John Elderidge has some good points in this book-the best of which is that we can't look to others to validate us but only to God. The main point however, was his intent to call men to strive for more in their lives...to find their passion in life and pursue it. Makes sense...after all, we as people are only really happy when we are doing what we love, right?
However, John's attempt to bring this across is mired in sexism and extremelly faulty biblical interpretation.
The sexism is evident in many statements he makes throughout the book.... "It hurts a woman's heart to be told she should be efficient and independent?" "Women were created by God to be seductive?" "Women didn't make Braveheart the best selling movie of the year?" "Just remember it was a MAN who allowed himself to be nailed to the cross!" "If a neighborhood is safe it is because of men." "Men can be emasculated in their marriages....most marriages end up here?" "Sons need to be rescued by their fathers from their mothers?" "The problem with men is that we have asked them to be women?" Can't we write a book that empowers men in a Godly way without dogging women? What was that about the Proverbs 31 woman....."she girds herself with strength?"
He also takes extreme poetic liscense in his interpretation of the bible (saying much much more than is written)which also shows his lack of biblical knowledge. John's lack of biblical knowledge is evident in his interpretation of the book of Ruth. He states that the story of Ruth is a story of seduction that God holds up for all women to follow. Read the book of Ruth....keep in mind the definition of seduce is: to tempt someone to wrongdoing, to persuade them to do wrong, to entice for sexual intercourse. This is what God created women to be?? Ask yourself what Boaz really saw in Ruth....its in the scripture. I say he was impressed with her integrity...(the scripture says her virtue.)
John's main premise of this book is that man was created outside the garden in the wilderness, therefore men were created by God to be wild and dangerous and God declared this good. Never mind that the world wasn't wild until after the fall (the animals were all vegetarians before the fall.) And God pronounced it good before the fall. Read it youself-Genesis 1. Keep in mind that the definition of wild is: not civilized, not given to family living, self-willed, far from the mark, to live without restraint, savage, destructive. Also the definition of dangerous is: likely to cause harm, not safe, hazardous. Do you really believe this is what God created man to be?
I must admit...I am completely shocked at the positive reviews on this book. Never mind the sexism....how about the perversion of God's word? My only conclusion is that the Christian community does not read their Bible....does not know God. This book greives my heart. Measure it against the word of God like God asks us to.....
Many men out there will say, "but this book touches something deep inside me.....this book calls to my heart." Is it possible that it is calling your sinful nature (heart)rather than your Godly nature? Remember, John states nothing good about the church in his book for men or women. The Godly men of the Bible should call to your heart.
This book is an autobiography of a man's struggle with his own identity crisis created by a father who abandoned him into alcohol and a mother who was emotionally incestuous with him (John's words...not mine)and how he has defined that problem and attempted to solve it by proving he is a man's man (he can conquer danger in the wilderness,)he has what it takes. However his attempt to answer his own problems can hardley be extrapolated unto the general public as the solution for Christian men today.
This book should be read with a critical eye carefully weighing its content with real scripture. This book should not be read by anyone who does not know the bible and who is struggling with their own identity issues....it will only create further confusion. I am watching families being hurt by this book.....it cannot be from God. Remember, everything a man needs to know about being a man can be found in the bible. God should know....he created man.