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Review of Wild at Heart--10th Anniversary Edition, by John Eldredge

It's hard to believe it's been 10 years since John Eldredge's Wild at Heart was released. Actually, it's more like nine, but who's counting? The book, love it or hate it, has been influential in ways nobody could have imagined upon initial release.  It will be remembered as one of the most important books of our time. Now, Thomas Nelson has released an updated version.

Wild at Heart, with its assertions that God is wild, that feminism has removed from men the most valuable thing they have to offer (their strength), and that women want to be rescued, created a bit of a firestorm almost as soon as it was released. It has been the subject of criticism from Christians and non-Christians alike, banned from some Christian bookstores and even churches. It was blamed for a killing. But on the other hand are those who assert that WAH has been immeasurably influential and healing in the lives of countless men, and by extension, their wives, and their children.

Because of the detractors, it's not a bad idea for Eldredge to take some time to offer clarifications on these and other controversial stances. But Eldredge doesn't just change a few words in the 2010 version. He has also added a new introduction, a new epilogue, and inserted two daily prayers.

For those who haven't read the book, I highly recommend it.   If you have heard of it but chosen to stay clear of it because you heard complaints such as those mentioned above, such claims are unfounded or are based upon distortions and out-of-context quotes from the book.  What Wild at heart is really about is exposing how the Enemy has used a variety of means to take men out. to keep them from being what God made men to be. Yes, there are some points in WAH that I don't agree with (and I could say that about nearly every book I have ever touched), but the essential messages are true, they are powerful, and they are freeing. They are potentially life-changing and marriage-saving, and relationship-restoring.  To me, the most power-packed truths were (a) warnings against asking your wife to validate you; (b) the subtle damage being done in our culture by fatherlessness; (c) the way a lie believed in early childhood can continue to derail a person for decades; (d) the necessity of inviting Jesus to come in and heal our wounds.

Anyone who hasn't read Wild at Heart, and is a man, a mother to a boy, or is married to or wants to be married to a man, or who simply wants to understand your father, needs to read it. It's this well-known for a reason.

Comments

Joshua Rogers said…
Thanks for writing this. "Wild at Heart" was pretty revolutionary for me when I read it. I know that, because it became wildly popular and unpopular at the same time, I'm supposed to shrug it off, but I can't. As a man who was trying to figure out what to do with my absent father (at the time), the book was totally essential. I've enjoyed reading through your posts. A nice discovery.

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