Irresistible Revolution : Living As an Ordinary Radical

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2006-02-01
  • Publisher: HARPER COLLINS

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"In The Irresistible Revolutions, Shane Claiborne invites you into a movement of the spirit that begins in the heart and extends through our hands into a broken world. Using examples from his own unconventional life, Shane Claiborne stirs up questions about the church and the world, challenging you to live out an authentic Christian faith. This book will comfort the disturbed, disturb the comfortable, and invite believers to change the world with Christ's radical love."--BOOK JACKET.

Table of Contents

Foreword 11(6)
Jim Wallis
Introduction 17(14)
Author's Note 31(4)
When Christianity Was Still Safe
Resurrecting Church
In Search of a Christian
When Comfort Becomes Uncomfortable
Another Way of Doing Life
Economics of Rebirth
Pledging Allegiance When Kingdoms Collide
Jesus Made Me Do It!
Jesus Is for Losers
Extremists for Love
Making Revolution Irresistible
Growing Smaller and Smaller . . . Until We Take Over the World
Crazy but Not Alone
Appendix 1: Local Revolutions and Ordinary Radicals 359(4)
Appendix 2: Marks of a New Monasticism 363(2)
Appendix 3: To Iraq 365


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
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?)

Excerpted from The Irresistible Revolution: Living As an Ordinary Radical by Shane Claiborne
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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