A Crash of Christians

Unleashed by Erwin McManus

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Domesticated Christians are far too willing to abdicate the battle for the soul of the world. Civility focuses our energy on all the wrong places. … In contrast, Jesus calls us to a different way. He tells us this is a battle of kingdoms. McManus

Activist pastor and thinker McManus is never shy about emphasizing a wild and untamed Christianity. He is less concerned with church structures, the recitation of creeds or spending all of his precious moments of life arguing theology. Instead, he sees in Jesus a Lord calling into followers into dangerous territory that is fraught with potential pain and even loss of mortal life, in order to reclaim it from the corruption that beset it in the Garden. Faith for McManus is not to be lived in the safety of the sanctuary while the world dies a little more around us. Rather, we are to be following our Lord into the battle for souls and the ground to extend the kingdom.

Unleashed is a repackaging of McManus’ earlier book The Barbarian Way. It was great read in its original form and the additions and edits in its new form make it appealing to reread. The subtle changes in the cover and the text appear to be aimed at opening up the book to more than just the men that the original title appealed to. McManus’ daughter has grown up over the years and her appearances in the book also show that the barbarian heart beats on both sides of the Christian family.

Pastor McManus doesn’t write Unleashed as a prescriptive guide to changing your life. Rather, each chapter encourages you peek outside the walls to see the untamed world outside of your safety zone and take the first tentative steps into it. As he says, “if you make the insane decision to live your life for the sake of others, if you choose to follow the One whose barbarian path led Him to the brutality of the Cross, and if you embrace His invitation to take up your won cross and follow Him, then it has begun.” You can choose safety and simply wait out your time to be called home. Or, as did the original disciples, you can follow the Lord into life completely different from every day that came before.

I am grateful to Thomas Nelson who supplied this book for review.

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