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Samson and the Pirate Monks: Calling Men to Authentic Brotherhood

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  321 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
With no-holds-barred honesty and poignant storytelling, Nate Larkin introduces a model of community and friendship that is reinvigorating men's ministry across the country, a model he calls The Samson Society. Too many men see the biblical hero Samson as their model for manhood--a rugged individualist of the highest order. Yet, Samson's solitary successes were eventually o ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published February 20th 2007 by Thomas Nelson Publishers (first published 2007)
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I can't decide what I think about this book. One of the biggest things I get from it is a massive indictment of the Church - surely a lot of what the Samson Society is trying to do is simply what should be going on within the Church? What does it say about the Church if a group like this is as desperately needed as the book makes it out to be?

Something else I wonder about is how much the group aspect is a necessary as the author would have it. What if you have a church that is itself a lot more
Apr 10, 2010 Mattmiller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Movements targeting men within mainstream Christianity have not been of much interest to me. I never went to Promise Keepers and the "Wild at Heart" stuff I've read has been mediocre at best. But this book I found to be very much worth reading.

The author talks about how shirking the life of a loner (even within your own home) and forming a brotherhood with a group of men can change your life. He talks about his own struggles with addiction and what it took for his life to change. The proposal fo
Jay Winters
Mar 02, 2011 Jay Winters rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imagine if church were like an A.A. meeting for sinners - a place to be brutally and awfully honest with yourself and others about the sins that you had committed and were repenting of.

For most of us, that church sounds like a nightmare.

We can envision the gasps, the head shaking disapproval, the condescending advice of “ex” sinners: “I used to have that problem…”. Standing like Adam, mostly naked with only the fig leaf of people knowing that they *shouldn’t* look down upon someone who is conf
Apr 06, 2013 Barry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-living
Part of this book deserves a 5-star rating, and part of it deserves a 2 or 3 star rating. As a memoir, this is a very exciting book, filled with sex, lies, and church-bashing. That part deserves a 5. But the other part, the part that blatantly promotes a 12-step knockoff, that part deserves a 2 or 3 star rating. It's not that there is anything wrong with the Samson Society, it's just that I grew a bit tired of hearing it promoted. By the end of the book a reader would be forgiven for thinking th ...more
May 16, 2010 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was extremely moved by this book because the problems men are faced with today are so prevalent. In every sphere of life men are constantly bombarded with the female image, and most times revealing more than needs to be seen. We can attempt to make a covenant with our eyes but it is next to impossible, unlike Jobs days. Though the temptations are there we are to resist and be mindful of the traps of lust. The author experienced an addiction to sex that ended up consuming him and with personal ...more
Jun 19, 2009 Jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Men
When I first heard of the Samson Society, I was cautious about it's practices (seemed a bit out there). I was looking for material that my friend and I could use to help us embrace God ordained, authentic relationships, but this Nate guy seemed a bit extreme...

About a year later, my pastor handed the book to me and I have to say it was worth the read. The first half of the book is Nate's story. I'm not one to laugh out loud, but Nate managed to pull it out of me. He also almost brought me to tea
Every guy should read this book. I don't care what you do/don't believe about God/life/the universe/and everything. It speaks truth that men need to hear.

Larkin goes big here, revealing, in detail, that his life was jacked up when everyone thought he had it all together. Even though he was the leader of a church, a father and husband, he was into some bad stuff and felt completely isolated and scared and had no real idea how to save himself.

Then he talks about the importance of brotherhood, and
May 20, 2016 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
as a book this seems to have a bit of a split personality. The part that share Nate Larkin's story is of great interest. It is valuable, insightful, interesting. However, as he moves into the part that divulges into how to develop your own sampson and the pirate monk group, it falls apart. While useful, Larkin hesitates in not really wanting to tell the reader how to do it and therefore meanders his way through it. He may have done better simply sticking with simply telling his story which was r ...more
Mar 27, 2016 Ryan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not a terrible book, and some good central truths (community and honesty among men). But there were just too many things in the book that kind of bugged me. Some of the biblical work is suspect, but the biggest issue I had was the constant refrain of how unhelpful "the church" had been in almost everyone's testimony. That may be the case, which is tragic and condemning. But for all the, "Now, I'm not out against the church," talk, the constant referral to how the church got this wrong somewhat u ...more
Mitchell Cooper
Feb 25, 2015 Mitchell Cooper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
Samson and the Pirate Monks blew me away.

This is a book that does not attempt to shame or guilt Christians into "being better" but instead talks about real issues, real connections and how to give and receive real support. The book lays out a practical blueprint for male Christian fellowship that is simple in it's design, yet powerful in it's execution.

I highly suggest this book for anyone that feels like their faith has gotten too shallow, or for anyone struggling with un-Godly addictions of an
Feb 12, 2011 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Samson and the Pirate Monks is a book calling men to authentic brotherhood. It’s not your garden variety men’s book, rather it’s a simple book calling men to love one another in each other’s imperfection. Larkin lays out a group called the Samson Society that can be a place of authenticity for men. I have yet to see a group like this operating healthily anywhere, but they are out there if you can find one.
This book started off as a five star book, but towards the end, it really started to drag for me. With that said, however, this is a book that I will be giving away to those who struggle with addictions of any kind. I so appreciated the honesty and genuineness of the author, and I was especially blown away with the stories he felt free to share in this work...I have a feeling that it's going to help some people overcome their struggles with secrecy.
Feb 17, 2011 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
An interesting book, with a rather unique title -- I never would have picked it up if it hadn't been on sale. I'm not completely sure what to think of some of the ideas in the book, but I certainly agree with the main premise: that men do themselves a disservice when they try to solve all their problems by themselves in secrecy, and that there is a need in the church for honest and authentic relationships (particularly among men, but more generally as well).
Aug 08, 2011 Sean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-my-office
Authenticity permeates this book. Nate Larkin addresses what every man fears: being honest about our struggles and failures. He's funny, he's honest, and he's practical. The back half of the book lays out how to have a meeting to recapture authentic brotherhood without the burden of Christianese language and procedures. It's a great resource to have if you desire to have authentic relationships with your brothers in Christ.
Brian Collins
Jan 22, 2014 Brian Collins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
An easy read with valuable insight through life stories on the importance of authentic male fellowship and the dangers of isolation. I would specifically recommend this book to a man struggling with an addiction, or depression of any sort. It is still valuable however, to men hoping to avoid addiction or depression, or just the curious reader. *spoilers: it actually doesn't mention much about pirate monks. I know. Pirate monks would be really cool.
Bruce Baker
Jan 01, 2017 Bruce Baker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really fresh and honest approach for ministering life on life.. Nate reveals a new means for men to deal with their secret sins in community. His sharing personal experiences add to the integrity of his Samson Society. Raw honesty and support is a powerful means to recovery for those who participate. This is a man's book.
Dec 17, 2009 Cody rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
I heard Nate tell his story at a recent meeting at a local church. He has an interesting and powerful story to tell about his recovery from sex addition. I am not into church religion, but his ideas about openness, respect and support are applicable to any situation where we need help in overcoming an addition or obsession that is harmful to finding happiness and peace in life.
Allen Baldwin
Jul 01, 2015 Allen Baldwin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Allen by: Tim Gwin
This is perhaps the best book I have read for men. Honest and transparent and painful it focuses on the Lord who created us to live in community and worship in community experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit together. Every man needs to read this book and preferable between 18 and 25 but even a senior like me was inspired and will make some major changes for the time I have remaining.
Jun 25, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All men
Recommended to Chris by: Gary Ball
This was a very interesting book and a quick read. As noted throughout the book, this type of community and accountability among Christian men is sorely missing in today's church. While I don't feel compelled to launch Samson Society group, it has inspired me to work more diligently on taking existing accountability relationships to the next level. I would highly recommend this book to all men.
Jun 21, 2010 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We can't go it alone. Experientially, we all know that, yet we try to do it anyway. This book is a reflection on failure and redemption and walking the hard road of life in the company of real brothers.
Nov 06, 2009 Eddy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really well-written book. The author has a compelling story...and it was very engaging. As a member of an active Samson Society men's group, it was interesting to learn more about the origins of the meetings.
May 05, 2013 Saltydog rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most honest book I've read in years. How sad it is that the church is so horribly failing to give men a safe place to be real with themselves, each other, and God. May we all find a Samson Society group.
Aug 30, 2011 Garrett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book! Nate Larkin speaks about the importance of male community. Men need to seek out other men for accountability and to challenge each other to grow up and stay focussed on Jesus. Lots of personal stories and overall a good read.
Jan 20, 2013 Lori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
His honesty is inspiring and helpful. Amazing Evidence of God's mercy and grace that flows to the lowest and darkest parts of our lives and cleanses, heals and forgives over and over and over again.
Kevin Burrell
Jul 26, 2016 Kevin Burrell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-living
Nate has a gripping story and something authentic and grace-filled has come from it. This book will likely create a longing in you for more transparent and 'accessible' relationships with fellow men. And it gives a blueprint for getting there.
Darla Taylor
Oct 11, 2013 Darla Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book a couple of years ago. It was amazing. All i can say, is it just goes to show you, that what you see (or think you see) on the outside of a person, is definately not what the inside is all about. This was a great read!
Paul Degraaf
Nov 12, 2015 Paul Degraaf rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great program!

Larkin has a startling life journey through addiction and deliverance by God's grace. Highly recommend his program to help men connect in significant ways to support others who share the same addiction.
Tucker Netherton
Shows what honesty really looks like for men

I recommend this to all men who are interested in finding a group that can help them climb out of darkness with the aid of Christ through an awesome group of dudes. We are all broken - the personal stories in this book are powerful
Jun 10, 2008 Fred rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whoa! What an amazing and yet tough book to read. Makes you realize that we need others to deal with the junk in our lives and how good we are at hiding the junk and bad at dealing with it. Check it out!
Karen L.
My husband loved this book about men in their journey into honesty and integrity forming godly friendships. It also tells the story of the birth of a men's group, "The Samson Society," based loosely on the 12 step program principles. I am so curious. Although it is a man's book, I want to read it!
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“That’s the biggest problem with personas. A false self can never rest. It looks like a real person, but a persona is actually just a hologram, a projected image, and it requires constant energy to keep that image up. A persona is afraid to go to sleep, because to sleep is to die.” 0 likes
“hesitant to delegate responsibility, he ordained dozens of them to the ministry and sent them out to plant and pastor churches. Within ten years he was commanding a formidable army of active church workers, and some people were jokingly referring to him as “the Pope of the North Country.” 0 likes
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