Monday, May 19, 2008

The Irresistible Revolution: Wrap up

Many posts later, a summary of Claiborne's book.

Perhaps what most jumps from Shane Claiborne's The Irresistible Revolution is the way he reinvents countercultural leanings of the 1960s and the 80s and the 90s and makes them seem fresh again. Antic happenings, young people changing the world, peace, simplicity, intentional community, sharing joyously and directly with the poor ... we've seen this colorful, seemingly naive exuberance before, and yet we can't help but be touched by the sincerity of Claiborne's recycled (now there's a green and complimentary term!) vision.

Maybe the twist is the Christianity that is the backbone of his revolution. There's no sex or drugs here, and no personal liberation devoid of history or tradition. Instead, we glimpse Shane serving the destitute in Calcutta with Mother Teresa and sense his unfettered delight in passionately trying to live out a Christian witness. If evangelicals and the rest of us could just get beyond a concern with personal salvation, be it assurance of heaven after death or the personal salvational fortresses of wealth and intellect, we could all be part of building a kingdom of God world in the here and now, Claiborne says.

It's enticing to see him doing what he preaches, living it, being the change he wants the church to be. I liked the simple, direct language of the book, the stories he included, and the challenge to live a more genuinely counter-cultural life.

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