Eldredge, J. (2002). Wild at heart: Discovering the secret of a man’s soul. Nashvilli: Thomas Nelson.
John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart finally solves the enigma of man’s ever-searching soul, right? While that might not be entirely true, it does explain to you what Eldredge believes God created man’s heart to be.
Throughout his novel, Eldredge argues that modern Christianity asks men to turn in their masculinity and pour out their feelings in small groups rather than live the dangerously faithful lives they were created for. According to Eldredge, Christianity is a life-risking religion that asks us to wage war against the devil, stand up in the face of adversity, and valiantly rescue our brothers and sisters that have been wounded in battle. This is precisely why God made man the way He did. God didn’t make man a sissy; He made him to lead the troops to victory.
While this read is compelling, critics have called it very one-dimensional. If you are a man that does not enjoy climbing mountains and building things, then you might have a hard time relating to this book. However, if you can find a way to relate your own interests to the examples Eldredge lays out in his novel, you may really get something out of it. Though, I find it challenging to review this book, perhaps Christian men that have read this book share more complex sentiments about its effectiveness. On the other hand, author John Eldredge and his wife Stasi Eldredge together wrote another book very similar to Wild at Heart for a more feminine audience. This book is Captivating, and it seeks to unveil the secrets of a woman’s soul. For obvious reasons I take much more interest in this book, and I hope to find the time to write about this one soon.
In the end, whether or not this read is successful for every person who picks it up, Wild at Heart seeks to do one thing: to repair, preserve, and build up the hearts of men that have been wounded in this life. Eldredge believes that all men are called to give their lives for their loved ones the way that Christ did for us. This book not only shows men what they were created to do, but how they can do it effectively.