The Way of the Christian Samurai

seven-virtues-of-bushidoAs Christians, we are called to be both servants and warriors for Jesus Christ. There is much to be learned from the teachings and example of the Samurai, legendary servant-warriors of Japan, in order for believers respond to Gods call as Christian Samurai. (Christian)

The samurai, whose very title means “one who serves,” were skillful warriors of feudal Japan who devoted themselves fully to the service of their masters, willing even to sacrifice their lives in service to their lord. Christians are also called by their Lord, Jesus, to take up their cross and follow Him, and to seek to lose their life for His sake (Matthew 16:24-25).

While fantastic legends and stories of the samurai are plentiful, The Way of the Christian Samurai draws from primary sources – notes, essays, and books written by real samurai from Japan’s feudal era. Their advice on everything from overcoming fear, giving counsel to others, serving one’s Lord, and self-sacrifice are remarkably applicable to the life of the modern Christian.

The Samurai Bushido Code (Japanese “way of the warrior”, or bushido), was the code of the samurai. The samurai bushido code is an internally-consistent ethical code.

There are seven virtues associated with the samurai code of bushido:

  • Gi – Rectitude
  • Yu – Courage
  • Jin – Benevolence
  • Rei – Respect
  • Makoto – Honesty
  • Meiyo – Honor
  • Chugi – Loyalty

The excerpts on serving one’s lord are eye-openers for any Christian with a “soft” view of service that rarely goes beyond activities at their local church. The willingness of a warrior to give himself completely to his lord underscores what it means to make oneself part of the “body of Christ”….The Way of the Christian Samurai is truly an unusual book among the many published that seek to link Christianity to various Eastern religions or philosophies.

It’s uniqueness lies not in any success in doing so, but in its insistence that any such linkage must be judged by the known truths of the Christian faith. Given the limited focus of the book, its acknowledgment of the superiority Biblical teaching, and its usefulness in shedding light on often ignored facets of the Christian way, it is an important book that can be read with profit by those in the Church.

Author Paul Nowak ties the advice of these servant-warriors of old, pointing out how the selections from samurai texts relate to Christian teachings found in the Scriptures.

The book is a matchless resource for Christians intrigued by the mythos of the samurai or Japanese culture, or for pastors and other spiritual leaders who are looking for anecdotes that illustrate Biblical ideals. Christian parents whose children enjoy Anime or Manga will find it a useful tool in understanding their children’s interests and in ministering to them.

“The value of this book is in its ability to show us what true servant hood is by examples of the writings of the samurai of old.

After reading it, I have a much better sense of what service and self-denial is. More importantly, it has helped me see more clearly the example that Jesus set, and has encouraged me that I can do much more in imitating it. 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.

Eternal Revolution prepares and arms Christians to keep, defend and spread the faith in the modern world which is always hostile to genuine Christianity, using reason-based arguments to combat the forces that seek to destroy our society and humanity.


One thought on “The Way of the Christian Samurai

  1. Pingback: “Samurai Champloo” | Just Spit It Out Already!

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