I have been reading John Eldredge’s book “Wild at Heart” and would have to say this is definitely a must read for any Christian Man. I enjoyed a couple of chapters in particular and will share some of the insights I received from the book.
Eldredge opens the book by focusing on a man’s primal urge for wilderness and to be in the wilderness. It was not until I finished this chapter that I really understood why my favorite place to think is deep within the mountains of a local state park. The quiet surroundings usually lead me to worship God for who he is. More importantly, the wilderness helps me to tune out all of the noise in my life and focus on the yearning created in me to see God and God alone. He also points out how this primal urge begins when we are boys, wanting to go into the woods to create forts or explore. Somewhere between boyhood and now, I lost importance and focus on satisfying this urge. After chapter 1, I found myself looking at my calendar for a time I could get away and get into the wilderness.
One of my other favorite chapters was a “Battle to Fight”. As with my blog series, Enemies Behind the Line, this chapter recognizes and highlights the Christian man as a warrior, one needing to regain his voice and place in the world. Elderedge doesn’t pull any punches in this chapter, addressing many of the shortcuts men take rather than confronting the enemy within. It was by far my favorite chapter.
Out of this chapter, there was one section that rocked my thinking. Elderedge says we are conditioned as Christian men to think we are “a poor sinner saved by grace” and nothing more. I had to read this sentence twice: “The Big Lie in the church today is that you are nothing more than “A sinner saved by grace” … You are a lot more than that… You are a new creation in Christ.” Like I said, I reread this passage a couple of times and further in the explanation began to understand the real war was between my old self and the new creation Christ has made. I know I should already know this, but somehow, reading it in black and white really slapped me in the face. Later in the same chapter, Elderedge shares various stories of men he has discipled and the struggles they faced. I can honestly say I have not stopped “processing” this epiphany and it will most likely be one of those chapters that forever changes how I view myself and how I view my “battle.”
Overall, this is a great read and offers a number of great insights to the makeup of the Christian Man. At my church, we have begun a couple of small discipleship groups using this book and the workbook that goes with it. Again, I would highly recommend this to any man looking to find the answer to the age old question of, “What’s this inside of me?” If you’re reading this in the comfort of your office and find yourself drifting to a getaway, I’d get the book before going to wilderness to find yourself in God!
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About the Writer:
Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.
As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses. This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.