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WHat do you think about John Eldredge?

Discussion in 'Young Adults' started by kca4christ, Jul 30, 2004.

  1. kca4christ

    kca4christ New Member

    25
    +4
    Christian
    Hi. I have read several of ELdredge's books (Journey of Desire, Wild At Heart and Waking The Dead).
    I even led small groups on JOD and WAH.....and when i taught these books I really loved whatthey were saying....I loved the idea he presented..it all sounded good.
    Now, after reading Waking The Dead and re-reading the two earlier books, I have some very differing views...and i cant belive that i advocated the two books I led groups on.
    I really have three points where I really feel JE is very wayward.
    1. He promotes a Me-centric religiion....one that sort of shoves God to becoming an advocate of whatever a person desires. He uses many non-biblical illustrations to validate his points.
    2. His basic theology is based off of having a bad dad and he has never gotten over that, so now he is ordering men to quit being nice guys and go be men of adventure, as if he is the authority and that men who are nmerely nice family men with stable families, are weak.
    3. He likes to throw around phrases like "you need to find you geart" in Waking The Dead, which sounds nice and touchy feely. BUt I ask "HOW DO I DO THAT?" But he never once says how....its asanine and infuriating. Why say things like that if your not going to say how to do it. Eldredge says all the right things, but a lot of it is shallow, IMO.

    I know all of what I say is opinion, as much as I think its true. WHat do you all think? Have you read much of Eldredge? I encourage you to read this months Christianity Today and then do some research on the guy.
     
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  2. Living4Him03

    Living4Him03 Just wanna dance with you

    +100
    Protestant
    GOD BLESS YOU! You are a man of discernment! Finally, someone else who seeks the truth before believing only what they want to hear.

    I know many men who like his books. Why? They tell men what they want to hear...what the author wanted to hear. Not necessarily what is biblical truth.

    Thank God for men like you who will not simply accept what they read is truth but will scrutinize it for truth.

    Yes, much of his writings (wild at heart anyway) are based on psycho babble and not scripture. I'm sorry but from what I know of the book and have read, that's what it is. Not everyone had an awful Dad or has a bad relationship with him. Appealing to those who have and taking advantage of that fact to sell a book is wrong.
     
  3. invisiblebabe

    invisiblebabe He will restore the years the locust hath eaten

    +274
    Catholic
    Married
    Sorry guys, but I agree with a significant amount of what Eldredge writes.

    I will concede that it is very easy to misinterpret Eldredge's writings as a way of saying, "Heyyy I can get God to do whatever I want, cause desires are good!" Nope. I got the idea instead that he was instead writing in a sort of response to Christians (like myself) who had grown up in youth groups that had taught it was bad to want anything. An example is my old friend from high school who once answered this in response to whether she wanted anything prayed for: "Nope, I'm already saved, so my needs are no longer important."

    It is one thing to put others' needs on your heart. Desiring to serve other people is commendable and what God wants. However, it turns into something bordering codependency when one believes that God only wants to "save" them, then leave them out to fend for themselves....and now their life mission is to simply get other people's wants and needs met while ignoring their own.

    Nope. Romans 8:32 says, "He who did not withhold His own dear Son, how not shall He graciously give us all things?'
     
  4. Sascha Fitzpatrick

    Sascha Fitzpatrick Well-Known Member

    +429
    Christian
    Married
    Well Eldredge's Wild at Heart was the only book I've read in a long time that's made me burst into tears and go 'YES'! I just wondered why more books don't talk about it - Christian books that is.

    I think he had some very valid points in The Journey of Desire and Wild at Heart - but, like every author, you gotta take it all with discernment. I think it was what my bf and I needed to read at the time we read it - and it helped our relationship develop in a more effective manner.

    Sasch
     
  5. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

    +7,655
    Non-Denom
    Single
    US-Republican
    He also stresses discernment and submission to Scripture. Remember in Wild At Heart he condemned the man who used "adventure" as an excuse to leave his wife and run off with his secretary.

    His basic theology is that masculinity is good because God created it. There are plenty of nice guys out there who are nice because they are simply afraid and don't want to get eaten by the bigger fish in the water. Is being afraid and insecure a bad thing? I think so. And he does not stereotype all men with stable families as being weak. He says that strong hearted men are more likely to be better husbands and fathers.

    Haven't read that book, so I can't confirm or deny there. Maybe he's leaving room for prayer and discipleship, as every man is different.

    Bingo. His books are for mature Christians to weigh and consider. We need to not forget that God loves us and Jesus also taught about asking, seeking, and knocking (Luke 11:9-13). God has promised to take care of our needs as well. I am not a fan of taking this generosity teaching to the extreme (name it, claim it), but we need to remember that God IS generous and we shouldn't worry (Matthew 6:25-34).

    The insecure, pessimistic attitude that God won't give me anything I ask for is not good for anybody. I can say that with experience.
     
  6. Justin04

    Justin04 Active Member

    575
    +23
    Christian
    I am not a fan of him..................

    He tells people what they want to hear like all the ''adventure'' **** and like we are a night in shining army and a cowboy tending a herd, **** like that. He tells people what they want to hear and gets WAY off scripture in his theories! Not to say its not truth but he presents it as from the bible and fact when most of the stuff he says is true for one person and not for the next.
     
  7. Ginsu

    Ginsu Professional Garden Gnome Placement Manager

    +63
    Christian
    Married
    US-Constitution
    What, you can't teach someone by personal experience?
    I just have his Wild at Heart. I think Eldrige is alright, he's more of a tharapist than a teacher.
     
  8. Blank123

    Blank123 Legend

    +3,447
    Catholic
    Married
    I haven't read any of his books, but since he claims to be writing for christians, basically only one question needs to be asked when it comes to deciding whether or not to read them. How does it line up with the Bible?
     
  9. Captain_Scott

    Captain_Scott Member

    231
    +7
    Calvinist
    his books are pretty good...but alot of his theology is realy crappy
     
  10. Apollonian

    Apollonian Anachronistic Philosopher

    559
    +35
    Agnostic
    Single
    Things to consider while reading Eldridge:

    - As several people have mentioned, be careful what you want to hear. You may be hearing something different than what Eldridge is trying to say.

    - Eldridge can be very long-winded, and the result is that he can be confusing to read. If you read some chapters and can't figure out what he just said, I highly suggest skimming through rather than reading in detail. If the many stories he tells don't really impact you, skim them and don't get sidetracked from the main message. He at least lays out his books marginally well, so if you want to know what the book is about half-way through, reread the table of contents.

    - He's not a theologian! He's a Christian councelor, so it doesn't make sense to read it as theology. Conversely, a lot of theology isn't very good for counceling people.

    - Don't just write Eldridge off because he isn't the best writer or theologian. He has some new ideas to present, and I think that they deserve to be considered without prejudice or wistfull anticipation. It's ok to get emotional about the stories in the books, but remember to think a bit before changing your life based on someone else's experience.

    - Finally, I don't think that "non-biblical" examples are a sign of poor exhortation. Eldridge certainly uses plenty of Bible passages in his books (setting aside his unperfect usages and the habitual addition of emphasis). Many of the examples he quotes come from sources like Tokien and Lewis who were very influencial Christian authors, though not many people realize this regarding their fiction. CS Lewis once related that what the world needs is not more Christian authors expounding on the bible but more story tellers who are Christian.

    For me at least, coming from a more or less healthy home, a lot of what Eldridge says is religious common sense. I don't have my hand on the pulse of Christianity in the US, but I think that some of what he says is a needed contrast to the "fire and brimstone" mentality which can deaden so many christian hearts. I also think that his books make for good small-group studies, provided there is at least one person who is there to catch what mistakes or inconsistencies Eldridge might have.
     
  11. fieldsofwind

    fieldsofwind Well-Known Member

    +11
    Christian
    well.... for those of you who think John's theology is screwy... give us some examples.

    Living4Him03... I'd like your opinion in particular.
     
  12. invisiblebabe

    invisiblebabe He will restore the years the locust hath eaten

    +274
    Catholic
    Married
    YES!!!!! Precisely! That mentality is alive and kickin'. Today's sermon at the church I attended was actually right along those lines: THe Christian life is a huge struggle, it's nothing but hardships, and through it all you should enjoy going through pain. Christians should not be masochists. Goodness, am I sick of it. Christ promises challenges, but he also promises abundant LIFE, blessings, and JOY! We'd better start focusing more on that side in depth if we ever hope to end the common occurrence of depression in Christians....
     
  13. superdave

    superdave are you super-natural?

    959
    +65
    Non-Denom
    Single
    US-Democrat
    God is concerned with you. He desires a personal relationship with you, and wants to connect you. He wants to heal your heart, give you desire, and give you hope. This is not non-biblical. Christianity is both a intimate and evangelistic religion. God wants to save others- but he wants to heal you, and bring you into full life. John Eldredge's books explore this.

    I personally, was very confused reading WAH. Because, no matter how hard I try I cannot be a "wildman"- I hate hunting, I like fishing a little... and the book almost stood to condemn my manhood. But I am over that now, and I know that wasn't the point or premise of the book.

    Waking the Dead, has to be one of the greatest books I have ever read- It touched me deeply in places and made me think long and hard about my heart.

    Overall, he's a good author...I haven't disagreed with anything he has written.
     
  14. JPPT1974

    JPPT1974 August Awesome

    +9,717
    United States
    Baptist
    Single
    CA-Conservatives
    God never ever stops loving you and also he has and wants a personal relationship with you no matter what you have done and/or will do at all.
     
  15. fieldsofwind

    fieldsofwind Well-Known Member

    +11
    Christian
    Look... without the fight to overcome the world... you'll never know real confidence, real fulfillment. To know Christ is to know suffering. Once a man enters the arena of fire... and comes through the other side, whatever that fire may be, he will know God and he will know himself. Then another arena will emerge... thats just how it is. But, I'll tell you this-- if you accept this fact and continue to willingly face each test, you will demonstrate, not just profess, your love for your God. You will grow in confidence, and you'l know that whatever comes around next, you'll do the right thing.

    Being a man... is all about being willing, no... wanting to face adversity for Christ's sake and to overcome it. To obey God is all that matters in life-- in doing so the knight in shining armour will come out from within you, because it will take everything noble, courageous, and disciplined that you have to really obey... to really *want* God more than you want *anything* in this life.

    To everyone... life is an adventure... it is a struggle... and in these two intertwined things you can find everything you're looking for if you *choose* to have the heart to hold on to God.

    I honestly think that most readers will never really get it, simply because the price to go take up the cross is far too high.
     
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