Tuesday, January 25, 2011
I recently read The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. Aside from the Bible, this is one of the most challenging books that I've ever read. Throughout the book Shane focuses on the concepts of loving and meeting the needs of the poor, loving our enemies and being peacemakers, and loving our neighbors. He challenges Christians to be faithful in these areas, and shares stories of how he has done these things in very counter-cultural ways. Shane shares some of his experiences from serving a colony of lepers in Calcutta, to his time as a peacemaker in Iraq while the US was bombing them, to some of the ways his community, The Simple Way, are living out the Gospel in their neighborhood. Inspiring and challenging pretty much sums it up. It's a great, easy read... check it out!
p. 113 "We can admire and worship Jesus without doing what He did. We can applaud what He preached and stood for without caring about the same things. We can adore his cross without taking up ours"
p. 102 "Jesus never says to the poor, 'Come find the church,' but he says to those of us in the church, Go into the world and find the poor, hungry, homeless, imprisoned..."
p. 71 "The matter is quite simple, The Bible is very easy to understand, but we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close"
p. 170 "Poverty was created not by God but by you and me, because we have not learned to love our neighbors as ourselves. Gandhi put it well when he said, "There is enough for every one's need, but there is not enough for every one's greed.""
p. 329 "We cannot magically arrive at a community that allows us to give everything if we do not currently nurture a culture of sacrificial giving. As Gandhi taught, the means must express the end that we desire; the journey is as important as the destination. If our community, in its current state, does not reflect the brilliant cultural and economic diversity that marked the early Jesus revolution, how can it reflect that in its later state?"
p. 329 "Our big visions for multiculturalism and reconciliation will make their way into the church only when they are first lived out in real relationships, out of our homes and around our dinner tables and in our living rooms. Perhaps this is why Jesus begins it all by sitting around a table with a Roman tax collector, a Zealot revolutionary, a fisherman, a Pharisee, and a prostitute."
p. 344 "What is crazier: one person owning the same amount of money as the combined economies of 23 countries, or suggesting that if we shared, there would be enough for everyone?"