Or, perhaps, The Promise Keepers meet Braveheart. John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart is encouraging Christian men to get in touch with their inner warriors. While the book was originally published in 2001, its popularity continues to grow four years later. According to Nigel Hunt’s Yahoo article,
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.
While I don’t want to predict whether the book’s impact on people who follow its advice would be positive or negative (how would one measure such a thing, anyway?), I am fascinated by the fact that Eldredge argues that modern technologies, such as the television and Internet, have rendered men passive and docile, bored with their middle-class lives. In many ways, the book echoes the male angst portrayed in Fight Club, both film and novel (a topic that I’ve written about recently).
I am certainly disturbed by the adventure and battle metaphors that include rescuing princesses (who, quite frankly, probably don’t need rescuing), but I also want to address a recurrent assumption that I find curious. Why do so many people assume that “modern technologies,” especially television, render everyone so passive? What is it about our experience of TV that allows us to accept such a claim about the power that it has over our lives? I don’t think there is anything inherent about TV that necessarily defines our relationship to it as passive, but the “passivity thesis” seems to be gaining a degree of credibility that ought to be challenged.