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The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical by [Claiborne, Shane]
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The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Review

'Shane dares readers to evaluate their lives and reimagine a first-century posture to following Jesus in the 21st century...If you want a comfy Christian life, this book is not for you. But if you want to be challenged, uncomfortable, and even changed, it is a must read.' YouthWorker Journal 'Editor's Pick!...Inspiring. Fascinating. Challenging. Convicting. Loving. These are just a few of the words that describe the extraordinary story of Claiborne's journey from middle-class Christianity in east Tennessee to radical incarnational faith among the poor in inner-city Philadelphia.' ePistle (Evangelicals for Social Action) 'This is the book that will not let me go...this book has called me, and many others, to action, to a different kind of life...if you read it seriously, it may mess with your mind, heart and even your life.' Youthworker Journal

Synopsis

Many of us find ourselves caught somewhere between unbelieving activists and inactive believers. We can write a check to feed starving children or hold signs in the streets and feel like we've made a difference without ever encountering the faces of the suffering masses. In this book, Shane Claiborne describes an authentic faith rooted in belief, action, and love, inviting us into a movement of the Spirit that begins inside each of us and extends into a broken world. 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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 980 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Zondervan (9 Sept. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003TO59WI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #244,866 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I should say at the outset, I think I'm out on a limb here. Everyone else seems to raving about this book. But I'm not so sure.

First, the good stuff. I think Shane Claiborne (SC) writes boldly and strikingly about various topics. Much of the book is a wake-up call for those who have got used to dull, timid, worldly, 'big', Christianity. He is immensely quotable: "Most of the time when I see Christian superstars like Jerry Falwell or Al Sharpton, I feel I'm watching professional wrestling. There's a lot of shouting and sweating, but the people seem too superhuman, and I'm not convinced all the moves are real." (p27)
He has some excellent material on the value of singleness. (p109-111) That's humbled me, and reminded me that I need to try to promote that in a Biblical way. Then there's some good stuff about the worthlessness of "cool": "...we must be either hot or cold, because if we are lukewarm (an old-school way of saying "cool"), we will be spit out of God's mouth"! (p230) There are lots of other helpful areas too, mostly only a few pages at a time.
He has lots of great stories, many of which would be excellent sermon-illustration material!

Now the bad stuff:
1) It's *very* Ameri-centric. Big chunks of the book are spent critiquing the Christian Right. Most of that didn't resonate with my experience of the Church in the UK. We don't do flags on the platform, singing anthems, rallying our troups into war or party politics. All that felt a bit meaningless to me as a Brit - who am I to criticise Christians living in another country and culture?

2) Because it's the experiences of a single guy, living in community, doing some wild and crazy things, I just don't see how much of what he says relates to me. I mean, I have a wife and 3 kids.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Someone lent me this book and upon returning it to him I bought four copies and am handing them out to friends with the words 'when you've read this, don't give it back to me but pass it on to someone else and be blessed'. I think that says it all really. I don't know where to begin. This book is so amazing. Absolutely incredible. Again I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. This man phoned Mother Theresa (or Momma T as he affectionately refers to her as) and asked to spend a summer with her, which she agreed to. He saw people dying in various hospitals and hospices over there. He went to Iraq during the most recent war there and simply loved the Iraqi people who were being blown up by American (and British and other) soldiers. He also has done a lot of work with the homeless in Philadelphia (where he lives). He is so inspiring (and he has dreadlocks). I found the book so inspiring that I was even quoting from it when I went into work in the mornings! One quote I shared with my team was, 'In 1965 the average American worker made $7.52 per hour, while the person running the company made $330.38 per hour; today, the average worker makes $7.39 per hour, the average CEO $1,566.68 per hour - that's 212 more!. He talks about Fair Trade and trade justice which I love. He doesn't have health insurance (which is a big deal in America), instead he is part of a health co-operative with other people who can't afford health insurance and they cover each others medical bills (with God's help). He invites people in from the street to eat and/or live with them. He occupied a church that homeless people were living in whilst the authorities threatened to kick them out. He is just generally amazing.
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Format: Paperback
While I enjoyed reading this book and found it morally challenging, I thought that Claiborne's theology flip-flops too much. I feel he is trying too hard to, as he would put it, neither be a 'liberal' or 'conservative.' The result is a theology that doesn't, at least in my analysis, completely successfully hold together.
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Format: Paperback
My mind is still boggling at Jon Mason's review. And here's why.

I'm new to the church and which church I go to doesn't really matter. If we're going to have an argument as to who is the most Christian, well, Jon wins that one by a country mile. And then some. What matters to me is that my journey into it has been furthered by the works of Shane Claiborne and the Red Letter Christians and their clear-eyed focus on the important things. Claiborne says elsewhere that there are around four references in the Bible that seem relevant to homosexuality but around 4000 references to poverty. Which do we think Christ cares about more? That's right, I'm going with poverty. And when we've solved that, then we have the luxury of talking about the other stuff. Me? I think that'll be a while.

Similarly, Jon says that theology is important. And, generally, I agree, but only where theology is a thorough a deep understanding of the Bible. As to what faction of the church, you're from, I'm not at all sure that God really cares whether you're an Anabaptist or a Pentecostalist. We're called to be Christians, to wit, followers of Christ. And that means the words of Jesus are the thing that binds us together, that we have in common. Your opinions about transubstantiation are fine and no doubt interesting things to discuss, but you're overlooking the thing we have in common and by doing that Jesus is being forced to take a back seat. And that, as Claiborne says, is how he ends up getting lost and drowned out.

A thorough grasp of the gospels and of the importance of salvation are worthy things, but your theology has to meet people where they are in their lives or it lives on only in fine words spoken in church.
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