Shane Claiborne has found a different Jesus in the gospels than the mainstream church. He's found a Jesus who is homeless, a friend of the poor, who rails against authority and undermines the empire, who tells a rich man to sell everything he owns and give the money away. This is Claiborne's model, and he has done his best to find it, live it and prove such a life is possible.
The book follows his journey, from the disillusionment with the church of his youth, and the ambitious and wealthy `megachurches' where he trained. He talks about how he came to bond with the poor in Philadelphia, and then travelled to Calcutta to see if Mother Theresa offered a better demonstration of Christ than the ones around him. He visits Iraq in the middle of the war, testing Jesus' call to be a peacemaker. He helps stage a `re-distribution' on Wall Street and heckles George W Bush at the Republican conference. He is, in his own words, an `ordinary radical' - radically different, but rooted in real people and real situations.
Claiborne rejects the idea that Christianity has nothing more to offer than some distant and otherworldly heaven. It's a great reminder that the church is a missionary agency: we're meant to go to the poor and the hungry, not wait for them to come to us. There's loads of good stuff about power, simplicity, and community, that's worth coming back to. It's a call to reckless generosity and selfless love in a world of "big beasts and little prophets." It is hopeful, expectant, uncompromising.
'The Irresistable Revolution'is a provocative book, raising more issues than it answers. That's not an approach that everyone will appreciate, but for those ready to ask difficult questions of themselves and their faith, this is a challenge you'll want to take seriously.