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January 21, 2008

Comments

Jacob

Thank you so much, Pastor Jim, for sharing your thoughts on this topic! I have been waiting for someone to communicate this ever since I first read Eldredge's book several years ago. I happen to be one of the guys out there who doesn't really get incredibly excited about "he-man" activities such as sports or hunting (after all, what's so unmasculine about going to the store and buying a steak?). And while Mr. Eldredge did convey a number of good points regarding certain things pertaining to manhood, after finishing the book, I almost felt belittled for not having an insatiable desire to become a mountain man or kill an elk with my bare hands. So once again, thank you for providing such an awesome, balanced review of these ideas. I greatly appreciate your taking the time to provide the insights you post here on Light-Work!

MBV

OK - first off - I'm an Eldredge fan. I'm not agreeing with all that he said but I definitely would enjoy interacting with him.

One of my favorite quotes form the book is: "Walk into most churches, have a look around, and ask yourself: What is a Christian man? Without listening to what is said, look around at what you find there. Most Christian men are...bored." Boy does that hit home. I see men that get excited about all sorts of things - but when it comes to church - it's yawn city.

He has obviously struck a nerve - he is on to something. But it's far more complex than what he covered in his short book - I am sure that he would agree.

Bo

Mr. Fleming you are so right! It seems that Christian men today are looking for ways to express their manhood. Yet, bypassing the Bible seemingly altogether in pursuit of the next “Wild At Heart” literature. The Wild At Heart book is a good book in the sense of digging men out of feminist graves. However, there is little scripture reference in his book. Where’s the support? It is a shame that Mr. Eldridge did not lead his readers to the Bible so they can “come and see.” The answers are in the B-I-B-L-E. Nevertheless, I can’t help but think there is an element of 2 Timothy 4:3 involved. Sadly, our American culture is all about instant gratification, which is, I believe, one of many hindrances to the Christian faith.

I am in awe and so very blessed to be apart of Light-work. It is so very evident that you lean a ladder against a burning building and climb to rescue people and bring them to the Bible for safety instead of casting a quilt and yelling, “jump.” I am blessed to no longer “wander from sea to sea, and from north to east” to hear the words of the Lord (Amos 8:11-12).

Thank you Lord. Amen.

MBV

Bo: So from your comments above, if a Christian addresses a topic relevant to the church and culture, but does not adequately reference the Bible, does that automatically make his comments untrue or false? I belivehe Bible is true in its entirety - but it does not contain all truth (neuroscience, U.S. history, etc). God is truth so then all truth is God's. Therefore, when we seek Him, we seek truth - and we need not be afraid when we find truth outside of the Bible. What we need is godly wisdom and discernment to know the truth when we see it. So I am curious that those who criticize Eldredge don't seem to disagree with him but just criticize him for not using more scripture in his arguments.

Bo

MBV-
If I recall correctly (it’s been awhile since I read WAH), Mr. Eldridge was speaking about male behavior. The Bible provides guidelines for male behavior such as provided in the Pastoral Epistles. Granted, these standards are aimed at those who seek the lofty calling of eldership, but shouldn’t all Christian men strive for these standards even if the Holy Spirit has not laid eldership on our hearts? Moreover, shouldn’t we look to Jesus Christ for our inward attitude that in turn our outward responses will reflect? WAH was a perfect opportunity to guide someone to the way of the Master. WAH was a much-needed response to bored, non-interactive, dull, spiritually dead men and to the current state of the church and the line of attack in our society. When men go to church they don’t always know why they are there. This book was a perfect opportunity to lead men who know of Jesus to know Jesus. I can perform like Tarzan or a cave man but if I don’t use those behaviors to demonstrate love, I have performed in vain-I have gained nothing (1Cor.13). God’s Word is LIGHT. We need that light to illumine the truth that is God’s.

MBV

Bo: I agree that the God communicated His standards for our conduct (and our inner thoughts and attitudes) in the Bible. I am called to be holy - that's the standard. Of course I cannot become holy by my own efforts - I can only become so by the grace of God. But when I start talking about holiness and becoming like Christ in my thoughts and actions, I realize that I bring in all sorts of unbiblical ideas. I think that this is where Eldregde's message spoke to me in that I tended to equate holiness and Christlikeness with being nice (I should be polite, smile, etc, etc). However, it’s not really who the Master of the Universe is. He created thunderstorms and grizzly bears. Christ made a whip and drove out the moneychangers. Like C. S. Lewis said “he is not safe.” When I (or anyone for that matter) truly encounter the God of the scriptures I come alive. I see Eldredge challenging common erroneous presuppositions that some men hold about who God is, what holiness is, and who we are called to be in Christ. So if we need to reexamine our presuppositions and correct them if they are wrong, then we will be better off for it.

I really do think he directed those men who were off track back a Biblical basis for their Christianity and to the Master who calls and redeems them.

Bubba

MBV

when I was reading your comments I was thinking of Numbers 25

"Then an Israelite man brought to his family a Midianite woman right before the eyes of Moses and the whole assembly of Israel while they were weeping at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. 7 When Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, saw this, he left the assembly, took a spear in his hand 8 and followed the Israelite into the tent. He drove the spear through both of them—through the Israelite and into the woman's body. Then the plague against the Israelites was stopped; 9 but those who died in the plague numbered 24,000."

Thats a man of action. I've read WAH and given it as a gift to a friend. It is a piece of a puzzle, not the whole truth, maybe no more than a thread of it but I am struck how I can attend a sporting event and see men yell like a wild man but attend church and suffer through the moment.

I tend to like the idea of embracing the call of God with abandon and zeal.

MBV

I don't think I'll be giving you a spear anytime soon...

Bo

MBV-
I beseech your forgiveness. I got my authors and books twisted. I apologize for misleading you and commenting so negligently. Please accept my request for forgiveness.

Thanks be to my wife “for her worth is far above jewels.”

MBV

Hey Bo: No problem here - I hope we can continue our dialog.

bubba

you continue the dialog with him but deny me my spear....where is the justice in the world?

Jeff

It was left in the same alternate dimension as the Packers making the Bowl That Shall not be Named.

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