Tuesday, May 09, 2006

OKpreacher’s Book Review: “Wild At Heart” by John Eldredge

I had heard a lot of controversial things about “Wild at Heart” before reading the book. I had talked to some men that were truly helped by the book. I have also talked to guys that found the book to be a generalization of masculinity that didn’t fit them. After reading the book I can say that I fit somewhere in the middle.

The premises of the book are that men, especially men in the church, are bored because they don’t allow themselves to be wild. Being wild means to live for adventure, to live for a fight, and to live for a beauty. For John, he sees these three areas as the bases for a man’s sense of masculinity.

“Wild at Heart” is a type of self-help book that tries to use the Bible to back up its points. The problem with the book in my view is that it is bases on movies and pop-culture for its foundation. The book claims that kids play games that reflect the true nature of who we are to be. For example, the reason that boys like to play with guns and pretend to shoot people is because they were created to be “wild”. John believes that a boy’s masculinity is based on the degree that he is allowed to be “wild.” The reason men and women love movies like “Braveheart” or “Legends of the Fall” is because they reveal the truth about a man’s masculinity. Just for the record, I hated “Legends of the Fall.”

Scripture is misused and misrepresented through out “Wild at Heart.” From John’s use of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to trying to prove that God is a risk taker. The only text that John does use correctly is the passages on Abraham being a man that walked by faith. Although there are many problems with the book, there are some strengths.

The first strength of the book is John dealing with the truth that men where created with a purpose that is truly masculine. Men and women need adventure in their daily lives. People need to live with purpose. You and I exist for a purpose that is God given. The book tries to address this issue by saying that every man needs an adventure.

Another strength of the book is that it tries to instill in men a masculine identity. Many men are weak or live in fear of being a man. A man is to be a risk taker. He is to live by faith. He is to stand up and love his Lord, family, and church with all his heart.

When God brings a woman into your life, the book does pretty well is showing how a man is to treat her. She is to be his partner. She is to be the love of his life. He is to build her up and protect her. She is to feel loved by him. These are the main strengths of the book.

So in conclusion, I would grade the book at about a “C”. It is a nice read, but in the end three are only about three or four points of value.


Blogger Paul M. Kingery said...

I would like to invite you to write a short review of a new Christian ebook called Land of Canaan: Ancient Hope for Future Peace. See it free online at www.landofcanaan.info and let me know what you think.

Blogger OKpreacher said...

Dear Paul,

I appreciate the visit, but at this point I don't have much free time to read anything new. I'm currently reading "Devotional Classics" edited by Richard Foster and "Simple Church" co-authored by Dr. Rainer.

I did take a quick look at your book and it looked like it was too long for me to read at this time. I did see that you divided God's covenant into 4 different covenants. Personally, I believe God only has one covenant and that is through Christ from the beginning of time till the end of time.



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