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Some books actually stick with you

Posted by Chance on April 7, 2009

I don’t read a whole lot, but every once in a while I will read some fiction ora Christian non-fiction book.  I’ve read a few books in which I don’t remember much of what I’ve read and there hasn’t been a significant impact in my life.  Sure, some books may have helpful tips for this or that, but I don’t consider the book significant unless it alters or sharpens my perspective in some way.

One of the more significant books is Wild at Heart by John Elderidge.  No, I couldn’t give you a chapter by chapter outline or even really a good summary, I just know the book has influenced the way I think.

First of all, the book changed my perspective on masculinity.  Masculinity has its dark side, no doubt: namely violence, anger, lust, to name a few.  But Elderidge asserts that masculinity can be a positive thing if used in the right way.  He says it is okay to yearn for adventure, to fight for something, to take risks in life.  People who misunderstand what being a man is all about may think it means being a bully, or acting overly macho, but that’s not what it’s about at all.

Elderidge also points out the state of the male in the church, saying that they are usually bored and not passionate about God.  It has been a while since I have read the book, so some of this may be extrapolated from his ideas, but because of this book, it has changed my perception of the Christian life and what it is supposed to be, especially as it relates to the Christian male.  There is this idea that your perfect Christian guy is always nice, never offends people, never gets mad; that the Christian life is all about “being good” and cleaning behind your ears.  But we see Jesus, who wasn’t always nice to people and wasn’t afraid to turn over tables and kick people out of the temple.  He got out of his comfort zone and probably was not sure where he was going to sleep the next night on many occasions.  I have blogged before on the idea of “safe Christianity“.  Christianity, and even life in general, may involve taking risks.

Sometimes I think Christianity is all about a list of “do nots”, but it is really much more than that.  Elderidge asserts that it is supposed to be an adventure, that Christianity is supposed to be challenging.  Jesus life was way beyond safe; the Christianity practiced by the apostles got most of them killed (not that we necessarily have to risk our lives, but some do).  The Christian male doesn’t have to be “macho” and burp and watch NASCAR all the time (not that there’s anything wrong with that).  However, the Christian male should be passionate about Christ, to be able to stand up and fight for him.

This book has changed my perception, but this is something that I actually do.  My version of Christianity that I practice is way too safe, and I know I need to do more.

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One Response to “Some books actually stick with you”

  1. Randy said

    I read this book a couple of years ago. I found it hard to get into, but once I got through the first few chapters, it became a book I couldn’t put down. I’ve loaned it to my son-in-law and to others. A very good book and I strongly recommend it.

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