The irresistible revolution…

Ir_book_cover_1You read the title I decided on above but here is the original title I was going to go with.
They don’t believe because of people like me…





The Irresistible Revolution / They don’t believe because of people like me…

Well I recently finished reading this book Irresistible Revolution, written by Shane Claiborne. I don’t really know how to write a book review but I will share some of my thoughts, this book provoked a lot of them.

First off, I really enjoyed this book! Some of the chapters I enjoyed in a sadistic way, it was painful reading and being challenged but I enjoyed it. Some of the chapters and sections I enjoyed because they made me laugh or smile. Some I enjoyed because I felt that I wasn’t alone in being an ordinary revolutionary, thinking crazy and wanting to live crazy. But yea, overall I really enjoyed this book.

The thing I enjoyed the most, probably, is the thoughts that were provoked and the direction these stories helps one to think. It helped me to think in some cool ways, in some news ways and in some further ways

Shane brings up many topics that are important for people to engage if you are serious about following Jesus and being apart of his revolutionary movement, his kingdom come.
He talks about following Jesus in the ways he has been lead to. He speaks of non-violence, peace rather than war, active love, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked,. He talks about idea of Jubilee and redistribution of wealth along with many other very revolutionary concepts. He also engages the idea of being apart of an alternate kingdom, a kingdom where OUR FATHER is king. And if we are not able to engage and think about the ramifications of that then we are in trouble and Shane deeply and thoughtfully engages us in this conversation.

I did struggle through this conversation however. Shane takes things to a pretty radical, a pretty far extreme and I wonder how normal people are really suppose to live out the life he is talking about. Should everyone begin to make there own clothes and farm their own garden? Should we all live in communal house and have homeless inner city ministries?

I really do believe that another world is possible, that when we pray “thy kingdom come” we should be careful because most likely God will use the one who earnestly pray that prayer to answer that prayer. I believe in a modern day jubilee where we bring the have and the have-nots closer rather than continuing and furthering the distance that is so evident in our culture. I want to have faith and live a non-violent life because Jesus calls us to peace and tells us that if we live by the sword we will die by the sword.

BUT

In short I’m a failure in living this out.

As my initial title indicates I believe in these things because I read the Scripture and see Jesus teaching them but not often if ever am I active in doing them. It’s people like me that make the way of Jesus “un-practical” “just theoretical” and basically strip validity from the teachings of Jesus in many ways.

I am attempting to follow Jesus and share his good news of a another way, of another kingdom but like most of my contemporaries, I to am sucked into a consumer, capitalistic, individualistic mindset and often I don’t feel like I live that which I believe and preach. I do believe that often if not always these mindsets (that I find myself buried in so often)  are incompatible with the kingdom of God.

Now I don’t want to paint a picture to bleak, I try to love people well and follow God and the purposes I believe he has for my life. But when it comes to the economics of his kingdom I struggle, when it comes to the extreme that maybe we are called to by king Jesus, maybe I don’t live that  out very well.

Solution…

Well I am not sure that there is one but I am sure that in little ways we can start to live Jubilee and love in the ways of God. I think there is a way for me to follow Jesus and bring his kingdom to come with out starting a garden or buying a sowing machine and learning how to sow my own clothes. And that is the journey I want to be on, the journey of leaning to follow Jesus more faithfully and giving my allegiance to him and his kingdom and his kingdom alone. And you see a kingdom teaches people how to live in it. There are rules, there is a way in a kingdom. I want to learn how to live in the kingdom of God and bring that kingdom to come on earth NOW as it is in heaven, in God’s space now.

This was a really good book to help start thinking in that direction.
I pray that I would, we would have the faith to live it out.

Shalom -- and all that comes with that
~~Erik