Generally speaking I read a lot of different material, different topics from all kinds of authors. I don’t review every book that I read, nor do I want to waste your time by reviewing books that you (my lovely readers) won’t find helpful and hopefully insightful. But with some books you just can’t resist…
Wild at Heart is one of those books.
I know that this book was controversial some years ago and so I didn’t look it up online because I didn’t want to be ‘influenced’ by other opinions.
When a book’s title says that it’s about ‘discovering the secret of a man’s soul’ and says that it isn’t a “macho-man pep rally” I am intrigued, but sadly within the first few pages of this book you realise just how untrue this is.
In my mind if you want to figure out the secret of a man’s soul and you are a Christian then go to the very source of that person’s being, go to God. Go to God as He has revealed Himself in the Scriptures and determine from there who man is, what his desires are, and what his obstacles are. I think that’s the most logical thing to do. However through the pages of this book there are more references to movies, fairy tales, secular literature and psychology than there are to the bible and the passages that he does reference are usually misinterpreted and bent to his own agenda.
Eldredge’s problem with the church and with Christianity is that apparently we have turned men into little girls, something that he mentions a number of time throughout the book. I see his frustration, that sometimes Christianity can be seen as faith for a ‘softie’ but I do not think that we are turning men into little girls. Over the last few decades in churches people have tried to get men to open up about their feelings, but this does not make a man any less a man than he was before he opened up.
If anything I find that Eldredge has a shallow view of masculinity, he states that every man has three “desperate desires”; for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue. He bases this finding on the movies that men watch, the games that we like to play and the way we like to spend our free time. If Eldredge were to look at the Bible as his source of reference he would come to a truer conclusion of man’s heart desires and see the depravity of it instead of building a macho alpha-male image that, apparently, all men want to become.
But I am afraid this is just the beginning, there are far far more problems with this book;
1. His view of God.
Eldredges view of God is so small, he does not explicitly state this in his book but he certainly seems to believe in open theism or free will theism, a view that God does not control all events in the future, but that he also can’t even know about them. Be implication this means that God is subject to the will of humanity and that the created has taken the place of the creator. This view of God has been deemed a heresy.
2. His view of Jesus.
Eldredge argues that Jesus failed to cast out the demon in Luke 8:26-38 the first time because he didn’t have all the facts, he apparently needed to know more about the situation before he could act. Such a small view of God and His Son!
3. His view of Adam.
Eldredge argues that God was essentially trying to tame a wild Adam in the Garden of Eden and that is why it didn’t work. This would mean that God is powerless in the face of the will of man, something that the bible does not support at all.
4. His view of Satan and sin.
Eldredge argues that Satan is afraid of real Christian men, but this is simply not true, this is such a confused and dangerous view of spiritual warfare that is far removed from the battle that is implies by the illustration of our need for armour in Ephesians 6:10-17. Furthermore, Eldredge argues that man is the victim when he sins, because it is Satan who is making him do it. This makes Christians puppets dancing for Satan, but the Bible argues that as Christians we have been freed from Satan and sin to becomes slaves to Christ!
5. His view of the Bible.
Throughout this book there are numerous places where Eldredge missuses, misapplies and misunderstands the Bible, and he sees it as insufficient. He speaks of hearing God’s voice audibly a number of times and the things that he hears are contrary to the Bible. This book suggests that Eldredge does not believe that the Bible is sufficient!
There are more things in this book that could be criticised, I have just names some of the big ones.
If you want to know what is means to be a man then look to God revealed in His Word.
If you want to know how to become the man that God intended you to be then look to God revealed in His Word.
I have given this book a 0 rating because it teaches wrong things about God, the Bible, personal revelation, sin and masculinity. I would not recommend this book.