John Eldredge

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John Eldredge
Born (1960-06-06) June 6, 1960 (age 62)
Los Angeles, U.S.
Alma materColorado Christian University
California Polytechnic University

John Eldredge (born June 6, 1960 in Los Angeles) is an American author, counselor, and lecturer on Christianity. He is known for his best-selling book Wild at Heart.

Life and Work of John Eldredge[edit]

Eldredge says of himself, "I’m 55. I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. My wife Stasi and I have three sons. My graduate degree is in counseling. Professionally, I’m a writer and a speaker. I don’t pastor. I’m not a preacher. I don’t have a church that I lead."[1]

While living in Los Angeles, Eldredge was searching for a "worldview." After exploring other religions, Eastern mysticism, Lao-Tzu, and New Age spirituality, he discovered the writings of Francis Schaeffer, whom he calls one of the best philosophers of the 20th century. Through Schaeffer, Eldredge came to Christ and later to the church. He eventually earned a master's degree in counseling and practiced in Colorado Springs, before working for Focus on the Family, where he served as Senior Fellow for Christian Worldview.[2]

John received his undergraduate degree in theater from California Polytechnic University (Pomona) and his MA in biblical counseling from Colorado Christian University under the direction of Dr. Larry Crabb and Dr. Dan Allender. Prior to joining Focus on the Family in 1988,[3] John served for five years on the staff of Sierra Madre Congregational Church in Southern California.

In July 2000, John left Focus on the Family, where he had worked for 12 years, to launch Ransomed Heart Ministries. John travels extensively in the U.S. and abroad.[4] John, his wife, Stasi, and their three sons live in Colorado Springs, Colorado.[5] In addition to publishing many books, he has produced three videos: Risky Business: A Look at Gambling, Whatever Happened to Marriage?: A Look at Divorce, and Created Different?: A Look at Homosexuality.[2]

Ministry and Message of John Eldredge[edit]

John Eldredge's theology can be ascertained through the reading of his various books as well as listening to his various podcasts and teaching series via Ransomed Heart Ministries, of which he is the president.[6] Eldredge has stated that his goal, above all else, is to "recover the treasure of the Gospel. [He] wants to see it restore the lives of men and women deeply, heal them as men and women, and then through that restoration and through the recovery of the gospel teach them how to walk intimately with God."[7]

Eldredge believes that typical presentations of the Christian Gospel miss the vital fact that there is a "Larger Story." The reality of a grand love narrative, set in an epic battle for the hearts of mankind — a battle in which we, if we choose to follow Christ, have a role to play — is largely absent from the Gospel as most Christians understand it.[8] According to Eldredge, most people see the offer of salvation as simply forgiveness of sins and a ticket to Heaven. The thought of the Gospel as something that through the "full Work of Christ" (his death, resurrection, and ascension) has real effects now, on this side of Heaven, is largely missing: both forgiveness AND deliverance from sin and the works of the devil through Christ's crucifixion; the offer of life and the potential to a become a new creature that does not desire to sin and has a good heart through the resurrection; and the real authority of the believer through the ascension.[9] Eldredge sees the Gospel, in a phrase, as a Gospel of Restoration. He views the miracles of Christ as primarily advertisements of life in the Kingdom of God, pictures of what it looks like when true restoration happens, available in the partial here and now, ultimately fulfilled at the "Restoration of All Things," as prophesied by Christ in the book of Matthew. Eldredge does not see the miracles of Christ merely as random proofs that He was the Son of God, though he would not deny that they serve that purpose also.[10]

Eldredge believes that the neglect of two important truths has contributed to the loss of the treasure of the Gospel. The first is that conversational intimacy is available to the people of God. Because of the loss of this, God for most Christians feels distant and is served only in duty. [11] The second is that there is a real enemy and a real battle going on within, and around, us. The fact of warfare is, according to Eldredge, assumed by Scripture, and a denial of this fact causes the "problem" of Theodicy.[12]

A fundamental tenet of Eldredge's theology is that men and women possess the Imago Dei — they are created in the image of God. For him, on the basis of Genesis 1:27, the core of what it means to be image-bearers is found in gender. God intentionally created mankind as male and female, placing different aspects of His character into each, so that the full expression of His glory is seen when the two are joined in marriage. Therefore, the rescuing of the heart of both masculinity and femininity is indispensable to Eldredge's ministry.[13]

In terms of practical ministry, Eldredge and Ransomed Heart Ministries are interested in three things: 1) crawl, walk, run with God; 2) stay small; 3) follow the Wild Goose.[14] Eldredge and his team do not operate as with a five-year plan and barely have a one-year plan. They operate in such a way that most of their meetings "operational/director meetings" are spent praying, listening to God, and interacting with each other on what God is leading them to do. This leads to the second part, which is staying small. Eldredge and his team have turned down several offers that would have grown their ministry to a large-scale organization and even placed them on television. Though they at first were attracted to it, Eldredge and his team recognized that it would fundamentally change them and their ministry to do this. So they turned them down.[15] Instead, they have operated in a way that gives the message away. They welcome other people doing things that they do (such as retreats and small groups and ministries) without their involvement. They see themselves as a part of the tip of the sword, but not even the whole tip and definitely not the whole sword and are happy to give the message away.[16] Following the Wild Goose is a phrase native to the early Celtic Christian movement. They referred to the Holy Spirit as the Wild Goose that is always meant to be pursued and followed but never "figured out." So, Eldredge and his team take this approach to walking with the Holy Spirit.[17]

The Large Story[edit]

All information is drawn from Epic: The Story God Is Telling by John Eldredge. Citations will be included at the bottom of each paragraph.

Eldredge is a proponent of understanding one's life in the context of a larger story.

Authored books[edit]

  • The Sacred Romance: Drawing Closer to the Heart of God (1997), Nashville: Thomas Nelson, ISBN 0-7852-7342-5 [with Brent Curtis]
  • Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul (2001), Nashville: Thomas Nelson, ISBN 0-7852-8796-5
  • Wild at Heart Field Manual: A Personal Guide to Discover the Secret of Your Masculine Soul (2002), Nashville: Thomas Nelson, ISBN 0-7852-6574-0
  • The Journey of Desire: Searching for the Life We've Only Dreamed of (2001), Nashville: Thomas Nelson, ISBN 0-7852-6716-6
  • The Journey of Desire: The Participant's Guide (2001), Nashville: Thomas Nelson, ISBN 0-7852-9877-0
  • The Journey of Desire Journal & Guidebook: An Expedition to Discover the Deepest Longings of Your Heart (2002), Nashville: Thomas Nelson, ISBN 0-7852-6640-2 [with Craig McConnell]
  • Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive (2003), Nashville: Thomas Nelson, ISBN 0-7852-8829-5
  • A Guidebook to Waking the Dead: Embracing the Life God Has for You (2003), Nashville: Thomas Nelson, ISBN 0-7852-6309-8 [with Craig McConnell]
  • Epic: The Story God Is Telling (2004), Nashville: Thomas Nelson, ISBN 0-7852-8879-1
  • Epic Church Kit (2007), Nashville: Thomas Nelson, ISBN 1-4185-2614-2
  • Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul (2005), Nashville: Thomas Nelson, ISBN 0-7852-6469-8
  • Captivating Study Guide: Unveiling The Mystery of a Woman's Soul (2007), Nashville: Thomas Nelson, ISBN [with Stasi Eldredge]
  • The Ransomed Heart: A Collection of Devotional Readings (2005), Nashville: Thomas Nelson, ISBN 0-7852-0706-6
  • The Way of the Wild Heart: A Map for the Masculine Journey (2006), Nashville: Thomas Nelson, ISBN 0-7852-0677-9
  • Desire: The Journey We Must Take to Find the Life God Offers (2007), Nashville: Thomas Nelson, ISBN 0-7852-8842-2
  • Walking with God: Talk to Him. Hear from Him. Really. (2008), Nashville: Thomas Nelson, ISBN 0-7852-0696-5
  • A Personal Guide to Walking with God (2008), Nashville: Thomas Nelson ISBN 1-4185-2821-8
  • Fathered by God (2009), Nashville: Thomas Nelson, ISBN 1-4002-8027-3 [re-publication of a portion of The Way of the Wild Heart]
  • Love & War: Finding the Marriage you've Dreamed of (2009), with Stasi Eldredge
  • Beautiful Outlaw: Experiencing the Playful, Disruptive, Extravagant Personality of Jesus (2011), New York: FaithWords, ISBN 978-0-89296-088-0
  • The Utter Relief of Holiness (2013), New York: Faithwords – ISBN 978-1-4555-2571-3
  • Killing Lions: A Guide Through the Trials Young Men Face. (2014), Nashville: Thomas Nelson, ISBN 1-4002-0670-7 [with Sam Eldredge]
  • Moving Mountains: Praying with Passion, Confidence, and Authority (2016), Nashville: Thomas Nelson, ISBN 978-0718037512
  • All Things New: Heaven, Earth, and the Restoration of Everything You Love (2017), Nashville: Thomas Nelson, ISBN 978-0718037994
  • Get Your Life Back: Everyday Practices for a World Gone Mad (2020), Nashville: Thomas Nelson, ISBN 978-1400208661


  1. ^ Read The Spirit, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 13, 2012. Retrieved December 21, 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b "Meet John Eldredge". Christian Book.
  3. ^ Smith, Warren (September 24, 2014). "John Eldredge: Young men and a life of daring". World.
  4. ^ "John Eldredge Author Profile". New Release Tuesday.
  5. ^ "Christian Book Previews". Retrieved January 24, 2015.
  6. ^ "John Eldredge | Ransomed Heart Ministries." John Eldredge | Ransomed Heart Ministries. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Jan. 2017. <>.
  7. ^ John Eldredge and Ransomed Heart Ministries. About Ransomed Heart. John Eldredge, 2012. MP3.
  8. ^ John Eldredge and Ransomed Heart Ministries. About Ransomed Heart. John Eldredge, 2012. MP3.
  9. ^ John Eldredge and Ransomed Heart Ministries. About Ransomed Heart. John Eldredge, 2012. MP3.
  10. ^ John Eldredge and Ransomed Heart Ministries. About Ransomed Heart. John Eldredge, 2012. MP3.
  11. ^ John Eldredge and Ransomed Heart Ministries. About Ransomed Heart. John Eldredge, 2012. MP3.
  12. ^ John Eldredge and Ransomed Heart Ministries. About Ransomed Heart. John Eldredge, 2012. MP3.
  13. ^ Wild at Heart Boot Camp: The Heart of a Man. Perf. John Eldredge. Ransomed Heart Ministries, n.d. DVD. Web. 6 Jan. 2017. <>.
  14. ^ John Eldredge and Ransomed Heart Ministries. About Ransomed Heart. John Eldredge, 2012. MP3.
  15. ^ John Eldredge and Ransomed Heart Ministries. About Ransomed Heart. John Eldredge, 2012. MP3.
  16. ^ John Eldredge and Ransomed Heart Ministries. About Ransomed Heart. John Eldredge, 2012. MP3.
  17. ^ John Eldredge and Ransomed Heart Ministries. About Ransomed Heart. John Eldredge, 2012. MP3.

External links[edit]