Today for a book review, I present to you Unleashed: Release the Untamed Within by Erwin Raphael McManus. I actually had the privilege of hearing McManus speak last month at Willow Creek last month, so it was easy for me to relate and hear his voice as I read this book.
McManus’s theme for this book is having dramatic faith in God. Faith that causes one to become a barbarian. At the beginning of the book, he describes his definition of barbarian. At first, it was a little difficult for me to accept, but as the book continued, I become more and more convinced of his theory. Throughout the book, personal stories and bible stories are scattered and strung together to form images and pictures of what this barbarian faith looks like and how many people in the church today have become domesticated. We box ourselves in to this world of safety in the church when we were originally called to be free and radical for God.
One of my favorite quotes from the book is, ‘Somehow Christianity has become a non-mystical religion. It’s about a reasonable faith…We have become believers rather than experiencers.” I love this quote and it fits nicely with the premise of the book. This book challenges you to step out of the proverbial comfort zone and become the person God created you to be. McManus never says that the process is easy or comfortable, and in fact he stresses the opposite, acknowledging that Jesus never promised that the road you choose to follow would be smooth and straight. Jesus did promise a life of meaningfulness. And that’s what we’re striving for.