Irresistible Revolutionary

Okay, ‘fess up. Is there anyone out there who doesn’t have at least the teeniest crush on Shane Claiborne? Male, female, queer, straight or bi, is there anyone who doesn’t want to either be Shane or be near Shane? Because I’ll admit, I’ve got it bad for this grungy Jesus freak! Lookit the glasses! Gotta love the glasses. Not to mention that little smirk.


In case you haven’t guessed, I’m reading Jesus for President. I read Irresistible Revolution over a year ago, then again with a book study group at my church, who promptly launched a mission project to change our small town. It’s a powerful book.

I was initially a bit bored with Jesus for President. It has a lot of history to it, stuff that I learned in seminary and I might have skipped over it, but the pages just look so spiffy and the way Shane puts words together is so much fun. That’s his thing. Often it’s not that he’s saying something new or radical or revolutionary or that I haven’t heard before, but he’s putting words and ideas together in a way I haven’t heard before. This book, which he co-authored with Chris Haw, is far more historical and theological than Revolution, but even the history I know so well gets a fresh look in their excellent writing.

Oh, and I should clarify. This isn’t a book review; I’m only a third of the way through.

And yet, nearly every other page is dog-eared already (just like Revolution!), and I’ve already decided that this book, and Yoder’s Politics of Jesus, and a few others are going to form my new pulpit-side must-have section. Since I’ll be preaching in and around a state capital for the next five to seven years at least (I hope!), I’m loving these reminders of how radical and political Jesus’ words were and are.

Shane and Chris had a great take on the yoke, which I read this morning, just a few days too late and dollars too short for my sermon on Sunday, but it would have been so much better (you see, I really should spend more time reading for, um, fun!) than what I preached. Fortunately, they have a great passage on the sower and the seeds, again nothing I’ve not heard before, but new ways of putting ideas together that I can totally mine for this Sunday.

And I cannot wait to preach about Legion. Yowza!

Mm-mm! Bring on the radical, political, gritty hippie preachin’!

Let’s hear from the Shane-lovers. Speak up!

4 thoughts on “Irresistible Revolutionary”

  1. I read Irresistible Revolution and it sort of depressed me, because it made me feel like I wasn’t doing anywhere near enough in my life due to foolish things like my desire to finish school and continue to live where I live instead of just flinging myself headlong into the unknown. I never really know what to do with that kind of stuff. Jesus for President sounds like it might be more up my alley.

  2. @Elaine,

    No kidding; I felt that way too. Shane is not that much older than me, and part of me always thinks, “wow, he worked with Mother Teresa and lived in like a foxhole in Iraq and stuff and what have I done with my life?” But it’s also very inspiring. In Revolution, he is a little proud of himself, and I had to ask how I could take what he did and apply it to my life (rather than copy it exactly). Jesus for President is different so far and simultaneously both more theoretical and more applicable, because it’s less about his particular experience.


  3. @ Clay,

    He is fantastic, and his writing is simultaneously inspiring and, as Elaine points out, daunting, because he calls the church to, well, stop being so concerned with being the church and start being concerned with following Jesus.

    And you’ll note that I did give you the option of wanting to BE Shane rather than, you know, be with him. I was thinking of you. And Confabulation.


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