“The Way of the Christian Samurai” By Paul Nowak
There is a common misperception of their being a dichotomy between western and eastern cultures. This is especially true when it comes to the spiritual beliefs and pursuits of their people. Paul Nowak has managed to share his personal passion of the samurai, and that of being a Christian, and then shows how the philosophies of both are not so mutually exclusive. He has done this by taking the reader through three common areas – service, self sacrifice, and resolve – and provided examples of how the samurai can show us as Christians how to pursue a life of service to our Lord Jesus Christ. More importantly he has done this not by taking examples from the samurai and making them conform to some self imposed image of what our Christianity should be, rather he has done this by taking points from the Bible and then provided examples from the samurai to explain how such things can be pursued.
Jesus has said to us, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23, esv), and “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” (Mark 9:35, esv). The word samurai means “one who serves”, and although there are many things a Christian needs to be wary of when studying the ways of the samurai – this book is a good starting point in seeing how to dedicate oneself – as a samurai - in service to the greatest Lord, Jesus Christ.
For my tastes this book is too brief (108 pages). Paul Nowak has done a very good job in citing sources for examples of how the samurai example can help in our pursuit of following Christ, but there is so much more to be explored. Grace and compassion being two that comes readily to mind. I would also have liked to have many of the examples more thoroughly expored and unfolded. Don't get me wrong, this book makes its point, and the reader should have little trouble understanding how we, as disciples of Christ, can each see ourselves as samurai in service to the Lord Jesus Christ. I highly recommend this book for anyone, man or woman, who would like to seek a more passionate pursuit of God - no matter what their gifts and talents.
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