Book Review - The Way of the Christian Samurai

In light of comments received when I posted a review of The Warrior's Heart Revealed, I thought I would share this review I wrote of The Way of the Christian Samurai.  Without a doubt, this book was one of the best devotional style guides I have ever read which seeks to see the teachings of Jesus embedded in the mindset of the Samurai.

If you, or someone you know, is involved in the martial arts, they will love this book.  If they're a Christian, they'll really love this book!  [If you know someone who needs to rekindle their passion for Christ and they love the martial arts--this book is a must purchase for them!]

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Available at Amazon

The Way of the Christian Samurai [Soft Cover]
by Paul Nowak
116 pages, $11.99
ISBN-13: 978-0977223466
Review by Steven King, MBA, MEd

Being a Christian, I know I alienated my family when I decided to take up martial arts. I am sure that my parents believed that I embraced, if not endorsed, an Eastern mindset to the exclusion of my Judeo-Christian principles. I never really had the heart to explain that Judeo-Christian principles more closely align with an Eastern mindset than our Western way of thinking.

Perhaps I should mail my parents a copy of Paul Nowak’s The Way of the Christian Samurai. When I first heard that title, I mused, “How could Christianity and the way of the Japanese Samurai ever parallel?” When I read this little devotional, I was very pleased with the author’s comparisons.

The Samurai were the military nobility of pre-industrial Japan. The very name means literally “to serve” and militates against the mindset of entitlement that pervades society today. Applying the various writings from the Hagakure, one can easily see how the Samurai’s teachings of supreme loyalty and servitude are easily attributable to the Christian’s relationship with Christ. In this way, I was very pleased to read Nowak’s discussion that Samurai’s actually lived as if they were already dead. Since the fear of death was eliminated – they were free to live for the lord and sovereign. By analogy, how much freer would a Christian be if they lived as if already “alive,” since eternality exists currently – not at some future date.

Furthermore, Samurai’s would meditate upon loss – so that its eventuality wouldn’t be all encompassing. To live a life free from the encumbrances of life allowed total devotion to their master. Reading this devotional reminds Christians of the total devotion we are supposed to have for our Lord and Master.
Anyone looking for a good devotional will benefit from reading this book. Christian martial artists, on the other hand, need this book. As we navigate our various martial arts, we take inspiration from accurate depictions of these ancestral warriors. Nowak empowers us to be inspired by their selfless dedication to their master that serves as an excellent model for the dedication we should show to Christ.

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