Shane's faith led him to dress the wounds of lepers with Mother Teresa, visit families in Iraq amidst bombings, and dump $10,000 in coins and bills on Wall Street to redistribute wealth. Shane lives out this revolution each day in his local neighborhood, an impoverished community in North Philadelphia, by living among the homeless, helping local kids with homework, and "practicing resurrection" in the forgotten places of our world.
Shane's message will comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable, but will also invite us into an irresistible revolution. His is a vision for ordinary radicals ready to change the world with little acts of love.
©2006 Shane Claiborne; (P)2006 Zondervan
"A moving, often humorous account of a life of faith lived to the fullest." (Booklist)
From the standpoint of a politically conservative Christian, I fell in love with the radically liberal spirit of Claiborne. I agree with only about 70% of what he says, and greatly disagree with his political views. My major criticism with the book is that it focuses on advocating for political change in our country, where I believe we should focus on church change. Outside of that criticism, Shane has inpired me to make radical changes in my life, and I highly recommend the book. I have a greater understanding of what the phrase, "blessed are the poor in spirit" actually means. Shane gives an example of what it means in a very practical sense, to give up everything and follow Jesus, and how wonderful and irresistible this can be. In recomending this book to friends, I warn them that after reading this, they might just get rid of everything they own and run off to Calcutta. So, be warned. It is irresistible.
When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.
I was introduced to Shane Claiborne's book "Irresistible Revolution" by one of the ministers in our local congregation, when he decided to use certain themes in a series of sermons. So when the audio book was available on Audible, I thought let me buy it and listen.
My first impressions as I started listening was, "What an accent, Shane! Will I be able to listen through the whole book?" I persevered and listened through the book...
Claiborne gives biographical sketches of himself and the radical Christian group he co-founded in Philadelphia called "The Simple Way." The use of stories to bring across a point is a very powerful way of moving people from passivity to activism. I think Claiborne is very successful in doing just that in this book. He challenges people through relating some deeply moving stories to live the message of Jesus today and not only one day. From this point of view the book is highly commendable.
There are a few things that hindered me, when listening to the book. For one, the target group of the book are American. I felt left out and suspect that I didn't get all the political overtones in the book. Claiborne's chuckling and "dude"-type image that he portrayed alienated me further. I find the idea of calling God or Jesus a "lover" disrespectful and maybe even blasphemous. (As you can see, these are just my own religious hang-ups and someone else might experience it very different.)
That said, I enjoyed Claiborne's stories about Mother Teresa of Calcutta and various other truly human moments in the book. He gave Americans the other side of the Iraqi war. I admire the fact that Claiborne doesn't beat around the bush.
I would recommend this book to American adolescents who wants to make an impact on the world around them by living their faith through being radically Biblical in their approach. I don't think this book is everybody's cup of tea, not because of the content, but maybe more because of the packaging. Still there is a lot of challenge and a lot of food for thought.
Narrative makes the world go round.
I'm a listener/reader of Jim Wallis, Rob Bell and Brain McLaren -- so I thought this audiobook would be repetitive. While much of Claiborne's message is similar to the above, his voice is unique. The book is not as well articulated as McLaren or Wallis, but it is a brave call to action in an engaging, young, enthusiastic voice, illustrating the power of narrative in communicating ideas. His style might annoy some, but I liked his perky enthusiasm. If you want a preview of the book, try the American Public Radio "Speaking of Faith" podcast with Claiborne (from Audible or free at APR) . The present book fleshes out the story told there.
So I am glad I downloaded this: To an older person like me, it offers hope for the future of the church (in its universal sense). It also challenges me to live up to my previous youthful idealism for an intentionally simple life in solidarity with the poor -- something that became obscured over the years. I look forward to Claiborne's new book, "Jesus for President." Claiborne certainly packed a lot of experience (and reflection) into his life so far.
If you are not ready to be radically changed do NOT read this book. This book will challenge you to flip your life upside down. How many of you are ready to do everything the Bible says and not just what is easy, How many of you would sell everything? God will separate you, are you a goat or a sheep?(Matthew 25:31-46). Shawn is a basicly a hippy activist, but he will challenge you to LOVE and surround your self with the poor.
This book was so convicting. It made me look at so many things in a different light...the light of Jesus. I totally recommend reading it. We can't all be as radical as Shane is but we can definitely benefit from this perspective in carrying out the lives God has us in.
I have heard about this book from a couple authors I really enjoy and respect; namely Jen Hatmaker and Brené Brown. So after hearing them quote Shane on this book, I decided to get the audible. I absolutely LOVED that this book is read by the author, this book made me cry, laugh out loud, put my hands over my heart, and do a heckuva lot of thinking. I ended up buying the paper copy too because I wanted to be able to highlight stuff and perhaps dig deeper and journal my thoughts. You know?... I had been warned that this book would change my view of the world, and it did.
Unlike other reviewers, I won’t go on to say what % of Shane’s views I agree with or go on to defend my opposing views. This book is perfect, just the way it is. If you find something you don’t agree with, then let it float passed your mind. I found myself disagreeing to some of Shane’s views and then realized I was just clinging to my desire for a large house and a nice car; desiring a nice house and car for you and your family is not wrong, but neither is wanting to live like the folks at The Simple Way. So let’s just nod and respect them for their boldness and courage; we can share our own opinions and views when we write our own book… anyway… I guarantee a much larger chunk of this book will ring true in your heart and will provoke much reflection in your part… because that is exactly what this book did for me. Thank you for sharing this book with us, Shane.
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