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


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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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (March 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310278422
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310278429
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 80 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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149 of 183 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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37 of 48 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. Kuhl on May 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
i bought this because i knew it would go against my typical thinking of how christians should engage our world politically. while the arguments that the authors put forth were not surprising, the methods were.

specifically, they did not back up anything they said with data. apparently...
-all foreign products are made with slave labor
-any company that moves its production abroad is taking advantage of the poor
-buying plastics is evil
-christians get divorced more than nonchristians (this one is just false.)
-and many more...

i don't mind reading bold claims like that, but please back it up. i wish there had been data. i read this in an effort to challenge my typical thinking. unfortunately there was nothing except opinion, broad statements, and straw men arguments. the authors were no better than liberal or conservative talking heads on tv who spout the company line without depth and data.

one claim the authors made is that christians get divorced more than nonchristians. i know this is not true, from having read the numbers in "christians are hate-filled hypocrites, and other lies you've been told." (a book i highly recommend)
since i know that claim is false, what other claims in this book are false? unfortunately, they don't footnote important things so i don't know. they reserve footnotes for more soapboxes.

i just wish they had spent as much time presenting data as they did picking out the colors and doodles for each page.
yes, this is a strong review, but i want to engage in dialogue, not be preached at in a hollow way.
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