By John Eldredge & Sam Eldredge
Thomas Nelson Books, $19.99, 190 pages
In Killing Lions: A Guide Through the Trials Young Men Face, John Eldredge and his son Sam dialogue about a variety of topics that Sam is facing as he steps into adulthood: love, sex, money, work and faith. John Eldredge is a bestselling Christian author known for such books as Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul and Walking with God: Talk to Him. Hear from Him. Really. At the time of their Killing Lions conversations, Sam Eldredge is freshly graduated from college, mired in a menial job, preparing to ask his girlfriend to marry him, and pondering the purpose of his life.
“You have the strength and the courage to handle what is before you. You do. But you must not try to play Switzerland in this savage war; there is no neutral ground. The only safe move is to boldly take sides with the kingdom of God, take your position in the line. Make the decision to be fully in—to become the warrior, live in the larger story—and everything else will fall into place.”
While the intent of Killing Lions as a guide for young men is admirable the result, unfortunately, is limited and uninspired. Both men are adept writers, each with a unique and engaging style, but together their conversation drags beneath the dictates of the form: question, answer, ponder, respond. Rather than being sharp and surprising, the musings that emerge are predictable and hardly new to the younger Eldredge’s generation. Perhaps a better approach would be to set each of the men free on his own to write about the issues he sees affronting men in the twenty-first century.
Reviewed by Jennie A. Harrop