I just finished a great book by a guy named Shane Claiborne. It’s called “The Irresistible Revolution”. I thoroughly enjoyed it. For one, it combined the things I’ve been learning about all into one: peacemaking, being good stewards of the environment, loving people radically (whether they are rich or poor, young or old, similar or totally different from me), living in authentic community with others, and serving people like Jesus did.
Often times books like these get overlooked for their one-sidedness or lack of biblical foundation. This writing had neither one of these things. I was telling one of my roommates today that one thing I love about Shane’s writing is that he sees the darkness of both sides- and won’t participate in either. He encourages us not to get caught up in the “I’m way cooler/smarter/spiritual/relevant than _________ because ________.” He simply challenges the reader to look at the way Jesus lived, and to imitate Him.
I want to leave ya’ll with a few good morsels that I’ll be chewing on for the weeks to come (and hopefully living out as well, or it was a waste of time):
“Most good things have been said far too many times and just need to be lived.” p. 32
“I came to realize that preachers were telling me to lay my life at the foot of the cross and weren’t giving me anything to pick up.” p. 38
“I began to wonder if anybody still believed Jesus meant those things he said,” (referring to the things recorded in the Bible) p. 41.
“Poverty was created not by God but by you and me, because we have not learned to love our neighbors as ourselves,” p. 170.
“One of the things that became painfully clear to me in Iraq is that what’s at stake today is the reputation not just of America but of Christianity,” p. 218. (he went to iraq with christian peacemaker team, and met with lots of iraqi and kurdish christians, and boy did they have some surprising things to say…)
“Conservatives stand up and thank God that they are not like the homosexuals, the Muslims, the liberals. Liberals stand up and thank God that they are not like the war makers, the yuppies, the conservatives. It is similar self-righteousness, just with different definitions of evildoing. It can paralyze us in judgment and guild and rob us of life. Rather than separating ourselves from everyone we consider impure, maybe we are better off just beating our chests and praying that God would be merciful enough to save us from the present ugliness and to make our lives so beautiful that people cannot resist that mercy,” p. 252
Amen! My prayer now is that the Lord would show me how to live out what He’s been teaching me…because until I do, I know he’s going to continue pressing me with this dissonance inside my soul.