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Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals Paperback – March 3, 2008


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Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals + The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (March 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310278422
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310278429
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Here is the must-read election-year book for Christian Americans. What should Christians do when allegiances to the state clash with personal faith? Haw and Claiborne (The Irresistible Revolution) slice through politics as usual and well past the superficial layers of the culture wars with their lucid exploration of how Christians can and should relate to presidents and kings, empire and government. Their entertaining yet provocative tour of the Bible's social and economic order makes even the most abstruse Levitical laws come alive for our era. They also provide a valuable political context for Christ's life, reminding readers that Jesus did not preach the need to put God back into government—he urged his followers to live by a different set of rules altogether, to hold themselves apart as peculiar people. The compelling writing is enhanced by a lavish, eye-popping layout. The pages are a riot of textured callouts, colors, photos and fonts—the perfect packaging for a message that must compete in a world of sound bites. With this second book, Claiborne emerges as an affable, intelligent, humorous prophet of his generation, calling people out of business-as-usual in a corrupt world and back to the radically different social order of the biblical God. (Mar.)
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Review

'Here is the must-read election-year book for Christian Americans. What should Christians do when allegiances to the state clash with personal faith? Haw and Claiborne (The Irresistible Revolution) slice through politics as usual and well past the superficial layers of the culture wars with their lucid exploration of how Christians can and should relate to presidents and kings, empire and government. Their entertaining yet provocative tour of the Bible's social and economic order makes even the most abstruse Levitical laws come alive for our era. They also provide a valuable political context for Christ's life, reminding readers that Jesus did not preach the need to put God back into government -- he urged his followers to live by a different set of rules altogether, to hold themselves apart as peculiar people. The compelling writing is enhanced by a lavish, eye-popping layout. The pages are a riot of textured callouts, colors, photos, and fonts -- the perfect packaging for a message that must compete in a world of sound bites. With this second book, Claiborne emerges as an affable, intelligent, humorous prophet of his generation, calling people out of business-as-usual in a corrupt world and back to the radically different social order of the biblical God.' (Publishers Weekly Starred Review)

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Customer Reviews

A very thought provoking book!
Harry Colegrove
Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw make a convincing case for looking at Jesus and his teachings as a call to radical love...a love that will change the world.
Daniel Nign III
If you've read that book, this one will seem like a longer, more thorough version.
J. Kile

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Sean Mac on March 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
"Jesus For President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals" by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw is an accessible yet slightly-revisionist history/review of the Hebrew Scriptures, the world at the time of Christ, and the rest of Christian history. The fourth section of the book consists of jumping-off points and testimonies of people, groups, and situations where the kind of politic and economy described throughout the rest of the book is "fleshed out".

Claiborne is radical. To some, 'radical' is bad, to others, refreshing. But there is no denying that his ideas and his lifestyle are counter-cultural and challenge the status quo. I do not believe this is always a bad thing (more on this later). We can all agree that something is wrong with politics in America today, especially Christians in politics today.

My biggest take-away was the "Third Way" idea he espouses throughout the book, the "prophetic imagination" that should be our primary posture in responding to the needs and challenges of our world today. I think a lot of people my age (18-24), especially Christians, feel torn between blind nationalism ("God bless America") and the angst-ridden anti-establishment attitude we see in the picket lines at anti-war demonstrations. There *has* to be another choice, right? Thankfully Claiborne lays this out pretty clearly, yet with enough room for imagination and creativity.

A note on design: this is one of the most beautiful and interesting books to read. Every page is unique and striking. Some of the text material would honestly be rather dull without all the artwork. This book gets 10 stars out of 5 for creativity in design.

Back to radicalism.
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148 of 182 people found the following review helpful By Just Bill on March 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
I'm a writer. Yet, I'm at a loss for words to describe Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw's new book Jesus for President. Let me break this review down into two sections: (1) Design, and (2) Content.

DESIGN

Put simply, Jesus for President is a wonder to behold. I've never seen a book designed with as much attention to detail and visual impact -- not on the outside, mind you; on the INSIDE. The only thing comparable is House of Leaves, the debut novel by American author Mark Z. Danielewski...and Sandman graphic novels designed by the incomparable British artist Dave McKean. Sure, Jesus for President contains regular text just as you'd expect to find in a book. But, in addition, this groundbreaking new book also sports hand-written margin notes, little doodles and drawings, photos with typewritten descriptions, pieces of fabric, pressed flowers, varying type-faces and -sizes, arrows drawn in ink pointing to important passages, circled words, underlines, pages that look as though somehow took a pink highlighter to them, and a bibliography so clever that it, alone, is worth the price of admission.

In other words, everything about this book screams "I HAVE BEEN CRAFTED WITH LOVE." You can pick up this book, turn to a page at random and simply enjoy what your eyes behold. If Jesus for President doesn't win an award for its design, attention to detail (recycled paper, printed in America), and its ability to grab -- and hold -- one's attention from the very first page, there is no God.

CONTENT

Studies show that Americans today are changing their religious faiths almost as quickly as they change their underwear.
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36 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Mark Doorley on February 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
I recommend this book to anyone who is dissatisfied with current versions of Christianity. The authors return us to the biblical texts and present a reasonable and text-based interpretation of the Jesus who died as a political prisoner. The centrality of the politics of Jesus allows the authors to challenge the current mainstream Christian community to re-commit itself to a way of living that challenges most, if not all, of the political and economic power structures of our day. it is an invigorating and provocative read; I hope that many people take the time to reflect on it, if not, indeed, to pray with it!
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76 of 103 people found the following review helpful By Kolburt W. Schultz on March 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
A friend of mine recently pointed out the importance of discernment when choosing what books to read. Most of us will not complete more than a dozen or so books in a year, and with all the fantastic books out there, we need to be careful not to waste our time on dribble. Unfortunately, Jesus for President, by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw, is not a fantastic book. It is a stunning example of what happens when Christians allow our political ideology and biases to affect how we approach the Bible. Billed as a "book to provoke the Christian political imagination," the reader is left with more provocation than actual thought. Showing no understanding of the differing roles of the Church and the state, the authors conflate the two in a misguided attempt to shape Christians approach to politics. The end result is a work that only the most radical of the Christian left will find intriguing, while the rest of us are left wondering if it is Jesus they are following or the god of Liberalism. The book is replete with error, all of which fit into one or more of four different categories.

1. Bad Hermeneutics (Biblical Interpretation)
The most egregious and prevalent of all their errors, the authors blatantly rape Scripture in order to bend it to their ideology. For example, even though 1 Chronicles makes it quite clear that David was not to build the Temple because he had shed much blood, Claiborne and Haw argue that God didn't want a temple because He likes sleeping in tents with poor people (pg. 35). Of course this doesn't explain why God seems to have been pleased to dwell in the temple Solomon built. In another instance the authors state that the Israelites had laws for dealing with illegal immigrants (pg. 58).
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