Customer Reviews for

Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

For troubled men and the women who love them.

I read this book during a troubled time in my marriage, and though I won't say this book saved my marriage it did go a long way to helping me understand my husband. I think every man who is struggling with connection or emotion should read this, and frankly every singl...
I read this book during a troubled time in my marriage, and though I won't say this book saved my marriage it did go a long way to helping me understand my husband. I think every man who is struggling with connection or emotion should read this, and frankly every single woman on the planet should read it in order to understand men a bit better. There is more to a man than most of us give them credit for!

posted by LycanGal on January 17, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

Flawed theology and psychology

This is the worst thing I have read in five years (and I have to grade undergraduate research papers!). John Eldridge misquotes scripture, doesn't cite sources or have a bibliograpy, even though he quotes from other authors' works. His theology is extremely flawed espec...
This is the worst thing I have read in five years (and I have to grade undergraduate research papers!). John Eldridge misquotes scripture, doesn't cite sources or have a bibliograpy, even though he quotes from other authors' works. His theology is extremely flawed especially in that he attempts to humanize God. As a book for Christian reading, Wild At Heart should not be on anyone's bookshelf. And as a self-help book, it offers no real strategies for dealing with personal problems. Eldridge's supposed revealing insights seem to be mostly based on Hollywood cliches and popular culture. Even then, he doesn't really give any good advice on how to change one's life. If one wants to learn what God wants men to be, one should read the Gospels. If one wants to learn real strategies for dealing with personal problems, I would suggest Dr. M. Scott Peck's classic book The Road Less Traveled and its sequels. Don't waste your hard-earned time or money on Wild At Heart!

posted by Anonymous on February 28, 2007

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  • Posted January 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    For troubled men and the women who love them.

    I read this book during a troubled time in my marriage, and though I won't say this book saved my marriage it did go a long way to helping me understand my husband. I think every man who is struggling with connection or emotion should read this, and frankly every single woman on the planet should read it in order to understand men a bit better. There is more to a man than most of us give them credit for!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Inspiring

    Wild at Heart by John Eldredge is, as much as a Christian book can be, a cultural phenomenon. It seems everyone has read that book. I know people who loved it, crafted a way of living because of it. And I know people who hated it, disagreed with almost every word between the covers. So, when I saw it on the free books for bloggers list at Thomas Nelson, I snatched it up immediately.

    This new edition is "revised and expanded" although I suspect that's just publisher speak for "Look, something you thought was old is actually new and shiny." But since I haven't read the first edition, I can't prove my hunch.

    Wild at Heart is based on the idea that men are really, well, wild at heart, that they yearn to be unshackled from the tedium of nice-guy living, to roam the plains bucking like the broncos God made them to be. I don't intend even a smidgen of sarcasm there. I feel like that's exactly what Eldredge is saying, and, to a certain extent, I agree.

    This book was written for men and as I'm not a man there are certain judgments I'm not equipped to make. I can't verify the validity of his sweeping assumptions about men-I can, however, say the assumptions are sweeping and perhaps too categorical to fit every kind of man.

    Honestly, I was far less interested in Eldredge's comments on what makes a man than I was in his thoughts on women-thoughts I was shocked to find especially close to my own heart.

    I have NEVER considered myself to be a stereotypical woman. I've dismissed many traditional gender assignments and wriggled in agony during my fair share of women's conferences and events. So, when Eldredge starting talking about saving the princess I wanted to gag. Until I realized I was a princess needing saving.

    His three questions that every woman asks had me crying: "Will you pursue me? Do you delight in me? Will you fight for me?"

    I loved this paragraph, too:

    "If masculinity has come under assault, femininity has been brutalized. Eve is the crown of creation, remember? She embodies the exquisite beauty and the exotic mystery of God in a way that nothing else in all creation even comes close to. And so she is the special target of the evil one; he turns his most vicious malice against her. If he can destroy her or keep her captive, he can ruin the story."

    Thing is, I'm not positive this is totally true-I felt that way a lot while reading this book. But I like it.

    Whether or not Eve is the prime target, I think Eldredge would benefit from seeing himself in the princess role, too. He envisions men as warriors (which sometimes they're called to be-and sometimes I'm called to be, too) but I think he misses their role as a part of "the bride of Christ."

    Still, this chapter is packed with good stuff-his description of sex as a spilling of one's strength is awesome and his argument that women want "a lover and a warrior-not a really nice guy" is too easily proven to even be debated. This chapter also has super insightful info on spiritual warfare.

    The next chapter "An Adventure to Live," is even better. It's all about embracing risk, living freely and dangerously-which, as you start to see from the buckets of scriptures he incorporates, is totally Biblical. Right now, I'm flipping through the chapter looking for a quote to give you but I'm finding so many I can't pick one. You need to read this chapter, even if it's just this chapter.

    What Eldredge does so powerfully in this book is to inspire his reader to live a

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Be a man!

    I am very thankful for the recommendation to read this book. This book deepened my understanding of myself and my life in many profound ways. Out of the heart are the issues of life and this book proves to be most useful in understanding the masculine heart. The wisdom inherent in this read freed my soul and helped facilitate a deeper unity between my mind and my heart. This book gave me perspective to better understand other guys as well as many historical movements.

    Although I feel this book is very sound in its empirical wisdom and heart, I found the book did lack a certain intellectual refinement and accuracy. This, perhaps, is only because I'm an engineer who graduated at the top of my class and am accustomed to very accurate and educated intelligence. In this regard the room for improvement does not detract from my high recommendation for this read. Essentially, there are other aspects of manhood that this book neglects. For instance, consider also reading "The American Gentleman."

    In my opinion, much of the problems facing the modern world stem from a lack of good men. So many people focus their efforts on improving systems and structures forsaking effort on the people behind everything. I hope and pray that more men will rise up in future generations and lead with their wild hearts.

    I'm an intelligent, well-read, wise and strong man of 26. All in all, this book is easily one of the BEST books I've ever read.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2009

    Author has own agenda

    I felt that the author decided what he wanted to say, then went looking for Biblical verses that (when taken out of context) might support his positions. He also chose some questionable "translations" in this effort.<BR/><BR/>I also did not like his constant use of absolutes: "always, never, each, every, never, must." John Eldredge believes that all men share his feelings and desires. A dangerous assumption.

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2007

    Flawed theology and psychology

    This is the worst thing I have read in five years (and I have to grade undergraduate research papers!). John Eldridge misquotes scripture, doesn't cite sources or have a bibliograpy, even though he quotes from other authors' works. His theology is extremely flawed especially in that he attempts to humanize God. As a book for Christian reading, Wild At Heart should not be on anyone's bookshelf. And as a self-help book, it offers no real strategies for dealing with personal problems. Eldridge's supposed revealing insights seem to be mostly based on Hollywood cliches and popular culture. Even then, he doesn't really give any good advice on how to change one's life. If one wants to learn what God wants men to be, one should read the Gospels. If one wants to learn real strategies for dealing with personal problems, I would suggest Dr. M. Scott Peck's classic book The Road Less Traveled and its sequels. Don't waste your hard-earned time or money on Wild At Heart!

    3 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2007

    Tries to be too manly

    I was very interested in this book. Heard it was great. Then I found out this author proudly puts Jesus Christ in the same company as William Wallace and proudly tells his son to not turn the other cheek to bullys but hit them. Christlike? I think not. Read if you want to be a manly Christian. However you want to define that.

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    A Great Challenge and Reminder of Men

    I loved this book. It speaks to a man's heart and encourages me to be a true man of God. Adventurous, Strong, Wise, and striving to be Right before God. All men should read this book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2008

    Wild At Heart by Jane D'Amato a Roman Catholic Christian

    John Eldredge is the kind of man that other men who love the great outdoors can really relate to. He has great insights into what it is to be a real man. This book was recommended to me by a dear friend I have known for years who said I should read 'Captivating' by John and Staci Eldredge and also 'Wild at Heart' by John Eldredge. To say it was highly anticipated by me is putting it mildly. I ordered the book from the library and picked it up this past Sunday. I sat down in the library and read 'Wild at Heart' in four hours cover to cover. What a page turner! To say the least this book exceeded my expectations. Though it is directed towards men, this is a great book for singles both male or female. John Eldrege is a man's man. He likes to hunt and fish. He is married with three sons. This book says it is a book about healing a man's soul. But it is much more than that. In our search for truth we search for the truth about life, others and ourselves. This is a great book about all of the above. The search for the truth about the meaning of life. The adventure it is meant to be and the battle it has to be. It is a book about the search for the truth about the different motivations of our hearts depending on whether we are a man or a woman. It is about the search for the real self which is hidden behind a false self and the exciting adventure and battle for the transformation of ourselves from the false self to the real self. I was truly moved by this book at my deepest levels. My own struggle to be transformed to my real self was brought into focus more clearly. My desire to have the man I love experience the type of transformation John Eldredge speaks of from false self to real self was also awakened in my heart. I also gained valuble insights and understanding the differences in men and women and how we can relate to eachother better. This book also asks a man to consider 'what makes you feel fully alive' and suggests they pursue that as their career choice. Great advice. It also explores the idea that a man is out there to save the fair maiden and rescue her. But his explanation of fighting for the fair maiden is different than the fairy tales you have read. I don't want to spoil it for you, so I won't go into detail. You have got to read it for yourself. This book has an exciting and life changing message that both men and women will appreciate. I consider it a 'must read' for all men and women single or otherwise. On a scale of one to five stars I give this one five stars!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2004

    Prosperity Gospel

    Eldredge says Christian men at his church are boring, so he insists that men these men need a battle to fight, adventure to live, a princess to save. While this is an interesting concept, it places its authority in Braveheart and Gladiator more than the Bible and Jesus. Ultimately, this is simply another of the many ¿prosperity gospel¿ books, which is light on the Gospel message and heavy on secular riches. People may be better served with books that connect the divine story with our real-life stories.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2002

    Dangerous

    I have been a Christian my entire 37 years and have seldom come accros a book as categorically and theologically wrong as this book. The distance with which Eldridge has missed the mark would be laughable were it not for the chord it has struck with main-stream American Christians and the irreparable damage it will do to the shrinking shallow minds of fearful Christians in search of enemies to sustain their percarious sense of identity. In painting Jesus as a warrior Eldridge reveals himself as a person so frustrated with his own inability to find commonality with the way of Jesus that he rationalizes Jesus into the angry person that he is himself. This book is a poverty of thought and full of purely projected, short-sighted, infantile fantasies that appeal to the shallow American dreams of wealth, power, domination, and control - the very things that Christ condemed because he knew that they were our greatest form of weakness. Certainly Jesus was bold, courageous, and fun, but his kingdom is upside down and, unfortunately, as misunderstood today as the day he was murdered. "You have heard that it was said, but I say...."

    2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2013

    Great Great Great Book!

    This book has really inspired me and help me to understand why we man think and act the way we do. This book, backed by Scripture, has a lot of truth and valuable information that every man must know. Great book this was well needed in my life

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 4, 2012

    Wild at Heart was one of the rare occasions when reading for a c

    Wild at Heart was one of the rare occasions when reading for a class wasn’t just for homework, but because I was actually interested in the topic. In the book, Eldredge, gives his opinion on what makes men tick – what they’re thinking, why they act a certain way, and other subjects under that theme. It was especially interesting reading this book from a female perspective; specifically when Eldredge speaks about women’s rolls in a man’s life. He says that as much as women would like to, they cannot give men their masculinity. “A man needs a much bigger orbit than a woman. He needs a mission, a life purpose, and he needs to know his name,” (pg 97). This was a very cool thing to read, because I agree that men need to know who they are. Men, and women, need to decide what they want in life before they can be able to share their life with another person.
    One point Eldredge made that I was a bit skeptical about was that the Church wants men to be soft. I personally think Christianity calls men to be strong and confident, rather than just “nice guys.” He says, “Christianity, as it currently exists, has done some terrible things to men. When all is said and done, I think most men in the church believe that God put them on the earth to be a good boy,” (pg71). Yes, God wants everyone to be of good character and set a good example to others. This doesn’t mean men have to be passive, push-overs. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to any curious reader: male, female, Christian, non-Christian. Whether you agree with what John Eldredge has to say about men, it is interesting to see another perspective. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 28, 2009

    Wild at Heart runs wild with Scripture

    I¿m torn over Wild at Heart. On the one hand, I resonate with Eldredge¿s hungry search for authentic manhood. I likewise prickle against the shallow, ¿nice guy¿ subculture which has infiltrated some churches and some faith-related organizations. I agree with Eldredge that our society can emasculate, tame, and domesticate men, leaving them hollow, timid, restless, and bored. I, like Eldredge, deeply desire to live with vigor and passion, to boldly venture into the dangerous wilds. <BR/><BR/>On the other hand, Eldredge¿s use of Scripture in Wild at Heart is despicable. Your Average Joe¿s Golden Rules of Christian Literature are these: 1) Quote Scripture precisely and 2) Allow Scripture to drive your ideas; never use Scripture to justify your preconceived notions. <BR/><BR/>Example #1. On page 1, Eldredge quotes Proverbs 20:5 (NKJV) as saying, ¿The heart of a man is like deep water¿¿ But that is incorrect. The actual quote is this: ¿Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, But a man of understanding will draw it out.¿ The problem, of course, is that Eldredge misrepresents the subject of this Proverb. God is not saying that the heart of man is like deep water; He is saying that counsel in the heart of man is like deep water. Eldredge uses his misquote to justify his proposition that the heart of a man is like an elusive animal which must be followed into the wild. He has modified Scripture to justify his preconceived idea.... (You can see the rest of my review on my faith-and-humor site, www.youravgjoe.com).

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2003

    Men, Women, and God.

    Beyond the surface of this book is a message that borders heresy and sexism. Not only does Eldredge fail to support his ideas with anything more than personal examples, he advocates open theology and the dependence of women on men to be fulfilled individuals.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2003

    Pop Theology?

    While not an altogether empty premise the book's main message falls short of other works in isolating man's identity and relationship with nature, women, or God. The meatiest section delves into the 'wounds of the father' and its effects on male identity, personality development and relations with the opposite sex. At its worst the shallow allusions to modern mass media and biblical quotations pander to an easy audience of unhappy yet passive born-again Christian men who wonder how they got there. If you like this book you'd be blown away by Lancelot (Percy), Road Less Traveled (Peck), Mere Christianity (Lewis), Bulfinch's Mythology, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Joyce), or anything by Carlos Castaneda...

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2002

    Good start, poor finish

    To all the emasculated men in the Christian churches, this book identifies you - great start; you need help! Denying your true warrier nature is an issue in the church that is rarely confronted and keeps a large number of masculine men from going to church. However, Eldridge doesn' t have the theological understanding of how to reconcile being "wild at heart" with the teachings of Christ (except for a passionate attack on Calvin, who was shot down by scholars in the 1700s, so who cares). He also fails to call for any real change in terms of the structure of the church, its belief system, and how it uses the bible. Instead he opts to reccommending cosmetic changes in how men behave. If you want to learn from a current leader who is truly brave enough to improve the church, read "A New Christianity for a New World" by John Shelby Spong.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2002

    Worldy stereotypes and ungodly, macho vanity

    Elderidge seems to be a good guy, and I enjoy his honest writing style. But, man,why in the world are so many men hungry for his nearly neo-pagen, worldy stuff about being tough and dangerous by rescuing a beauty? Come on! Jesus has already rescued my wife and I sure couldn't if I wanted to, regardless of what Elderidge recommends. Sure we need passion and guts and dedication--and Elderidge's other books truly spoke to me! But this title includes so many (North American) cultural stereotypes mixed with really peculiar theology (Jesus died for your 'false self'? What could that even mean?) And all the whining! It seems to me the author has a bit too much time on his hands to think about his own issues, and, while his heart is obviously deeply hurt by the profound hurts of men in our culture, getting 'em to rescue beauties and box and hunt, frankly, just ain't tough enough. Lose yourself for God's Kingdom and skip the middle-class worldly macho stuff in this dangerous book.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2002

    Mixed review

    NOTE: This review is based on reading the book and attending the 4-day conference of the same name, and graduate education including Bible (honors). Since Eldredge earned a Master's degree in counseling, some of his counseling advice is well-advised and worth considering. His theology, however, is much less well trained, poorly or not supported with proof texts, and sometimes dangerous. Hasty generalization, a logical error, is the second most serious problem. The problem is that sometimes counseling and theology are so interwoven and interdependent that it is difficult to untangle the two. That said, he does say some things that are not being said in the modern church, and need to be said. All of this poses a serious problem for the new Christian, or the long-time Christian who has not benefited from formal training in Biblical interpretation. This comment will offend some who think that 'reader-response' is a valid interpretative method. They should read at their own risk. As for me, I can only recommend this book to those trained in a good, conservative school in exegesis and hermeneutics. At the least, one should know what a Berean is, how to be one, and five Biblical interpretative methods for testing the author's assertions in light of scripture. The problem, of course, is that those with this training will not need this advice, and those who need it may not heed it. If you are a pastor, and your congregation rave's this book, you may need to educate them.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2002

    Skip this book and go to the real source

    If you want to know how to be a good Christian man¿read the New Testament. Mr. Eldredge seems to have skipped the parts about ¿the greatest of these is love¿ and ¿turn the other cheek¿ and ¿blessed are the peacemakers¿ and many, many others. This book is riddled with stereotypes and poor interpretation of scripture. Mr. Eldredge takes his own outdated notions of what it means to be a man and tries to pass them off as biblical truth. It takes a lot more courage and wisdom to be one of the ¿nice guys¿ that Mr. Eldredge disparages than it does to be one of his ¿wild at heart warriors.¿ If I could give this book zero stars...I would.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 8, 2013

    Wild at Heart by John Eldredge is a creative and bias book about

    Wild at Heart by John Eldredge is a creative and bias book about the masculinity of men. I read this book for a college writing class this year; although before I read it I had many friends that recommended it. It’s all about how troubled a man’s heart can be, especially when he has no father figure in his life to show him how to be a man. I believe Wild at Heart was an out of the ballpark book. It shows many ideas to why the man is so struck with brokenness. Moreover, the ideas are logical and strong. I was enlightened when I read the book because of how many thoughts and arguments that lined up to my life. It’s a highly relatable book for men above the age of 17. Furthermore, John Eldredge brings opinions to the table, and backs many of them up with scripture. One that stuck out was the interpretation of Adam and Eve in the garden when Eve at the fruit. Eldredge points out that in scripture, Adam was standing silent right next to Eve when she ate the fruit. Then Eldredge goes on to say that men are weak and troubled just like Adam was when he was in the garden. In addition the quote “Deep in his heart, every man longs for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue” by Eldredge shows an opinion that I agree with. More importantly he shows his heart to the readers about masculinity and gives reasonable examples for each of his findings. This book has helped me unify my heart and my mind. I loved the book and I would recommend it to any man who has a heart problem, and in my opinion all men do.

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