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Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  4,534 Ratings  ·  294 Reviews
Jesus for President is a radical manifesto to awaken the Christian political imagination, reminding us that our ultimate hope lies not in partisan political options but in Jesus and the incarnation of the peculiar politic of the church as a people set apart from this world.

In what can be termed lyrical theology, Jesus for President poetically weaves together words and ima
Paperback, 368 pages
Published March 3rd 2008 by Zondervan (first published March 3rd 2007)
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Sep 03, 2008 Jimmy rated it liked it
I loved this book. I hated this book. It is an easy read (linguistically, at least), but a hard read (conceptually). Conservative Christians everywhere need to read it, not because it's right but because we need to wrestle with the issues Claiborne & Haw raise through-out the book. Their ideas of reclaiming a "prophetic vision" and subversion of empire are discussions the church needs to be having ... right now!

There were many instances in which I disagreed with the book. I will mention thre
Jul 08, 2009 Mac rated it it was amazing
This book is completely radical. I hate to be so cliche as to say it not only impacted my life more than any other book I've ever read, but that it had a major role in completely changing my life. It's true.

Jesus for President is challenging. It presents some very hard-edged ideas that will challenge you and REALLY get you thinking about life, about what you think or feel is important, about what you're really hoping for in the end and how you're going about getting there.

Because of this book, I
Jul 14, 2008 Clark rated it it was amazing
Shelves: professional
Shaped by the anabaptist peace tradition, Jesus for President casts a compelling vision of what Jesus' "revolutionary subordination" might mean for engaging our communities and nation today. Like The Irresistible Revolution (which this book compliments without repeating), Jesus for President describes the authors' dream for what ordinary Christians might become--radically committed to living like Jesus. Relying heavily on John Howard Yoder's pacifism and biblical scholarship, they suggest su ...more
Clif Hostetler
The title of this book is an attention getting update of terms such as "King Jesus" and "Jesus is Lord." It’s an ironic title because the authors admit that the American “powers and principalities” would remove him quickly if Jesus were somehow made President of the United States. Why? Because the first thing he would do is disarm the military and put them to work aiding the poor.

This book's position is that the ethics of Jesus apply to life here and now; not to some personal spiritual relations
Alan Stucky
Oct 14, 2009 Alan Stucky rated it really liked it
The best quote that I've heard about this book was actually from Shane himself. He said the best compliment that they had gotten on the book was that it was "like John Howard Yoder, with pictures".
I like Shane's books... I don't necessarily agree with everything he writes, but his books challenge me to ask hard questions.
Jun 25, 2008 Kevin rated it really liked it
This book has done many things during my time hammering through the pages. I have laughed, I have been disturbed, I have felt anger both at situations or even at the author, and have been gazing at the book with my jaw dropped wide open while realizing that I cannot deny what the author is portraying. This book has helped me think of America, politics, and Christianity in a whole new light. The authors express that when thinking about politics, Christians or followers of Christ must always seek ...more
Sep 02, 2008 Ramón rated it really liked it
Frankly, the layout of this book distracts me beyond belief, but there are a moments when it is pitch perfect. As far as content, it is a very refreshing exercise in prophetic imagination filled with inspiring stories of creative nonviolent resistance to the prevailing empire and radical embodiment of the way of Jesus.

Claiborne also does an impressive job synthesizing key works from names that most 20-30 somethings are either unfamiliar with or unmotivated to explore (J.H. Yoder, N.T. Wright, W
Jul 23, 2011 Kurt rated it it was ok
Visually, this book is amazing. Pages are printed in different colors and with different textures, so it feels like a scrapbook. There are photographs, line drawings, and captions all over, and many of the otherwise ordinary written passages have editing marks all over them. Reading this book is an unusual and inviting experience.

As for the content, though... The book shines with the personal stories at the end, with concrete examples of what it looks like to radically live out the love that the
May 21, 2009 Hilary rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Brett
Recommended to Hilary by: Library
A genuinely cool book.

I found Jesus for President under the New Non-Fiction section of the library and couldn't help but check it out when I read the title. I didn't know what to expect from the book (there's no summary on the back) and decided immediately that that was part of the overall allure it presented. What I got was not exactly what I expected, but instead was something more fascinating.

Firstly, I have to praise the formatting of the book. The pictures and somewhat interactive footnote
Christopher M.
Jul 25, 2011 Christopher M. rated it did not like it
Ok, where do I start? It's not that these guys can't speak some truth or don't make some valid observations and solutions regarding the blind following and condoning of the establishment. 2 problems. 1) This isn't the gospel. Never once is sin portrayed as something personal that we can't take care of ourselves. Righteousness is not only something exemplified by Christ, but something that can come from ONLY Christ. 2) The opinions are expressed with such a breathtaking immaturity, I had to force ...more
Oct 17, 2011 Meadow rated it it was amazing
This book totally blew my mind! First of all, it was a really unique style - kind of pictorial narrative discourse, or something :) (In other words, it had lots of pictures and stories and historical information.) The more I read the more I worried I got, because it was clearly the kind of book you can't read without changing to become more radical!

But I kept reading, because becoming more radical for the cause of Jesus is worth it. In the end, I have to say, this book was life-changing. I don't
Aug 02, 2008 Inder rated it really liked it
Okay! I wanted a very radical approach to Christianity, and this is it! Whoa! Very challenging, and very cool, even if it did push my buttons in some respects (specifically, I really shouldn't make money or pay taxes? ouch! can lawyers even get into heaven? get ready to pass a camel through the eye of a needle!). But in addition to some seriously fringy and radical interpretations of scripture, this book is full of ideas about how to truly be of service. I'll be thinking about this one for a whi ...more
Jul 10, 2008 Lori rated it it was amazing
I'm not quite done with this book and I'm rapidly trying to finish it b/c it was due at library on Thursday...but I can't return until I'm done! It's so good! I'm definitely buying this one to keep in my collection...there is a lot of wisdom here that I'll want to keep going back to years from now. It's one of the best books I've read in a long many great ideas. And it's also one of the best looking books I've ever seen...every single page is a work of art! I recommend this book to eve ...more
Jan 26, 2013 Tina rated it liked it
It's been several years since I've read Shane Claiborne. This was a bargain book for my Kindle, so I decided to give it a try. As a Christian and a Democrat, I often find myself at odds with the politics of my church, so Claiborne's title intrigued me. I can't remember what I expected, but what surprised me was his intense pacifism. I should have known this from reading him previously, but many of his arguments this time were very persuasive and thought-provoking. I don't agree with everything C ...more
Mar 07, 2008 Angie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Calley & Leah & my husband
This was phenomenal. There is this whole other radical way to think about everything. This book had very little to do w/ presidential races or voting . . . and lots to do w/ everyday races & politics. Lots to say about how we are voting every single day. I will write more about this book later, but suffice it to say, I loved the book & admire the authors very much. If I wanted to pick some heroes, these guys would be it.
Aug 25, 2012 Matt rated it really liked it
One of the last gifts a close friend gave me, this was challenging and over-simplified, partisan and disinterested. It took me years to read and I will probably be pondering it for a long while yet. One of the few books on faith, theology or politics that may change the way I believe and respond to the world around me.
Christina Wilder
An excellent look at the seemingly forgotten side of Jesus's teachings as a pacifist, and a great look at politics in general. Eye-opening for all, regardless of belief. I learned a lot more from this book than when I attended Sunday school and church when I was still religious.

PS - The art direction is also excellent.
Aug 22, 2008 Evan added it
Great read for the election year, and beyond. Written by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw, it balances Biblical study with the past and current ideas of government, ultimately illuminating the Kingdom we should be serving as followers of Christ.
Heather Hampton
Nov 05, 2010 Heather Hampton rated it liked it
This book gives its readers a lot to think about. Although many of the ideas in the book I fully agree with many of them I think the authors take a little far and make them almost impractical. However, this book did give me a lot to think about and for that I am greatful.
Mar 13, 2008 Raleigh rated it really liked it
Simple. Beautiful. Takes what I already believe and transforms it into something that I can articulate to others.
Jeff Elliott
Aug 14, 2012 Jeff Elliott rated it it was ok
How shall I describe this book? To be fair I would say "thought-provoking". Early on I agreed whole-heartedly but then as he continued I felt his conclusions seemed forced by trying to be revolutionary, counter-cultural, anti-materialistic, environmentalist, anti-consumer, etc;... In the end it became like a lot of other hippie books. While I appreciate Claiborne's sincerity and effort, I pretty much got what I expected from the middle to the end. I found his thoughts on many issues to be confus ...more
Oct 23, 2016 Kristin rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book a lot, but it was also a challenge. Visually, it's a beautiful book put together by SharpSeven Design. Conceptually, it's a book you have to be 100% focused on when reading. I didn't necessarily agree with everything presented, but I liked that the book challenged me to research and ask questions.
Phil Whittall
May 18, 2016 Phil Whittall rated it liked it
Jesus for President is Shane Claiborne's second book after The Irresistible Revolution. This first book has given Shane a fast track to prominence and he's found a considerable following here in the UK with his regular trips to Greenbelt amongst others. I think Brits like American Christians such as Tony Campolo and Jim Wallis that aren't republican moral majority types.

Anyway, Jesus for President is an attempt in this election year to flesh out what Shane and fellow author Chris, think the poli
Oct 20, 2009 Leah rated it it was amazing
If you read nothing else of this review, my suggestion is to read this book as soon as you possibly can. This book is a HUGE, much-needed slap in the face to the church - a kick to the rear, you might say, a wake up call for Christians to return to following the message of Jesus and lay down the weapons (figuratively and literally) of conservatism.

As I read through this book I am learning so much because the historical information is broadening my view of how incredibly radical Jesus's message w
Brian Mercer
Oct 12, 2016 Brian Mercer rated it really liked it
very good stuff. The book got off to a slow start in my opinion, taking a long time to get into modern day politics and culture. Some ideas were a bit too extreme for me, but were interesting.
Katie Graham
Sep 27, 2016 Katie Graham rated it it was ok
Authors views on non-violence don't seem to take into account protecting others. The US has a powerful military but we shouldn't step in to stop forced child marriage or rape? He tells a story of walking with a young neighbor and beginning to feel more and more threatened by a group following them. Rather than duck into the post office (his destination) he confronts the group following them. Eventually he gets to tell the group that Jesus loves them. But he only gets this opportunity after the y ...more
Radical? Yes. Unsettling? Oh yes. But given the subject matter, surprisingly winsome and persuasive.

Claiborne advocates for a political conception of the Christian faith that calls for, on the one hand, abstinence from involvement with the state (especially the military) and consumerism and, on the other, for nonviolent resistance to oppression and exploitation by public and private agents. He obviously has his work cut out for him: the (white) evangelical church in the United States of the past
May 16, 2009 Tim rated it really liked it
Wow - what an interesting book! And to start with, I'm referring to just the printing and formatting. It reminds me of a graphic novel genre - various typefaces, pages looking like blotter paper, notepad, etc. Even the bibliography is shown as three pages of books stacked on a bookshelf so you can read the titles and authors. The authors are Christians who live in intentional communities in Philadelphia, PA and and Camden, NJ. They wrote this in 2007-08, as the US election process wore on. They ...more
Hansen Wendlandt
Jan 05, 2013 Hansen Wendlandt rated it really liked it
Shane Claiborne is not like most Americans. Some of us have a simple (simpleminded) image of the relationship between religion and politics; they practically overlap, to such a degree that it is often unclear whether the conservative faith community directs the Republican party, or vice versa. Other Americans would prefer more of a literal wall of separation between government and God. Many of us think these topics are rude, or too controversial or complicated to be worth conversation. Compared ...more
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My love of God and my love of the arts seem to have begun simultaneously. I can not remember which awed me first. By age eight I was both an avid collector of crucifix pendants and a writer of poems. Thankfully those first poems are lost somewhere on the African continent.

Fast forward years later through stints in English boarding school, pew-warming in Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, and Presbyter
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“Christianity is at its best when it is peculiar, marginalized, suffering, and it is at its worst when it is popular, credible, triumphal, and powerful.” 57 likes
“Some folks may be really bummed to find that "God bless America" does not appear in the Bible. So often we do things that make sense to us and ask God to bless our actions and come alongside our plans, rather than looking at the things God promises to bless and acting alongside of them. For we know that God's blessing will inevitably follow if we are with the poor, the merciful, the hungry, the persecuted, the peacemakers. But sometimes we'd rather have a God who conforms to our logic than conform our logic to the God whose wisdom is a stumbling block to the world of smart bombs and military intelligence.” 42 likes
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