Friday, November 26, 2010

Book Review - The Barbarian Way

Last week, I finished reading The Barbarian Way by Erwin Raphael McManus, and I really enjoyed this book. This was a quick read with 146 pages, I was able to get through it in less than a week.
The back cover describes the book like this: "Two thousand years later the call to follow Christ has been repackaged to be smooth and trouble-free, filled with opportunity and promise but lacking risk, passion and sacrifice. Is this really what Jesus died for? If He chose the way of the cross, where would he hesitate leading us? Is it possible that to follow Jesus is to choose the barbarian way? Jesus never made a pristine call to a proper or safe religion. Jesus beckons His followers to a path that is far from the easy road. It is a path filled with adventure, uncertainty, and unlimited possibilities - the only path that can fulfill the deepest longings and desires of your heart. This is the barbarian way: to give your heart to the only One who can make you fully alive. To love Him with simplicity and intensity. To unleash the untamed faith within. To be consumed by the presence of a passionate and compassionate God. To go where He sends you, no matter the cost."
Erwin starts off the book with the story of Jephthah the Gileadite, he was a mighty man of valor, a warrior that was kicked out of his homeland, but then brought back to be their commander and fight against the people of Ammon (Judges 11:1-11). It is a great way to start off the book, he goes on to unpack this barbarian way and we are not called to stay on the path of least resistance. He also unpacks John the Baptist and, in a way, how crazy he was. Wearing clothes made of animal and eating locust...not your average prophet! Through all of his stories and biblical references, he continually ties it into how we are living our lives today. He challenges me to look deeper at the choices I make on a daily basis and to really listen to where God is calling me to go.
He also reminds Christians that we were not baptised by a passive spirit, but by the fire of the holy spirit and that shouldn't be taken lightly. There is a fire burning within us, the fire of Jesus, just waiting to run wild!
All in all, I thought this was a great book, it challenged my thinking and I would recommend it to anyone.

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