I'd seen Professor West's books on shelves in bookstores and was interested. Why Race Matters and why Democracy Matters seemed like important discussiI'd seen Professor West's books on shelves in bookstores and was interested. Why Race Matters and why Democracy Matters seemed like important discussions that we still need to have in the United States. But I confess my own racism/prejudice- I saw his afro and I wondered if as a middle class, middle aged, Midwestern White male I could relate to him. I worried that his politics would be too liberal even for a left-leaning centrist Democrat like me.
Then I caught his appearance on a late night talk show and he wasn't talking with arrogance or anger about race or politics- he was speaking about Jesus. He was speaking about faith and love and forgiveness and suffering.
When I fount this book, with the word "hope" right in the title, I wondered if it would be about President Obama or about the civil rights movement. It's not. It is about us, all of us. And in it, West introduces us to Jesus.
Not the confident, indignant, powerful Jesus that Pat Robertson and James Dobson talk about- the strict, White American, Republican patriarchal Jesus who opposes government regulation, taxes, and gay marriage and supports the troops and the Tea Parties and the NRA.
Not the optimistic, affluent, sexy, successful Jesus that Joel Osteen and Creflo Dollar talk about, waiting to solve all your problems and shower you with material blessings if you just believe enough.
West reveals the Jesus who is humble, genuine, unpretentious but more importantly the Jesus who is brutally honest, patient, kind, just, loving, and wise. The Jesus who turns the other cheek, walks the extra mile, offers the shirt off His back, loves his enemy and was willing to risk everything and sacrifice everything for the sake of others.
Yes, West talks about race and politics, history and economics in this book. He talks about institutions and empire, families, education, and culture. But mostly he talks about depth. Deep Learning, Deep Democracy, and Deep Love, deep enough to sacrifice everything for the sake of justice, equality, and hope.
West says that he's made it his mission to make the world safe for Martin Luther King Jr. That's awesome, because anyone who's read King's 'Strength to Love,' knows that King had made it his mission to make the world safe for Jesus....more
The first year I ever coached cheerleading, I realized what a wonderful opportunity coaching was to help influence kids' character. I also realized thThe first year I ever coached cheerleading, I realized what a wonderful opportunity coaching was to help influence kids' character. I also realized that I was woefully inadequately prepared to do that. Since I was teaching and coaching at a Lutheran school at the time, I used this book to help me. A few years I even used it as a Bible study guide for my squads. Goran Thiessen's Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) resource also really helped me grow in my own faith too....more
What an amazing story, he writes this poem as part of a student leadership booklet back in college in the 60's, and somehow it spreads world-wide. PeoWhat an amazing story, he writes this poem as part of a student leadership booklet back in college in the 60's, and somehow it spreads world-wide. People use it in business and church groups and schools, in the U.S. and Asia and Europe. Eventually the poem winds up on the wall of Mother Theresa's mission in Calcutta.
Keith goes on about his life as a teacher, a lawyer, a state official and a college administrator. And people keep asking him to expound on the ideas in his little booklet and famous poem. So book is the result.
This is a positive message of how God can use you if you just do your best to do the right thing- not for any reward, but just because it's the right thing- even (maybe especially) when it's hard to do the right thing. ...more
Not sure where to begin. I seem to be suffering from writer's block lately. I'll say what I told the friend who suggested this author to me- he is conNot sure where to begin. I seem to be suffering from writer's block lately. I'll say what I told the friend who suggested this author to me- he is convicting and challenging yet warm, engaging and funny.
Claiborne really exposes what huge hypocrites most of us soft, complacent, selfish, American "Christians" are! We really have let the contemporary Pharisees tell us what Christianity is supposed to be instead of listening to what Jesus has really said Himself. This is a radically different interpretation of discipleship, stewardship, and fellowship than you will find in most Christian bookstores, between the Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck biographies.
I wish my head wasn't so full of DayQuill, so that I could do this book justice. All I can say is that I want my conservative Christian friends to open their eyes, ears, and hearts to recognize that the right wing may be right on some things, but they're certainly not right on ALL things and I want my progressive and liberal friends to know that Jesus does not hate, condemn and dispossess them, indeed, His truth may be closer to the compassion and concern already in their hearts- finally I want all of those who like me, have felt pulled by the presumably conflicting passions to love the Lord and also love they neighbor are not so paradoxical or mutually exclusive after all- AND, you are not alone! Not all followers of Jesus are purveyors of laissez-faire economics, anti-intellectualism, and right-wing demagoguery (even if it might seem that way sometimes)....more
For years people have urged me to read this. It seems to be something that is virtually prerequisite for becoming a Lutheran pastor.
I have to say, itFor years people have urged me to read this. It seems to be something that is virtually prerequisite for becoming a Lutheran pastor.
I have to say, it is not inspiring me to drop everything and go to seminary, nor is it somehow confirming for me God's divine Call. It is confirming for me that pastors are human beings and reminding me of all of the challenges, struggles and blessings they face. It sure takes a special kind of person to take on that vocation. God bless them and guide them! And may He find plenty of suitable candidates....more
circa 1965, I categorize this book sort of as Episcopal Beat Poetry. I haven't followed Boyd in any of his other books so I wouldn't consider myself acirca 1965, I categorize this book sort of as Episcopal Beat Poetry. I haven't followed Boyd in any of his other books so I wouldn't consider myself a follower or even a fan, I haven't scrutinized any of his theological stances or political positions- but I do enjoy this book.
It's refreshing in it's raw openness and honesty about doubts and feelings and modern social concerns, from race, gender and poverty, to movies, academia, and stress. These prayers are touching and remind the reader that God is interested in our mundane and our intimate, our profound and our profane. Jesus is not just divine, but also human, He's experienced our struggles and understands us.
Where are books like this today? Why hasn't some pastor or minister or poet taken to writing a book of personal prayers in common language? Why not?...more
Re-reading this again. First time was around 8th grade. Totally catching things that I never got as a teen or in college. Makes sense now that I've alRe-reading this again. First time was around 8th grade. Totally catching things that I never got as a teen or in college. Makes sense now that I've always leaned toward existentialist theology & philosophy. This book must have been my gateway-drug.
I appreciate Short & his take on Schultz so much more now in middle age. Maybe I never got far as either a cartoonist or writer is that I've always been too blunt & direct. Short's whole point is how Shultz, like Jesus used parables (metaphor, fiction, & humor) to help audiences swallow stronger medicine than they'd ordinarily choose to. Great stuff....more