Wild at Heart: A Band of Brothers Small Group Participant's Guide

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Embark on the life-changing adventure that is Wild at Heart.

Existing fans and those new to John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart lessons will benefit from his new A Band of Brothers Small Group DVD series. This Participant’s Guide follows the eight 30-minute episodes, providing additional information and discussion questions designed to help small groups grow spiritually and bond with one another.

Together, you will ...

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Wild at Heart: A Band of Brothers Small Group Participant's Guide: A Band of Brothers Small Group Participant's Guide

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Embark on the life-changing adventure that is Wild at Heart.

Existing fans and those new to John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart lessons will benefit from his new A Band of Brothers Small Group DVD series. This Participant’s Guide follows the eight 30-minute episodes, providing additional information and discussion questions designed to help small groups grow spiritually and bond with one another.

Together, you will discover how God can heal your hearts and learn how to become the men God wants you to be.

Formatted for easy group study, Eldredge’s inspiring Wild at Heart: A Band of Brothers Small Group DVD Series has been the catalyst groups use to help them discover how God defines authentic masculinity.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781418543006
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/3/2009
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 438,351
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

John Eldredge is a counselor, teacher, and the author of numerous bestselling books includingWild at Heart,Epic,andBeautiful Outlaw. He is the director of Ransomed Heart, a ministry restoring masculinity to millions of men worldwide. John loves fly fishing, bow hunting, and great books. He lives in Colorado with his wife, Stasi.

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Read an Excerpt


A Band of Brothers
By John Eldredge

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2009 John Eldredge
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4185-4300-6

Chapter One


The heart of a Man

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. -Genesis 1:26-27

Most of us know the oil level of our cars or the state of our investments better than we do the vitality or desires of our heart. And it's completely understandable; there are many things set against you, many distractions and demands upon your life. But these distractions come at a cost: as we tend to our daily demands, we ignore our masculine heart.

In the first session of our series, Bart, Morgan, Craig, and Gary joined me for a day of horseback riding up in the Colorado Rockies and talking about the heart of a man.


KEY THOUGHTS This session corresponds with chapters 1 and 2 from Wild at Heart. The major points of these chapters are summarized here.

* * *

God made the masculine heart and sets it within every man he creates.

There is, therefore, something deep and true and universal to the masculine heart. And it's been lost-or better, driven into hiding.

You cannot get your masculine heart back through duty and obligation. You must pursue it with your deepest desires. What makes you come alive?

Somewhere down in your heart are three core desires: a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.

God, too, has each of these longings lodged deep in his heart: the yearning for a battle to fight is deep in the heart of God. He, too, longs for adventure and risk-far more than we do. And he has a beauty to rescue, whom he pursues with amazing passion.


After watching the DVD segment, it should be clear that the men in this group have varying levels of comfort when it comes to riding horses. Some of us had a lot of experience on horseback. A few of us were very anxious about the day.

* With whom did you identify most when it comes to riding horses? Why? * As you listened in on the conversation these men were having about the true nature of the masculine heart, what struck you as the most important, the most relevant point they made?

* The major theme of this book is the core desires of a man's soul-at battle to fight, an adventure to live, a beauty to rescue. Can you identify these in your life? Where or how?

Craig talked about his boyhood neighborhood and how he and his friends loved to play army. His little platoon defended the neighborhood with popguns and tangerine grenades.

* What adventures or games did you play and love when you were a boy?

In the same way God called Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted and took Elijah into the wilderness to find his true destiny, he calls a man out of his comfort zone to discover who he is. It is in the wilderness that God shows us we have what it takes to live the very life for which God created us. Unless we step out into that adventure God has for us, we will never learn it anywhere else. It cannot be learned on the sofa.

* What comfort zone is God calling you out of?

* What adventure is he leading you into?

* Is it a tame, controllable adventure or a wild and unpredictable one?

* Walter Bruggerman describes God as "wild, unfettered, dangerous, and free." Is that how you would describe the God you've been told about?

"Desire" is central in mapping out your masculine journey. Don't ask what the world needs; ask what makes you come alive: that's what the world needs!

* Consider what makes you come alive. With that in mind, finish this sentence: "For the rest of my life, I want to _____________."

* What, beginning this week, would that look like?


Turn to the Lord in prayer, giving him the desires that have lain in your heart for years or asking him to reveal the desires that you can't seem to put your finger on. Trust him to show you the way to start your journey.

* * *

O Lord, open wide the eyes of my soul that I might see the true yearnings of my heart. Uncover my desire for adventure, battle, and beauty. Begin to dismantle all the messages that have challenged and assaulted your design of me. May your invitation to life as a man be forever before me. I accept the invitation to live from my deep heart. Father, use the words of this book and the meditations of my heart to guide, shape, and direct me in this journey that I might be the man you designed me to be. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.


If you truly want to embrace the untamed journey Christ has planned for you, you won't be satisfied thinking about this just once a week. This section is designed for you to study the topic further on your own after your group meets. So make some time throughout the week (on your lunch break, instead of watching TV at night, or in the early morning) to read through these questions and consider what God is saying to you here.

* * *

It can be very awkward for men to share their hearts. It's slow going and uncomfortable-territory we're not used to traversing. But the alternatives are to hide in isolation or live as an impostor, and who wants that?

* How did the group conversation and interaction go when you met? Did you find yourself reluctant to share your thoughts? Did you temper them, or do you regret saying too much?

* What did God say to you as you were meeting with the men? Did he impress anything on you during that time?

* What do you hope to achieve in this group? Do you have a goal in mind? Are you willing to let God change that goal, if that is his will?

There is the life we were meant for and the men we were created to be ... and then there is the life we have and the men we find ourselves to be. They are often worlds apart.

* How is the man you find yourself to be different from the man you were created to be?

* At this stage of your life, what is your great battle? Is it on the surface (making more money, getting the kids to behave, reducing the hassles of life?), or is it deeper? Are you willing to share it with the men in your group?

* Where is your great adventure? What real risk have you been swept up into? (Is anything in your life more compelling than watching sports, following stocks, or viewing the adventures of others on TV?)

* And who is the beauty you are fighting for? (Is there a woman in your life who stirs you to leap through a ring of fire to win her?)

Dr. Tremper Longman III, the coauthor of Bold Love, wrote, "Virtually every book of the Bible-Old and New Testaments-and almost every page tells us about God's warring activity."

* Have you ever considered the Bible to be an account of a great battle that God himself is fighting?

* How does this help you interpret all that's going on around you in your life today?


Go back to God and talk with him about where your heart is on all you've discussed and thought about this week. End your time here praying, in your own words, the prayer on page 15.


Next week your group will discuss the second DVD segment, "The Poser and the Question." In order to be prepared to share your thoughts with your group, read chapter 3 from Wild at Heart this week prior to your group meeting.


The Poser and the Question

I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid. -Genesis 3:10

What kind of life would you have to live to eliminate all fear or risk? No matter how many insurance policies you purchase, helmets you wear, personas you create, or doors you lock, one of the certain lessons life teaches us is that there is no escaping fear and risk.

In this DVD we'll be talking about our deepest fear while rapelling a one-hundred-foot cliff. But our fear isn't heights; the central fear all men share is that we will be exposed as an impostor, a poser, a man who doesn't really have what it takes.



This session corresponds with chapter 3 from Wild at Heart. The major points of this chapter are summarized here.

* * *

The world is filled with caricatures of masculinity-posers- but very few real men.

And every one of us posers shares a deepest fear: to be found out, exposed as an impostor.

The reason, in part, goes back to Adam's fall-and the way every man since him has also fallen to the temptations of sin.

Men handle their fallen nature by either becoming violent (driven) or retreating (passive)-we mishandle our strength.


Each of us had our turn rappelling. Even a couple of the experienced guys admitted that anytime you step backward off a one-hundred-foot cliff, you feel a bit of the "pucker" factor.

* How would you do rappelling?

A man is fierce ... passionate ... wild at heart? You wouldn't know it from what normally walks around in a pair of trousers. If that's true, how come there are so many lonely women, so many fatherless children, so few men around? Why is it that the world seems filled with "caricatures" of masculinity? How come when men look in their hearts they don't discover something valiant and dangerous, but instead find anger, lust, and fear? Why is that?

In last week's "Going Deeper" section, you were asked a question about vulnerability. The success of this group is based proportionately on the willingness of everyone to be honest and open with one another.

* Do you feel you were an open book last week?

* Did you write down a goal you have for this group? If so, what is it?

We are made in the image of the Lion of Judah to fight great battles, take great adventures, and rescue the beauty. When I asked the guys if that's how they feel inside most of the time, Gary admitted that in a variety of circumstances, what he felt most was fear. It's the fear that comes from not knowing what to do and being afraid to ask.

* Describe how you feel inside most days. (Strong, unfettered, free, alive, adventurous, fearful, apprehensive, hesitant?)

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, "Where are you?" He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." -Genesis 3:6-10

* How do you feel about the fact that Adam was standing right there when Eve was being tempted, and he didn't do a thing?

* Can you see that same passivity in your own life?

Men are geniuses at designing elaborate fig leaves, brilliant disguises that we call "personality." Like Adam, we are afraid we aren't what we should be. So we create "The Poser" to hide behind. When we ask ourselves, "Have I got what it takes?" we fear we don't, and the poser is born. But this disguise has become so second nature to us that most men are only half-aware of the ways they hide.

* How are you hiding these days? How do you pose?

* Has it worked/ been effective?

God comes to all of us as he came to Adam-calling to us, asking us to come out of hiding, to face our fears, to walk with him into our true strength. It's in the intentional movement away from hiding and into honesty that we discover our true selves. But to move away from the safety of our effective hiding feels about the same as jumping off a cliff: counterintuitive, unnatural, wrong!

* What is the cliff God would have you "jump off" as a man? (If your reaction to jumping off this cliff is "Oh, my God, help me," it's a real cliff. Anything else is posing.)

* What's the first step you will take to come out of hiding and reveal your true self to the others you're "doing life" with?


It's scary, but we have to go there. Only when we leave the poser behind will we begin to live as men, and in doing so find real strength, adventure, and beauty. Ask God to give you the courage to take those first steps today, even within the next hour.

Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my fearful thoughts. Reveal to me the ways I pose and hide, and O God, lead me in the everlasting way, the way of truth and strength. May I live with passion and zeal; may my soul be captured by you for something big, noble, and worthy of your kingdom. Remove the quiet desperation of my soul. Chase away resignation, anger, and the addictions I run to. Free me to be a strong, passionate, and dangerous man ... as you created me to be. Draw me beyond the battles I know I can win; lure me to larger adventures ... speak with power those words I long to hear: "You have what it takes." I ask all this in Jesus' name. Amen.


Read through chapter 3 from Wild at Heart again, and answer these questions on your own during a lunch break, over a cup of coffee in the morning, or at the end of the day.

* * *

* This was your second meeting-how did the group conversation and interaction go today? Did you feel an internal (or external) pressure to pose or to hide during the discussion time?

* What did God say to you as you were meeting with the men?

As you enter into what may be your first really candid picture of yourself as a man, consider two things. First, this isn't the end of the story. We're only in the second session, and if there weren't hope for us posers, I wouldn't have written this book. Second, this isn't going to be helpful if you try to sound like a better guy than you really are; nor is it helpful to assume a false Christian humility because that's the "spiritual" thing to do. As David says in Psalm 51, God desires truth in our inmost being. Be honest-no more, no less.

* What is your definition of a "man"?

* How do you measure up to that definition? (Write a simple, candid description of yourself as a man. You don't need to show this to anyone.)


Excerpted from Wild at Heart PARTICIPANT'S GUIDE by John Eldredge Copyright © 2009 by John Eldredge. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 5

Part 1 The Heart of a Man 9

Part 2 The Poser and the Question 23

Part 3 The Wound 35

Part 4 Healing the Wound 47

Part 5 A Battle to Fight 61

Part 6 An Adventure to Live 75

Part 7 A Beauty to Rescue 89

Part 8 A Band of Brothers 105

A Note from the Author 119

Appendix: A Daily Prayer for Freedom 121

Notes 125

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 249 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 249 Customer Reviews
  • 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.

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  • Posted August 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer


    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

    4 out of 6 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.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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.

    4 out of 9 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.

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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


    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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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2015

    Don't Understand the Hype for this Book

    I am getting help from a Christian counselor in connection with my wife's desertion. She has had me read a couple of books, including this one. My counselor thinks all men should read it, and I think she had me read it specifically because she thinks I am too passive. Although my counselor is a big fan of this book, I am not. There are plenty of other reviews, pro and con, out there, so I will make my comments brief. In particular, I did not like the following: 1. Eldredge is obsessed with the word "poser". He seems to think almost everyone else is a poser, but since he uses the word so much I tend to think that deep down he is a poser who has to somehow always maintain an image as a super-masculine man. 2. He denies he is an Open Theist (a word I admittedly had to Google), but he really seems to think that God can be surprised by human events. That thinking is preposterous in light of fulfilled prophecy that has already occurred in the Bible. 3. He seems to think of Jesus as only being super manly, but totally ignores the submission required by Jesus to die on the cross for the sins of mankind. Jesus is the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, and unfortunately for Eldredge, being a lamb is something that takes meekness. 4. He also ignores the fact that when the Bible talks about the fruits of the Holy Spirit, there is no list for males and no list for females, but one unisex list. Unfortunately for Eldredge, the fruits seem to describe Mr. Rogers more than they describe Eldredge. 5. I was appalled at his advice for his son to respond to a bully by hitting him back. The only reason I did not give this book one star is that at least it treats Satan as being a real being, and also warns about the ease of falling for Satan's lies. Many books today blow off Satan, so it is good to see a widely-read book that doesn't take the popular but incorrect view.

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