Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Jesus for President

I finally finished Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne & Chris Haw.  

The book was annoying at first.  Chris and Shane give criticism of the evangelical church...something I'm used to and have often done myself, and a necessary task if we're going to seek after the Kingdom of God.  However, the manner in which they offer these criticisms was frustrating because it was cynical and often mocking.  My hope was to use this book as a resource within my own community.  Some within my community may read those criticisms, get mad at them, and miss the message (a message with which I wholeheartedly agree).

Over time, however, my appreciation for the book grew more and more.  I wasn't a big fan of Claiborne's first book (The Irresistible Revolution).  I didn't even get into it.  But I greatly appreciate J4P.  It was challenging, confirming, and refreshing.  I may still offer it to my community for thought.  

I've come to see the manner of the book as more prophetic than mocking.  Jesus and John the Baptist both gave criticisms that were cynical and even mocking as well.

There are a number of quotes worth sharing, but the one that has haunted me the most was this: "Idolatry is what we would sacrifice our children for."  This was specifically written in a section about political freedom, war, and pacificism.  Yoder and Hauerwas began my trip towards pacificism.  Claiborne and Haw are fueling it.

1 comment:

  1. oh yeah brotha! i had very similar feelings to both books actually. for me, it was boyd, yoder and tolstoy that launched me onto pacifism, but i love claiborne's voice because he lends it to active peacemaking rather than simple passive resistance.

    you should check out tolstoy's "the kingdom of God is within you."

    good to see something from you again man. keep writing!