Book Review: Killing Lions by John & Sam Eldredge

When I saw the book “Killing Lions” from the collection of Thomas Nelson books available for review, I knew it had to be my next book. I have read John Eldredge from the time I took the Partners in Ministry course in ISOT-Asia (now IGSL-Asia). One of his books was a reading requirement from Jeff’s class there that he shared with me and found myself enjoying the read. First it was “Wild at Heart,” then “Journey of Desire.” The most recent book I read was “Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul,” a gem of a book John co-authored with his wife, Staci. Oh I cannot even begin to tell you the blessing it was to my heart. It further affirmed everything I have been learning through the Living Waters programs the husband and I have been attending for over a year now.

Aside from having John Eldredge in my favorite authors list and the awesome book he co-wrote with his wife, Staci, being one of my favorite books of all time, I have a very strong feeling he is also going to nail it with a book he co-authors with his son, Sam, “Killing Lions.” Those aren’t the only reasons why I chose this. My husband and I have already done “the talk” with our son (yes, the ‘birds and the bees’ one), which we thought wasn’t going to happen a few more years down the road. Since I am at no liberty to disclose the surrounding circumstances that brought about “the talk,” I am going to stop here. That said, we thoroughly thank the Lord for the grace He poured out even as He provided the wisdom, the words and the ready hearts during “the talk” and a few more installments towards “the talk” that were necessary to affirm and make sure the little guy was getting it. Before I get ahead of myself yet again, here’s the book description of “Killing the Lions.”

Book Description

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.”

In a nutshell, I strongly believe that “Killing Lions” is John Eldredge’s offshoot to his book, “Wild at Heart,” where he mentioned “a boy without a father figure is like an explorer without a map.”  Killing Lions, in Sam’s words, is:

  1. “a confession,” as he tells his story, where readers may find asking the same questions,
  2. “an invitation to journey with them,”
  3. “to be the son who receives fathering”
  4. “to be the father who learns what must be spoken to his son.”

Click the above Amazon link to buy the book.

The book is composed of raw and honest conversations of father and son about choices, God, money, dating, love, marriage, sex and life purpose. The father and son tandem give their readers a beautiful picture of how a father should  be there for his son, and coach him through life. Such powerful moments where a father makes an impact in his son’s life as he “fathers” him the way God has designed him to.

This reminds me of the article I wrote in 2008 about the Epidemic of Missing Fathers. A lot of fathers have chosen a path of passivity more because they are wounded sons themselves and are but clueless at being fathers because they didn’t have fathers themselves back when they needed fathering. We live in a broken world, which boils down to our need for God’s unlimited grace.

“Adventure feeds the masculine soul and so does beauty. Our hearts can’t live without beauty.” I love this quote from the YouTube series of

“There are lions that we choose to face. There are lions that come out of nowhere.”

John: What’s your worst fear as a man? Sam: Being exposed as not having it all together…

This is so true. The masculine heart longs to be adequate. From the time that sin entered through one man, this has been the constant struggle of the man’s heart. I love how John is empowering fathers to father better, for sons to make better decisions and just call out fathers around the world to be there for their sons, kill lions with them as they train them to face life head on like a real man.

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Killing Lions by John & Sam Eldredge

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