Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals” as Want to Read:
Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  5,764 ratings  ·  341 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 im
Paperback, 368 pages
Published March 3rd 2008 by Zondervan (first published March 3rd 2007)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Jesus for President, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Jesus for President

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,764 ratings  ·  341 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals
Aug 04, 2008 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 three he
Jul 08, 2009 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 10, 2008 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
I like Shane's books... I don't necessarily agree with everything he writes, but his books challenge me to ask hard questions. ...more
Kimberly Patton
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.
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 relation
Alan Stucky
Jun 21, 2009 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". ...more
Carlisle Davidhizar
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A book I desperately needed in the face of the current political climate.
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 king ...more
Jeff Beechler
Dec 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Jun 09, 2008 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
Jun 23, 2008 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
Jun 03, 2008 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
Daniel Moss
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 ana
Heather Henderson
Dec 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 23, 2011 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
Sep 22, 2008 rated it liked it
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 worl
May 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Brett
Recommended to Fox 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 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
Jul 08, 2008 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
Oct 17, 2011 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 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
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, h
Jan 26, 2013 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
Rebekah O'Dell
Aug 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 a ...more
Feb 28, 2008 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 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-and-earlier
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... ...more
Virginia Davis
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
For anyone trying to reconcile faith (or more appropriately, discipleship to Jesus) with politics. Obviously, we can't expect everyone to lead the life Shane leads, but there are some seriously good ideals to attempt to hold ourselves to in this book. If we dismiss the ways of Jesus in favor of a certain political system, we are (as Shane points out) suggesting that we find that system more realistic and believable than Jesus. ...more
Sep 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book is interesting, creative, challenging, inspirational, imperfect, thought-provoking; one that (like a lot of great books) I think could be dangerous in the wrong hands, but I can't fault the book for that. I'd definitely recommend it to just about anybody, although I think it would upset some. So I'd recommend it to those people even more. ...more
Apr 02, 2011 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.
Erica Shier
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-book-list
It would be hard for me to overstate how much I love this book. I was challenged, inspired and moved by Claiborne's vision of what it means to truly live as a follower of Jesus in the midst of a world (and country) that is so fraught with violence, inequity and greed. This is one I will have to ponder and return to many times as I try to implement some of these ideas in my own life. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Jesus Wants to Save Christians: A Manifesto for the Church in Exile
  • unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity... and Why It Matters
  • Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith
  • The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power Is Destroying the Church
  • Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality and Spirituality
  • Searching for God Knows What
  • The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? the Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World
  • Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire: What Happens When God's Spirit Invades the Heart of His People
  • A New Kind of Christian: A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey
  • Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation
  • Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He Matters
  • Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road
  • Everything Must Change
  • Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality
  • Interrupted: An Adventure in Relearning the Essentials of Faith
  • Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times
  • Under the Overpass: A Journey of Faith on the Streets of America
  • Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God: The Scandalous Truth of the Very Good News
See similar books…
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 ...more

News & Interviews

The beauty of a paperback novel is multidimensional. Allow me to explain: The format allows you to catch up on some of 2020's biggest books...
72 likes · 7 comments
“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.” 68 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.” 53 likes
More quotes…