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The Irresistible Revolution: The Church and the poor

More on The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne: Claiborne is concerned with big issues where we Jesus-followers seem to have deviated from the simple way that Jesus taught. He asks questions like, “Why are we Christians so apparently powerless? Why do we find ourselves living isolate…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

More on The Irresistible Revolution by Shane
Claiborne:

Claiborne is concerned with
big issues where we Jesus-followers seem to have deviated from the simple way
that Jesus taught. He asks questions
like, “Why are we Christians so apparently powerless? Why do we find ourselves living isolated
lives? Why aren’t we touching the poor
more frequently?” Here are some quotes:

The
miraculous

We have insulated ourselves from miracles. We no longer live with such reckless faith
that we need them. There is rarely room
for the transcendent in our lives. If we
get sick, we go to the doctor.

The Church

“I think I’ve lost hope in the church,” I confessed,
broken hearted, to a friend. I will
never forget her response. “No, you
haven’t lost hope in the church. You may
have lost hope in Christianity of Christendom, or all the institutions, but you
haven’t lost hope in the church. This is
the church.” At that moment, we decided
to stop complaining about the church that we saw, and we set our hearts on
becoming the church we dreamed of.

Another
friend says to Claiborne:
“Shane, I
am not a Christian anymore. I gave up
Christianity in order to follow Jesus.”

He quotes the
philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard,

“Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself
against the Bible, to ensure that we can be good Christians without the Bible
coming too close.”

The Poor

I learned more about God from the tears of the
homeless mothers than any systematic theology ever taught me.

As I looked into the eyes of the dying, I felt like I
was meeting God.

He quotes
Mother Teresa:
“We can do no great things, just small things
with great love.”

In India he worked
among the lepers and notes
: Oftentimes lepers don’t even know the words
thank you because they have never needed to say them.

According to Mother Teresa it is among the wealthy
that we can find the most terrible poverty of all – loneliness. Wealthy countries like ours have the highest
rates of depression, suicide and loneliness.

Read my last blog for more of my thoughts on this book and check out an interview our online magazine Wrecked for the Ordinary did with Shane Claiborne. Also, watch the video below of Shane reading an excerpt from his own book:

Comments (10)

  • I love this quote by Bonhoeffer:
    “He who loves his dream of a community more than the community itself becomes a destroyer of the latter, even though his personal intentions my be ever so honest and earnest and sacrificial.” Can’t help but think of the UN here.

    I read the book in Uganda 3 months ago. So much of what he writes rings true. Its so simple and refreshing, written with such humility.

  • Someone once said…”Great thinkers, great movers and great artists all had to begin somewhere.”

    I’m getting the book this week also. Right on, Seth.

    Judging by who wrote the book’s forward, I’m intruigued to read what it says regarding the whereabouts of the intersection of the Irresistable Revolution of personal faith in Jesus and social justice…or if they are, in any respect, separated to begin with.

    Look forward to reading.

  • Great article. I’m just about to finish the book and it’s been great. I was looking for some quotes from it and this helped a lot. Thanks a ton.

    Hope you don’t mind me posting my own blog site. It’s got some thoughts influenced by Claiborne for those interested, http://brodiegeers.blogspot.com

    Thanks again

  • my friend made me read this book. he said that it changed his life. this book has, for sure, changed my thinking about a lot of things in the world as a christian. one of my friends who read this book actually went out and stayed with the homeless. he said its amazing how humbling it is. it was cold they gave him there only 2 blankets and he was hungry so they fed him. “it was amazing” he said “they took care of me”. im not a reader by any meansbut this is a book that i can not stop reading

  • God gives grace to the poor that we who are rich don’t understand. they’re hearts are bigger than ours, and really, that’s what life is all about.

  • i finished reading that book about…3 days ago. it completely changed me! I relate so much to shane that it isn’t even funny. i feel the same way… this church life isn’t for me, i want to get out there and help people. and i plan to!

  • I recommend a much more biblical review of the content of Shane’s book:

    http://www.challies.com/
    archives/book-reviews/book-review-
    the-irresistible-revolution.php

    It’s not so much what Shane says and does, but what he doesn’t say and do. What happened to preaching the Gospel? We are commanded to live like Christ, which should include both his words and actions. And Jesus preached the Gospel boldly and often!

  • I read this book over a year ago, but I didn’t think it wrecked anyone else’s life like it wrecked mine.

    I was wrong.

Comments are closed.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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