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Every man was once a boy.  And every little has dreams, big dreams,  dreams of being the hero, of beating the bad guys, of doing daring feats and rescuing the damsel in distress. Every little girl has dreams, too: of being rescued by her prince and swept up into a great adventure, knowing that she is the beauty.

But what happens to those dreams when we grow up? Walk into most churches, have a look around, and ask yourself: What is a Christian man?  Without listening to what is said, look at what you find there. Most Christian men are . . . bored.

John Eldredge revises and updates his best-selling, renowned Christian classic, Wild at Heart, and in it invites men to recover their masculine heart, defined in the image of a passionate God. And he invites women to discover the secret of a man’s soul and to delight in the strength and wildness men were created to offer.  John Eldredge is the director of Ransomed Heart

Published: Thomas Nelson on
ISBN: 9781418509286
List price: $16.99
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A must read for all males. When the female comes to the point that she is at a loss as to why God created man the way He did - read immediately. It really isn't our fault entirely that we are the way we are. This book reveals some amazing insights into the male psyche. This book shows the marvelous purpose for the differences between the male and female. After God formed man from the dust and his mate from his rib, "Wild at Heart " helps fill the gap of misunderstanding about the function of each gender with common sense truth.more
This is one of the best books for Christian men that I have read. It should be required reading.more
Interesting book. Probably good for small group (intimate) church structures.more
One of the many "pendulum swings" in our society involves gender-- differences between the two genders and the relative "value" in those differences. For years masculinity was, no doubt, over-estimated and over-valued; however, the modern feminist movement has surely led to the pendulum being swung too far the other way. Society at large is becoming more and more aware that masculinity has been under-estimated and under-valued; this message is also becoming apparent in religious matters, especially in Christianity.Over the past decade or so there has been a growing realization that the way that churches are set up and how churches counsel and develop men has become dangerously feminized. It is in such a climate of growing awareness that John Eldredge originally wrote Wild at Heart.Thomas Nelson has now released a revised and expanded version of Wild at Heart that includes a new preface and an excerpt from Eldredge's book Fathered by God. The majority of the rest, however, remains the same book as originally written.Eldredge's thesis is that the church has, in short, emasculated men, and he seeks to set forth a way of understanding how one can be both truly masculine and a believer in God. His analysis of churches attempting to develop men as "Really Nice Guys" is not too far off the mark. Blame is appropriately placed at the feet of feminism; the "feminization" of Christianity that has been going on for generations is also at fault (another helpful book in these regards is Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow). Eldredge draws from Scripture, mythology, movies, and other similar stories to set forth three essentials for true masculinity: a conflict in which to engage, an adventure in which to participate, and a beauty to win. He shows how this can be accomplished in worldly pursuits, how these are often perverted by the world to lead to false forms of masculinity, and most helpfully, shows how these three can be accomplished in the realm of Christianity.Eldredge also spends much time discussing the challenges men experience-- the "wound" to their masculinity or inclinations toward true masculinity and how a man must overcome the "wound" in order to return to wholesome masculinity. He also shows how men misdirect their focus and attempt to find their true masculinity in the wrong places-- work, drugs, women, etc. He speaks of the need to develop a close connection with God and to live by true faith, overcoming the "wound" and becoming a fulfilled man in Christ Jesus.There is much to be commended in the book; one can see oneself and many of the challenges that one's fellow men experience through what is written. Nevertheless, there has been much criticism of the book, and some of it is warranted. Eldredge's attempt to use worldly wisdom to circumvent Jesus' instruction about turning the other cheek is itself unwise and not done well-- Eldredge would do well to understand the distinction between refusing to allow a bully to break the will and being a coward in the face of a bully, and to recognize that Jesus never commends or practices violence in order to counteract violence. Such is not the way of Christ. Sometimes it seems that Eldredge's basis for things is experience and movies, and while those can be helpful images for understanding, they are no substitute for revealed truth. On the whole, however, it must be recognized that what Eldredge is presenting is a good counterweight to many of the messages heard in religious circles. Cowardice hiding under the pretense of humility is not the way of Christ, and Eldredge is right to expose it. Nevertheless, what Eldredge teaches should not be taken to the other extreme, and it must be remembered that there is a reason why there are more exhortations to humility in Scripture than there are to the assertion of self and self-identity. It is also interesting to note that while Eldredge is writing as a man to men he often uses very soft and feminine language-- intimacy, relationship, and the like. While it is not wrong to use such terms, they could be a hindrance to some men.Wild at Heart is a great way for men to start a conversation about the importance of re-discovering true masculinity and how one can be a man and serve God. It can be of great value for men who are willing to be open to the difficulties they experienced in the past and how they can overcome those difficulties so as to have a better future in Christ, in the marriage relationship, and with children. The message should just not be taken to extremes.The work is certainly worth the consideration of all men.*-book received as part of an early review program.more
One of the best books I've read in a long time. A must for every man. I suggest it for women and mothers of boys too to gain insight on the male life. I hated when I got to the last chapter, cause I knew the ride was almost over!more
To be honest, I was a little disappointed although I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting. From the very beginning, Eldredge seems to be painting a caricature of what a true “man” that comes hauntingly close to how Hollywood wants us to view men as – rugged, square-jawed, outdoorsy types that live to clock out at 5 and have their trucks in 4-wheel drive by 5:15 on some backwoods trail. In fact, many of Eldredge’s examples of “true” men come from such movies as Braveheart and Gladiator. It is apparent that Eldredge enjoys the outdoors and who can fault him for that? The danger is when he equates a necessity of enjoying all these things to how much of a “wild man” a guy really is. He even goes so far as to say that a true man can’t really like being inside at a desk all day, but should be longing to get outside. If he does, something’s wrong with him and he needs to reclaim his manhood by getting wild (outdoors). And this is the premise that Eldredge seems to base his entire thesis on – a man must be wild, adventuresome and ready for a fight in order to be a man. This is backed up with many examples including one where he advises his son who is being picked on to punch the bully in the face as hard as he can. This apparently was designed to make his son feel enabled and manly and have the freedom to fight back, despite the fact that we are to follow Christ’s teaching of turning the other cheek. (Eldredge defends his actions by saying many in the church misinterpret this passage, but never says how or why.)There are two particular errors (among many) in the book that I want to hit on. The first is the noticeable absence of hardly any Scripture given to support Eldredge’s many false presumptions, and the Scripture that is quoted is so twisted out of context as to make it say something that does not ring true. Instead, Eldredge relies heavily on psychological analyses that fall short of correctly mirroring any Scriptural teaching. Don’t get me wrong on this point. I believe that there is a great use for psychology and we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater so to speak. But the danger comes when we replace Scripture with the psychology and try to make it sound Biblical.The second and perhaps most disturbing error in the book is Eldredge’s claim that, in trying to support his view that God loves adventure, God is a risk-taker and even an “immense risk-taker.” To hear Eldredge’s view of the death of Christ, you would think the crucifixion was completely unplanned and God showed up just in the nick of time to set everything straight. “God lets the mob kill Jesus, bury him…then he shows up.” Although he tries to add a disclaimer that he isn’t a proponent of Open Theism, he apes Open Theism’s teachings quite well. Risk by definition involves some aspect of the unknown and to say that God takes risks is to say that He doesn’t know the outcome of certain things.I do believe that today’s culture emasculates men in wanting to be in touch with their softer side and perhaps Eldredge was trying to fight against that. But instead what he ends up doing is going to the other end of the Hollywood extreme in idolizing he-men. In the end, Eldredge’s answer to regaining masculinity seems to be to get in touch with our inner caveman. While there were a few good points made, they are so few and far between as to not make reading (or listening to) the book worthwhile.more
This book take a look at the "wounded soul" of men and pushes men to, basically, think about people who have "hurt" them in the past. Think about your relationship with your dad. Think about friends, family, bosses, etc. Some of these discussions are interesting, and I think that a lot of what the book talks about is at least somewhat applicable to our lives. The problem is, they just keep talking and talking, never really having the gumption to discuss what to do about these perceived issues in our lives. They talk about the book as if it's a be-all end-all guide on how to fix the modern male, but that never happens. It never guides men to a real, achievable solution or path to take.Also, the continuous focus on the imagery of men as warriors can be definitely damaging to people who don't understand their place in the world. I've seen this book do terrible things to people, building them up on a weak scaffolding (of warrior-ship) just to have them fail because they weren't taught how to realistically understand their situation.I would not purchase this book for my teen, and you shouldn't either unless you take the time to read and study the book and determine if it's something you and your family can handle.more
This book is based on the premise that many men have been emotionally "wounded" and therefore lost their passion and zest for life. The message is Christian-based and is used in some churches in workshops for men seeking more out of life while remaining loyal church members and devoted husbands. The book assumes all men are naturally aggressive but have been feminized by society. There are some good points here but I did not agree with many of them. It is suggested women read this to understand men.more
This is just one more book in a long series of current Christian writings that really has very little substance and is more about a pep-rally than actual theological depth and transformation.I recognize the importance of encouraging people to embrace their 'manliness' but this book is a little too Tim Allen for me...more
Great book. Several times I had to stop and say "Wow". This book gives great insight to how we men think and why.more
Very good book. Will challenge your current perspective.more
Every man should read this book (as might any woman who wants to understand men). It answers a nagging question most of us only recognize indirectly. It reconciles the nature of men with the culture of our time. It explains a lot and inspires a better life. It shows there is a way to be both disciple and warrior.more
I enjoyed this, my husband did not. I found some of the ideas of maleness and femaleness sound, others not. A good book to be read.more
What man doesn't love this book? He tells you to watch Braveheart. He gives you freedom to be a man.Here's what i think, I think more women need to read this than men.more
I am currently at a great crossroad in my life. My wife of 18 years has left me for another man. Naturally many questions come into a man's mind at this time. This book has ceratinly answered many of those questions as well as started a new thirst in me to find out more about the masculine soulmore
There are so many good books out there to read and reflect upon, and so little time to read them. In light of this situation, I recommend you not read this book. Trust me, find something by John Owen and use your mind.I found this book to be quite boring, and not stimulating at all. Nothing personal against Eldredge, I just did not care for this work. His theology of God is questionable at best.more
I am not a fan of John Eldridge or this book. I do agree with some of his presuppositions about our culture but I believe this book takes an immature stance on solving those problems. I also think it creates unnecessary gravitas in young men searching for their place in our feminized society.As a Reformed Christian I find his theology iffy. I was especially distressed in a few of his examples from life in the book Sacred Romance. Great premise, bad solution.more
A formidable answer to an age-old question: How can a man make himself tolerable and useful while accepting and expressing his primordial maleness-the searching and aggressive urges to conquer what needs subduing, protect the vulnerable, fix what is broken, compete and risk what demands to be risked in himself and the world? The author's message is set in the Christian tradition without being controlled by its ideology. Eldredge believes that institutions can oppress a man's heart and keep society from benefiting from his fierce desire to love, do good, fight evil, and go beyond the limits. The exceptional writing and ideational balance... make this a compelling effort to integrate the hero's gritty nature with the public good. T.W. © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Mainemore
Stay away from this book!Man-centered theology. Open theism. Incorrect understanding of the depravity of a man's heart. Hypocrital call for men to keep pure...yet recommends movies with scenes of crude language and humor, lust, sexual situations, and nudity!With the call to be "Wild at Heart" I'm afraid Eldredge may be catering to man's flesh. Tempting, huh?more
Very interesting. more
Read all 23 reviews

Reviews

A must read for all males. When the female comes to the point that she is at a loss as to why God created man the way He did - read immediately. It really isn't our fault entirely that we are the way we are. This book reveals some amazing insights into the male psyche. This book shows the marvelous purpose for the differences between the male and female. After God formed man from the dust and his mate from his rib, "Wild at Heart " helps fill the gap of misunderstanding about the function of each gender with common sense truth.more
This is one of the best books for Christian men that I have read. It should be required reading.more
Interesting book. Probably good for small group (intimate) church structures.more
One of the many "pendulum swings" in our society involves gender-- differences between the two genders and the relative "value" in those differences. For years masculinity was, no doubt, over-estimated and over-valued; however, the modern feminist movement has surely led to the pendulum being swung too far the other way. Society at large is becoming more and more aware that masculinity has been under-estimated and under-valued; this message is also becoming apparent in religious matters, especially in Christianity.Over the past decade or so there has been a growing realization that the way that churches are set up and how churches counsel and develop men has become dangerously feminized. It is in such a climate of growing awareness that John Eldredge originally wrote Wild at Heart.Thomas Nelson has now released a revised and expanded version of Wild at Heart that includes a new preface and an excerpt from Eldredge's book Fathered by God. The majority of the rest, however, remains the same book as originally written.Eldredge's thesis is that the church has, in short, emasculated men, and he seeks to set forth a way of understanding how one can be both truly masculine and a believer in God. His analysis of churches attempting to develop men as "Really Nice Guys" is not too far off the mark. Blame is appropriately placed at the feet of feminism; the "feminization" of Christianity that has been going on for generations is also at fault (another helpful book in these regards is Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow). Eldredge draws from Scripture, mythology, movies, and other similar stories to set forth three essentials for true masculinity: a conflict in which to engage, an adventure in which to participate, and a beauty to win. He shows how this can be accomplished in worldly pursuits, how these are often perverted by the world to lead to false forms of masculinity, and most helpfully, shows how these three can be accomplished in the realm of Christianity.Eldredge also spends much time discussing the challenges men experience-- the "wound" to their masculinity or inclinations toward true masculinity and how a man must overcome the "wound" in order to return to wholesome masculinity. He also shows how men misdirect their focus and attempt to find their true masculinity in the wrong places-- work, drugs, women, etc. He speaks of the need to develop a close connection with God and to live by true faith, overcoming the "wound" and becoming a fulfilled man in Christ Jesus.There is much to be commended in the book; one can see oneself and many of the challenges that one's fellow men experience through what is written. Nevertheless, there has been much criticism of the book, and some of it is warranted. Eldredge's attempt to use worldly wisdom to circumvent Jesus' instruction about turning the other cheek is itself unwise and not done well-- Eldredge would do well to understand the distinction between refusing to allow a bully to break the will and being a coward in the face of a bully, and to recognize that Jesus never commends or practices violence in order to counteract violence. Such is not the way of Christ. Sometimes it seems that Eldredge's basis for things is experience and movies, and while those can be helpful images for understanding, they are no substitute for revealed truth. On the whole, however, it must be recognized that what Eldredge is presenting is a good counterweight to many of the messages heard in religious circles. Cowardice hiding under the pretense of humility is not the way of Christ, and Eldredge is right to expose it. Nevertheless, what Eldredge teaches should not be taken to the other extreme, and it must be remembered that there is a reason why there are more exhortations to humility in Scripture than there are to the assertion of self and self-identity. It is also interesting to note that while Eldredge is writing as a man to men he often uses very soft and feminine language-- intimacy, relationship, and the like. While it is not wrong to use such terms, they could be a hindrance to some men.Wild at Heart is a great way for men to start a conversation about the importance of re-discovering true masculinity and how one can be a man and serve God. It can be of great value for men who are willing to be open to the difficulties they experienced in the past and how they can overcome those difficulties so as to have a better future in Christ, in the marriage relationship, and with children. The message should just not be taken to extremes.The work is certainly worth the consideration of all men.*-book received as part of an early review program.more
One of the best books I've read in a long time. A must for every man. I suggest it for women and mothers of boys too to gain insight on the male life. I hated when I got to the last chapter, cause I knew the ride was almost over!more
To be honest, I was a little disappointed although I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting. From the very beginning, Eldredge seems to be painting a caricature of what a true “man” that comes hauntingly close to how Hollywood wants us to view men as – rugged, square-jawed, outdoorsy types that live to clock out at 5 and have their trucks in 4-wheel drive by 5:15 on some backwoods trail. In fact, many of Eldredge’s examples of “true” men come from such movies as Braveheart and Gladiator. It is apparent that Eldredge enjoys the outdoors and who can fault him for that? The danger is when he equates a necessity of enjoying all these things to how much of a “wild man” a guy really is. He even goes so far as to say that a true man can’t really like being inside at a desk all day, but should be longing to get outside. If he does, something’s wrong with him and he needs to reclaim his manhood by getting wild (outdoors). And this is the premise that Eldredge seems to base his entire thesis on – a man must be wild, adventuresome and ready for a fight in order to be a man. This is backed up with many examples including one where he advises his son who is being picked on to punch the bully in the face as hard as he can. This apparently was designed to make his son feel enabled and manly and have the freedom to fight back, despite the fact that we are to follow Christ’s teaching of turning the other cheek. (Eldredge defends his actions by saying many in the church misinterpret this passage, but never says how or why.)There are two particular errors (among many) in the book that I want to hit on. The first is the noticeable absence of hardly any Scripture given to support Eldredge’s many false presumptions, and the Scripture that is quoted is so twisted out of context as to make it say something that does not ring true. Instead, Eldredge relies heavily on psychological analyses that fall short of correctly mirroring any Scriptural teaching. Don’t get me wrong on this point. I believe that there is a great use for psychology and we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater so to speak. But the danger comes when we replace Scripture with the psychology and try to make it sound Biblical.The second and perhaps most disturbing error in the book is Eldredge’s claim that, in trying to support his view that God loves adventure, God is a risk-taker and even an “immense risk-taker.” To hear Eldredge’s view of the death of Christ, you would think the crucifixion was completely unplanned and God showed up just in the nick of time to set everything straight. “God lets the mob kill Jesus, bury him…then he shows up.” Although he tries to add a disclaimer that he isn’t a proponent of Open Theism, he apes Open Theism’s teachings quite well. Risk by definition involves some aspect of the unknown and to say that God takes risks is to say that He doesn’t know the outcome of certain things.I do believe that today’s culture emasculates men in wanting to be in touch with their softer side and perhaps Eldredge was trying to fight against that. But instead what he ends up doing is going to the other end of the Hollywood extreme in idolizing he-men. In the end, Eldredge’s answer to regaining masculinity seems to be to get in touch with our inner caveman. While there were a few good points made, they are so few and far between as to not make reading (or listening to) the book worthwhile.more
This book take a look at the "wounded soul" of men and pushes men to, basically, think about people who have "hurt" them in the past. Think about your relationship with your dad. Think about friends, family, bosses, etc. Some of these discussions are interesting, and I think that a lot of what the book talks about is at least somewhat applicable to our lives. The problem is, they just keep talking and talking, never really having the gumption to discuss what to do about these perceived issues in our lives. They talk about the book as if it's a be-all end-all guide on how to fix the modern male, but that never happens. It never guides men to a real, achievable solution or path to take.Also, the continuous focus on the imagery of men as warriors can be definitely damaging to people who don't understand their place in the world. I've seen this book do terrible things to people, building them up on a weak scaffolding (of warrior-ship) just to have them fail because they weren't taught how to realistically understand their situation.I would not purchase this book for my teen, and you shouldn't either unless you take the time to read and study the book and determine if it's something you and your family can handle.more
This book is based on the premise that many men have been emotionally "wounded" and therefore lost their passion and zest for life. The message is Christian-based and is used in some churches in workshops for men seeking more out of life while remaining loyal church members and devoted husbands. The book assumes all men are naturally aggressive but have been feminized by society. There are some good points here but I did not agree with many of them. It is suggested women read this to understand men.more
This is just one more book in a long series of current Christian writings that really has very little substance and is more about a pep-rally than actual theological depth and transformation.I recognize the importance of encouraging people to embrace their 'manliness' but this book is a little too Tim Allen for me...more
Great book. Several times I had to stop and say "Wow". This book gives great insight to how we men think and why.more
Very good book. Will challenge your current perspective.more
Every man should read this book (as might any woman who wants to understand men). It answers a nagging question most of us only recognize indirectly. It reconciles the nature of men with the culture of our time. It explains a lot and inspires a better life. It shows there is a way to be both disciple and warrior.more
I enjoyed this, my husband did not. I found some of the ideas of maleness and femaleness sound, others not. A good book to be read.more
What man doesn't love this book? He tells you to watch Braveheart. He gives you freedom to be a man.Here's what i think, I think more women need to read this than men.more
I am currently at a great crossroad in my life. My wife of 18 years has left me for another man. Naturally many questions come into a man's mind at this time. This book has ceratinly answered many of those questions as well as started a new thirst in me to find out more about the masculine soulmore
There are so many good books out there to read and reflect upon, and so little time to read them. In light of this situation, I recommend you not read this book. Trust me, find something by John Owen and use your mind.I found this book to be quite boring, and not stimulating at all. Nothing personal against Eldredge, I just did not care for this work. His theology of God is questionable at best.more
I am not a fan of John Eldridge or this book. I do agree with some of his presuppositions about our culture but I believe this book takes an immature stance on solving those problems. I also think it creates unnecessary gravitas in young men searching for their place in our feminized society.As a Reformed Christian I find his theology iffy. I was especially distressed in a few of his examples from life in the book Sacred Romance. Great premise, bad solution.more
A formidable answer to an age-old question: How can a man make himself tolerable and useful while accepting and expressing his primordial maleness-the searching and aggressive urges to conquer what needs subduing, protect the vulnerable, fix what is broken, compete and risk what demands to be risked in himself and the world? The author's message is set in the Christian tradition without being controlled by its ideology. Eldredge believes that institutions can oppress a man's heart and keep society from benefiting from his fierce desire to love, do good, fight evil, and go beyond the limits. The exceptional writing and ideational balance... make this a compelling effort to integrate the hero's gritty nature with the public good. T.W. © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Mainemore
Stay away from this book!Man-centered theology. Open theism. Incorrect understanding of the depravity of a man's heart. Hypocrital call for men to keep pure...yet recommends movies with scenes of crude language and humor, lust, sexual situations, and nudity!With the call to be "Wild at Heart" I'm afraid Eldredge may be catering to man's flesh. Tempting, huh?more
Very interesting. more
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