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The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within
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Using Jesus' words about John the Baptist in Matthew 11, Erwin McManus urges readers to flee "civilized" religion and return to the "barbarian way" of following Christ.

Erwin McManus wasn't raised in a Christian home, so when he came to Christ as a college student, he didn't know the rules of the "religious club." He didn't do well in Shakespeare courses, so he didn't really understand the KJV Bible he was given either. But he did understand that prayer was a conversation, and he learned to talk to God and wait for answers. Erwin's way was passionate and rough around the edges-a sincere, barbaric journey to Christ.

Barbaric Christians see Jesus differently than civilized Christians. They see disciples differently, and they see Christ's mission differently. The Barbarian Way is a call to escape "civilized"Christianity and become original, powerful, untamed Christians-just as Christ intended.

Customer Reviews:

  • This is what its all about
    Reading this book absolutely blew my hair back. Erwin calls us to look beyond everything we think we know to the Christ of the bible. He, among others like Rob Bell, are wonderfully calling us to a radical lifestyle that doesn't settle for the crap that this world offers. He invites us to look further. To be a Christ follower is not to commit intellectual suicide. To choose to follow Christ is to choose the full life that Jesus spoke of in Jn 10:10. We're not giving up our dreams to follow Christ...we're just dreaming bigger. This is the call of Erwin.

    He also has a great word about the difference between Christianity and Christ followers. Go to his web'll see his words, "The greatest enemy to the movement of Jesus Christ is Christianity."

    He calls us to something more. Simply a fantastic read.
    ...more info
  • Provocative Read
    I really enjoyed and appreciated this book. McManus issues a timely challenge to the church to move out of "comfortable" and into "relevant." This book provided much food for thought. I have already recommended it to several friends and will continue to do so. A great read that continues to "speak" to you long after you turn the final page....more info
  • An Excellent Window into Living for Jesus
    If you have always thought that there's "more" to being a Christian than just believing and attending a good church, this book is for you.

    McManus gives a unique perspective on living the Christian life without the "tamed" religious aspects of many churches. It's all about having dreams, purpose, taking risks, and trusting God.

    Far from being wacky theology, this book is grounded in Biblical principles. It's a short book and reads easily in just a few hours.

    I recommend this book to anyone wanting to explore their faith and expand their limits, but doesn't get into heavy theology, traditional "teaching" or the preaching/teaching seminars....more info
  • Awesome!
    Erwin McManus captured my attention through every word in this book. His passion and ambition for God is encouraging and inspiring. Recommended for all Christians....more info
  • Excellent call to break the chains of mediocrity
    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....more info
  • Worth your time
    Mcmanus, lead pastor of the Mosaic in Los Angeles, issues his challenge to reclaim Christianity from the clutches of organized religion. This is an excellent book worth the couple of hours it will take to read it. The book is conversational and very pastoral in tone but offers some unique perspectives that were challenging to me as a vocational minister. McManus pleads with the church to recover the "Barbarian" ethos that characterized the apostolic and later New Testament age and made Christianity into such an awe-inspiring counter cultural movement. McManus and his Christian community, Mosaic, exhibit many of the values that characterized the early church and are providing a tangible witness to the power of barbarian christianity. ...more info
  • Aseome book............ read it
    This is the first Christian book I have read and I loved it. What I got out of the book is to take charge and lead the life God intended you to live. I recommend this book whole heartedly....more info
  • The raw beauty of God's people
    Erwin captures the heart of God in such a raw and beautiful way. He challenges all who call Jesus our savior, to live out of His love and live without fear of anything but God. He honestly and yet respectfully challenges the old cliche that God wants to keep us safe. When in fact, God has called us all to a unique and adventurous story in communicating His love to all. He challenges the church to knock down the walls from which we have been hiding and unleash the passion and power of Jesus' love in our souls. A great read, whether alone or in a group setting, Erwin calls us to choose the Barbarian way out of a civilized religion....more info
  • 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 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 clich¨¦, '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...more info
  • Thinking Outside The Box
    I found Erwin McManus's book, The Barbarian Way, to be right to the point and right to the heart of any man wanting to express his faith but never having anyone give them the reason they could or permission to do it from a man's perspective. This book was both enlightening and releasing at the same time....more info
  • Someone finally tells the truth....
    All I can say is......finally someone has the guts to tell me that there is a better way to follow God. A life alive in Him;not some hum drum whimpy walk. Pastor McManus has put more in 141 pages that I have read in the last 5 years. I know God has saved my soul;but Pastor M has set my spirit free to do my dream!!!! I praise God for that. Do yourself a favor-get free adn BE a barbarian...more info
  • Do you seek the King?
    I did not buy this book, it was given to me by a friend and it made an impact on my life that won't be forgotten. Reader beware of the truth you discover. The book challenged my comfortable "Christian Kingdom Worldview" with examples from scripture. These examples stayed with me; the most indelible is where John the Baptist asked Jesus (thru his followers) if Jesus was the one who is to come or should we expect someone else? Matthew 11

    I've read this many times and never saw what McManus points out; That John certainly knew the Christ. John, while still in the womb of his mother Elizabeth was excited over Mary's visit to Elizabeth (Mary was pregnant with Jesus at the time) John had baptised the Christ and directed his followers to follow the One whom John was not worthy to tie the sandals.

    It caused me to wonder that Jesus knew what John's fate was going to be. This is what got me.

    Jesus answers John's followers that the blind see, the lame walk, lepers are healed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised from the dead and the Good News is preached to the poor. Then Jesus says in a seemedly disconnected way: Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me. Okay?!

    John in a way is saying, here I am Lord, I'm in prison by the wicked. Please notice your servant, and God answers by providing miracle accounts and "don't fall away on account of me". I realized that if I would have been John (and I don't pretend to be anywhere near how John was dedicated), I would have 'supposed", "knew", "assumed", "expected", that God would come to my rescue after my life of service and dedication. Note the "my". I now see slightly clearer that His ways are not my ways. That He has a plan that is higher than my goals or plans and that means He know the beginning from the end.

    I felt for John and thought of the wicked powers that took his life. That Herod's evil lust for his wife's daughter was the impetus for John's beheading. How sick. I don't know as I should, that's for sure. What I learned is that in spite of how the above ends, I will serve the King. If it doe not make sense to me, it's okay.

    I realized a little more of how broken the World is that I live in. It was not meant to be this way, but it is. My charge is to know the Saviour more each day, to learn of His ways and to then move from my love of the King. That's what this little book did from the read. ...more info
  • A Must Read!!
    If you are tired of christianity as it is in the USA, this book will spark hope and life into you especially if you feel alone or odd about your feelings or thoughts. It's potent and thought provoking and I have shared it with many....more info
  • The Barbarian Way
    This is a book that will ignite your faith and impart a fresh vision for your life in Christ. This is a book you will read and want to reread!...more info
  • The Barbarian Way
    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....more info
  • Barbarian Faith versus Safe Religion
    McManus draws upon various personal experiences and events or stories involving others to illustrate the danger of the tame, safe, accommodating life of organized religion. As an alternative, he poses Jesus Christ.

    I read this book in February 2009, after finding it among those in a furnished home prepared for us as a temporary residence while we were looking for a home to purchase, after moving back to the United States after many years living overseas. I picked it up out of casual curiosity. I was pleasantly surprised at what I found.

    Barbarian Faith
    McManus explores the role of Jesus, his followers as portrayed in the New Testament texts and in through the ages, as now in our time. The way of Christ is contrasted with "Christianity" as the barbarian (anti-establishment) way of life.

    McManus, though of Irish descent, was born in El Salvador. His family came to the US when McManus was young. Since 1994 he has served as the lead pastor of the "experimental" church Mosaic, formerly the Church on Brady, in Los Angeles. In this volume he lays out what he feels is the gospel approach to life, living out the call the follow God, to live under God's rule, even in defiance of the expectations of the culture around us.

    McManus explores the role of Jesus, his followers as portrayed in the New Testament texts and examples through the ages, as well as in our time. The way of Christ is contrasted with "Christianity" as the barbarian (anti-establishment) way of life.

    Barbarian Freedom
    He contrasts "religion," as found in most of the established churches of the United States, with the barbarian call of God's Good News in Jesus, to dare to be different and follow that call wherever it leads. To live on the edge, to discover release and freedom, rather than being domesticated to religion and conformed to established protocols.

    He challenges his followers and readers of this book to rise above and go beyond the limiting expectations of religion and follow Jesus to life. He points out that religion condemns and judges, imposes requirements and expectations, and requires conformity. On the other hand, faith in Christ, in response to the Good News of God, requires us to live by Love, not tame accommodation.

    Dangerous Reward
    The Good News, says McManus, calls us to be barbarians destroying the numbing civilization of formal observance, like Jesus did. But while thrilling and rewarding, this kind life is dangerous. It got Jesus killed. McManus warns that people often pull back into safety and miss the power of real life, because they accept the common cultural concept that "God wants to keep you safe."

    McManus challenges us to actually look into the Gospels and see where that is possible, and finds this is not a gospel expectation. Jesus promised abundant life, full life, valuable life, life from above - not safe life protected from reality. As practical examples, he reveals how they do things at Mosaic, in contrast to the traditional church.

    The more I read, the more impressed I became with McManus, with whom I was not very familiar. His writing style is really oral, engaging us in a conversation during which he shares his story, and aspects of the stories of others, illustrating the rewards of the refreshing barbarian approach to faith.

    I recommend this book to established believers, especially if they are dissatisfied with the incomplete experience in established religions. Likewise, this book will encourage seekers and skeptics, because an authentic option and alternative is clearly resented here.

    Many "Christians" won't even recognize this as the same message Jesus himself presented about the Rule of God on earth. There is Good News here....more info
  • Believe again anew!
    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!...more info
  • A "ready, fire, aim" approach
    What this book does well is remind Christians that there is more to discipleship than church attendance or even mere intellectual adherence to Jesus' teachings. McManus tells several memorable examples of radical living and cutting edge faith. However, this book fails to point readers in any direction. McManus creates a buzz by heightening spiritaul desire, but doesn't show how this should be channeled. This book is like a coach giving an inspiring pep talk before a game but not offering any game plan or strategy for winning. I commend McManus for his passion and focus. While this book is sure to get many readers energized, I fear it will leave many readers disoriented regarding the next steps of projecting that energy....more info
  • Excellent Book
    I would highly recommend this book to anyone seeking to really serve Christ. Great stories and biblical references....more info
  • A must buy for anyone wanting to take the world for Christ
    What a tremendous book, I could not put it down. I have never felt so challenged to go to battle for Christ before. Get ready for an in your face look at where the church is and should be. If you don't like to be uncomfortable you may not want to read this. But if you want to be challenged to "follow" Christ then buckle up for this one. This book is easy to read and follow. Mr. Mcmanus once again writes so people can understand in plain english....more info
  • Not disappointing
    As an avid McManus reader, this book lived up to all my expectations. It's a book that calls you to challenge the very core of who you are, and challenge all the false, comfortable notions of Christianity that are out there. At times, I wanted to throw the book down, tear off my shirt, run to a mountaintop and scream "JESUS" for all the world to hear. In a good way. My only complaint? Too short....more info
  • I'm sold! Where do I sign up?!
    I loved this book! I have recently come to understand what it means to be a follower of Christ, a disciple that continue's the Lord's ministry. The Barbarian Way reinforced this recent understanding and really gave me the push I needed to get off my can (stop sitting comfortably at a feel good, seeker friendly church) and start doing! I highly recommend this book!...more info
  • Jumping into God's Arms
    I first heard Erwin McManus speak at a conference. I was so moved by his talk, I was convinced to purchase this book at that same conference.

    This book is definitely not for the religious at heart. It's for those with a heart to dive into God's arms. This book will encourage your faith so much that you'll read this book in one sitting.

    Also recommended: "I'm Bored with Christianity" by Derrick Engoy...more info
  • Gotta Have it.! In fact buy two!
    This is the best book I have read in the past year. It is an easy read but powerful and life changing.
    Erwin McManus gets it. He helps us see what Gos is doing in the world and the church today. Im a Barbarian... you can be too. ...more info
  • Gotta Have it.! In fact buy two!
    This is the best book I have read in the past year. It is an easy read but powerful and life changing.
    Erwin McManus gets it. He helps us see what God is doing in the world and the church today. Im a Barbarian... you can be too. ...more info
  • Barbarian Way
    Makes the point and makes you think. He gets you to consider what living by faith in God looks like in your own life. ...more info