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188 of 193 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The love intimacy, passion, and sacrifice of spirituality
I'll be honest with you. When I first saw the title of Erwin McManus's latest book, THE BARBARIAN WAY: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within, my first thought was, "Gimme me a break! Unleash? Untamed? Barbarian? Is this a spiritual manifesto or the latest physical fitness fad?"

The cover didn't do much to alleviate my cynicism. It seems like youngish pastors these...
Published on March 2, 2005 by FaithfulReader.com

versus
77 of 83 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is "Barbaric" Christianity Really Better?
I hesitate to review this book, because it seems to be popular with most reviewers so I suppose few will agree with what I think. On the other hand, the book advocates risk-taking and following what you identify as the voice of God, not caring what others think, so here goes.

First of all I emphasize that there are many parts of the Body of Christ and we all...
Published on January 6, 2008 by D. S. Bornus


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188 of 193 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The love intimacy, passion, and sacrifice of spirituality, March 2, 2005
By 
FaithfulReader.com (New York, New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within (Hardcover)
I'll be honest with you. When I first saw the title of Erwin McManus's latest book, THE BARBARIAN WAY: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within, my first thought was, "Gimme me a break! Unleash? Untamed? Barbarian? Is this a spiritual manifesto or the latest physical fitness fad?"

The cover didn't do much to alleviate my cynicism. It seems like youngish pastors these days are in a contest to exude as much hip-ness as possible, and McManus, pictured wearing black and standing on the double yellow lines of an urban street at night, looks like he's poised to take the "cool" trophy. Plus, he calls himself not only a pastor but also a "cultural architect." What's up with that?! Is being a pastor not enough for ya? Not cool enough?

I reveal my rather embarrassing lack of generosity to illustrate how far I've come when I say, "All hail the cultural architect!"

THE BARBARIAN WAY packs a powerful spiritual punch in a small package. Clocking in at 148 pages, the book urges Christians to throw off the yoke of ... Christianity, a polite religion that he says has stultified the true message of Christ and his vision for the lives of his followers.

"Somewhere along the way the movement of Jesus Christ became civilized as Christianity," he writes. "We created a religion using the name of Jesus Christ and convinced ourselves that God's optimal desire for our lives was to insulate us in a spiritual bubble where we risk nothing, sacrifice nothing, lose nothing, worry about nothing. I wonder how many of us have lost our barbarian way and have become embittered with God, confused in our faith because God doesn't come through the way we think He should."

As you've probably gathered from the title, McManus advocates a more romantic, adventurous, and arguably reckless paradigm for Christian living. He defines the "barbarian way" as being about love, intimacy, passion and sacrifice. "Barbarians love to live and live to love. For them God is life, and their mission is to reconnect humanity to Him. Their passion is that each of us might live in intimate communication with Him who died for us. The barbarian way is a path of both spirit and truth. The soul of the barbarian is made alive by the presence of Jesus."

But the defining aspect of the barbarian way is really fearlessness. McManus effectively argues that the Christian life is about a lot of things, but it's never about being safe --- emotionally or physically. It's about becoming strong via bold vulnerability, the call of Christ to engage with a dangerous world. It's not an insurance plan.

"For years I have made it my mission to destroy the influence of the Christian cliché, 'the safest place to be is in the center of the will of God.' God would never choose for us safety at the cost of significance. God created you so that your life would count, not so that you could count the days of your life," he writes.

He goes on to say, "When we fear God and God only, we are no longer bound by all of the other fears that would hold us captive. The fear of death, the fear of failure, the fear of rejection, the fear of insignificance --- all of the fears that we know by name and haunt us in the dark of the night become powerless when we know the fear of the Lord. And if this is not enough, we discover that perfect love casts out all fear. Not even God will hold us or control us by fear. When we fear Him, we in essence begin to live a life where we are fearless."

I think this take on the Christian life is especially gripping in this age of fear mongering. Politicians, news outlets, the neighborhood gossip, and even some pastors --- everyone does it. And there are things going on in our communities and in the world with which we do need to be engaged. But not from a position of fear. We need to engage the world with fearless love.

There are aspects of THE BARBARIAN WAY that I would argue, but mainly on points of emphasis rather than substance. For example, the barbarian way seems like "the Lone Ranger way" for much of the book. When McManus does get around to talking about community, I like what he has to say. But I think it could have used a little more prominence. And the premises of a few of his statements were suspect in my book, no pun intended. But basically, I'm nitpicking. McManus has ignited my spiritual imagination.

And none of this is keeping me from sending this book to my brother and suggesting it to a few other friends, including you.

--- Reviewed by Lisa Ann Cockrel
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83 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Believe again anew!, May 1, 2006
This review is from: The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within (Hardcover)
I have to reccommend to you a great little book I just read. It is called "The Barbarian Way" by Erwin McManus. I reieved it for my birthday last week and can not give it a high enough reccomendation. It focus is on the fact that the christian faith should not be the simple quiet protected life. Thatb the call to be a christian is a call to risk, to live on the edge, with danger, trials and troubles. That the churh has become domesticated and it lack's appeal because of that.

It is out by Thomas Nelson ISBN 0785264329 Not only do I reccomend it, but they guarantee it, if you buy it and are not satisfied they will replace your money.

Some quick quotes.

"The claim to believe is simply not enough. The call of Jesus is one to action" p.5

"Perhaps the tragedy of our time is that such an overwhelming number of us who declare Jesus as Lord have become domesticated - or, if you will, civilized. We have lost the simplicity of our early faith. Beyond that, we have lost the passion and power of that raw, untaimed, and primal faith." p.12

"The barbarian way is abour love, intimacy, passion, and sacrifice. Barbarians love to live and live to love." p. 13

"The call of Jesus is far more barbaric that either of those. It is a call to live in this world as citizens of an entirely different kingdom." p.32

"your life is unique before God, and your path is yours and yours alone." p. 37

"Just do whatever Jesus calls you to do the moment it is clear to you. Do not procrastinate; do not hesitate; do not deviate from whatever course of action He calls you to." p.53

"When you join the barbarian tribe, you begin to live your life with your eyes and heart wide open. When the spirit of God envelops your soul, your spiri comes alive, and everything changes for you. You are no lobger the same." p.69

....

For those who liked John Eldreges "Wild at Heart" or "Waking the Dead" you will love this book. Take a risk and pick it up, you will either be challanged or angry. If your angry you can get your money back. If your challanged, who know's where it will lead you!
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where Do We Go From Here?, September 13, 2005
By 
Eric Wilson "author" (Nashville, TN United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within (Hardcover)
McManus says it like it is. The church has become a tame, domesticated version of what Jesus seemed to introduce. Nearly every page of this book highlights invaluable concepts for the Christian life as it was meant to be lived. I can relate to the author; I was born and raised to walk the barbarian way--living my faith in a way that demands obedience at any cost.

While others have tackled similar subjects, they often times seem to be full of bitterness and rebellion toward the church at large. McManus never gives off that sense of a grudge; instead, he wants to raise the church from its slumber. His "barbarian" way is a way of sacrifice and servitude. This is no mamby-pamby gospel that he's talking about. This is a commitment to a life lived for Jesus, no matter the cost.

I loved everything this book had to say. My only complaint is what it didn't say. It didn't give us any practical ways to walk the barbarian way while dealing with the existing church. How do we make these concepts real without seeming divisive? Or, if we are to be divisive for a purpose, how do we go about it with Godly accountability? These are issues I've wrestled with for years. This book encouraged me to keep wrestling, but it failed to answer some of my deepest questions.

For those who are still "civilized," this book might change your world. For those still trying to reconcile McManus' concepts with everyday church life, you will be inspired. The question remains, though...Where do we go from here?
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77 of 83 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is "Barbaric" Christianity Really Better?, January 6, 2008
By 
This review is from: The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within (Hardcover)
I hesitate to review this book, because it seems to be popular with most reviewers so I suppose few will agree with what I think. On the other hand, the book advocates risk-taking and following what you identify as the voice of God, not caring what others think, so here goes.

First of all I emphasize that there are many parts of the Body of Christ and we all have our function. Thus, I am sure that McManus is serving Jesus in the way he thinks best, and is reaching people others could not, as a "Gentile to the Gentiles." And I recognize and applaud that.

However, my reaction to this book is that it verges on encouraging self-worship. The emphasis is on what "I" think God is saying to "ME." We're supposed to focus on that, and live radical, risky, adventure-seeking, exciting lives, not caring what others think, especially the old fuddy-duddies in the "old-style religion" church. It just seems to me that all this is a little too self-referential and narcissistic, and a justification for "doing my own thing" in the name of Christ.

It also seemed to me that many of the stories of the New Testament are taken out of context, characterizing John the Baptist, Jesus, and the Disciples as a bunch of passionate, risk-seeking individuals. How does this align with Jesus' call to us to "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me: for I am humble and meek in spirit, and you will find rest for your souls"? How does it align with Paul's admontion to the Corinthians that "all things should be done decently and in order," or to the Romans that "let everyone be subject to the governing authorities" because they have been established by God? "For God is not a god of disorder, but of peace?"

There's a romantic stereotype of "Barbarians" which is being drawn upon here. (We've all seen "Braveheart," right?) Faithful, honest, and true, courageous, indomitable, etc. But is this historically accurate? In real life, the "barbarians" of Europe and Asia were pagans and ruthless cutthroats living by the ethos of "might makes right." The only law was the sword and the edicts that strong men could enforce by the sword. If you wanted your day in court, it was trial by combat. The weak and powerless had no place in this world except as slaves and chattel. Their gods (Odin, etc.) were inscrutable warriors who cared little for puny humans, and only the "worthy" who died in fearless combat "earned" a place in the Valholl. Is this the way we want to be in the name of Christ? Are Christians really supposed to be like a "crash" of rhinos trampling everthing in their path?

In real life, the "Barbarians" were overcome by the superior military discipline and organization of the Romans. (Watch the opening battle scene of the movie "Gladiator" for an example.) The Huns fought for individual glory and honor (earning their way into heaven), and were not able to stand in pitched battle with the organized discipline of the Roman troops. Are we, as Christians, to strive for individual glory and honor?

Like I say, I acknowledge that this book touches many, and is a part of the message of the Body, that will reach some. But in the overall scheme of the Gospel message of Jesus to a dark world, I think that it is a message to be weighed with caution. I think it's better to be a disciple than a barbarian. We are not here to pursue "adventure" and "excitement" and "risk" for their own sakes, thrill-seeking and "doing our own thing" for God, we are to glorify and serve and worship God.

"For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." This doesn't really sound like a barbarian to me. Seeking to be "barbarian-like" emphasizes my own strength and ability. But God teaches us that we have no ability apart from Him, and He works through those who are weak. "My strength is sufficient for you...for my strength is made perfect in weakness. For when I am weak, then I am strong." Our goal in life is to not focus on ourself, but to look only at Christ, wanting to have Him living in us and shaping our life toward that purpose. To me, thinking about trying to be like a barbarian seems like a distraction. Barbarians may impress and fascinate the world, but we're told that God chooses to work though the things that seem weak and foolish to this world.

But I took my risk, and wrote this, in a spirit of Christian fellowship and advice. Just my two cents... If it resonates with you, great, if not, I'm sure God will guide us all whereever we are.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent call to break the chains of mediocrity, February 7, 2005
By 
This review is from: The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within (Hardcover)
The Barbarian Way is a spirit inspired book, a call to break away from a mundane and lukewarm faith (if such a faith can even be called faith at all.) It is an appeal to cast away ties and allegiances to a domesticated faith of compromise with the status quo of the Christian culture. Well-written and filled with humor as well as scripture and anecdotes, it is a recommended read for all believers who want to be refined by the refiner's fire.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, great book but controversial., December 9, 2005
This review is from: The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within (Hardcover)
Give this to anyone who has been kicked in the guts by religon and longs for a better understanding of Christian Spirituality.

This book really unsettled me, but finally someone has spoken about the idea of true faith,and the Author - Erwin R Mcmanus is not a "minister" - so he is not limited by the fear of affending someone.

What is happening is a sincere turn towards a reverential understanding of what it means to believe, serve others and follow Jesus without the pretenses & institutional idea's of structure Church fellowship which cause feelings of obligation.

I remember reading this before Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell and reccomend both books 1 after the other. The Barbian Way looks closely at John the Baptist and even considers the doubt John encountered when he was in jail.

Jesus never rescued John, the way John might have wanted or even expected Him to do...Erwin encourages us to think about what this means in our own faith.

GS
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond The Domestic Church, February 11, 2010
This review is from: The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within (Hardcover)
The word `barbarian' is one that conjures up thoughts of a man who has a deep-rooted passion for a political or sociological cause and gives everything within himself to save people from injustice. With his face painted blue and white and crying "Freedom!" to the masses, Mel Gibson's portrayal of William Wallace is perhaps the best example of such a mental image. Yet mixed in with the deep-rooted passion, the image of a barbarian also brings to the fore thoughts of recklessness, savagery and brutality. For this reason alone, I was surprised to see the word `barbarian' used by Erwin Raphael McManus to describe the true Christian calling in his book The Barbarian Way. What, after all, could be further from savagery and brutality than the grace of the Christ figure who healed the sick and ate with tax collectors? Maybe we could cite the overturning of the tables in the temple or the challenge to the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem in favor of the barbarian image of Jesus. But outside of these few examples, the term `barbarian' seems to be a misplaced descriptive.

Nevertheless, reading on through McManus' text we soon discover that he used the term barbarian somewhat differently. In McManus' definition, the element of passion is still present- the barbarian of Christianity is truly on fire for Jesus and is on a mission to conquer the hearts of those that do not love or know God. The barbarian of Christianity is truly out to risk everything for humanity just as Jesus did. But gone is the brutality that we might associate with the barbarian of old, replaced as it is by the `insanity' of trying the conquer the hearts and minds of men for Christ. But McManus' book is as much a criticism of the modern church as it is a call to rally. In fact McManus talks about the dangers of religion and religiosity that confine faith in Christ to the pulpits of our churches. The `domestic church' as he calls it, is everything that Christ's calling is not. Christ message after all was that we should get out and declare our faith to the world. We read in the Gospel of Mathew, for example, how Jesus sent his disciples, "as sheep among wolves" (Mathew 10, vs 16) to spread the Gospel message. The Gospel of Luke likewise tells of the need to shoulder the cross daily for Jesus (Luke 9, vs 20-25).

Life for Christ is not necessarily going to be easy. Indeed the easy, comfortable life is, as McManus argues, the fallacy of the domesticated form of Christianity with all its focus on individual spiritual growth. The domesticated church lives for the self- "get rich, get comfortable, get secure, get well when you get God". But the life for Christ- McManus' barbarian way- is a continuous struggle whose followers live, "with reckless abandon" for their savior- the son of God- as they tell others about him. The prophet Ezekiel told of `the new spirit' and `the new heart' that will be the hallmark of God's transformation of His people (Ezekiel 36 vs 26).

McManus uses another term- the `mushroom eaters'- to illustrate the kinds of risks that barbarians for Christ will take to spread the message of Jesus. Those who risk everything for Christ do not worry about death even to the point that they might one day eat a poisonous mushroom. Indeed, Paul's letter to the Hebrews tells of the torture, the stoning, the oppression and the mistreatment that some have already endured consumed as they were, not by a fear of failure but by a fear of God (Hebrews 11). Perhaps best known amongst the mushroom eaters is John the Baptist whose foretelling of Jesus' arrival was directed against the religious elite- that "brood of vipers" who refused to accept Jesus as the Messiah. He would later declare to his own disciples that "soon a man is coming who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before I did" (John 1, vs 30). With his clothes woven from camel hair and a diet of locusts and wild honey (Mathew 3, vs 4), John the Baptist was not afraid to lead a life of purpose for Christ. He is perhaps McManus' favorite example of a barbarian- passionate and on fire for Jesus who was imprisoned and beheaded because of his faith (Mark 6, vs 14-28).

McManus calls us to be more like John- to give ourselves up to the task of declaring the love of Christ to those who do not yet know him. Those who settle for less have perhaps lost the power to be who God intended them to be. But those who embrace God's calling for their lives- active `declarers' of His love- will truly live for God. As McManus concludes, salvation is an "enlistment in the mission of God". We are all called to live the same mission- the barbarian way for Christ.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Barbarian Way, March 9, 2006
This review is from: The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within (Hardcover)
In this offering by Erwin Raphael McManus, we as Christians are challenged to blow down the walls of religion and enter into the battle for souls. We are reminded, if not told for the first time, that the life that we have chosen can present challenges that are unreasonable, uncomfortable, out of reach and unfair to us. McManus' provides biblical examples of God's calling ordinary people to be His messengers to the lost through their faith and His provision.

After reading "The Barbarian Way" you will not be satisfied with just going to church on Sunday.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Erwin is always a superb read, January 21, 2005
This review is from: The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within (Hardcover)
One would think that eventually the well that we all long to drink from would dry up. One might also think that our taste might change and we would require a different liquid to quench our thirst but both theories are proven wrong with Erwin McManus' latest book "The Barbarian Way" This man knows all too well the average Christians tendency to live life in a stagnant state. In trying to share specific details about the book would only ruin the individual experience of the reader. "Seizing Your Divine Moment" as well as "Unstoppable Force" are both life changing reads. Life could be so sweet if more authors were as spiritually refreshing and challenging as McManus.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Tame Christianity Here..., June 3, 2010
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This review is from: The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within (Hardcover)
This book is all about embracing the Life Jesus died to give us!

A deeply powerful book that will move you from sluggish Christianity to embracing a God-empowered vision for your life! McManus isnt really one of my favorite authors but this book is on my "Top 10" list of Christian books (and I've read a LOT from being a pastors kid and working in a bookstore).

If you need something that will help you see beyond the boring, hum-drum Christian life that seems to surround us everywhere, pick up this book!
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The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within
The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within by Erwin Raphael McManus (Hardcover - February 10, 2005)
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