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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 + Red Letter Revolution: What If Jesus Really Meant What He Said?
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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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,824 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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101 of 138 people found the following review helpful By P. Kallberg on April 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
I borrowed this book from a friend of mine and because of the subject matter I spent a great deal of time working my way through it in an attempt to evaluate it as honestly as I could. Some of the authors' ideas and positions (a more community based Christian Church and non-violence) have merit and are worth further exploration. If you like these ideas, I recommend you read an essay by Theodore Koontz titled "Christian Nonviolence: An Interpretation." I really do think these are points that are worthy of consideration.

That said the logic, scholarship, facts, reasoning, and rhetoric in Jesus for President is awful. If this book were written as a persuasive essay, any good professor would fail the authors. Two logical fallacies that the authors make are circular reasoning and the straw man fallacy. On pages 67-69, the authors argue that because within the gospels Christ uses words that have political connotations within the Roman/Greek world there is an inherently political nature in Christ's teaching. These are terms like "evangelion," "Savior," "Lord," and "Emmanuel." The problem is that Christ would have spoken in Aramaic and Christ himself did not write the gospels. His disciples and followers wrote the gospels down somewhere between 30-80 years after his death and resurrection. When the gospels were written they were intended for a mostly Greek/Roman world audience so the authors translated Christ's words into the language and terms that the Greek/Roman world understood and identified with. This is very similar to modern publishing. There are British and American versions of the Harry Potter books.
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