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The Challenge Before You Is a Bold One: To Accept the Wild, Daring Adventure of Becoming a Man We want to be self-sufficient. Find our own direction as we pursue our dreams. Know it all and never ask for help. Isn’t this how most guys approach manhood? On our own, pretending we are doing better than we really are? But sooner or later the thrill of independence gets lost in The Challenge Before You Is a Bold One: To Accept the Wild, Daring Adventure of Becoming a Man We want to be self-sufficient. Find our own direction as we pursue our dreams. Know it all and never ask for help. Isn’t this how most guys approach manhood? On our own, pretending we are doing better than we really are? But sooner or later the thrill of independence gets lost in the fog of isolation. It’s time to take the pressure off. We were never meant to figure life out on our own. This book was born out of a series of weekly phone calls between Sam Eldredge, a young writer in his twenties, and his dad, best-selling author John Eldredge. Join the conversation as a father and son talk about pursuing beauty, dealing with money, getting married, chasing dreams, knowing something real with God, and how to find a life you can call your own. Killing Lions is more than fatherly advice. It is an invitation into a journey: either to be the son who receives fathering or the father who learns what must be spoken. Most important, these conversations speak to a searching generation: “You are not alone. Its not all up to you. You are going to find your way.”


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The Challenge Before You Is a Bold One: To Accept the Wild, Daring Adventure of Becoming a Man We want to be self-sufficient. Find our own direction as we pursue our dreams. Know it all and never ask for help. Isn’t this how most guys approach manhood? On our own, pretending we are doing better than we really are? But sooner or later the thrill of independence gets lost in The Challenge Before You Is a Bold One: To Accept the Wild, Daring Adventure of Becoming a Man We want to be self-sufficient. Find our own direction as we pursue our dreams. Know it all and never ask for help. Isn’t this how most guys approach manhood? On our own, pretending we are doing better than we really are? But sooner or later the thrill of independence gets lost in the fog of isolation. It’s time to take the pressure off. We were never meant to figure life out on our own. This book was born out of a series of weekly phone calls between Sam Eldredge, a young writer in his twenties, and his dad, best-selling author John Eldredge. Join the conversation as a father and son talk about pursuing beauty, dealing with money, getting married, chasing dreams, knowing something real with God, and how to find a life you can call your own. Killing Lions is more than fatherly advice. It is an invitation into a journey: either to be the son who receives fathering or the father who learns what must be spoken. Most important, these conversations speak to a searching generation: “You are not alone. Its not all up to you. You are going to find your way.”

30 review for Killing Lions: A Guide Through the Trials Young Men Face

  1. 5 out of 5

    Krista

    I love all of John Eldredge's books, and this was no exception. The candid exchange between father and son, on such a wonderfully honest and deep level, was one thing that made this such an enriching read. Sam seems to be asking himself a lot of the same questions I am asking myself now (such as how to find purpose and significance, and how to navigate life without a "plan"), and this was the first book I've read that addressed them both honestly and spiritually. God doesn't give us a blueprint I love all of John Eldredge's books, and this was no exception. The candid exchange between father and son, on such a wonderfully honest and deep level, was one thing that made this such an enriching read. Sam seems to be asking himself a lot of the same questions I am asking myself now (such as how to find purpose and significance, and how to navigate life without a "plan"), and this was the first book I've read that addressed them both honestly and spiritually. God doesn't give us a blueprint for life, and I am so glad to draw near to Him as I discern what's next for me in life. Even though this book was intended specifically for young men, I not only found meaningful advice and guidance for my own life, but gained further insight into the heart and mind of a man. I'm single now, but knowing I will be married someday, I'm more than glad to see things from the other side ahead of time. Many books are written about the distinctions between men and women, but few talk about the HEART difference, and what that means spiritually. (Read "Wild At Heart" and "Captivating" if you are interested in more of that!) I, like Sam, wrote these sentences on a post-it note and put it where I will see it every day: "You're going to be okay. You're going to find your way. You are not alone." Thank you, John and Sam Eldredge. This is a fantastic book for any Christian who is at that juncture of finished with school and trying to find meaningful work/career/job, etc. As always, I enjoyed the read very much, and will add it to my book collection soon.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Emilian Dascălu

    "I am a big believer in having a vision for where your life is headed before you get engaged. You don't have to land the Big Job or own a house first, but when you ask a girl to marry you, what are you inviting her into?"

  3. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    This is a difficult review to write. While I do recommend the book because of the content, I feel as though I need to say more. The concept of the book, a son seeking advice from his father, is a good one. And the elder Eldredge does have some good things to say and the book does give a framework for a much needed conversation between parent and child – career choice, decision-making, marriage, women … all vitally important topics. Now for the disclaimers … the back-and-forth conversation style This is a difficult review to write. While I do recommend the book because of the content, I feel as though I need to say more. The concept of the book, a son seeking advice from his father, is a good one. And the elder Eldredge does have some good things to say and the book does give a framework for a much needed conversation between parent and child – career choice, decision-making, marriage, women … all vitally important topics. Now for the disclaimers … the back-and-forth conversation style between father and son is a good idea, but their treatment lacks smoothness and continuity. They enter into a “quote-fest” it seems, so much so that at one point I thought about quitting this book and reading The Alchemist instead (extensive quoting and allusions). And for a Christian book by a Christian author giving mature Christian advice, I was disappointed that, in spite of the alcohol abuse they spoke of during their college days, they frequently referenced kicking back with friends and having a cold one. (No, I do not believe drinking beer will send you to hell, but I don't see the value in including that advice right alongside seeking God’s will.). So, in spite of not enjoying their stylistic choices, I do think the book’s topics and content has real value. Two stars for writing style; four stars for content; average of three stars.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Josh Collins

    I'm an avid reader, consuming on average 15/year and this one is by far the best I've read this year. I can't imagine there being a single son or a single father, who wouldn't benefit greatly from the honesty and the vulnerability with which this book was written. Very powerful!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jerry Hillyer

    Title: Killing Lions Authors: John Eldredge & Sam Eldredge Publisher: Thomas Nelson Year: 2014 Pages: 188 Killing Lions at Ransomed Heart [Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for my fair and unbiased review of this book. I am required only to be honest with my review. I was not compensated or asked to write a favorable review.] If I recall correctly the history of my reading, this is the third John Eldredge book I have read i Title: Killing Lions Authors: John Eldredge & Sam Eldredge Publisher: Thomas Nelson Year: 2014 Pages: 188 Killing Lions at Ransomed Heart [Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for my fair and unbiased review of this book. I am required only to be honest with my review. I was not compensated or asked to write a favorable review.] If I recall correctly the history of my reading, this is the third John Eldredge book I have read in my life. I'm not sure what the other two were--maybe The Sacred Romance and Waking the Dead--I really don't remember. All I can say is that neither left a mark on me. I think when it comes to John Eldredge books you either get it or you don't. I fall into the latter category. I'm just not quite able to put a finger on what it is he is writing about or why he's writing it. I don't think that is an indictment of him or his writing as much as it is a nice way of saying I just don't care for his writing. Now add his son Samuel to a book. That's where I'm at with Killing Lions. And given that this is the third of his books I have read it's not like I haven't tried. I still don't get it. Furthermore, given the wide range of life experiences of young Samuel, I find it hard to believe that many people--many young men--will be able to relate to his peculiar brand of 'woe is me.' The book is billed as a guide through the trials young men face. Sounds admirable. Sounds interesting. Sounds like a great way for a dad to get his son's writing career off the ground. Half-way through the book I couldn't shake this thought from my head, by the end nothing had changed. I'm not saying there is anything necessarily wrong with that. I wish my dad could do the same thing for me and Lord knows if I could do that for my sons I would. But whatever sympathy I might have had for young Samuel quickly evaporated when I had to read, at least once per chapter, about his world travels and how terribly broke he was while he traveled to Malaysia (56, 95), or completed a Vision Quest at the age of 14 by climbing the Grand Tetons (63), or went sailing, or suffered as RA at the college he went to or how he had to spend a semester abroad because he was rejected by a girl (4 months to be exact. I remember one time I was rejected by a girl. I had to get up the next day and go to work. See pages 40, 115), or how he was certain his writing career was never going to get off the ground (51). This poor kid has done more by the age of 20 than most of us will do in a lifetime. But he was struggling to find himself. And his career. Until one day his wise friends told him, "God was after how I saw myself" (55). I'm all about finding yourself and wading through the struggles of a young man--learning that alcohol is not helpful, that serial dating is a waste of time, that we often have to find the right career by being fired or quitting a fruitless job--and that's what this book amounts to: one young man's journey. The problem, as I see it is, is that his dad's advice is good for him. It might be helpful for others; it might not be helpful for others. I'm not sure who the audience is for this book because the people who probably should read it won't and the people who will read it will already agree with Eldredge because they have bought into his rather strange philosophy of warriors, masculinity, and romance. You either get it or you don't. There's nothing unique or inspiring about the content of this book. The book is full of quotes. It is clear that the authors either read a lot or are good at quote mining because there are a lot quotes from all the people one might expect: Chesterton, Lewis, Tolkien, Buechner, U2, Frankl, Pascal, Dostoyevsky, and a few other philosophers and authors--some known, some obscure. The things these people have to say are important in certain contexts, but I think in this book they were filler. Use of these quotes always felt kind of forced and convenient-even if the quotes were the good quotes one might expect to see from these authors. I like quotes, but there was nothing surprising about these quotes. I think when it's all said and done, as I noted above, you are either a reader who gets John Eldredge or you are not. If you are not, you will find a lot of the 'dialogue' tired and boring. Most of us do not live in a world where we discuss or engage in things like the 'Warrior' stage of life, go on Vision Quest's, eat Tiger beer as curry mee in Malaysian food courts with friends (I've read pages 95-96 two or three times and I'm still not sure what Samuel is trying to tell us in this story because I'm not sure what a person falling down and cracking their head in a Malaysian bathroom is reason enough to ask the question, "Why God?"), or 'suffer' from relational paralysis. Most of us don't have time because we are too busy living to take the time to 'find ourselves.' For most of us life and the journey is discovery enough without having to dedicate time to the specific task, and I can assure you that writing one book, traveling through Europe, and getting married will not end your journey to self-discovery. I am now 44 years old and I still learn, and will continue learning, but not so much about myself. At some point we need to grow up and give up the notion that learning about ourselves matters. We will do so when we start seeking first the Kingdom (Matthew) or when we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews). I have grown weary of a generation who thinks that life is all about self-discovery. I have grown even more tired of the publishers who think all of these angst ridden tales of spoiled brats need to be published. It seems to me that we all know enough about ourselves. Life is not necessarily a journey to find ourselves. In fact, a better goal would be to lose the self and find Jesus. We truly start living when our ambition each day is to discover Jesus in the faces and lives we see each day, to do everything with love, and to die trying. This is the essence of taking up the cross, denying the self, and following Jesus. And despite the prayers at the end of the book, I don't sense that that is the gist of this book. It seems that many of the problems young Samuel had to pass through (as are the problems most people face at that age) were self-inflicted problems because he wanted to live the so-called cookie cutter, standard life of a 18-20 something rebel--complete with drinking, smoking, bouncing from girl to girl, and, of course, taking 4 month 'find yourself' journeys in Europe (see page 49-51). I'll be honest when I say that I just don't understand all this angst that Millenials feel they are suffering or this so-called higher sense of awareness they think they have. It all seems so self-centered: "Woe is me. I have to figure out life. I need to travel around the world to find myself and see how God wants me to look at myself. And we will be so aware and sensitive that the world will change. And we are the only people who suffer this way. And blah blah blah..." Really. Get over yourselves already. And I certainly don't think one needs to travel to Europe and visit Auschwitz in order to know that there is terrible sin in this world and that humans are capable of horrific, ungodly, despicable violence against one another. Look around. Be more aware of what's going on in your own neighborhood. Stop climbing mountains and start stooping down to help someone right next to you. So Sam and John discuss all sorts of things: girls, relationships, sex, money, careers, church, God, suffering & evil, building cars, travel to exotic locations, video games, and friends. Yes. All 'lions' as they say in due course. Every now and again there were some helpful thoughts, but for the most part the conversation between dad and son sounded edited, written. I'll be honest, it wasn't raw enough. I think this book might have worked in an electronic version where it could have been left raw and unedited and less wooden. Yes. That's word I'm looking for: it's too wooden. In conclusion, I will say this. I do agree with John's words on page 119: "Christianity is not a 'blind leap of faith' as many have been led to believe. According to Jesus--and the entire canon of Scripture--faith is trust and confidence in a person whom you have good reason to believe is trustworthy" (his emphasis). I think he is right to put the emphasis of faith on a person who actually lived in history instead of upon some strange idea that theologians have conjured up. What I wish would have happened though is that this would have found its way to the front of the book because then maybe young Samuel might have understood life a lot better. Samuel wrote, "My generation is desperate for meaning" (7). Well? Have you read your father's books? Can you get over yourself for five minutes and figure out that life is not about you and your meaning? That you are not the culmination of history? That you are not the reward? We have meaning. All of us. We don't need to search for it and I'd tell Viktor Frankl that too. Our meaning has been summed up for us nicely in the person and rule of Jesus. We have meaning already and sadly I don't think this book is going to contribute much to the journey of discovery that some young people seem to think they must go on. Open your eyes. Taste and see that the Lord is good. (Peter) I don't think this book is meant for a wide audience. It's meant for a niche group of readers who already get the work of John Eldredge. 2/5 Stars PS--I disagree thoroughly with his take on Luke Skywalker on page 110. I don't think Luke ever, for a minute, experienced self-doubt. Watch the films again: he wanted off Tattoine to fight; he went into the cave on Dagobah, he left his training to rescue his friends in Bespin, and he left the group on Endor to confront Vader. This is not self-doubt. This was a man who knew what he had to do and did it. He often did it without thinking ahead, but Luke was a man who knew what it meant to be a friend, to be loyal to something pure, and who had a clear vision of right and wrong. There was no doubt in Luke Skywalker and he is not a good model of comparison for this current generation of humans growing up, spoiled, and searching for meaning. Luke knew, in his bones. Frankly, if anyone tried to hold Luke back it was everyone around him.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Randy Harding

    Loved hearing the dialogue from father and son and the back and forth conversation and manhood. Great book for understanding younger generation of men's battles and difficulties in becoming a man.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    It was very special to be able to 'participate' in a conversation between a son and a father as they chatted about the key matters that impact a man's heart. Sam, the 25 year old, recently married and wanting some everyday wisdom on how to approach marriage, his vocation, his faith, friendships, and how to cherish his wife provides the context. His dad, John, asks as many questions as he 'listens' to Sam and provides his views based on his experience as a 53 year old. Being a trained counsellor a It was very special to be able to 'participate' in a conversation between a son and a father as they chatted about the key matters that impact a man's heart. Sam, the 25 year old, recently married and wanting some everyday wisdom on how to approach marriage, his vocation, his faith, friendships, and how to cherish his wife provides the context. His dad, John, asks as many questions as he 'listens' to Sam and provides his views based on his experience as a 53 year old. Being a trained counsellor and coaching men in life provides John with greater depth as he is able to relate other mens experiences in addition to his own. If you've read John's other books much of the content will not be new but being a witness to their conversation provides greater clarity and practical insight. Particular highlights for me were Chapters 8 (A Few Questions about God) and 10 (Racing Toward the Unknown). Reading John share how he came to realise Jesus really is the way, the truth and the life is a very powerful witness. Then in the final chapter he raises a core question for all men: will I remain open to fathering? The book also includes three of the Eldredge prayers: The Daily Prayer, Prayer of Guidance and Sexual Healing. All very useful to add to one's prayer arsenal. I also bought the accompanying journal which enables the reader to explore each chapter on their own terms plus provides practical tips on additional reading, movies to watch, and questions to ask other men. It's a fabulous resource and I'd encourage everyone to buy it and work through it as you read the book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brandon Keck

    While I did enjoy this book, and the overall theme resonated with me, it felt a little thin on substance. I don't necessarily know how to apply any of what was conveyed but it did make me think of Christianity in a new perspective. The thought of becoming a true warrior and killing my lions is really the main take away. Although a little heavy handed at times, I would recommend this book to young men as a good starting point for realizing that maybe growing up is a good thing even if it isn't ea While I did enjoy this book, and the overall theme resonated with me, it felt a little thin on substance. I don't necessarily know how to apply any of what was conveyed but it did make me think of Christianity in a new perspective. The thought of becoming a true warrior and killing my lions is really the main take away. Although a little heavy handed at times, I would recommend this book to young men as a good starting point for realizing that maybe growing up is a good thing even if it isn't easy.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Barmore jr

    I'm about halfway through and this book is amazing. The 15 year old I'm mentoring read it in a week... Couldn't put it down. It inspired a lot of good questions and gave some great answers. It's a favorite for me and I'm not even done yet.

  10. 4 out of 5

    YourManJeff

    If you are a young Christian Male that is dead set on God being the source of what makes you a Man, and okay with using literally everything else on the planet as a scapegoat, this is your book. If you like your misogyny with a hint of Adm and Eve, this is up your alley too. If you'd like to enjoy a good ego stroke between a father and son while they humble brag about how much better they are than their friends, colleagues, and classmates, look no further. The book didn't resonate well with me at If you are a young Christian Male that is dead set on God being the source of what makes you a Man, and okay with using literally everything else on the planet as a scapegoat, this is your book. If you like your misogyny with a hint of Adm and Eve, this is up your alley too. If you'd like to enjoy a good ego stroke between a father and son while they humble brag about how much better they are than their friends, colleagues, and classmates, look no further. The book didn't resonate well with me at all as you might guess, I honestly thought based on the description and title there would be more about the cultural markers and social events that help guide adolescents into Manhood, but this was very Jesus centric, and borrows the name from the traditions of the Massai as a way of turning normal suburban tasks into reasons to pray to God in the hopes that he may answer... eventually. And guess what, what you want God to say, he will. He said you're a King and everyone around you needs to grow up and they need you to rule them and help them see the truth. Instead of this book, I would recommend Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (an Actual Emperor, who remained humble and wise despite wielding unimaginable power), or Letters from a Stoic by Seneca, a Roman politician turned exile, turned tutor, turned exile, that so lived by his beliefs that when his student (now Emperor) asked him to die, he did it himself. Or maybe read Candide to learn about love and loss, hardship, and what truly makes people feel complete and successful, they even visit El Dorado in that story. I personally found a lot of great advice in Siddhartha by Hesse. I'm currently reading 'Happy' by Derren Brown, and I think there are some solid life lessons in there for the adolescent (gender doesn't matter, we all grow and struggle) trying to cope with the stresses of the modern world with no real leaders among us. Why did I read the whole book, because I like seeing different points of view, to an extent. Also, it is relatively short and spends way too much time bragging about how much better they are than you and their friends that are seemingly miserable failures. This may not have been their intent, but it really comes across that you would not want to spend much time around these two. I'm sure in person they are both great, and this was a great project to work on, and they truly deserve the accolades they get. I was just not the intended demographic, and in a way, I kind of wanted to be.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kev Willoughby

    Not quite what I was expecting, but maybe true to the new generation. I couldn't identify with the father, who had all the answers, or the son, who has lived a very privileged life, but is "struggling." Reading the book, it felt like I was watching a seminar video, with both the father and son on stage, taking turns talking and finding ways to force in some quotes from their favorite books and find a way to tie it back to an epic and heroic journey of modern-day Christianity. The analogy at the b Not quite what I was expecting, but maybe true to the new generation. I couldn't identify with the father, who had all the answers, or the son, who has lived a very privileged life, but is "struggling." Reading the book, it felt like I was watching a seminar video, with both the father and son on stage, taking turns talking and finding ways to force in some quotes from their favorite books and find a way to tie it back to an epic and heroic journey of modern-day Christianity. The analogy at the beginning of the book about tribesmen in Africa literally killing a lion as a rite of passage (and survival) was lost on me, when a few chapters later, the son compares writing this book to killing a lion. Yes. I also found the multiple occasions for the father and son to talk about "BS" and "grabbing a cold one" to be out of place. That's definitely the first time I've seen either of those terms in a Christian book. With all that said, the book seems targeted toward millennials, which is a generation behind me. I do think there would be some traction and value with that audience. And while I also would not have enjoyed the book 20 years ago in 1999, I do think I might enjoy it if I were 20 years younger in 2019. Overall, I found the authors to be trying too hard to fit in to modern American culture as a means to reach today's twenty-something male. The result was an irreverent tone. Yet, there was still some value and wisdom in spots.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cody Ballay

    This is my 3rd John Eldridge book and he continues to amaze me with his simple yet challenging messages to be the man God calls me to be. This book is unique as it is basically a conversation with his son Sam who is entering young adulthood at the time he writes the book. I can relate a lot to Sam who is a but confused about “what this is all about” and what it means to live our God’s call for our lives. John and Sam address our relationship with women in multiple chapters and they are very enco This is my 3rd John Eldridge book and he continues to amaze me with his simple yet challenging messages to be the man God calls me to be. This book is unique as it is basically a conversation with his son Sam who is entering young adulthood at the time he writes the book. I can relate a lot to Sam who is a but confused about “what this is all about” and what it means to live our God’s call for our lives. John and Sam address our relationship with women in multiple chapters and they are very encouraging and challenging. He again admonishes us not to get our validation from the women in our lives but that we must pursue them and play the man. The title “Killing Lions” comes from a story of a distant culture who had a ritual of literally killing lions in order to achieve manhood. While that doesn’t happen in the United States, we kill lions in figurative ways as we become men: asking the woman we love to marry us, entering the work force, buying a house, having children. The last chapter of the book is a good reminder that just when we think we have “killed our lion” another comes along. Eldridge states that this constant challenge of life is meant to point us towards God for continual fathering (by Him and by others in our life). Great read and would recommend to anyone!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kim Osterholzer

    I just finished this excellent book. Before anything else, it made me tear up wishing every boy turning man could have a father to share his heart with! Next, I really loved especially this part: "The cumulative effects of (the) shame (at work on you, my son,) broke my heart. I knew that despite your strength, it would wear away at you. The Scots pastor, John Watson, said, 'Be kind, for every man is fighting a hard battle.' This was yours. The battle for your heart. The battle to hang on to Jesu I just finished this excellent book. Before anything else, it made me tear up wishing every boy turning man could have a father to share his heart with! Next, I really loved especially this part: "The cumulative effects of (the) shame (at work on you, my son,) broke my heart. I knew that despite your strength, it would wear away at you. The Scots pastor, John Watson, said, 'Be kind, for every man is fighting a hard battle.' This was yours. The battle for your heart. The battle to hang on to Jesus while throwing the religious out the second story window! The battle to push through the criticism and hold true to your desires... the battle to cling to one of life's most important truths---that the heart is and always will be central---the powerhouse of life within us---'Above all else,' the wisest man in history warns, 'guard your heart, for it's the wellspring of life.' ...You cannot neglect the heart and get away with it... 'Are you ready to be who you are?'" Finally, I loved Sam's description of Susie, the brave and the bold woman who called forth the man in him and became his wife ♥

  14. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    I got this book as a Christmas present. It's a great irony - and very low quality attempt to indoctrinate me back to this cult I wasn't able to get out of for two decades. I felt guilty because of turning down a present. But only until I found out that author is associated with Focus on the Family. You know... that organization which advocates gay conversion therapy, what is simply medieval and exceptionaly heinous. I got curious, so I opened the book and started to read. It pains me, that someon I got this book as a Christmas present. It's a great irony - and very low quality attempt to indoctrinate me back to this cult I wasn't able to get out of for two decades. I felt guilty because of turning down a present. But only until I found out that author is associated with Focus on the Family. You know... that organization which advocates gay conversion therapy, what is simply medieval and exceptionaly heinous. I got curious, so I opened the book and started to read. It pains me, that someone as close to me as the person who got me this book thinks that this kind of intellectually void type of literature is not only something worth reading for me, but that's also part of the way that I should take. The moral of the book: Stick God anywhere, anytime you feel you need a little less of personal responsibility. If you are a Christian, this is a treasure for you, because of par excellence confirmation bias. If you are not, save yourself some time and money.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Kirchner

    I agree with a lot of what many of the other generally positive reviewers say about this book. I really, really enjoyed the parts of this book written by the elder Eldridge. He has such a great writing style, and I enjoy his incredibly approachable theology. Although I didn’t enjoy some of what Sam wrote- I can put myself in his shoes from just a few short years ago- and I empathize with some of his struggles and frustrations. I would propose to the readers to consider this book for what it is: I agree with a lot of what many of the other generally positive reviewers say about this book. I really, really enjoyed the parts of this book written by the elder Eldridge. He has such a great writing style, and I enjoy his incredibly approachable theology. Although I didn’t enjoy some of what Sam wrote- I can put myself in his shoes from just a few short years ago- and I empathize with some of his struggles and frustrations. I would propose to the readers to consider this book for what it is: a book targeted towards college aged men with some foundational Christianity- leaving college or in their 20’s. In Killing Lions, John creates an exceptional model of leadership in his back and forth writing with his son. Theologically groundbreaking stuff here? No. Not at all. But that’s not what it’s meant to be.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Paige Gordon

    I absolutely loved this book! It’s written as a conversation between a father and his son and it covers nearly all of the hardships and questions that young men face when trying to find their place in the world. Even after having already worked through a lot of these things in my own life and being a father myself now, I still found it immensely helpful and encouraging and it is definitely a book I’ll be adding to my collection and rereading many times throughout my life. Can’t recommend it high I absolutely loved this book! It’s written as a conversation between a father and his son and it covers nearly all of the hardships and questions that young men face when trying to find their place in the world. Even after having already worked through a lot of these things in my own life and being a father myself now, I still found it immensely helpful and encouraging and it is definitely a book I’ll be adding to my collection and rereading many times throughout my life. Can’t recommend it highly enough! Favorite Quote: “Our elders knew that men learn by doing. It’s one thing to be told that you possess a genuine strength, but another thing altogether to discover for yourself that you do. This is why hard work is so important.”

  17. 4 out of 5

    Josh Gatewood

    I wish I read this book when I was 22—the year I got married. It is filled with practical wisdom, insight, and encouragement for how to navigate the common trials of men in their twenties. Im about to be 31, but the subjects and substance of the book still spoke to me—sometimes in very personal ways. Ederedge is unparalleled in my experience when it comes to speaking to the deep needs of a man’s heart. He also speaks like a sage when he speaks about the process of Gods work in the masculine jour I wish I read this book when I was 22—the year I got married. It is filled with practical wisdom, insight, and encouragement for how to navigate the common trials of men in their twenties. Im about to be 31, but the subjects and substance of the book still spoke to me—sometimes in very personal ways. Ederedge is unparalleled in my experience when it comes to speaking to the deep needs of a man’s heart. He also speaks like a sage when he speaks about the process of Gods work in the masculine journey. There are some things I disagree with in the book, but they are not much to quibble about. The central message, practical insights, and orientation around Gods work in a mans life are sufficient to eclipse my disagreements.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Evan

    I really appreciated that this book really walked through some major struggles in life. The format took a chapter or two to get used to (Sam and John alternate, using different fonts). There were also a lot of references to The Alchemist, which I've never read. Apparently it makes for a good allegory and for an archetype of a man's journey. At the end of the day, it posed some good questions about discovering where my decision-making process was still that of a "boy." Definitely found it to be wo I really appreciated that this book really walked through some major struggles in life. The format took a chapter or two to get used to (Sam and John alternate, using different fonts). There were also a lot of references to The Alchemist, which I've never read. Apparently it makes for a good allegory and for an archetype of a man's journey. At the end of the day, it posed some good questions about discovering where my decision-making process was still that of a "boy." Definitely found it to be worth the read to help frame some things in my life. Honestly, will probably come back to it again in a year or two.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    John Eldredge is one of my top authors to read and in this work "Killing Lions" I find another great read. John, and this time with his so as coauthor, continues to speak to my heart and fill my mind with visions that enthrall me and my relation to God. The book is written in a fashion where the son, in his twenties, seeks his father for solace, advice, and wisdom. And John the father responds in kind yet in a most profound way turns it into asking the ultimate Father for that solace, advice, an John Eldredge is one of my top authors to read and in this work "Killing Lions" I find another great read. John, and this time with his so as coauthor, continues to speak to my heart and fill my mind with visions that enthrall me and my relation to God. The book is written in a fashion where the son, in his twenties, seeks his father for solace, advice, and wisdom. And John the father responds in kind yet in a most profound way turns it into asking the ultimate Father for that solace, advice, and wisdom. Too cool and surely it brings fresh light to me, a man in my fifties. I really enjoyed this book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    A.J. Mendoza

    The reading level is high school and would be recommended for any young adult males who are between the age of eighteen and twenty-four. That being said, personally, having just graduated from Bible college, I did not find too much of the information useful. There were moments when he talked about decision-making (which I am really bad at) and being a man with a boy inside him still that spoke to me personally. The writing style can be confusing if one does not realize it is written like a podca The reading level is high school and would be recommended for any young adult males who are between the age of eighteen and twenty-four. That being said, personally, having just graduated from Bible college, I did not find too much of the information useful. There were moments when he talked about decision-making (which I am really bad at) and being a man with a boy inside him still that spoke to me personally. The writing style can be confusing if one does not realize it is written like a podcast between a father (John Eldredge) and his son (Sam Eldredge). Driven by stories, examples, and metaphors, this book can personally touch each reader differently.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Travis Chapman

    Another great Eldredge read My brother-in-law is close to Sam's age and said Killing Lions resonated more for him than Wild at Heart, a book that significantly influenced me. I'd say they compliment each other. Where [email protected] is very deep and identifies the core concepts of a full masculine life, I found KL to be much more daily, practically oriented. "How do you actually 'do' life? " Great questions are raised, practical application, guidance, and interpretation are discussed.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    I really enjoyed this book. Being in my late 20s now, I found a lot of the information very helpful. Some of the ideas I'm not sure about and the authors even admit that they will make you feel silly when you first try it but the results I've seen so far have been fantastic. I look forward to continuing the practices I have tried because of this book and I look forward to reading more from John and Sam.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Pieter Kriel

    The need to be fathered is one that every man has. Are you willing to accept this? Are you willing to let God be your ultimate father? Are you willing to give all to Him? These are questions I felt in my soul while reading this book. The answer for me is an unequivocal yes! Would recommend this book to any man young or old knowing that someday you will be both positions, father and son. Gave me a new perspectiven on asking for help.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Will Abrams

    Though written for someone in their 20s, I enjoyed the discussion between father and son as a 31-year-old getting ready to have a son of my own. Some pieces of advice I agreed with more than others, but overall I felt this book gave an honest assessment of what questions young men face and how they can approach answers. Would certainly recommend to college students and those who have recently joined the adult world.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Paul Herriott

    An easy to follow conversation between a father and son. It is hard not to hear the Wild at Heart in-between the lines. This is a great book for young post college males to read as they are attempting to establish themselves in their faith and manhood. For some it may be profound, others it will be repetitious.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amy Wall

    I was definitely not the intended audience and I should have considered that, but it may help once my boys get to their late teens / early 20s. Just terribly whiny. What a luxury to have so much angst. My experience is that those with “real” problems don’t get caught up in such superficial angst.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    I would imagine the audio book is easier to follow as you hear both son and father reading their respective parts (this is the media in which I consumed this book) however I will say one may want to read the alchemist first (I hadn’t) and it was hard to follow at times. I am now reading the alchemist and may revisit this book in the future!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mark Moody

    Great book giving an inside look at a dialogue between John and his young adult son Sam who has many questions about life, manhood, etc. Enjoyed the insight provided by hearing Sam's thoughts about the challenges young men face and hearing the wise answers from John.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ben Palm

    Meh... It was ok, but nothing was revolutionary here. Some good advice was offered, but it was for a much more targeted audience than I expected. If you’re a guy approaching the end of college or just out of college, this is the book for you. Otherwise, I’d pass.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Parker Smith

    Finished! I enjoyed it. There were some places it seemed more like “guided conversation” than dialog, but I appreciate the effort. Entitlement, love, doubt and faith, validation, mentorship... good topics.

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