- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Zondervan; 1st edition (January 31, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0310266300
- ISBN-13: 978-0310266303
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.9 x 7.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 403 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical Paperback – January 31, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. If there is such a thing as a disarming radical, 30-year-old Claiborne is it. A former Tennessee Methodist and born-again, high school prom king, Claiborne is now a founding member of one of a growing number of radical faith communities. His is called the Simple Way, located in a destitute neighborhood of Philadelphia. It is a house of young believers, some single, some married, who live among the poor and homeless. They call themselves "ordinary radicals" because they attempt to live like Christ and the earliest converts to Christianity, ignoring social status and unencumbered by material comforts. Claiborne's chatty and compelling narrative is magnetic—his stories (from galvanizing a student movement that saved a group of homeless families from eviction to reaching Mother Teresa herself from a dorm phone at 2 a.m.) draw the reader in with humor and intimacy, only to turn the most common ways of practicing religion upside down. He somehow skewers the insulation of suburban living and the hypocrisy of wealthy churches without any self-righteous finger pointing. "The world," he says, "cannot afford the American dream." Claiborne's conviction, personal experience and description of others like him are a clarion call to rethink the meaning of church, conversion and Christianity; no reader will go away unshaken. (Feb.)
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*Starred Review* From dressing the wounds of lepers in Calcutta to living among the homeless in Philadelphia to visiting families in Iraq, social activist Claiborne strives to live an authentic Christian life. In his view, he is a radical in the truest sense of the word, returning to the roots of Christianity by living as Jesus did and doing "small things with great love." A partner-founder of the Philadelphia-based faith community Simple Way, he presents an evangelical Christianity gentler and more inclusive than is usually seen, especially in the mass media. He describes Simple Way as a new culture that relies on radical interdependence and consists of grassroots organizations, intentional communities, and hospitality houses. Although the book isn't an autobiography, in it Claiborne reports much about his life: growing up in the Bible Belt, becoming a Jesus freak, moving to Philadelphia despite his family's misgivings, and helping the homeless there. Then he boldly requested an internship with Mother Teresa in Calcutta. She simply responded, "Come." Besides illuminating his own faith journey, Claiborne is insightful on the huge U.S. cultural and economic divide: the problem isn't that wealthy Christians don't care about the poor, he says, it's that they simply don't know the poor. A moving, often humorous account of a life of faith lived to the fullest. June Sawyers
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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One does not have to be a Christian to embrace it's eloquent and passionate message. This book could be helpful for a young person just starting out and trying to navigate their future, or for one considering career options. It's not so much about what one chooses to BE, it's what one chooses to DO with their life that matters.
On a grander scale, for all of us, it drives the point home that the future is in our hands and the choices we make moment by moment shape not only our lives, but the lives of many others. "Irresistible Revolution", rich in authentic Christian principle and vulnerably woven with compelling personal experience, begs for all of humanity to embrace, through action, compassion, kindness and grace. It calls for all of us to grow as critical thinkers and as Christians.
Thank you Shane Claiborne for both following and sharing your heart, and for courageously fleshing out your dreams and visions. We are all human, perfectly imperfect, but it's never too late to strive for a better world. There is room for redemption in all of us, and we can begin today, one step at a time. Christ came with a very simple message; love one another, always, no matter what. Care for one another. Connect. Share. Live in harmony and peace. We can reach out to our fellow human, however he or she may be in need. We can reach out with kindness, and with the desire to genuinely connect. We can reach out with love, generosity, with grace and a message of hope, and if we choose to reach through Christ anything is possible. Anything.
If you plan to purchase this I would advise you get the 10th anniversary Edition since some of the sites listed in this book no longer exist. Plus you can pick up the newer book for about the same price though it is not as "cool looking".
I feel like we all have that passion of Shane within us, as well as many of his viewpoints regarding the 'correct' interpretations of Christ's message to us. I put 'correct' in quotations because.... well, every Tom, Dick and Sally claim to be part of the 'correct' church. Shane just loves everyone and his life is a LIVING example. He doesn't just stand on a pulpit and tell people what to do. He shares his viewpoint and lives the word. There are so many stories he shared that have stuck with me since I read the book last year.
I felt sort of alone in the church (I still do, for my own reasons) but Shane is a refreshing reminder as to who we are called to be, and just how much God can guide us if we walk in His light.
Shane, thank you. I loved every sentence.