Friday, February 9, 2007

The Sacred Romance: Drawing Closer to the Heart of God by John Eldridge and Brent Curtis [and Wild at Heart]

I found John Eldridge's better known book, Wild at Heart, to be somewhat annoying. I think that book has a great analysis of the problem of how Christianity can often seem to promote nice-ness instead of adventure and courage and strength. But I didn't really like his solution - it sounded a lot more like a Christianized version of machoism than necessarily something that was inherently biblical. and even though the book was intended for a male audience (of which i am not), the book had no place in Christianity for me (an unmarried female who 'has not been rescued' and who has not focused her life on pursuing the beauty they seem to think i ought), which i have a problem with. this book seems to carry over a bit of that incomplete concept of beauty for females. although they never specifically say so, the beauty they talk about can easily be confused with niceness and being aesthetically pleasing. they never talk about some of the aspects in nature that make up what we call beautiful: the danger found in waterfalls, the strength and gumption found in a flower in the midst of everything else trying to choke it out, the grace and strength in a bird flying, and the so on. i have no desire to spend significant amounts of my life pursuing the niceties of what most of the world considers beauty, i want to spend my life being faithful to God, growing in faith, and strength, and courage, and knowledge - things that do not seem to fit so well with Eldridge's concept of the female 'desire to be rescued.' sure, i'd love to get married and have someone help me as i grow in faithfulness but i would be unfaithful if i did not also expect to be asked by God to help him as he is helping me.

- (back to The Sacred Romance) i again agreed with their analysis of the problem - many of us don't really realize that Christianity is not about 'shoulds' but about participating in God's deep love and joy. Being a Christian is equivalent to waking your heart and soul to God - and being open to what He's doing - and participating in it (The Sacred Romance). And Curtis and Eldridge, using the concepts of longings (glimpses into the delight that should be involved in Christianity) and arrows (lies that prevent us from living fully in that delight - and as Christians often cause Christianity to be about being a better person) to help people recognize and desire The Sacred Romance. i'm not sure if i would have used exactly the same terminology (even in this post i've interpreted what they mean my way), but i appreciated it and overall agreed with it. my problem is that the book didn't have a lot to say to people who have already recognized the longing and have been trying hard to participate in the healing God is doing in them and who are living (at least partially) in the Sacred Romance. it was a book of first steps but no much about the rest of the journey - and i wish it could have been both.

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