The Barbarian Way – Erwin McManus

The Barbarian Way is my first exposure to reading McManus because I’m not as hip and cutting edge as most. But, honestly, after reading it, I look forward to reading some of his other work. I found his style simple, yet refreshing. Some writers in this genre try too hard to be cool, but I didn’t get that vibe from McManus. He had a good content/story balance as well.  As far as I can assess, his main purpose in the book is to encourage Christians to not be so “churchy”.  It is a book for those of us who have been Christians so long we are bored with leading mediocre lives amongst a mediocre people. We are convinced that God has called us to more than maintaining the status quo!  His is a reaction against the domestication, civilization, sophistication, and taming of the christian life.

Here are some quotes/concepts that I found particularly noteworthy:

  • “It’s hard to imagine that Jesus would endure the agony of the cross just to keep us in line.” (7)
  • Jesus did not suffer and die so we could build for ourselves havens (16)
  • Jesus is being lost in a religion bearing his name…(17)
  • a civilized faith relates to right and wrong as a moral obligation. A barbarian faith loves good and hates evil (92)
  • “We spend our lives emphasizing our personal development and spiritual well-being. We build churches that become nothing more than hiding places for the faithful while pretending that our actions are for the good of the world. Or we choose political and secular vehicles o try to advance our cultural values, strangely attempting to make unbelieving people act like civilized believers.” (109)
  • love and sacrifice cannot be separated (116)
  • “The brokenness of a lost and unbelieving world is not enough to inspire the painful changes necessary to make the church relevant to the world in which we live” (123)
  • “Is it possible that your Father is also calling you to jump or at least encouraging you to do so? Is the Spirit of God stirring within you, pleading with you to stop settling for the status quo.” (124)
  • our greatness is unleashed in the context of community (134)

It was a motivating book. I regularly pray that God would fill me the passionate resolve I need to live out the life he has for me; I ask for him to give me a vision for my life. This book was an adrenaline shot to my life.

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