I've finished Shane Claiborne's Irresistible Revolution. Claiborne's Christianity looks almost identical to Christ-centered Quakerism. He embodies the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, equality, community and integrity.
Claiborne lives among the poor in a community called the Simple Way. Part of his mission is to spread an anti-consumerist, anti-materialist message. His is the gospel message that we can live simply because God provides abundantly.
Claiborne was part of a peacekeeping group that went to Iraq. Like the early Quakers, he understands that Jesus modeled peace and forgiveness by not fighting back with physical weapons against his oppressors. Claiborne urges us to beat our swords into ploughshares.
He is passionate to keep the community he is part of equal, and rather than seeing it as having layers, which could be interpreted as hierarchical, he likens it to an onion--you can peel the layers away but no layer is "better" than the others.
He is passionate about community and finds living in community essential. He argues in favor of small communities. He writes about the importance of entering into relationships with people rather than fighting for "issues." Our political actions should, he argues, should arise from our experiences with real people, not from ideas or what the early Quakers might call "airy notions." Above all, he calls for loving people. All people. He keeps a poster of Bush on the ceiling above his bed.
He lives out his beliefs.
He wants to find, live out and promote authentic, early church Christianity, which is what the early Quakers wanted to do.
My question: Why are liberal Quakers so reluctant to claim and proclaim this rich Christian heritage?