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« Cheap Motels and a Hot Plate, by Michael Yates | Main | Hope Dies Last, by Studs Terkel »


The Irresistible Revolution, by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw

By an everyday book reader
June 1, 2007

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 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.

The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical
by Shane Claiborne and Chris HawBook Picture

Softcover: 368 pages
ISBN: 9780310266303, 0310266300
Zondervan
February 2006

Using unconventional examples from his own life, Shane Claiborne stirs up questions about the church and the world, and challenges readers to truly live out their Christian faith. He said in his blog:

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.

"If there is such a thing as a disarming radical, 30-year-old Claiborne is it. A former Tennessee Methodist and born-again, high school prom king, Claiborne is now a founding member of one of a growing number of radical faith communities. His is called the Simple Way, located in a destitute neighborhood of Philadelphia. It is a house of young believers, some single, some married, who live among the poor and homeless. They call themselves "ordinary radicals" because they attempt to live like Christ and the earliest converts to Christianity, ignoring social status and unencumbered by material comforts. Claiborne's chatty and compelling narrative is magnetic--his stories (from galvanizing a student movement that saved a group of homeless families from eviction to reaching Mother Teresa herself from a dorm phone at 2 a.m.) draw the reader in with humor and intimacy, only to turn the most common ways of practicing religion upside down. He somehow skewers the insulation of suburban living and the hypocrisy of wealthy churches without any self-righteous finger pointing. 'The world,' he says, 'cannot afford the American dream.' Claiborne's conviction, personal experience and description of others like him are a clarion call to rethink the meaning of church, conversion and Christianity; no reader will go away unshaken." - Publishers Weekly

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.theirresistable2.jpg

"The power of community, interdependence, and burden-bearing is so penetrating... It just busts through the pain of loss like grass through concrete. I live with tears in my eyes right now, every moment, mesmerized by this big family we have."

Shane Claiborne, author of The Irresistible Revolution (Zondervan), is a prominent activist and sought after speaker. He is one of the founding members of The Simple Way, a community in inner city Philadelphia that has helped birth and connect radical faith communities around the world. Shane serves on the board of directors for the Christian Community Development Association, and in his down-time is quite a dynamic circus performer.

Chris Haw, an aspiring potter, carpenter, painter, and theologian, lives in Camden, New Jersey, with his wife, Cassie, and his fellow community members.

Chico Fajardo, an artist who grows vegetables, studies theology, and shares about Jesus and the Kingdom of God with others, lives in community at the Reba Place Fellowship in Illinois.

You can view an excerpt of this book here.

"Besides illuminating his own faith journey, Claiborne is insightful on the huge U.S. cultural and economic divide: the problem isn't that wealthy Christians don't care about the poor, he says, it's that they simply don't know the poor. A moving, often humorous account of a life of faith lived to the fullest." - June Sawyers, Booklist, American Library Association

Shane Claiborne is a prominent activist and soughtafter speaker. He is one of the founding members of The Simple Way, a community in inner city Philadelphia that has helped birth and connect radical faith communities around the world.

"Shane Claiborne is a living experiment - evangelical zeal mixed with grassroots activism; passion for Jesus mixed with prison time for feeding the poor. This is a rant for love, aimed at cowards seeking courage." - - Aiden Enns, publisher, Geez magazine; former managing editor, Adbusters

"Sometimes I think there is really only one Christian denomination in America: American Civil Religion - a consumerist, militarist, therapeutic, colonial, nationalist chaplaincy that baptizes and blesses whatever the richest and most powerful nation on the planet wants to do. But then I hear a voice like Shane's, I know that at least a few follow another leader on a less-traveled road. Read this book and let it make you uncomfortable, as it did me. We need this kind of discomfort more than we know." - Brian McLaren, author, Generous Orthodoxy

"Desperately urgent. Profoundly biblical. If even one in ten contemporary 'Christians' dared to truly follow the one we claim to worship with half of Shane's unconditional surrender to Christ, our evangelism would acquire an awesome power and our actions would transform our broken world." - Ronald J. Sider, president, Evangelicals for Social Action

"Shane expresses the kind of authentic Christianity that most of us are trying to avoid because the cost is too great. He proposes a lifestyle that prophetically proclaims what it means to be a follower of Jesus in the twenty-first century. - Tony Campolo, author, Revolution and Renewa

"Written with endearing humor and astonishing courage, The Irresistible Revolution describes a young man's embrace of uncompromising commitment to Jesus' teachings. - Kathy Kelly, author, Voices in the Wilderness

"If you know Shane, read this book to hear his irresistible voice on every page. If you don't know Shane (or even if you do), read this book to hear the irresistible voice of Jesus on every page." - Leonard Sweet, author, Summoned to Lead

"Shane is a good story teller, with stories worth telling. But this book isn't entertainment. It's a call to radical personal and political discipleship for a new generation, and means to shake evangelicals from their Bush-era complacency, affluenza and triumphalism. May U.S. Christians take Shane as seriously as he takes the task of trying to embody the gospel in a world riddled with violence, brokenness and hurt." - Ched Myers, author of Who Will Roll Away the Stone? Discipleship Queries for First World Christians.

"This book will challenge you to sell all you have and follow Jesus to the margins."- Rob Moll, editor, Christianity Today

"I was one of about 200 people sitting outside the Federal Court in Binghamton, NY as a federal judge selected a jury to try four friends on charges of conspiracy, property depredation and trespass for their resistance to the Iraq War. I read Shane's manuscript as I waited and I kept sharing selections with those around me. If I walked away, someone else read and relished the book in my absence. It vitalized and gave deeper meaning to a long day. Like the author, the book is rich and rare, fresh, memorable and challenging - even to seasoned resisters. It is a gift to all who long to midwife the kindom of God here and now, who want to impact the future, who would be the Church for which we long." - Elizabeth McAlister, cofounder, Jonah House Community

"If you embark on this journey, you will not only meet a tall, skinny lad named Shane, but you will also meet his homeless friends in Philly, the dying that he cared for in Calcutta, and the children he played with in Baghdad as the bombs fell - all of which raises uncomfortable questions about what it means to follow Jesus. Read this book at your own peril. Shane will challenge you to join the ranks of 'ordinary radicals.'" - Tom Sine, founder, Mustard Seed Associates

"Be warned, my friends: Shane is a poet, a friend, a brother - but underneath it all, he's a prophet with a fire in his belly and a story to back it up. If you listen - or in this case, read - you will not be the same." - Rob Bell, author, Velvet Elvis

"A book on the cutting edge of Christianity. This is a genuine search for the authentic church and these young people who are searching are really going to be the revolutionary people of the day. When we look back 50 years we're going to see it has changed society." - John Perkins, founder of the Christian Community Development Association

The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical
by Shane Claiborne and Chris HawBook Picture

Softcover: 368 pages
ISBN: 9780310266303, 0310266300
Zondervan
February 2006

Using unconventional examples from his own life, Shane Claiborne stirs up questions about the church and the world, and challenges readers to truly live out their Christian faith.

Shane serves on the board of directors for the Christian Community Development Association and in his down-time is quite a dynamic circus performer.

You may enjoy the books page, where book titles are alphabetized, or browse by subject or topic. We also have book reviews listed chronologically here. To search by author name, you can use the search box on the right sidebar of this page.

The most important result of any grassroots action is - a strengthened democracy for all.


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