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John Eldredge is the best-selling author of Wild at Heart, The Sacred Romance, and a new book, Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive. He is the founder of Ransomed Heart Ministries, which describes itself as part monastery, part military outpost, and part Red Cross unit for the soul. It hosts boot camps and retreats for men and women. His books are written to help men rediscover their masculinity in the image of God, but the have been popular with both men and women. Wild at Heart has sold over a million copies.

After being involved in the Los Angeles drug culture and kicked out of high school, Eldredge was looking for a "worldview." After exploring other religions, Eastern mysticism, Lao-Tzu, and New Age spirituality, he discovered the writings of Francis Schaeffer, who he calls one of the best philosophers of the 20th century. Through Schaeffer, Eldredge came to Christ and later to the church. He eventually got a master's degree in counseling and practiced in Colorado Springs before working for Focus on the Family.

How was Ransomed Heart Ministries born?

I started working at Focus on the Family doing debates and media and cultural studies. It was the whole Schaeffer thing, that if Christianity is true it ought to affect all of culture.

The early Celtic Christians called the Holy Spirit "the wild goose." And the reason why is they knew that you cannot tame him. But if you follow his haunting call, he'll take you on an adventure. Well, that's what it was. I just sensed that I have a mission, I have a call to speak, to write, to do sort of deep-heart surgery in people's lives.

Talk about the wild goose. We often hear of a "wild goose chase."

That derogatory phrase shows you how much we in Western culture hate mystery. ...

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November 2003

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