This book is so great, it's full of so much good stuff. It is a little heavy on the social justice. Today I think it is necessary to be reminded that we can live a different way in today's American society. I find myself putting my objects, all the stuff I have above God. I also put my family ahead of God. It is so easy in our society to put work, family, and the American dream above God. To serve ourselves more than others. So I think this book is very valuable in seeing a dramatically different radical way of living in giving up all the stuff and serving God. The Bible was written for us, not to us. But I think we tend to really see the Bible as great stories of the way people lived, but we can't imagine living the way Paul lived today here in America. We can emulate that lifestyle today and Shane Claiborne gives a great testimony in doing it. He has been arrested for helping the poor, he struggles, and he has suffered. I am so naïve, I didn't realize that it was possible to suffer in that way defending the gospel here in America. He lives among the poor and homeless. He makes friends with them and helps them out as much as possible. Oh, and of course I love this book because I have to respect a guy who has also lived in a van down by the river! :) The book made me feel uncomfortable, but I believe that is a good thing. I had the feeling, well, that's nice that he can do that, but I don't think I'm called to do that. I tried telling myself it was way too heavy on the social justice. If I'm honest with myself, the only reason I feel that way is because deep down I know he's right. I'm sure if Jesus was around today he'd be seen on the streets making connections,helping, and healing the poor and homeless. Shane doesn't come across as self righteous, in fact he's quite humble, but it's easy to feel like he is, because again, I feel guilty that I don't think I'll ever have the strength and courage to do what he is doing. I highly recommend reading this book. You can read a chapter from the book right here.
Here is a little excerpt:
“One thing I've learned from believers and activists alike is that community can be built around a common self-righteousness or around a common brokenness. Both are magnetic. People are drawn toward folks who have it all together, or who look like they do. People are also drawn toward folks who know they don't have it all together and are not willing to fake it.
Christianity can be built around isolating ourselves from evildoers and sinners, creating a community of religious piety and moral purity. That's the Christianity I grew up with. Christianity can also be built around joining with the broken sinners and evildoers of our world crying out to God, groaning for grace. That's the Christianity I have fallen in love with.”