Today I want to show how Eldredge does not seem to recognize the effect of sin on mankind. Here are a couple quotes:
"I want you to think of the films men love, the things they do with their free time, and especially the aspirations of little boys and see if I am not right on this" (p. 9).
"Capes, swords, camouflage, bandannas and six-shooters--these are the uniforms of boyhood." Same paragraph: "If we believe that man is made in the image of God, then we would do well to remember that 'the Lord is a warrior the Lord is his name' (Ex. 15:3). Little girls do not invent games where large numbers of people die, where bloodshed is a prerequisite for having fun... Boys want to attack something--and so does a man..." (p. 10).
What Eldredge is attempting to say in these quotes, and in the surrounding context, is that these desires stem from being created in the image of God (which he doesn't see as having been marred by sin). Here is a mental picture Eldredge gives of the similarities between God and Man:
|Loves action/adventure||Loves action/adventure|
|Crave bloodshed||Crave bloodshed|
|Love to attack for fun||Love to attack for fun|
Eldredge apparently has no concept of the depravity of man. Not that man doesn't sin--he certainly talks about it elsewhere--but that the image of God is still intact in men. Anyone who reads the Bible without using the lenses of Wild at Heart would quickly see that God is not like this.
The interesting thing is that Eldredge would disagree (with the idea that men are unaffected by sin). Over in chapter seven he says, "Too many Christians today are living back in the old covenant. They've had Jeremiah 17:9 drilled into them and they walk around believing my heart is deceitfully wicked. Not anymore it's not... Your heart is good." We'll come back to this again tomorrow, but for now let's focus on the dichotomy that Eldredge has created.
On the one hand his whole premise of Wild at Heart is that all men are naturally drawn toward danger, bloodshed, action, etc. Yet on the other hand he acknowledges that once you become a Christian, you get a new heart (which should assume new desires)... meaning that your old heart was sinful. On the one hand, your old sinful heart had all the right desires, but on the other hand, you get a new heart when you become a Christian. My first question would be, if my old heart had the right desires... what's the need for a new one? This is an irreconcilable issue within the book. Except from the following perspective: One can very easily, and truthfully, say that most/many men continue to be drawn to those things even after "becoming" a Christian (but to me, that would be like saying that 95% of Americans believe in God... they may believe in a god, but they certainly don't believe in the God of the Bible. Those men may be "Christian" in the American sense, but not in the Biblical sense). Here is what we'll discuss tomorrow: when you become a Christian, what happens? Or maybe a slightly different question, which I believe Eldredge answers wrongly, how does God see you? What is the change that actually occurs? And furthermore... what is the evidence of being a true Christian?