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Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals

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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 images to sing (rather than dictate) its message. It is a collaboration of Shane Claiborne's writing and stories, Chris Haw's reflections and research, and Chico Fajardo-Heflin's art and design. Drawing upon the work of biblical theologians, the lessons of church history, and the examples of modern-day saints and ordinary radicals, Jesus for President stirs the imagination of what the Church could look like if it placed its faith in Jesus instead of Caesar.

A fresh look at Christianity and empire, Jesus for President transcends questions of "Should I vote or not?" and "Which candidate?" by thinking creatively about the fundamental issues of faith and allegiance. It's written for those who seek to follow Jesus, rediscover the spirit of the early church, and incarnate the kingdom of God.

368 pages, Paperback

First published March 3, 2007

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About the author

Shane Claiborne

53 books552 followers
Shane Claiborne is a prominent speaker, activist, and best-selling author. Shane worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, and founded The Simple Way in Philadelphia. He heads up Red Letter Christians, a movement of folks who are committed to living "as if Jesus meant the things he said." Shane is a champion for grace which has led him to jail advocating for the homeless, and to places like Iraq and Afghanistan to stand against war. And now grace fuels his passion to end the death penalty.

Shane’s books include Jesus for President, Red Letter Revolution, Common Prayer, Follow Me to Freedom, Jesus, Bombs and Ice Cream, Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers, his classic The Irresistible Revolution and his newest book, Executing Grace. He has been featured in a number of films including "Another World Is Possible" and "Ordinary Radicals." His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Shane speaks over one hundred times a year, nationally and internationally. His work has appeared in Esquire, SPIN, Christianity Today, and The Wall Street Journal, and he has been on everything from Fox News and Al Jazeera to CNN and NPR. He’s given academic lectures at Harvard, Princeton, Liberty, Duke, and Notre Dame.

Shane speaks regularly at denominational gatherings, festivals, and conferences around the globe.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 370 reviews
Profile Image for Jimmy.
20 reviews1 follower
September 3, 2008
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 three here.

-1- The total pacifism advocated by the authors would not only eliminate armies, but also the police and any opportunity for measured and restrained self-defense or physical violence (even restraint of evil, I think).

-2- The authors blatantly celebrate the intentional deceit of security at a US Naval facility so a demonstration against war could be made (this leads to arrests), and they sued the government for wrongful arrest (which--as far as I can tell--is the exact opposite of what Jesus and the apostles would have done).

-3- The authors spend one tiny paragraph in the entire book glossing over the nation of Israel and the wars--at God's command--they initiated during the occupation of the land of Canaan. Since they don't adequately deal with this subject, it leaves a gaping hole in the pacifism argument.

Some I have talked with think the book has a tone of arrogance and pretense. I disagree, but understand why they would think that way. I have read other material from Shane Claiborne (mainly, blogs and articles online) and don’t believe a view of arrogance or pretense is warranted in this case.

Lastly, the bibliography has me concerned. It appears that the authors spent timing reading only books that support their position. While this work doesn't claim to be scholarly, the authors should have at least reassured the reader that they had done their homework with opposing views.
Profile Image for Mac.
247 reviews4 followers
July 9, 2009
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 told seven extremely close friends that I wanted more out of life. Much, much more. Because of that statement, those friends asked me if I were willing to leave my addiction to alcohol behind. Because of that question, I was faced with the choice of actually stepping out and seeking more, or just saing I wanted more. Because of that I took a step and quit drinking.

And because of that, God has moved in my life in ways that have forever altered how I live in this world.

The book, for me, was that powerful.
Profile Image for Colby Holloway.
210 reviews14 followers
May 5, 2021
If you’re gonna read a book on how to live according the teachings of a 2,000 year old revolutionary in the modern era this is the book. I’d heavily recommend it, the back 1/3rd is story after story of practice ways people are living counter to the capitalistic war machine in creative and beautiful ways. That’s how all Christian books should be, if you’re going to interpret the scriptures you better have a lot of examples of how you’ve lived this out and the fruit from that lifestyle. “If your good news of Gospel is not good news for the poor than it’s not the good news of Jesus.”
Profile Image for Kimberly Patton.
Author 3 books10 followers
February 7, 2021
This was really interesting and made me rethink many things. I enjoyed the layout of the book and the passion in which the authors presented their thoughts. I struggled to be on board with each idea talked about, and I need to do some more research to really grasp what I believe. I am too easily persuaded due to emotion so I need to do my homework.
Profile Image for Clark.
21 reviews10 followers
July 15, 2008
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 such a life be lived as communal, creative, and nonviolent resistance to U.S. militarism and markets. In short, a life together, devoted to extreme love of enemies and jubilee economics.

It's vision is compelling and provocative, if perhaps less than clear or accessible for those unable or unwilling to join communities like the authors' "simple way" and "camden house."

Profile Image for Clif Hostetler.
1,063 reviews697 followers
May 17, 2012
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 relationship that provides a ticket to a heavenly afterlife.  Readers who believe Jesus is an American and a member of their favorite political party will be shocked to find that the authors of this book are at a completely different place.  In other words, after taking the Hebrew and Christian scriptures more seriously than those identified by the mainstream media as "evangelical conservatives," this book has arrived at a political positions that are polar opposites those pious folks.

My summary of the book’s position is this--actions matter, share your money, and avoid possessing power. Doing this will lead you to live simply, aid the poor and oppose the military. If that sounds radical, this book agrees.  Jesus was radical in his time, and the writers of this book want to follow his example and be radical in our time.

I am generally sympathetic with their political positions, and I tend to be amused at how their study of the Bible leads them to political positions opposed to the “holier that thou” evangelical conservatives. But I can’t be too smug about it because the authors of this book would not approved of my own life style. They don’t offer much of a middle position short of dumpster diving, living off the grid and giving my money away.

The book is divided into four main sections. The first two sections are focused on showing that the book's positions are rooted in the Bible. The first section does a quick overview of the scriptures used by Jesus, the Hebrew scriptures. The second section deals with Jesus' relationship with religious and political leaders in his time. The third section describes what the early church was like before and after it became the state religion. The fourth and last section discusses what Christianity can look like today when allegiance is to God over national patriotism. It goes on to deal with nitty-gritty questions such as serving in the military, paying taxes, and consumerism.

I couldn't help but notice that the book references John Howard Yoder several times. I have recently read his book, Politics of Jesus which I found to be a challenging academic style of writing. The book "Jesus for President" in contrast is quite easy to read and is probably written at a junior high level. I also noticed that the book sites the Amish as a positive example of how Christians should live.
Profile Image for Cory Knipp.
20 reviews
September 13, 2021
I am guilty of starting this book with the motivation of finding religious arguments that support my existing political beliefs. I have been angry with conservative Christians that have questioned my faith, and said people with beliefs like mine "don't belong in the church". I opened this book, hoping it would give me tools to strengthen my counterarguments.

In some ways, It didn't disappoint. "Jesus for President" outlines how our current economic system incentivizes a culture of greed and individualism that makes us lose sight of caring for the poor. This has produced growing wealth inequality and our broken healthcare system. The book also mentions that this greed has harmed our environment (God's gift to humanity) through the wastefulness of materialism. It outlines our Christian duties to welcome refugees, ridicules the walls that separate our nations, and despises America's military-industrial complex. In response, "Jesus for President" lays out a campaign for an alternative economy that is communal, a place that transcends borders, and eliminates military spending.

I smiled as I realized that this campaign is a far cry from popular conservative views such as faith in the free market, border walls, increased military spending, and unimportance in environmental protection. However, even though Jesus may not support conservative politics, he also doesn't support mine. The authors make clear that Jesus is above politics, and all political parties fall short of the glory of God.

The title "Jesus for President" isn't meant to be literal. The authors point out that Jesus would make a pretty bad president (just imagine Jesus campaigning!! Seems silly!). Even if you think he would make a good politician, Jesus himself wouldn't take the job. The Devil offers Jesus all political power, and Jesus knows he can take it, but refuses (Luke 4:5-8)! Rather than being taken literally, the title "Jesus for President" is a call for all Christians to raise their political standards to better reflect Christ. And I found in many ways, the political party I support falls short of that goal. This is tough to swallow.

This book is challenging, humbling, and thought-provoking. The political stances the authors make are radical such as the elimination of all military spending and a completely new economic system. (But hey, Jesus was a radical guy) And the questions I am left with are hard to think about. Am I really loving my enemy? Am I truly doing enough for the poor? How am I an accomplice to this broken world? Would I be willing to put myself in danger to uphold Christ's teachings?

Everyone knows the answers they want to give, but this book really makes you think about whether you are truly putting your faith to practice and whether your politics reflect the true teachings of Christ. I recommend this book to both liberal and conservative Christians. And I invite them to read this book with the intention of looking inward, rather than searching for arguments to criticize others.
Profile Image for Alan Stucky.
23 reviews9 followers
October 14, 2009
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".
Profile Image for Longfellow.
432 reviews15 followers
July 1, 2020
I’m still not sure if the title of this book is meant to be taken literally or ironically. Via the lens of irony, Jesus for President emphasizes Jesus’ message that his followers are not to be aligned with the values of empire and the power it wields, power used to perpetuate injustice more often than not. This means a life that rejects the embrace of one’s privilege and seeks to lift up those who are trodden down. Taken literally, the title likely refers to an allegiance to the alternative kingdom that Jesus established, the kingdom of a loving and merciful God. And so, either way the gist is that Christian community should focus on showing another way, first by example rather than through political activism--not that political activism is inappropriate but that it isn’t the message of Jesus. The Gospel draws and compels rather than forces.

Nonetheless, near the end of the book there is some attention paid to political involvement and voting. In fact, it ends with such content, the last sentence prior to the appendices being “And perhaps for others, rocking the vote may mean going to the booths and writing in our Candidate, because he doesn’t seem to be on the ballot.” This conclusion follows a section of the book that provides numerous examples for how we may choose to live differently than our surrounding culture. I did not enjoy this latter section of the book as much as the first half of the book, which summarizes large chunks of the Biblical story, from Genesis to the arrival of Jesus on the scene, and Claiborne and Haw use this narrative to explain the book’s central theme: the identification of empire and the ways in which God has always asked his people to resist empire in favor of faithfulness to the alternative way of God, one grounded in love, grace, and compassion.

Books I thought of while reading:
A Peculiar People by Rodney Clapp
Resident Aliens by Stanley Hauerwas
Profile Image for Kevin.
12 reviews5 followers
June 25, 2008
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 after the Bible first and give our allegiance to Jesus and only to Jesus. While I don't always agree with all of the authors', there have been some strong statements that I will continue to struggle with for some time.

Toward the end of the book the authors state that it isn't so much who we will decide to vote for in this next election, but rather, what is it that we are voting for each and every day in our own lives? What kinds of media, corporations, or social situations do we vote for with our actions? These are the questions that the author challenges the reader to ask.

Overall this was a great book, and forced me to stretch my thinking.
Profile Image for Christopher M..
77 reviews3 followers
July 25, 2011
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 myself through every word of the first two chapters. Nearly every comment is wrought with trite ad hominem against Bush, Republicans, the rich, the government, the establishment, whatever. Sorry guys, but Jesus did NOT have politics on his mind with every single thing he said (Nor are there even applications to politics from most of what he said). Plenty of important material to work with here, and plenty of things people need to hear, just too bad they can't get past their own immaturity and ignorance to make it worth reading.
91 reviews2 followers
July 10, 2008
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 time...so 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 everyone! Seriously, it will make you think and rethink every part of your life and this society we live in...page after page is an inspiration to live your life in a more positive, impactful way.
Profile Image for Ramón.
102 reviews7 followers
September 3, 2008
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, William Cavanaugh, Oscar Romero, A.J. Heschel, etc.).

Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Kristin.
149 reviews5 followers
January 19, 2022
I expected to really like this, but I hated it.
It couldn't hold my attention at all. I'm on board with the theology (at least what was contained in the first third that I read), but the format made me cringe.

The pages are full of graphics, a distracting font, and a casual writing style - all of which, I assume, intend to make the topic approachable. For me, I got through 1/3 of the book and decided I have better things to read. One highlight was the cultural context given to several well-known parables and beatitudes.
Profile Image for Daniel Moss.
158 reviews6 followers
September 8, 2020
Came very close to giving this 5 stars, consider it 4.5.

This will probably be the only book I'll ever have strong economic and theological differences with and still absolutely love it.

Does this author even realize the rejection of violence, as embodied in Christ, and presented so well in this book, pushes us to anarchy, i.e., no king but Christ? The author never says so. Or, at least, I never saw mention of it. But this author's work isn't really about that question. To ask if we should be anarchists is to ask a lesser question than the one this book truly addresses: what does it mean to be a Christ-follower? And the answer to that question most definitely leads to both anarchism and agorism. For, undoubtedly, to live like Christ is to love and serve like Christ, both of which means we are not to lord it over others with state violence (anarchism), but, instead, to look for creative ways of engaging the world's broken inhabitants (agorism). And to do that quite often means bending or breaking laws, as, for one example, finding ways to not pay taxes, or at least pay less, since, as the author points out, many Christians recognize paying taxes means funding the military industrial complex, and thus: global violence.

This book is a breath of fresh air. It'll push you where you need to be pushed. Even in my case, as someone who has studied economics more than the average person, this book forced me to ask some very difficult questions about my economic stance. What I came to realize was that rather than simply trusting the "invisible hand" of the market, there are ways in which I can have a more visible impact on people's lives economically - all that's required is for me to think creatively and compassionately. With that said, I think the author makes some pretty large mistakes when he ventures into the economic realm. It's pretty obvious that Marx's economics has had an impact here, either directly or indirectly, as evidenced by the multiple claims of, even if never expressly stated, that capitalism is inherently exploitative. What's good is that although the author has drunk some of the Marxist Koolaid on economics, it's rather clear he hasn't embraced the violence inherent in Marx.

To the issue of economics, I have to humbly recommend two Christian economists (Robert P. Murphy and Shaun Ritenour) that I think offer great insight into how it is capitalism that allows many of the neat - entrepreneurial - anecdotes the author shares at the end of the book. Those entrepreneurial solutions to people's suffering can only come about because of the wealth accumulated through the capitalist system. The two books from Murphy that I'd recommend are: "Choice: Cooperation, Enterprise, and Human Action" and "Politically Incorrect Guide To Capitalism". And the book from Ritenour would be "Foundations of Economics: A Christian View". Although both economists are devoutly Christian, the latter work does an incredible job of presenting a thorough work of economics while continuously showing how economic insights are compatible, if not derived from, scripture.

One last thing I think I need to say about this book is that it includes graphics, some of which are really effective in pushing the narrative. Therfore, I recommend the physical edition, not the kindle.
December 11, 2020
This book is great for those of us who struggle to reconcile the hold of conservatism or the need for political power in general on the modern church. I appreciate the historical underpinning of this book as it helped me understand throughout history how our politics and religion have become so enmeshed. I bought this book for a couple of friends who struggle like I do as we look around at a Church that looks nothing like Jesus.
Profile Image for Joanna.
79 reviews2 followers
May 21, 2021
So much to think about.

I listened to the audio book and felt sometimes the accompanying music was a little distracting.
Profile Image for Aimee.
30 reviews1 follower
March 22, 2022
some good things to think about but also eh. did not like the last third of the book
Profile Image for Sarah.
76 reviews
September 22, 2008
This book started off on a bad note for me. The authors seem to be randomly jumping all over the place with stories from Scripture and offering some explanations and historical references. That would be all fine and good, but it seemed quite aimless and barely held my attention long enough for me to commit to reading the entire book.

The book itself does a wonderful job of outlining God's intention for believers and followers to be a set-apart people--members of a kingdom that is not of this world. He particularly addresses this book to American Christians who have become wrapped up in a false ideal of a Christian government.

I love how Shane Claiborne challenges believers to live on the edge, minister to those on the margins, and be non-conformists. I respect him because he is living the life that he preaches.

I have read Claiborne's book, "The Irresistible Revolution" and found stories being retold in "Jesus for President." He used them to represent points he was making, but as a reader, I don't appreciate hearing the same story again and again.

I challenge American Christians to read this book and evaluate their own lives. This book has made me do a lot of evaluating of my own.
Profile Image for Hilary "Fox".
2,000 reviews53 followers
May 22, 2009
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 footnotes make it a fascinating read. The content, also, was excellent. The book at first is a political history of the Bible that ties the ancient politics to present ones and offers a good compare/contrast of the two times. The final section of the book is the best, where it talks about practically implicating what it means to be a good Christian into today's world.

Jesus For President was difficult to get through at times (any fact heavy book is) but overall was an excellent examination of contradictory Christianity that goes above and beyond the norm by actually providing examples of how to consolidate this contradiction.
Profile Image for Inder.
511 reviews72 followers
August 3, 2008
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 while.

But unfortunately, it's not as well-written as it could have been - very redundant. It was a struggle to read this from beginning to end, and my attention constantly wandered (it's overdue now, so I finally got around to finishing it). This book would have benefited from a much better editing - actually, I just wanted to pull out a pen and start editing it myself. But there are some amazing, challenging ideas here.

I recommend it, but I would suggest skipping around a bit.
Profile Image for Meadow.
23 reviews5 followers
October 17, 2011
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 agree with everything Shane Claiborne said or did, but his thirst to see the kingdom of God advanced, and freed from anything that is merely added by our culture is inspiring and awesome.

If you want to have your political views as a modern American (or Western) Christian strongly challenged, and/or you want to learn more about the political world that Jesus lived and walked in during Roman times, this is the book for you!
Profile Image for Sam.
412 reviews27 followers
August 16, 2020
Mixing the church and state is like mixing ice cream and cow manure. It may do much to the manure but it sure messes up the ice cream. Tony Campolo.
Many Christian words used today were loaded with political meaning for Jesus and his contemporaries. gospel, faith, throne, kingdom, lord, savior, banner, messiah. These words Rome knew well.
“The most divine Caesar…we should consider equal to the Beginning of all things…for when everything was falling into disorder and tending toward dissolution, he restored it once more and gave the whole world a new aspect; Caesar…the common good Fortune of all…The Beginning of life and vitality…All the cities unanimously adopt the birthday of the divine Caesar as the new beginning of the year…Whereas the Providence which has regulated our whole existence…has brought our life to the climax of perfection in giving to us the emperor Augustus…who being sent to us and our descendants as Savior, has put an end to war and has set all things in order; and whereas, having become God manifest, Caesar has fulfilled all the hopes of earlier times…the birthday of the God Augustus has been for the whole world the beginning of good news concerning him.” (The Priene Inscription, written 9 BCE)
Calling Jesus Messiah or Lord is like acclaiming him president. He was like the president who did not want to be president.
Jews had strict rules about gardens, and kept mustard seeds out of their gardens. It was notorious for invading well trimmed veggies/plants, and would take over the entire garden. Jewish law forbade planting mustard. When they heard Jesus’ images of God’s mustard seed kingdom, it would have been funny or shocking, it’s an infamous plant to describe God’s kingdom.
Pigs are symbol of uncleanliness. Jesus invited the legion to enter the pigs (2,000) and they plunged into the sea. The legion of Pharaoh’s army also plunged into the sea. They got the message. Imperial power is bad for your health. No wonder the towns people urged Jesus to leave.
The coins of Roman Empire had stamped on them, Long live the Son of God. The economy belonged to Caesar.
Jesus was praying (Jn 17), not for the world to be changed, or Rome to be reformed, but that this peculiar group of people would be set apart, and therein lies the hope of the world, faithful to God’s way.
The supermarket of the day was called the Agora. Just as Walmart has an American flag, so too the agora existed under the mythology of the powers. Just as our money say, In God we trust, so did Rome’s. To enter, you had to pledge allegiance to the economy patronized under Caesar. No one thought about it. Few could tell the difference between Caesar or God. You would drop a pinch of incense before the image of Caesar before entering the market. Then the person visiting the market would receive a mark on their right hand, allowing them to enter and buy or sell.
Christianity is at its best when it is peculiar, marginalized, suffering, and at its worst when it is popular, credible, triumphal, powerful. (Imperial Christianity has done so much harm. Conversion was cheap grace, and the integrity of discipleship was lost. We had an identity crisis.
Wo needs a Creator when we can sculpt mountains? Who needs a physician when we can heal ourselves? Who needs providence for food when we can clone animals? Who needs a savior when we have a 400 billion defense shield? Who needs a deliverer when the empire has become a democracy? Who needs a god when we are worthy of worship ourselves?
I’m proud of to be unAmerican if its imposed peace by violence, counterfeit bloody liberation, etc. If grace, humility, non-violence are American, then I’m proud to be American, if sharing for a sustainable world is, if loving our enemies is American, then I’m proud to be American.
I love the pure, peaceable, impartial Christianity of christ. Therefore, I hate the corrupt, slave holding, women whipping, cradle plundering partial hypocritical Christianity of this land. Frederick Douglas.
Greg Boyd, You can no more have a Christian worldly government than you can have a Christian petunia or aardvark. John Adams said, The government of the United Sates of America is not any sense founded on the Christian religion.
Christians are to be little Christs, to be the body of Jesus int he world. People who put flesh on Jesus. To some, you are the only Jesus people will see. The promise of the Church is this: None of us alone are Christ (blasphemy), but all of us together are Christ to the world (ecclesiology).
Political embodiment means that we must be the change we want to see in the world, and not depend on politicians to change things for us. Those who would like to see abortion grow rarer and non-existent, must also be ready to take in teen moms and adopt some unwanted babies. To be pro life we must come alongside these.
The question will not be what are you going to do when you grow up, but what kind of person are you becoming? What kind of doctor, lawyer (etc) will you be?
Public confrontation of those who have visibly misrepresented Jesus is important practice of faith. It’s a way of saying, When you do that, it’s not just your reputation at stake but mine and our God’s. (Matt. 18:15-18)
We need to celebrate holy days and feast days. We must mark our calendars differently. In the name of cultural idols like Easter Bunny, Santa Claus. It’s not July 4th, but Pentecost. Our fireworks should go off then. (etc)
Who are the masters and Caesars we put our trust in by the way we live? We vote with our feet, hands, lips, wallets. We are to vote for the peacemakers, the marginalized of our society, poor, oppressed, most vulnerable. These are the ones Jesus voted for. The ones the empire leaves behind, and no politician will represent. When it comes to voting for candidates, we can use prophetic imagination.
Profile Image for Tina.
309 reviews3 followers
January 27, 2013
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 Claiborne proposed, but he certainly moved me closer to his thinking than I was before reading the book.
Profile Image for Rebekah O'Dell.
Author 3 books79 followers
August 21, 2008
Rarely have I read a book that made me stop reading mid-sentence to reflect on what I believe and why I believe it. This book caused me to do just that on nearly every page. Though I was very closed to the message of this book initially, I found it extremely compelling by the end. It really has made me rethink a lot of things about faith, what Christ truly asks of us, and how we are to live it out. Whether or not you agree with all of it or not (I didn't), this is certainly a phenomenal read about what it means to be a Christ-follower.
Profile Image for Angie.
66 reviews
March 7, 2008
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.
Profile Image for Melissa C..
304 reviews27 followers
April 4, 2017
Well, this one definitely presented a fresh look at politics for me. I could see that if you are very close minded, and do not enjoy hearing someone's point of view that is much different from your own, you would not enjoy this book. I liked the different point of view, I don't know if I agree with everything in the book, but definitely enjoyed reading it. I'll read anything Shane Claiborne writes...
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