This book by Erwin is a re-release of his older book titled: The Barbarian Way. Usually, I despise re-releases because it is a poor attempt at getting people to buy a book that has a big named author on it that they already bought or they hadn’t yet bought. Basically, it usually boils down to money.
Not so with this book. Erwin shares in the very beginning that he felt the message was constrained because of it’s title and that it was seen as a book written to just men. This was not Erwin’s heart for the book, so it has been re-released with a new title and a new cover to show it is for all believers, not just male believers.
Let me first start by saying I really enjoyed this book. Erwin writes in a winsome, story-telling manner that sucks the reader in and makes them desire more. I found myself reading this book in two days time, while having full, busy work days! Erwin’s ability to capture a God-centered truth and expound upon it is pretty incredible and this book is a testament to his giftedness.
The book is broken up in 4 chapters: The Barbarian Invasion; The Barbarian Call; The Barbarian Tribe and The Barbarian Revolt. Each packs its own powerful punch and calls all Christians to stop being pew sitting, sideline hugging players in the war for this world and to be Barbarian crazed men and women fighting with a holy frenzy for the Lord!
1. The Barbarian Invasion- One of my favorite quotes from this chapter is this: “If we have responded to the call of Jesus to leave everything and follow Him, then there is a voice within crying out, “Fight for the heart of your King!” Yet Christianity over the past two thousand years has moved from a tribe of renegades to a religion of conformists” (McManus 2011, location 171). That is his main premise to the book, we need to be a group of renegades who storm this world for Jesus and not conformists. We need to be Wild, not tame.
2. The Barbarian Call- My favorite quote from this chapter is: “The barbarian way is about love expressed through sacrifice and servant hood” (McManus 2011, location 458). This is counter cultural even to most church cultures: serving rather than being served. We need to be rebels against this mindset and we need to be a radical, crazy people of servant hood.
3. The Barbarian Tribe- My favorite quote of the whole book is this: “I think there’s a problem when people talk about meeting God or knowing God and yet remain unchanged by God” (McManus 2011, location759). We are to be a tribe marked by our king. A tribe set a part and recognized as not civilized, but barbaric. We need to be a radical people who are so moved and changed from the inside that we express this through our untamed love for the world. We are a tribe marked by the one who loves us and who loves the world. Are our marks displaying our allegiance to our king, or to something or someone else?
4. The Barbarian Revolt- “Domesticated Christians are far too willing to abdicate the battle for the soul of the world” (McManus 2011, location 1167). We as a Christian whole care very little for the world and are far to willing to leave the battle at the expense of many souls. The battle is tough and we need to be protected but leaving the battle is not barbaric, it’s childish and selfish. We are to revolt against the enemy and wage war against him and his minions. The more civilized we become, stepping away from our barbaric roots, the more we step away from battle we should be fighting.
This book challenged me and caused me to step back and ask if I am Unleashed and living in the Barbarian Way. One of Erwin’s other striking quotes was this: “Barbarians live as if they are naked before God and naked before men…The barbarian hides nothing before God, and his tribe battles naked and unashamed” (McManus 2011, location 1407). This I believe is one of the key points to fighting this battle as on cohesive Barbaric unit: nakedness. We must be real and raw in this Battle!
I strongly recommend you pick this book up. I rarely give such high praise to books, but this one is well worth it. It will challenge all believers to look at their lives and ask if they’ve been a Barbarian lately!
*Thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review. *