The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical

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9780310266303: The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical

Living as an Ordinary RadicalMany 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.

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About the Author:

Shane Claiborne is an activist, author of Jesus for President, coauthor of Common Prayer, and is a founder of The Simple Way, a community in inner-city Philadelphia that has helped birth and connect radical faith communities around the world. 

 www.thesimpleway.org

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The Irresistible Revolution Copyright 2006 by The Simple Way Requests for information should be addressed to: Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Claiborne, Shane, 1975 -- The irresistible revolution: living as an ordinary radical / Shane Claiborne. --- 1st ed. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN-10: 0-310-26630-0 ISBN-13: 978-0-310-26630-3 1. Claiborne, Shane, 1975 -- 2. Simple Way (Religious community: Philadelphia, Pa.) --- Biography. 3. Christian biography --- United States. 4. Christian life --- United States. 5. Church and the world. I. Title. BR1725.C472A3 2006 277'.3'083092 dc22 2005029961 All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, Today's New International VersionTM. Copyright 2001 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. The website addresses recommended throughout this book are offered as a resource to you. These websites are not intended in any way to be or imply an endorsement on the part of Zondervan, nor do we vouch for their content for the life of this book. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means --- electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other --- except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher. Interior design by Michelle Espinoza Printed in the United States of America It's what always happens to the saints and prophets who are dangerous: we bronze them, we drain them of their passion and life and trap them in stained-glass windows and icons, confining them safely in memories of the past. St. Francis becomes a birdbath, Malcolm X is put on a stamp, and Martin Luther King gets a holiday. And Jesus gets commercialized, whether it's the plastic night-lights or the golden crucifixes. (And now there is a bobbing-head 'Buddy Jesus' for your car and the 'Jesus is my homeboy' T-shirt.) It becomes hard to know who Jesus really is, much less to imagine that Jesus ever laughed, cried, or had poop that smelled. I can remember when Christianity was still safe, comfortable, trendy. I grew up in the Bible Belt, in East Tennessee, where there's a church building on nearly every corner. I can't remember meeting anyone Jewish or Muslim, and I distinctly remember being dissuaded from dating a Catholic girl because she 'prayed to Mary.' I attended two or three different youth groups, whichever had the best entertainment and drew the largest crowd. Church was a place where there were cute girls, free junk food, and cheap snowboarding trips. I discovered a Chris­tianity that entertained me with quirky songs and velcro walls.1 In middle school, I had a sincere 'conversion' experience. We took a trip to a large Christian festival with bands, speakers, and late-night pranks. One night a short, bald preacherman named Duffy Robbins gave an invitation to 'accept Jesus,' and nearly our whole youth group went forward (a new concept for most of us), crying and snotting, hugging people we didn't know. I was born again. The next year, we went to that same festival, and most of us went forward again (it was so good the first time) and got born again, again. In fact, we looked forward to it every year. I must have gotten born again six or eight times, and it was great every time. (I highly recommend it.) But then you start to think there must be more to Christianity, more than just laying your life and sins at the foot of the cross. I came to realize that preachers were telling me to lay my life at the foot of the cross and weren't giving me anything to pick up. A lot of us were hearing 'don't smoke, don't drink, don't sleep around' and naturally started asking, 'Okay, well, that was pretty much my life, so what do I do now?' Where were the do's? And nobody seemed to have much to offer us. Handing out tracts at the mall just didn't seem like the fullness of Chris­tian discipleship, not to mention it just wasn't as fun as making out at the movies. I was just another believer. I believed all the right stuff --- that Jesus is the Son of God, died and rose again. I had become a 'believer,' but I had no idea what it means to be a follower. People had taught me what Chris­tians believe, but no one had told me how Chris­tians live. So as we do in our culture, I thought perhaps I needed to buy more stuff, Chris­tian stuff. Luckily, I found an entire Chris­tian industrial complex ready to help with Chris­tian music, bumper stickers, T-shirts, books, and even candy ('Testamints' . . . dead serious . . . mints with a Bible verse attached, candy with a Chris­tian aftertaste). They had lists of bands and the Chris­tian alternatives to them, so I got rid of all my old CDs. (And I must confess, I was a bit disappointed by the Chris­tian counterfeit. Who could compare to Guns N' Roses and Vanilla Ice?)

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