>Again I am by no means a writer. But I will do my best to critique this book and whether or not I think it is worth reading. Since I am taking my time to devour each chapter, I shall try to review the book one chapter at a time.
Chapter 1 Wild at Heart
Eldredge begins his book by saying that “Eve was created within the lush beauty of Eden’s garden. Adam, if you’ll remember, was created outside the garden, in the wilderness.” This statement in and of itself is true. But the premise that Eldredge is trying to draw from it is a bit obtuse. He makes the claim that because Adam was created in the “wilderness” his heart longs to get back there. This has a complete disregard of the fact that the garden was created for Adam, not Eve. Who knows how many years, centuries, or even mellenia, Adam and Eve lived there happily. If Adam was wanting back out into the “wilderness” why didn’t he try harder before the fall. Why was it a significant punishment to be cast out of the garden? To say that Adam did not want to be in the garden because he longed for the adventure is to say that Adam did not want or even desire to be with God (which is what the garden was).
Eldredge’s thesis for this book is that every man has three desires…A battle to win, an adventure to have, and a beauty to rescue. I have to say that these sound intriguing to me and I am excited to see what he is talking about. Mr. Eldredge does have some good points. He makes the case that the modern church has been so influenced by feminism, that we have emasculated our men. How can the church expect to live up to it’s full potential if we are so confused about gender roles? We are confusing what it means to have Christ like traits with what it means to be a woman.
Some of the negative reviews I read about this book complained that it was sexist. One in particular was quite negative and complained about Eldredge wanting the medieval chivalry back. I would argue that maybe we need a little chivalry in this day and age. We need men who are not afraid (or lazy) to open the door for a woman (or anyone for that matter). We need men who know their place in the family structure and are willing to impart what it means to be a man to their sons. We need men who are not afraid to treat their daughters differently than they do their sons.
I am not sure how far Eldredge will take this issue. Will he promote men going up into the wilderness and practicing the “primal scream”? Does he promote working on cars, going to monster truck rallies and banging heads in a football game? He has already laid the premise that we as men want adventure. I concur. But what kind of adventure is he talking about and at what expense?