From Sacred Romance (1997) to Journey of Desire (’01), Wild At Heart (’01), to Waking the Dead (’03), Epic (’04), to Walking with God (’08), to Beautiful Outlaw (’11) and now The Utter Relief of Holiness (’13)–I’ve read my share of books from the pen of John Eldredge.
And I know that my more Calvinistic and Reformed brothers and sisters would be flabbergasted at a post like this, “What John Eldredge Teaches Me? You got to be kidding!”
Or who may only read John Eldredge to point out one more heretic idea.
Well, neither am I kidding or on some heresy hunt.
Before I go any further, however, I must say that in reading John Eldredge all these years I’ve seen something of a maturity in his writings, or perhaps it’s just the subject matter (I sure will like to hear other John Eldredge readers on this matter. I’m quite curious). For example, while I found Walking with God quite subjective and raising not a few questions about certain practices that I thought were too much, Beautiful Outlaw was more balanced, even featuring Eldredge affirming the ancients creeds and a difficult and controversial subject as hell.
Now let me switch gear a little bit: apart from taking me on that adventure of what it means to have a ransomed heart, John Eldredge, especially in Beautiful Outlaw and now The Utter Relief of Holiness, continues to teach me and take me places in the life and ministry of Jesus as portrayed in the Gospels, that an N.T. Wright, a Richard Bauckham, or even a Luke Timothy Johnson, do not teach or take me (okay, so I maybe comparing apples and oranges here. But you get my point).
In other words, someone like me needs to read someone other than an N.T. Wright on the life and ministry of Jesus, every now and then. Yes, an N.T. Wright has his place–but so does a John Eldredge.