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The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne

Here’s one of the best books of the year, The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. What one reviewer says: From dressing the wounds of lepers in Calcutta to living among the homeless in Philadelphia to visiting families in Iraq, social activist Claiborne strives to live an auth…
By Seth Barnes

Here’s one of the best books of the year, The
Irresistible Revolution
by Shane Claiborne. What one reviewer says:


irresistible rev
From dressing the wounds of lepers in Calcutta to living among the homeless in Philadelphia
to visiting families in Iraq,
social activist Claiborne strives to live an authentic Christian life. In his
view, he is a radical in the truest sense of the word, returning to the roots
of Christianity by living as Jesus did and doing “small things with great
love.”

A partner-founder of the Philadelphia-based faith
community the Simple Way,
he presents an evangelical Christianity gentler and more inclusive than is
usually seen, especially in the mass media. He describes Simple Way as a new culture that relies
on radical interdependence and consists of grassroots organizations,
intentional communities, and hospitality houses. Although the book isn’t an
autobiography, in it Claiborne reports much about his life: growing up in the
Bible Belt, becoming a Jesus freak, moving to Philadelphia despite his family’s misgivings,
and helping the homeless there.

Then he boldly requested an internship with Mother
Teresa in Calcutta.
She simply responded, “Come.” 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

The book is full of great insights. I found myself using a highlighter. I found myself saying “amen!” to passages
like this one, “I can remember when Christianity was still safe, comfortable,
trendy. I must have gotten born again
six or eight times. Preachers were
telling me to lay my life down at the foot of the cross, but weren’t giving me
anything to pick up. I had become a ‘believer,’ but I had no idea how to become a follower. People had taught me what Christians believe,
but no one had taught me how Christians live.”

Shane lives down the street from our AIM base in Philadelphia. We love what his little community stands for and lives out. I’m going to use a few upcoming blogs to explore some of Claiborne’s themes.

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