Wild at Heart – Rediscovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul – John Eldredge
‘Wild at Heart’ qualifies as one of the premier Christian books in recent decades. Bold truths that have been hidden from many men for centuries are made plain as day and delivered with intensity in this instant classic. In it you’ll find a definition of Jesus not often portrayed in Sunday School and a new found zeal to strap on your battle-tested armor and step into the masculine shoes that you’ve long been destined for.
Wild at Heart is an essential read for the “nomadic man,” searching for destiny and purpose, but it dually serves as an effective and relevant refresher to those men (and women) engaged in the ancient and gallant pursuit of the each other, and more principally, Christ.
As promised, our review of a Live with Purpose team favorite is finally here. Its impact on the lives of several of our coaches has been immeasurable, so outside of Pros, Cons and writing style, this piece changed us and we hope it changes you!
Revisiting the Jesus of our Youth
One of Eldredge’s central messages in “Wild at Heart” is defining Jesus in further depth and, in many cases, as opposed to popular belief: Simply put, the sacrificial Lamb also functioned as Lion of Judah! The excessively meek, weak and rosy-cheeked Jesus of lore portrayed in our Sunday Schools, catechism lessons and famous artwork , Eldredge argues, is dangerously insufficient in describing who Jesus was and is. “The wild one whose image we bear” confronted tradition, culture and religion head on without mincing words or compromising. The ‘nice guy’ painted by some quickly gives way in Eldredge’s writing to the counter-cultural and bold ‘Cornerstone‘ sent to break strongholds, forcibly usher the Kingdom and advance on the gates of hell.
“How would telling people to be nice to one another get a man crucified. What government would execute Mister Rogers or Captain Kangaroo?” – Philip Yancey
Eldredge’s charge throughout is for men to break the chains of culture, history and habit to become the Christ-like fathers, husbands and leaders they were destined to be. He calls out the non-confrontational, luke warm and apathetic men who are going through the motions, in order to convict those readers to instead put on their cloaks of righteousness specifically reserved for them. In doing this, Eldredge answers the age-old and “haunting” question of: am I enough? An emphatic “yes” to this question, rooted in the essence of man being created in God’s likeness, challenges the reader to fight the good fight of faith as a warrior, cut from the very same cloth as the Prince of Peace himself.
“Why is it that the world seems filled with ‘caricatures’ of masculinity?” – John Eldredge
Ingrained in every male heart is the pursuit of his bride. With grit and audacity Eldredge seeks to set the stage for the grand pursuit of man’s helpmate, and the journey of arriving there. He masterfully calls out lethargy and lack of passion and decision that have left marriages in powerless stalemate. His proposal to married men: Will you fight for her? His encouragement to all men in this is not presented as a list of chivalrous cliches, but a hearty admonition with the help of personal stories and victories in his own marriage, to spur every man on to love his wife just as Christ loved the church. To journey, scale, trek and endure for his prized possession: His Wife.
Waking up the ‘Renegade’
Eldredge’s coarse image and writing style is a perfect complement to his gifting to teach and express truths purposed to unearth male heritage. Drawing from military history, the wild west and the big screen, Eldredge is able to apply tangible and memorable examples to enliven the latent masculine soul inside of its readers. The book’s mission is to Incite a reclaimed identity among men and it’s effective in doing so while giving the reader permission to become bold, heroic and even defiant of how culture defines man.
~Corporately, as a body of male believers, this work is a must for your ‘man cave’ book case and a necessity to revisit in time as the lures of inadequacy and apathy come knocking at your door. Become the man you were fashioned to be by embracing the wild already resident in your heart and discovering the secret of your soul.
Also see “Captivating,” John and Stasi Eldredge’s sequel and counterpart to Wild at Heart, specifically for women.
Joe D’Orsie – Communications & Spiritual Life Counsel firstname.lastname@example.org