Q and A Index

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

by John Eldredge

Thomas Nelson

Question: I am reading this book for my small group study and I am truly appalled at John Eldridge's theology. I have talked with my pastor and he thinks the book is great for new believers.  Leaves me thinking.... What is your view of this book?

Answer: Here is a quick answer -- just a few glimpses into are Eldridge’s “wild” interpretations of God, His Word and His ways. His theology seems to be based more on psychology and its views of self-actualization (which are contrary to God’s ways for us) and on myths that supposedly free men to be themselves. The Scriptures are merely twisted into affirmations that serve his positive, popular and postmodern theology.

References to myth:

"The truth is, we have not taken them [myths] seriously enough. Myths are stories which confront us with something transcendent and eternal."[Page 182]  

False assumptions and outrageous statements.

"Adventure, with all its requisite danger and wildness, is a deeply spiritual longing written into the soul of man.... Look at the heroes of the biblical text: Moses does not encounter the living God at the mall. He finds him (or is found by him) somewhere out in the deserts of Sinai, a long way from the comforts of Egypt. The same is true of Jacob, who has his wrestling match with God ... in wadi somewhere east of the Jabbok, in Mesopotamia. Where did the great prophet Elijah go to recover his strength? ...

“Whatever those explorers were after, they were also searching for themselves. Deep in a man's heart are some fundamental questions that simply cannot be answered at the kitchen table. Who am I? What am I made of? What am I destined for? It is fear that keep a man at home where things are neat and orderly and under his control."[Page 5]  

Those three men had escaped unwanted threats on their lives by running away from deadly danger. They had no "spiritual longing" for such wildness or adventure! Nor were they "searching for themselves." Eldredge is simply using the Bible and twisting its historical facts in order to prove his point and personal philosophy.

"...there is definitely something wild in the heart of God....  And all his wildness and all his fierceness are inseparable from his romantic heart. That theologians have missed this says more about theologians than it does about God. Music, wine, poetry, sunsets.... those where his inventions, not ours."[Pages 32-33]  

Sad to say, man usually chooses to use all those gifts for his own futile purposes rather than God's.

More references to wildness. Notice how this image is used to remake God in man's (or rather Eldredge's) image :

"I need wildness." [Page 12]  


"If you have any doubts as to whether or not God loves wildness, spend a night in the woods ... alone. Take a walk out in a thunderstorm...." [Page 29]  

"Nevertheless, there is definitely something wild in the heart of God. And all his wildness and all his fierceness are inseparable from his romantic heart."
[Page 32]  

"And he [God] invites women to discover the secret of a man's soul and to delight in the strength and wildness men were created to offer." Back Cover of book (published by
Thomas Nelson)

From Ransomed Hearts -- The books:

"Wild at Heart had been stirring in John for many, many years before it was written. There is something fierce, passionate, and wild in the heart of every man. That is how he bears the image of God. And the reason most men 'live lives of quiet desperation' (Thoreau) is because men have been told that the reason God put them on earth is to be a good boy. To be nice. But every man longs for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue."


"The Way of the Wild Heart  - This is a book about how a boy - and a man -become a man. It's a guide to the process of masculine initiation--that ancient path every boy and man must take if they would become the man they long to be. The path whereby they come to know they are a man and are able to live and love from a deep, centered strength."


The Books and Authors That Have Most Influenced Pastors: "Not surprisingly, Rick Warren was king-of-the-hill in this listing, as his books were mentioned by 30% of the pastors. John Maxwell was the runner-up, with books listed as among the most helpful by 5% of pastors. Five writers were mentioned by 3% of the nation’s church leaders: Henry Blackaby, Jim Cymbala, Bill Hybels, Andy Stanley, and Phil Yancey. The other influential authors were George Barna, John Eldredge and John Piper, each of whom was mentioned by 2%."



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