Over Christmas and New Year I finished Erwin McManus's The Barbarian Way. Erwin has long held a special place in my heart as he was one of the speakers at a Willow Creek conference which I attended in Cheltenham in (I think) 2004. A number of things chimed over the course of this excellent conference which led to me, upon the advice of others as well as my inner sense of call, taking some more steps in terms of 'pushing the ministry door' and saw me move upto Glasgow to go to ICC the next summer.
One of the things that I loved about Erwin was his raw passion for Jesus - as well as the fact that he was (and is!) an excellent communicator. As well as reading The Barbarian Way and dipping briefly into Soul Cravings I am told by a good friend that he has another McManus copy with my name on it and I have also been really enjoying listening to some of the podcasts from Mosaic.
In fact this morning, as I jogged along the sea front, I listened to a cracker called Time to Make a Change. The challenge from it was to build on the past rather than living in it, and to live in the present whilst preparing for the future (I paraphrase). Well worth a listen if you have a spare 39 minutes.
In terms of the book, it was great. I was especially struck by the fact (previously unknown to me) that a group of rhinos are known collectively as a 'crash' - quite appropriate given that they can run at 30mph but can only see 30 feet in front of them! In typical Erwin style he writes:
They're called a crash because of their potential. You've got to love that. I think that's what we're supposed to be. That's what happens when we become barbarians and shake free of domestication and civility. The church becomes a crash. We become an unstoppable force. We don't have to pretend we know the future. Who cares that we can see only thirty feet ahead? Whatever's at thirty-one feet needs to care that we're coming and better get out of the way.
We need to move together as God's people, a barbarian tribe, and become the human version of the rhino crash...
The book is full of other memorable word-painted-pictures and I could no-doubt dedicate a week of blogging to the 'best bits'. But I'm not going to, and so sign off for today with the last sentence of the book: "Stay off the paved road."