Wild at Heart (book)
Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul is a book by John Eldredge published in 2001, on the subject of the role of masculinity in contemporary evangelical Christian culture and doctrine. From the back cover: "In Wild at Heart, John Eldredge invites men to recover their masculine heart, defined in the image of a passionate God."
The book, while being received favorably by some, including Chuck Swindoll, who called it "the best, most insightful book I have read in at least the last five years," also received harsh criticism, with some claiming that the book misuses scriptural references, and that Eldredge has projected his own personality traits onto God in order to support his viewpoint.
Eldredge claims that men are bored; they fear risk, they refuse to pay attention to their deepest desires. He challenges Christian men to return to what he characterizes as authentic masculinity without resorting to a "macho man" mentality. Men often seek validation in venues such as work, or in the conquest of women, Eldredge observes. He urges men to take time out and come to grips with the "secret longings" of their hearts. Eldredge frames the book around his outdoor experiences and anecdotes about his family, and references elements of pop culture such as the film Braveheart and lyrics from the Dixie Chicks.
Eldredge's work has its detractors. Some have pointed out that the "pseudo-evangelical" cult and criminal organization La Familia cartel in Mexico, refer to their assassinations and beheadings as '"divine justice"; its leader has made Eldredge’s book Wild at Heart required reading for La Familia gang members and has paid rural teachers and National Development Education members to circulate Eldredge's writings throughout the Michoacán countryside.
In 2005 Eldredge with his wife Stasi wrote Captivating, a companion to Wild at Heart, which explores femininity.
- "Focus on the Family’ outreach: Mexican drug decapitation cartel La Familia demand and preach James Eldredge’s ‘Muscular Christianity’". June 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-16.
- Grayson, George W. (August 2009). "La Familia Michoacána: A Deadly Mexican Cartel Revisited". Foreign Policy Research Institute. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
- Isikoff, Michael (October 22, 2009). "Feds Crack Down on 'Robin Hood' Drug Cartel". Newsweek 'Declassified'. Retrieved 2009-11-10.
- Wild at Heart at publisher Thomas Nelson's website
- Byron Borger's critique at Hearts & Minds Books
- Rut Etheridge's Critique of Wild at Heart
- Is God Wild at Heart? Critical Review of Wild at Heart from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
- An article at Christianity Today documenting some criticism of the book