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The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical Paperback – January 31, 2006
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More About the Author
Shane writes and travels extensively speaking about peacemaking, social justice, and Jesus. He is featured in the DVD series "Another World Is Possible" and is the author of the several books including The Irresistible Revolution, Jesus for President, and Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers. Shane speaks over 100 times a year in a dozen or so countries and nearly every state in the US. Shane has given academic seminars at Vanderbilt University, Duke University Pepperdine University, Wheaton College, Princeton University, Goshen College and Harvard University. Shane also speaks at various denominational gatherings, festivals, and conferences around the globe. Shane's work has been featured in everything from Fox News and the Wall Street Journal to CNN and National Public Radio.
Top Customer Reviews
I don't think his mistakes invalidate his ministry. He is a young man. He has a young man's energy and God knows Christianity needs that. I just wonder, as he matures, will he find himself slipping into an old man's errors? Can he avoid cynicism? World weariness? If life turns ugly, as it sometimes does, will he be able to resist bitterness?
I'm sure any number of theologians can criticize me for this, but I've found the way to God is through an open heart. Your haircut, even if it's dreadlocks, your address, even if it's the ghetto and your friends, even if they're radical, can't help you. If you remain open to God, sooner or later he will break you. I am curious to see how young Shane grows through that. I will certainly give him credit for acknowledging that eventuality.
If you're planning on reading this book to find a new leader and a new set of rules, don't bother. If you're willing to read this book to learn from a young man's earnest attempt to love God and his neighbor you will be rewarded.
The American evangelical church is in many ways indistinguishable from secular culture -- by its materialism, marketing, bigger-is-better mentality, and celebrity adoration. Worship services and youth ministry have almost become forms of entertainment. The church cultivates believers, but not always followers. Shane challenges his readers to take Jesus at his word when he spoke about the poor being blessed; the last being first; loving our enemies; denying ourselves; and serving Christ himself by serving the poor, lonely, sick, and imprisoned. And Shane criticizes the mixture of faith, patriotism, and conservative politics that characterizes parts of the evangelical landscape.
Shane doesn't beat up his readers. He writes with a light, often humorous touch. He teaches almost entirely through stories, mostly his own. One of his appealing qualities is his willingness to take the unconventional route, to take risks for God. He seems to have cultivated an enjoyment of risk-taking, almost like that of a prankster. There is a streak of mischievousness that runs through his stories.
I wanted to like this book. There isn't very much about my walk of faith that I would call radical. Serious and heart-felt, yes. Sacrificial, to a degree. But radical, very little. One line from the book has stayed with me: "We have insulated ourselves from miracles.Read more ›
And, in part, that's the concern with this book. It skewers "the American dream" to such an extent that it is hard for the truly "ordinary" American to apply it without giving up trying. Had Claiborne been a tad more inviting and a tad more illustrative of how people living the American dream could at least take baby steps toward his revolutionary lifestyle, then perhaps many more would join the "kingdom movement." However, this tends to be the way with 30-something and younger Christian writers. It is all black and white, all or nothing, no middle ground, "my new way or your old highway." For all the talk of grace, some writing like this comes across judgmental and invents a brand new "holier than thou" attitude that yet a new generation 20 years from now will reject. Again, this is not to say that the book is not valid. It is to say that "with just a spoon full of sugar, the medicine goes down. . ."
Additionally, the application of Scripture at times seems more based on leftist cultural interpretation than contextual scriptural examination. For all the talk in the book about being counter-cultural, what seems to happen is that the book is counter-right-wing-cultural, but quite cozy with left-wing-cultural ideology. Regardless of where one stands on political/social issues, we should acknowledge when our exegesis reflects cultural immersion.
Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of Beyond the Suffering: Embracing the Legacy of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction , Spiritual Friends, and Soul Physicians.
First let me state that I want this book to motivate people to do great works for our Lord, His glory and the good of His children. So please do not allow my review to throw water on any fire that Shane might have been used to light. Take risks for the proclamation of the Gospel. But, be careful that you don't start to think that doing good works for poor people is the ultimate goal of the Christian life. The ultimate goal is to glorify God. Part of bringing Him glory is sharing His message with the world. One way to do that is to care for others. If this book has motivated you to live your life for others, then do so. But please understand that there are some very serious problems with how this Christian life is presented. First is the idea that poor people are in greater spiritual need than anyone else. Second is the idea that to do real ministry, you must go to people who have serious physical needs.
If you look at the ministry of Jesus and the disciples, you will see that they traveled the earth searching for those that had "ears to hear." Those that were in deep spiritual trouble and would respond to the message of the Cross. Every type of person is found being ministered to by Jesus.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Shane Claiborne challenges you to look at how you live your life and how you love the people around you. A great read, i would definitely recommendPublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book turned my world upside down about 6 years ago. I have read it over and over and shared it with many people. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jordan
The way of love, compassionate action, creation of community with those unlike ourselves -- the kind of challenge set out by Jesus.Published 3 months ago by Janette Zercher
Shane's book makes you think about whether you are living ALL of God's word or just choosing what suits your life.Published 4 months ago by Susan J Benesh
This book flipped my world upside-down (sort of...)
I feel like we all have that passion of Shane within us, as well as many of his viewpoints regarding the 'correct'... Read more