10.01.2009

The Irresistable Revolution

Do not read this book unless you want to spend your time balled up on the couch and weeping .

Really.

Ok, maybe not, but probably.

Author Shane Claiborne has a very different vision of following Christ than the one we've been chasing. I was always told that the Holy Spirit convict everyone differently, so we each have a unique response to Christ. While I still believe that's true, Shane suggests that for most people that is a cop-out from truly following and living a life that's different from the life we used to live.

Look around you. Is your home all that different from your un-following neighbor's home? Really? I'm typing in our kitchen, and I see the same stuff I expect to see everywhere. A dishwasher, a fridge, a toaster/microwave, a deep fryer in the corner (it's small, okay). I see food in abundance and I see toys strewn everywhere.

My living room has couches and chairs arranged around the TV, my bible on a shelf. The rest of the house is filled with stuff. Nowhere do I see any proof that I've given up on Capitalism and greed to "Sell all I have and give the money to the poor".

By American standards I'm far from Rich, I'm not even middle class. But by, say Zambian (South Central African nation being devastated by the AIDS epidemic) I'm Upper class. I've got it made. I have only 5 people under my roof, I have 2 cars (unheard of) and we eat better than rice and soup everyday. I can afford healthcare if I need it and I can afford to splurge.

So how am I any different from my un-following neighbors if we share the same lifestyle? We both have more than enough while we know people are going without.

(The great irony here is that while I type this I have 2 more tabs open; the First is a Christian Healthcare website and the other is Sweetwater.com the largest online music instrument retailer, I was lusting for a recording interface for my computer. I guess true change is either instantaneous or very slow.)

One of the other reasons this book will messyouupinarighteousway is that he asks more questions than he answers. And they are good questions that get you both frustrated and hopeful at the same time.

I finish with a few quotes from Shane, just to see if they stir your heart.

"Few people are interested in a religion that has nothing to say to the world and offers them only life after death, when what people are really wondering is whether there is life before death."

"We live in an age in which people, when they hear the word Christian, are much more likely to think of people who hate gays than people who love outcasts

"Some of us have been told our whole lives that we are wretched, but the gospel reminds us that we are beautiful. Others of us have been told our whole lives that we are beautiful, but the gospel reminds us that we are wretched. The church is a place where we can stand up and say we are wretched, and everyone will nod and agree and remind us that we are also beautiful."

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