This is a review for Booksneeze.
Erwin Raphael McManus is a new author for me. (One of the reasons I like being a reviewer for Booksneeze is that I can try authors that I might not otherwise come across). The wikipedia article on him says he is an “influential American pastor”, whatever that really means.
I like the book. It is a call to a radical discipleship. The thesis of the book is that modern western Christianity is too safe; that it has become an institution instead of a movement. He calls his vision of radical discipleship “the barbarian way”, and uses the metaphor throughout the book. A sampling:
A description of “civilized Christianity”:
…Jesus died adn rose from the dead so that you can live a life of endless comfort, security and indulgence. But really this is a bit too developed. Usually it’s mroe like this: if you’ll simply confess that you’re a sinner and believe in Jesus, you’ll be saved from the torment of eternal hellfire, then go to heaven when you die. Either case results in our domestication. One holds out for life to begin in eternity, and the other makes a mockery out of life” (p.32).
A description of what he calls the “barbarian way”:
“God’s ultimate end for our transformation is to unleash the untamed faith within. When His Spirit is poured into our lives, we are inspired to an extraordinary level of living. Barbarians never exist simply to survive. Barbarians never just get through the day. Barbarians wake to live and live life fully awake. To be filled with the Spirit of God is to be filled with dreams and vision sthat are too compelling to ignore. Live or die, succeed or fail, barbarians must pursue and attempt such dreams and visions. The barbarian spirit dreams great dreams and finds courage to live them” (p.100)
If your experience of the Christian faith is more like the first paragraph than the second one, you should pick this book up and give it a read. It might enliven your faith and make you think about it in a different way.