I always find it exciting when people possess the same zeal for God that I do. It is hard to find people who are willing to surrender their entire lives to fully pursue God and His will for them. Erwin Raphael McManus is definitely that kind of person. His book, The Barbarian Way, has inspired me to continue living with passion for God even when many people around me are not. In his book, McManus compares a follower of civilized religion to a follower of Jesus Christ’s barbarian way of living. The message is much like Donald Miller’s in his book Blue Like Jazz.
McManus is an author, speaker, and activist. He serves as the primary communicator and cultural architect of his church, Mosaic, in Los Angeles, California. He has written several other books, including An Unstoppable Force, a Gold Medallion Award-finalist, Chasing Daylight, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul, Soul Cravings, and Wide Awake. He and his family live in Los Angeles.
In The Barbarian Way, McManus opens up to readers by sharing many of his own life experiences and allows readers to come along with him on his journey to discovering what it really means to live as a barbarian for Christ. His book also features the story of John the Baptist from the Bible. John was born to prepare the way for Jesus and was murdered for the sake of Jesus. McManus describes the character of John in a very relatable way, dealing with doubt, fear, and confusion about who Jesus was. John’s character comes alive and we see that he truly was a lunatic for Christ, but also had imperfections and struggled with his faith.
Both McManus and John discovered living the barbarian way is not logical, it is not civilized, and it is often considered as foolish. Jesus called them and calls us to give up everything to follow Him. The book shares how to let go of this life in order to live the barbarian way and truly experience the blessed life Jesus offers. His book explains when people are changed by the love of God and Jesus becomes their all consuming passion they lose respect for tradition and live an uncivilized life.
I have found that most of McManus’s books carry the same theme, breaking away from traditional stuffy religion and allowing your relationship with Christ to lead your life. It is a repetitive theme throughout McManus’s work, but something that is always good to be reminded of. The book itself is one worth reading over and over again. It sets a fire in my heart every time I do so.
If you are tired of following religious rules and sick of trying too hard to be perfect, and you desire your heart to come alive for Christ, this book is for you. The Barbarian Way opened my eyes to see that there is more to my faith than following rules and traditions, but it is about living a set apart life – dangerous, adventurous, and barbaric.