strives to help women understand the implications of authentic masculinity in their relationships with men. Eldredge frames the book around his outdoor experiences and appealing anecdotes about his family, sprinkling the text with touches of humor and overlying everything with heartfelt passion. Even as he mixes eclectic ideas about masculinity from popular movies such as Braveheart with classic words from Oswald Chambers, and lyrics from the Dixie Chicks with stories from the Bible, he points to only one answer for men searching for their true wildness of heart. Writes Eldredge, "The only way to live in this adventure ... with all its danger and unpredictability and immensely high stakes ... is in an ongoing, intimate relationship with God." --Cindy Crosby
T.W. © AudioFile Portland, Maine
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If you're the type that feels it's your god-given duty to scour the texts of books to find all "the errors" and expose "heresy", I'm sure you can (or already have) gleefully torn away at John's message. But, honestly, I ask, "Really? Why not just become an IRS agent instead?" And, I say, "Get a life." Sincerely, I say, go get a life that worth's living! Stop hiding behind your computer or your pulpit or your religious duties or your secret addictions and find the wide open spaces of life!
The message of WAH, both in the book and in the retreats Ransomed Heart put on based on this message was an invitation for me to experience God in ways I never thought possible and to experience life in its fullness in ways I never thought possible. And not only was it an invitation, it was permission to finally live my life. Maybe that doesn't make sense to many, but it was a game-changer for me. After returning from a WAH retreat, my wife literally said to me, "What happened? You even look different." My life will never be the same. Nor will the life of my wife and my children.
I will say that Mr. Eldredge can be a little bit fantastic in his writing. Much of the way he writes is very evocative, using lots of imagery and illustrations of cowboys, pioneers and other heroic male figures to draw out and describe character aspirations of men. He usually uses these metaphors to make good points, but he can occasionally get carried away with it and sound a little dramatic - which I think takes away from the potency of his writing.