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Christian men called to become 'warriors', not 'nice guys'
The New Zealand Herald ^ | 26 January 2005 | Nigel Hunt

Posted on 01/28/2005 6:41:49 PM PST by Lorianne

LOS ANGELES - Movies like "Braveheart" and "Legends of the Fall" are on the viewing list for men in a growing Christian movement that calls for them to throw off their "nice guy" personas and emulate warriors.

The book which inspired the movement, John Eldredge's "Wild at Heart," has already sold 1.5 million copies in English and been translated into 16 languages, most recently Korean.

Eldredge believes many Christian men have become bored, "really nice guys" and invites them to rediscover passion by viewing their life's mission as having a battle to fight, an adventure to live and a beauty to rescue.

"The modern era has brought up immense conveniences but at what price. The human heart is desperate for something more than a quicker serving of popcorn," Eldredge said in a recent interview.

Eldredge calls on men to be prepared to take risks and rediscover their dreams but does not provide a specific route to find, for example, an adventure to live. Career, marriage and family become heroic quests rather than chains which bind.

He focuses on how men can become less passive and "engage" those around them, particularly their wives and children.

"The guy who sits in front of the television is unengaged. That man is a bad man. They (children) need engagement whether it is playing on the floor with your 1-year-old or tougher games when they are 15 (years old)," he said.

Eldredge said he has been astounded by the response to his book with momentum gathering steadily since the book was published in 2001 by Christian publisher Thomas Nelson.

Men have been flocking to retreats and forming small groups to study it. Some are organized by Eldredge and his team, but many are just informally arranged by readers of the book. These groups have sprung up as far away Kazakhstan and even among tribes along the Amazon River in South America.

"It has become something of a grass-roots wildfire," Eldredge said.

Jim Chase, an advertising copywriter from La Crescenta, California, has had a replica of the sword actor Mel Gibson used when he played legendary Scottish warrior William Wallace in "Braveheart" hanging above his desk since attending a Wild at Heart retreat with 350 other men last year.

"It is just a reminder that we are in a battle every day. It can be just facing boredom and routine, but it is a battle," Chase said.

"Life isn't just about going to work and sitting in front of a computer and bringing in as much money as you can. We all have a story. God has written a story and we are meant to find out what the story is and live it," Chase said.

He said, for example, that the book inspired him to teach his 15-year-old son to ride a motorcycle.

Eldredge, who is a trained counselor and worked for 13 years for Christian organization Focus on the Family, said we are currently living in a "fatherless age" with many men having abandoned their children if not physically then emotionally.

His own father was an alcoholic who after some good years when Eldredge was young became increasingly distant. Chase had lost his father, who he described as "very cold," just a few months before he attended the retreat.

"A lot of what it brings out is how much you are impacted by your own father. What role model he set for you and how God relates to us as the big father," Chase said.

Eldredge said he used characters such as Mel Gibson's warrior Wallace in "Braveheart" because the characters often embody men who are engaging their passions by fighting noble battles, rescuing women and finding adventure.

CHRISTIAN CRITICS

The movement has stirred controversy, attracting criticism from some Christian leaders who fear he may just be reinforcing stereotypes.

While some women have welcomed suddenly receiving flowers and more attention from their husbands, in the long-term there are concerns about the impact on marriages.

"The basic premise that men need a princess to rescue has set back male female relationship in the church by 30 years. He sanctifies a mythological view of 1950s malehood," said Chapman Clark, associate professor of youth, family, and culture at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California.

"It is destructive (to marriages) in the long-term," Clark said, adding that treating women as a figurine rather that the personal image of God will hurt relationships over time.

Clark said Eldredge had tapped into an angst among middle-aged white men who are dissatisfied with their lives and for whom depression had become a very serious problem.

Eldredge acknowledged the movement would be judged based on the impact it has on family life.

"The real test of this ("Wild at Heart") is does it make life better for women? Does it make life better for children? We have received letters from women who are immensely grateful. Marriages have been restored," Eldredge said.

- REUTERS


TOPICS: Australia/New Zealand; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: bookreview; braveheart; family; fathers; johneldredge; legendsofthefall; males; men; wildatheart
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1 posted on 01/28/2005 6:41:50 PM PST by Lorianne
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To: Lorianne
Eldredge believes many Christian men have become bored, "really nice guys" and invites them to rediscover passion by viewing their life's mission as having a battle to fight, an adventure to live and a beauty to rescue.

Sounds like St. Ignatius' Society of Jesus, aka the Jesuits.

2 posted on 01/28/2005 6:53:04 PM PST by MIT-Elephant ("Armed with what? Spitballs?")
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To: Lorianne
I will find a copy of this book.

It sounds as though it is long overdue.

Best regards,

3 posted on 01/28/2005 6:53:32 PM PST by Copernicus (A Constitutional Republic revolves around Sovereign Citizens, not citizens around government.)
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To: Lorianne

4 posted on 01/28/2005 6:54:34 PM PST by processing please hold (Islam and Christianity do not mix ----9-11 taught us that)
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To: Lorianne

Read the Bible. The whole thing... Old Testament and all.

I did for the first time after 40 years as a Christian. Made me realize that the 'nice guy' theology I had been taught was a crock.

-- Joe


5 posted on 01/28/2005 6:57:03 PM PST by Joe Republc
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To: Lorianne

Wild at Heart was the most incoherent book I've ever read.

This article explains what the Etheridge may have been trying to communicate--it certainly isn't what he wrote.

Tedious, tedious reading.


6 posted on 01/28/2005 6:58:03 PM PST by exit82 (Ted Kennedy--swimming in lies since 1969.)
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To: Lorianne
He sanctifies a mythological view of 1950s malehood

I think this guy is engaging in his own psychobabble. What's not to like? Nothing's ever going to please the handwringers.

However....being a warrior today is different, in at least one sense. Some all-powerful 'judge', given the impramatur of society and with the force of (cough) 'law', can pauperize an innocent man with the stroke of a pen.

Whatcha gonna do? Whip out your braveheart sword? (You'll have to go get it 'cause it was confiscated at the metal detector).

In at least that sense, the courts have gone a long way toward emasculating warrior wanna-be's.

7 posted on 01/28/2005 6:59:18 PM PST by 1john2 3and4 (Where are all the celebrity "Human Shields" for Iraq when they're REALLY NEEDED?(Sunday's Election))
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To: exit82

Maybe you shouldn't have smoked crack before you read it. It was pretty obvious to me and my wife what the point of the book was - be a real man not a wimpy, bleeding heart, metrosexual.


8 posted on 01/28/2005 7:01:32 PM PST by okkev68
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To: 1john2 3and4
"However....being a warrior today is different, in at least one sense. Some all-powerful 'judge', given the impramatur of society and with the force of (cough) 'law', can pauperize an innocent man with the stroke of a pen."

And Rosa Parks dared to sit in the wrong section of the bus......

9 posted on 01/28/2005 7:01:55 PM PST by Tench_Coxe
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To: Lorianne
I recommend "Promise Keepers" !
10 posted on 01/28/2005 7:02:54 PM PST by austinmark (If GOD Had Been A Liberal, We Wouldn't Have Had The Ten Commandments- We'd Have The Ten Suggestions.)
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To: Joe Republc
Made me realize that the 'nice guy' theology I had been taught was a crock.

Yup. Being a Christian is not primarily about being nice, though it is nice to be nice because it's nicer than not being nice...

Ever since 9-11 I've considered myself to be a Spiritual Warrior engaged in mortal combat with the enemy. Some things are worth dying for.

11 posted on 01/28/2005 7:04:40 PM PST by ichabod1 (The Spirit of the Lord Hath Left This Place)
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To: Lorianne; P-Marlowe; Dr. Eckleburg
"It is destructive (to marriages) in the long-term," Clark said, adding that treating women as a figurine rather that the personal image of God will hurt relationships over time.

Claptrap!

Women NEED to respect their man. They don't respect one who won't fight for the family. No one says he has to be the one who always wears the championship ring, but he does have to be the one who willing to get down in the trenches, win or lose.

What happens to a man who senses he's not respected by his woman?

Now THAT'S depression!

12 posted on 01/28/2005 7:08:10 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It!)
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To: exit82
Wild at Heart was the most incoherent book I've ever read... Tedious, tedious reading.

My experience couldn't have been more different. An extremely inciteful and timely call to arms for the spiritual battle in which we all engage, knowingly or otherwise.

13 posted on 01/28/2005 7:11:35 PM PST by Prince Caspian (Don't ask if it's risky... Ask if the reward is worth the risk)
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To: xzins

I'm watching a tv program on this now. It's a little bit gay, I'm afraid.


14 posted on 01/28/2005 7:14:47 PM PST by ichabod1 (The Spirit of the Lord Hath Left This Place)
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To: okkev68

I guess your inner warrior caused you to accuse me of taking drugs before reading this book.

How very Christian of you.

A ponderous tome, this one.


15 posted on 01/28/2005 7:25:17 PM PST by exit82 (Ted Kennedy--swimming in lies since 1969.)
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To: austinmark


The "Promise Keepers"? Don't they beat their wives?


16 posted on 01/28/2005 7:26:46 PM PST by LauraleeBraswell ( I'm voting Newt Gingrich in 08 ! ! !)
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To: Prince Caspian

PRince, I could never label this book as insightful. It lost me numerous times.

The author belabored his points. His examples were poorly developed.

It reminded me of Don Quixote looking for a windmill to fight. A reason for being, if you will.

Be conformed to the image of Christ. That's a man sized task for the best of us.

There, I said it in two sentences.


17 posted on 01/28/2005 7:29:03 PM PST by exit82 (Ted Kennedy--swimming in lies since 1969.)
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To: Lorianne

While this is needed, society bashes men who are men and not wimps, so without support this movement will not fly.


18 posted on 01/28/2005 7:31:33 PM PST by Righter-than-Rush
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To: LauraleeBraswell

Promise Keepers dont beat their wives, silly. They are compromisers in doctrine, so they dont pass the Bible test, but I like their movement about men and women.


19 posted on 01/28/2005 7:34:01 PM PST by Righter-than-Rush
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To: LauraleeBraswell

None I'm aware of.


.


20 posted on 01/28/2005 7:36:56 PM PST by austinmark (If GOD Had Been A Liberal, We Wouldn't Have Had The Ten Commandments- We'd Have The Ten Suggestions.)
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To: Righter-than-Rush


Alright thanks. I read their website and theres no endorsement of wife beating, but it's not as if they would openly endorse that.


21 posted on 01/28/2005 7:39:08 PM PST by LauraleeBraswell ( I'm voting Newt Gingrich in 08 ! ! !)
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To: Lorianne

The same advice holds true for conservatives who leave the street fighting to the rest of us.


22 posted on 01/28/2005 7:40:28 PM PST by international american (Tagline not convinced.............................)
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To: Righter-than-Rush


compromisers in doctine?


23 posted on 01/28/2005 7:41:31 PM PST by LauraleeBraswell ( I'm voting Newt Gingrich in 08 ! ! !)
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To: Lorianne

Ridiculous. Why can't a person be a nice guy and still be a warrior? My definition of a nice guy is exactly that. A guy who believes in God, justice, America and the family.

A person who isn't a nice guy is the guy who acts tough by beating his wife and kids. He's the coward who expects the govenment to take over his problems.

The guy who isn't a nice guy is on "COPS" being tossed into the police car while his bloody wife is standing outside her trailer.


24 posted on 01/28/2005 7:43:41 PM PST by Shooter 2.5 (Vote a Straight Republican Ballot. Rid the country of dems.)
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To: Lorianne
HERE, HERE!!!!!!

this is exactly what men need to hear....that their mission, their role, their vocation if you will here on earth is to be the leaders, and that means the leaders of character and courage as well.....

and let's face the fact that the coming confrontations with the Islamists will require a great deal of steadiness and courage under fire, both literally and figuratively...

25 posted on 01/28/2005 7:48:46 PM PST by cherry
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To: Lorianne
A good read very related to this story... It will surprise a lot of Christians to know that Jesus was a Man, not a Woman.

Click "HERE" Are Christian's Nicer than God?

26 posted on 01/28/2005 7:48:51 PM PST by LowOiL ("I am neither . I am a Christocrat" -Benjamin Rush)
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To: LauraleeBraswell
The "Promise Keepers"? Don't they beat their wives?

Yes, but only with their KJV Bible. < / sarcasm >

Are you serious or just being sarcastic?

27 posted on 01/28/2005 7:55:07 PM PST by Popman
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To: Lorianne
[ Christian men called to become 'warriors', not 'nice guys' ]

Interesting figment.. However it leads to the question, "What the hell is a christian ?"... Some christians are socialists <--meaning slavery by government.. March one of them "christians".. out here... and let's get at look at em'...

28 posted on 01/28/2005 7:56:50 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been ok'ed by me to included some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: Righter-than-Rush
They are compromisers in doctrine

Which doctrine?

Which fundamentals of the faith are they compromised on?

29 posted on 01/28/2005 7:57:44 PM PST by Popman
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To: Righter-than-Rush

What's Compromised ??


30 posted on 01/28/2005 8:01:21 PM PST by austinmark (If GOD Had Been A Liberal, We Wouldn't Have Had The Ten Commandments- We'd Have The Ten Suggestions.)
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To: Popman


No, I'm serriouse.

I live in NY, need I explain futher?


31 posted on 01/28/2005 8:03:14 PM PST by LauraleeBraswell ( I'm voting Newt Gingrich in 08 ! ! !)
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To: Lorianne; Fzob
I am amazed that Christian men need a book to tell them how to engage their families and be warriors in their life. Read your Bible and be faithful to do what it says.

We truly are a post Christian nation.

I'm sure King David needed a analysis at least twice a year to make sure he wasn't being a couch potato.

32 posted on 01/28/2005 8:03:57 PM PST by Popman
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To: austinmark
OOps that WAS to go to "Lauralee Braswell"
33 posted on 01/28/2005 8:04:34 PM PST by austinmark (If GOD Had Been A Liberal, We Wouldn't Have Had The Ten Commandments- We'd Have The Ten Suggestions.)
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To: Lorianne
"The real test of this ("Wild at Heart") is does it make life better for women? Does it make life better for children?

No, the real test is does it make better MEN ? The rest will follow.

34 posted on 01/28/2005 8:06:10 PM PST by Centurion2000 (Nations do not survive by setting examples for others. Nations survive by making examples of others)
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To: LauraleeBraswell
  1. A Promise Keeper is committed to honoring Jesus Christ through worship, prayer and obedience to God's Word in the power of the Holy Spirit.
     

  2. A Promise Keeper is committed to pursuing vital relationships with a few other men, understanding that he needs brothers to help him keep his promises.
     

  3. A Promise Keeper is committed to practicing spiritual, moral, ethical, and sexual purity.
     

  4. A Promise Keeper is committed to building strong marriages and families through love, protection and biblical values.
     

  5. A Promise Keeper is committed to supporting the mission of his church by honoring and praying for his pastor, and by actively giving his time and resources.
     

  6. A Promise Keeper is committed to reaching beyond any racial and denominational barriers to demonstrate the power of biblical unity.
     

  7. A Promise Keeper is committed to influencing his world, being obedient to the Great Commandment (see Mark 12:30-31) and the Great Commission (see Matthew 28:19-20 ).

    Promise Keepers


35 posted on 01/28/2005 8:09:17 PM PST by Popman
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To: Centurion2000

Good point. We sure got a lot of bleeding deacons on this thread. Not many Christians, though.


36 posted on 01/28/2005 8:16:13 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: Lindykim; DirtyHarryY2K; Siamese Princess; Ed Current; Grampa Dave; Luircin; gonow; John O; ...

Moral Absolutes Ping.

I might be interested in reading the book if it came my way. Jesus Christ's message, from my reading, calls all of us - men and women alike - to be warriors for the truth.

Regarding male and female roles, much of what passes for behavior currently is miserable attempts to thwart nature's laws. And the effects are disastrous. Men are being emasculated and weakened, and women are trying to be men; everyone's exploiting each other, thus hardening their hearts.*

Let me know if anyone wants on/off this pinglist.
*Speaking in cultural generalizations, obviously.


37 posted on 01/28/2005 8:17:46 PM PST by little jeremiah (Moral Absolutes are what make the world go round.)
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To: LauraleeBraswell

Yes please explain.....

As For Promise Keepers,
FAQ, Their web site;

What does PK think the role of women should be? 

The role of women is not a topic we address at our events; however, we do believe husbands are called to love their wives just as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). 

Promise Keepers believes that men and women are completely equal at the foot of the cross. Paul writes in Galatians 3:28, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." As we continue to pursue reconciliation in the body of Christ, we believe unity in Christ transcends ethnic, social, and gender distinctions.

Just How many "Wife Beating" Promise Keepers do you know ?


38 posted on 01/28/2005 8:25:12 PM PST by austinmark (If GOD Had Been A Liberal, We Wouldn't Have Had The Ten Commandments- We'd Have The Ten Suggestions.)
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To: Tench_Coxe

And Rosa Parks dared to sit in the wrong section of the bus......


Exactly, and she was a woman! What we need warriors to do today is battle with us, this depraved, anti-human culture that is being thrust on us and our kids in school!!

Unless we want to just sit by and allow it to continue. They get what they want by lobbying and making the most noise, we need to start making more!!


39 posted on 01/28/2005 8:26:02 PM PST by gidget7
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To: Righter-than-Rush

While this is needed, society bashes men who are men and not wimps, so without support this movement will not fly.


I think as soon as a few stand up, many more will with him. You will not want for support, if you are fighting the good fight!


40 posted on 01/28/2005 8:29:15 PM PST by gidget7
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To: gidget7

Upon the occurence of 9/11 I started taking aggressive deadly martial arts www.attackproof.com

I started shooting target, have both handguns and a Mossberg Shotgun. I train weights a few times per week.

I am a machine of pain to those who threaten my family, country, and self.

Too many men are phyisically weak mentally weak and not prepared to defend themselves.


41 posted on 01/28/2005 8:29:40 PM PST by chris1 ("Make the other guy die for his country" - George S. Patton Jr.)
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Comment #42 Removed by Moderator

To: Lorianne

The time is ripe for Christians as a collective to become more vocal, and if and when necessary, more militant. It's a matter of life or death.


43 posted on 01/28/2005 8:33:18 PM PST by TheBrotherhood (There is more to life than "the party." Please visit www.terrisfight.org)
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To: chris1

agreed


44 posted on 01/28/2005 8:35:49 PM PST by gidget7
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To: TheBrotherhood

The time is ripe for Christians as a collective to become more vocal, and if and when necessary, more militant. It's a matter of life or death.


Hence the Amish coming out to vote, when they never did before. Very strong statement there!


45 posted on 01/28/2005 8:37:42 PM PST by gidget7
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Comment #46 Removed by Moderator

To: xzins; Lorianne

~~~"The basic premise that men need a princess to rescue..."~~~


...is basically true, IMO, keeping in mind it's a mutual rescue. Life is lonely and the possibility of true love is open to all. No one should miss it. It's the third greatest gift from God.

Here's an example of how a woman remembers a man who, no doubt, would not be guest-starring on "Will & Grace."


Sonnet II

Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
And last year's leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year's bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide

There are a hundred places where I fear
To go,—so with his memory they brim
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his foot or shone his face
I say, "There is no memory of him here!"
And so stand stricken, so remembering him!

Edna St. Vincent Millay


47 posted on 01/28/2005 8:49:30 PM PST by Dr. Eckleburg (There are very few shades of gray.)
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To: ZellsBells
"We need to become as powerful as our media caricature."

Well, let the media caricature all they want. That's all they have. But I can't help but be reminded of the scene in 'Unforgiven' where the writer of Westerns comes up against the real thing--William Munny. The only reason the media has a good time with it is that there is too much of 'turning the other cheek'. This is the same media that mollycoddles terrorists, and buries stories which hurt their agenda.

48 posted on 01/28/2005 8:57:14 PM PST by Tench_Coxe
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To: MIT-Elephant

Or maybe El Cid and Vlad Tepes. Either way, I have no problem with it.

Liberalism in general has emasculated western men.


49 posted on 01/28/2005 9:01:43 PM PST by ZULU (Fear the government which fears your guns. God, guts, and guns made America great.)
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To: austinmark; Popman
In their efforts to appeal to a range running from Roman Catholic to Baptist, they have to compromise on issues that differing theologians feel are essentials to the faith. One of the largest would probably be the Lord's Supper/Communion issue. They are also Arminian in their view of salvation although they also try to use language to appeal to Calvinists. Here is a Lutheran critique: http://www.issuesetc.org/resource/journals/v2n6.htm

From a news article:

"-Ecumenism. In their eagerness to spread the Good News and draw people in, the fundamentalists say, the Promise Keepers get doctrinally fuzzy and syncretistic. The movement's rallies are indeed open to all, and one of its famed Seven Promises calls on men to reach beyond "denominational barriers" on behalf of biblical unity. Some in the movement have downplayed denominational differences as matters of tradition and style. A large PK pastors' gathering in 1996 offered Holy Communion to all as a demonstration of unity.

This ecumenism is abhorrent to most fundamentalists. They have always taken strong issue with Catholic dogma, Mormon prophecy and Jehovah's Witnesses theology and want no part of fellowship, however brief, with such groups."
http://www.texnews.com/1998/religion/pk0725.html

Another critique here: http://www.wayoflife.org/special/spec0010.htm

50 posted on 01/28/2005 9:02:43 PM PST by PAR35
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