Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Unleashed: Release the Untamed Faith Within by Erwin McManus

Unleashed by Erwin McManus is a re-release of his book The Barbarian Way. Serving as a primer to living a life of what most people would consider an extreme faith, the main thrust is God intended His people to live a wild life of faith, not the tame, safe, institutionalized, often fear based faith that characterizes the majority of American Christianity. Through personal anecdotes from his own life as well as his childrens' lives, McManus illustrates what a life of untamed faith can look like.

A couple of key quotes that sum up the message of Unleashed are: "His [God's] desire is not to conform us, but to transform us. Not to make us compliant, but to make us creative. His intent is never to domesticate us, but to liberate us" (p. 64). "The freedom to love and the freedom from fear make the barbarian an entirely different species within the whole of humanity. This may be the most extraordinary mark of the Spirit of God within the heart of humanity: the freedom to live out dreams greater than ourselves" (p. 102).

Unleashed is a quick and easy read. For anyone searching for a more meaningful faith, or looking to live a life based on absolute faith in the wildness of God and His promises instead of fear, it provides an encouraging example of those who are living that way. It made me stop and think, and re-examine my own life, to see if there were areas where I was letting fear dictate my actions and decisions, instead of the faith I profess.

There were a few things I would've changed about the book. One is that it seems extremely redundant after a bit; it almost seems as though everything could've been conveyed just as effectively in a long essay rather than a short book. Another thing is that the Scripture references are few and far between, and the extrapolations based on those used are a bit of a stretch sometimes. I believe there is truth in what McManus says, and what he proposes can be seen in Scripture, just not necessarily in the ones he picked, or the way he chose to present it.

Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who is seeking to break out of the standard mold of American Christianity.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255