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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging, riveting, subversive, creative, wonderful
This is one of the best, most challenging and thought provoking books around at the moment. Despite it's American target audience (we don't have a president here - yet) it makes great reading for any reader, as its themes are universal.

This is unlikely to look like any book you have ever read before, it's got nearly as much in common with a graphic novel as...
Published on 4 Jun 2008 by Simon Cross

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, bad kindle
I'm really enjoying this book, but this is a review for the Kindle edition (which i bought). The book is packed with beatiful images and illustrations, but on the kindle reader I can't enlarge them, and they display very small on the screen, making it impossible to read the text that is included in the images. As this is part of the flow of the book's narrative, it is a...
Published on 11 Jan 2011 by jonb@armslength.co.uk


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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging, riveting, subversive, creative, wonderful, 4 Jun 2008
By 
Simon Cross (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals (Paperback)
This is one of the best, most challenging and thought provoking books around at the moment. Despite it's American target audience (we don't have a president here - yet) it makes great reading for any reader, as its themes are universal.

This is unlikely to look like any book you have ever read before, it's got nearly as much in common with a graphic novel as it has with a standard text book. The best comparison I can give, and it is quite inappropriate really given the anti consumerist approach of the authors, is with a Howies clothing catalogue. It has that same earthy, lived in, thoughtful, artistic and engaging feel, but thankfully without the pictures of models wearing expensive clothes.

Put simply, this has got to be one of the most beautifully designed books on the market - working with the writing, the design emphasises the creative, radical spirit of the text, and the provocative joy of the authors. Quite rightly the designers are credited at the end of the book along with the writers. The colour is full throughout the book, with design elements interacting with the text throughout, which adds immensely to the value of the content. If you liked the look of `Irresistible Revolution' then this is a quantum leap forward, like as if the publishers suddenly realised what this thing was all about...

In some ways it reminds me of an illuminated manuscript, from back in the day of monkishness, when religious texts were coloured and illustrated by devoted scholars. This fits with the fact that the authors are part of the new monastic movement - and perhaps this could be seen as the contemporary equivalent.

But aside from a fantastic design job - what does the latest offering from our dreadlocked brother actually contain? Well first point to make, there are very clearly two voices audible in this book. Claiborne and Haw have coinciding views, but different emphases, or perhaps just different experiences, which while bringing occasional difficulties to the academic niceties of the text, actually help lend weight to this book. Actually - if you count the design, then add in one or two more voices as well.

Written throughout in easily digestible chunks, the book begins as a dissection of a theme of radical God politics which the authors show running through the bible. It sidetracks through stories of friends, writings of early Christians and reflections on current affairs.

It's a book of stories, parables, and prophecy, it is not supposed to be a tome, or a text book, or a prize winning essay - this is a work of love, an object of discussion, a catalyst (for want of a less clichéd term) for renewed engagement with the themes, and an encouragement to live a different way.

Rather than taking an easy option, such as a single standpoint of Christian anarchy for example, or an anti war vote, Claiborne and Haw manage to turn the whole idea around, arguing for a radical Christian engagement with politics and society in a way that is at once submissive and subversive.

American voters wanting to know who the writers say they should vote for, will find themselves left with the same choices, but hopefully looking at them through new, or perhaps ancient lenses. I suspect also that this will help many bring a new creativity to their decision making.

Pacifism and anti (or non) consumerism are key themes, but they each form only part of the overall principal argument, which is to see God's people as a people set apart by God, called to live another way, and to follow only one leader. It critiques the philosophy that one can serve God, and walk in the way of the world.

This clarion call to a subversive and renewed people of God is a creative and stimulating read - it's not without its problems, one cant help thinking that if Claiborne authors another book, he will have come close to being part of the system which he so clearly wants to work against, but at the same time, I like many others would be happy to read anything he writes. One might also question how the authors can happily work with others such as Jim Wallis who argue for a more conventional approach to politics... clearly McLaren is not the only one with a generous orthodoxy these days.

Some readers may find biblical references to apocryphal books troubling or confusing, I don't, in fact I like it. Some factual discrepancies may exist within the text, (numbers of dead in Iraq, or etc) but these are minor when looked at in context, and can be put down to the issue of dual authorship.

It's a beautiful, peaceful, challenging, affirming, prophetic, subversive and creative book, well worth reading, sharing, mulling over... likely to become a classic.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, bad kindle, 11 Jan 2011
I'm really enjoying this book, but this is a review for the Kindle edition (which i bought). The book is packed with beatiful images and illustrations, but on the kindle reader I can't enlarge them, and they display very small on the screen, making it impossible to read the text that is included in the images. As this is part of the flow of the book's narrative, it is a disjointed and frustrating experience trying to read it in this format. I would recommend buying the hard copy.

I know this is partly a pop at the kindle format, but formatting within that format is still te responsibility of the book's publisher. if the text from theimages were replicated in normal ebook text within the book the problem would be solved. If the images could be enlarged, the problem would be solved. As it is, I spend a lot of time squinting at the screen trying to make it out before giving up in despair and just plowing on with a feeling of mounting frustration, and of being slightly cheated by having bought a book, but only received access to a proportion of it.

The theme and expostion of the work is excellent and readable. Highly recommended to anyone of Christian faith or to anyone who would like to understand the Christian faith.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A call to action, 5 April 2014
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This review is from: Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals (Paperback)
Profound and incisive writing . A challenge to action . An expression of true discipleship. I will make you think more imaginatively and purposefully
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential, 4 Oct 2013
This review is from: Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals (Paperback)
A wonderfully-powerful book that enlightens, challenges and motivates in equal measure. Although written by American authors, and primarily targeted at American readers, there's certainly nothing in here that won't resonate with anyone from a capitalist society such as the UK.

It's such a cliché to use the phrase "must-read", but I honestly can't find a better alternative! I'd encourage anyone who wishes to better understand - and be more like - Jesus Christ to at least give this one a go.

As one of the author's Mum's says, "Perhaps there is no more dangerous place for a Christian to be than in safety and comfort, detached from the suffering of others." This book certainly provides a convincing call to share this opinion; and provides sufficient practical advice to kick-start our own ideas on how we live it out.

Another helpful review here:
[...]
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5.0 out of 5 stars A challenging book., 6 Mar 2013
By 
Doris Edwards (Croydon,England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals (Paperback)
Put in words so much of what I think. May be a bit radical for some but would recommend all Christians to read it; we all need to be challenged. Found it hard to put down.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great content (as far as I could make out), poor Kindle edition, 2 April 2012
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This is definitely a book that needsto be purchased in hard copy to be appreciated.

Unlike another reviewer I could enlarge at least some of the pictures, but it really did not come close to solving the issues. One of the typed pictures had writing so blurry that even zoomed in it barely looked like writing, never mind being legible.

The text is interesting and challenging, as one would expect from Claibourne. I have a hunch it would be possible to convert this book to Kindle in a way that would work and would do the content justice, but this ain't it. I imagine it might be better on a Kindle Fire, Kindle for PC, or something else either with a larger screen, in colour, or both.

As it is, sadly much of the content is not really accessible to the Kindle reader, and even at a relatively low price it was not worth it. A great shame.

From what I *was* able to read, a really worthwhile book, but the Kindle version is a disappointment.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LIFE CHANGING READ, 6 Feb 2012
By 
R. A. Boland - See all my reviews
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THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS I HAVE EVER READ. I baught several copies to give to friends as it takes the church theories out the box
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Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals
Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals by Chris Haw (Paperback - 18 April 2008)
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