Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Most Thought-Provoking Book of Late.

The title, as I've mentioned, is ironic. Don't be scared. Jesus for President is an incredibly interesting, brave look at not only American culture, but Christian culture today. Shane Claiborne (author of The Irresistible Revolution) and Chris Haw start at the beginning and take their readers through the Old Testament, then into the Roman Empire during the early days of the church and right up to the present moment in the United States: a journey of how life that is truly life has been distorted by the culture of consumerism and power that is good for few and oppressive for many.

It is impossible to respond to this book in one post. I started reading it this summer and just recently finished it, not because it was boring or I wasn't able, but because it was so much to take in and reflect on in one sitting. I read the first part three times before I could move on. For as long as I've been reading this book, I've tried to imagine what I would say about it, but realized that there aren't quite words.

Reading Shane Claiborne is an extremely thought provoking exercise for not only the political, but the spiritual imagination. His views are extreme in many different ways yet challenging. Some seem realistic and then there's the part of me who looks at the history of people and wonders if the extreme change he is calling for is possible. The culture I am a part of and my selfishness butts up against so much of it. But. All I can say is that the Litany of Resistance at the end of the book is one of the most beautiful collection of words I've read in a long time. So all I can do is recommend this book and then ask that we can get coffee and talk about it. (I'm serious. Alison? Meaghan?) For now, here are a few things to think about:

"Most of the ugliness in the human narrative comes from a distorted quest to possess beauty."

"God entrusted [his people] to bless the world, not 'rid the world of evil.' "

"The statistics had a face. Poverty became personal. And that messes with you."


Anonymous said...

interesting title and review... i wish you lived nearby so I could borrow and check out :)

cps said...

i think i may get this book asap.