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Jesus for President is a radical manifesto to awaken the Christian political imagination, reminding us that our ultimate hope lies not in partisan political options but in Jesus and the incarnation of the peculiar politic of the church as a people set apart from this world. In what can be termed lyrical theology, Jesus for President poetically weaves together words and im Jesus for President is a radical manifesto to awaken the Christian political imagination, reminding us that our ultimate hope lies not in partisan political options but in Jesus and the incarnation of the peculiar politic of the church as a people set apart from this world. In what can be termed lyrical theology, Jesus for President poetically weaves together words and images to sing (rather than dictate) its message. It is a collaboration of Shane Claiborne's writing and stories, Chris Haw's reflections and research, and Chico Fajardo-Heflin's art and design. Drawing upon the work of biblical theologians, the lessons of church history, and the examples of modern-day saints and ordinary radicals, Jesus for President stirs the imagination of what the Church could look like if it placed its faith in Jesus instead of Caesar. A fresh look at Christianity and empire, Jesus for President transcends questions of "Should I vote or not?" and "Which candidate?" by thinking creatively about the fundamental issues of faith and allegiance. It's written for those who seek to follow Jesus, rediscover the spirit of the early church, and incarnate the kingdom of God.


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Jesus for President is a radical manifesto to awaken the Christian political imagination, reminding us that our ultimate hope lies not in partisan political options but in Jesus and the incarnation of the peculiar politic of the church as a people set apart from this world. In what can be termed lyrical theology, Jesus for President poetically weaves together words and im Jesus for President is a radical manifesto to awaken the Christian political imagination, reminding us that our ultimate hope lies not in partisan political options but in Jesus and the incarnation of the peculiar politic of the church as a people set apart from this world. In what can be termed lyrical theology, Jesus for President poetically weaves together words and images to sing (rather than dictate) its message. It is a collaboration of Shane Claiborne's writing and stories, Chris Haw's reflections and research, and Chico Fajardo-Heflin's art and design. Drawing upon the work of biblical theologians, the lessons of church history, and the examples of modern-day saints and ordinary radicals, Jesus for President stirs the imagination of what the Church could look like if it placed its faith in Jesus instead of Caesar. A fresh look at Christianity and empire, Jesus for President transcends questions of "Should I vote or not?" and "Which candidate?" by thinking creatively about the fundamental issues of faith and allegiance. It's written for those who seek to follow Jesus, rediscover the spirit of the early church, and incarnate the kingdom of God.

30 review for Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy

    I loved this book. I hated this book. It is an easy read (linguistically, at least), but a hard read (conceptually). Conservative Christians everywhere need to read it, not because it's right but because we need to wrestle with the issues Claiborne & Haw raise through-out the book. Their ideas of reclaiming a "prophetic vision" and subversion of empire are discussions the church needs to be having ... right now! There were many instances in which I disagreed with the book. I will mention three he I loved this book. I hated this book. It is an easy read (linguistically, at least), but a hard read (conceptually). Conservative Christians everywhere need to read it, not because it's right but because we need to wrestle with the issues Claiborne & Haw raise through-out the book. Their ideas of reclaiming a "prophetic vision" and subversion of empire are discussions the church needs to be having ... right now! There were many instances in which I disagreed with the book. I will mention three here. -1- The total pacifism advocated by the authors would not only eliminate armies, but also the police and any opportunity for measured and restrained self-defense or physical violence (even restraint of evil, I think). -2- The authors blatantly celebrate the intentional deceit of security at a US Naval facility so a demonstration against war could be made (this leads to arrests), and they sued the government for wrongful arrest (which--as far as I can tell--is the exact opposite of what Jesus and the apostles would have done). -3- The authors spend one tiny paragraph in the entire book glossing over the nation of Israel and the wars--at God's command--they initiated during the occupation of the land of Canaan. Since they don't adequately deal with this subject, it leaves a gaping hole in the pacifism argument. Some I have talked with think the book has a tone of arrogance and pretense. I disagree, but understand why they would think that way. I have read other material from Shane Claiborne (mainly, blogs and articles online) and don’t believe a view of arrogance or pretense is warranted in this case. Lastly, the bibliography has me concerned. It appears that the authors spent timing reading only books that support their position. While this work doesn't claim to be scholarly, the authors should have at least reassured the reader that they had done their homework with opposing views.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mac

    This book is completely radical. I hate to be so cliche as to say it not only impacted my life more than any other book I've ever read, but that it had a major role in completely changing my life. It's true. Jesus for President is challenging. It presents some very hard-edged ideas that will challenge you and REALLY get you thinking about life, about what you think or feel is important, about what you're really hoping for in the end and how you're going about getting there. Because of this book, I This book is completely radical. I hate to be so cliche as to say it not only impacted my life more than any other book I've ever read, but that it had a major role in completely changing my life. It's true. Jesus for President is challenging. It presents some very hard-edged ideas that will challenge you and REALLY get you thinking about life, about what you think or feel is important, about what you're really hoping for in the end and how you're going about getting there. Because of this book, I told seven extremely close friends that I wanted more out of life. Much, much more. Because of that statement, those friends asked me if I were willing to leave my addiction to alcohol behind. Because of that question, I was faced with the choice of actually stepping out and seeking more, or just saing I wanted more. Because of that I took a step and quit drinking. And because of that, God has moved in my life in ways that have forever altered how I live in this world. The book, for me, was that powerful.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Clark

    Shaped by the anabaptist peace tradition, Jesus for President casts a compelling vision of what Jesus' "revolutionary subordination" might mean for engaging our communities and nation today. Like The Irresistible Revolution (which this book compliments without repeating), Jesus for President describes the authors' dream for what ordinary Christians might become--radically committed to living like Jesus. Relying heavily on John Howard Yoder's pacifism and biblical scholarship, they suggest su Shaped by the anabaptist peace tradition, Jesus for President casts a compelling vision of what Jesus' "revolutionary subordination" might mean for engaging our communities and nation today. Like The Irresistible Revolution (which this book compliments without repeating), Jesus for President describes the authors' dream for what ordinary Christians might become--radically committed to living like Jesus. Relying heavily on John Howard Yoder's pacifism and biblical scholarship, they suggest such a life be lived as communal, creative, and nonviolent resistance to U.S. militarism and markets. In short, a life together, devoted to extreme love of enemies and jubilee economics. It's vision is compelling and provocative, if perhaps less than clear or accessible for those unable or unwilling to join communities like the authors' "simple way" and "camden house."

  4. 5 out of 5

    Clif Hostetler

    The title of this book is an attention getting update of terms such as "King Jesus" and "Jesus is Lord."  It’s an ironic title because the authors admit that the American “powers and principalities” would remove him quickly if Jesus were somehow made President of the United States. Why? Because the first thing he would do is disarm the military and put them to work aiding the poor. This book's position is that the ethics of Jesus apply to life here and now; not to some personal spiritual relation The title of this book is an attention getting update of terms such as "King Jesus" and "Jesus is Lord."  It’s an ironic title because the authors admit that the American “powers and principalities” would remove him quickly if Jesus were somehow made President of the United States. Why? Because the first thing he would do is disarm the military and put them to work aiding the poor. This book's position is that the ethics of Jesus apply to life here and now; not to some personal spiritual relationship that provides a ticket to a heavenly afterlife.  Readers who believe Jesus is an American and a member of their favorite political party will be shocked to find that the authors of this book are at a completely different place.  In other words, after taking the Hebrew and Christian scriptures more seriously than those identified by the mainstream media as "evangelical conservatives," this book has arrived at a political positions that are polar opposites those pious folks. My summary of the book’s position is this--actions matter, share your money, and avoid possessing power. Doing this will lead you to live simply, aid the poor and oppose the military. If that sounds radical, this book agrees.  Jesus was radical in his time, and the writers of this book want to follow his example and be radical in our time. I am generally sympathetic with their political positions, and I tend to be amused at how their study of the Bible leads them to political positions opposed to the “holier that thou” evangelical conservatives. But I can’t be too smug about it because the authors of this book would not approved of my own life style. They don’t offer much of a middle position short of dumpster diving, living off the grid and giving my money away. The book is divided into four main sections. The first two sections are focused on showing that the book's positions are rooted in the Bible. The first section does a quick overview of the scriptures used by Jesus, the Hebrew scriptures. The second section deals with Jesus' relationship with religious and political leaders in his time. The third section describes what the early church was like before and after it became the state religion. The fourth and last section discusses what Christianity can look like today when allegiance is to God over national patriotism. It goes on to deal with nitty-gritty questions such as serving in the military, paying taxes, and consumerism. I couldn't help but notice that the book references John Howard Yoder several times. I have recently read his book, Politics of Jesus which I found to be a challenging academic style of writing. The book "Jesus for President" in contrast is quite easy to read and is probably written at a junior high level. I also noticed that the book sites the Amish as a positive example of how Christians should live.

  5. 4 out of 5

    RF

    I like Shane's books... I don't necessarily agree with everything he writes, but his books challenge me to ask hard questions.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alan Stucky

    The best quote that I've heard about this book was actually from Shane himself. He said the best compliment that they had gotten on the book was that it was "like John Howard Yoder, with pictures".

  7. 4 out of 5

    Longfellow

    I’m still not sure if the title of this book is meant to be taken literally or ironically. Via the lens of irony, Jesus for President emphasizes Jesus’ message that his followers are not to be aligned with the values of empire and the power it wields, power used to perpetuate injustice more often than not. This means a life that rejects the embrace of one’s privilege and seeks to lift up those who are trodden down. Taken literally, the title likely refers to an allegiance to the alternative king I’m still not sure if the title of this book is meant to be taken literally or ironically. Via the lens of irony, Jesus for President emphasizes Jesus’ message that his followers are not to be aligned with the values of empire and the power it wields, power used to perpetuate injustice more often than not. This means a life that rejects the embrace of one’s privilege and seeks to lift up those who are trodden down. Taken literally, the title likely refers to an allegiance to the alternative kingdom that Jesus established, the kingdom of a loving and merciful God. And so, either way the gist is that Christian community should focus on showing another way, first by example rather than through political activism--not that political activism is inappropriate but that it isn’t the message of Jesus. The Gospel draws and compels rather than forces. Nonetheless, near the end of the book there is some attention paid to political involvement and voting. In fact, it ends with such content, the last sentence prior to the appendices being “And perhaps for others, rocking the vote may mean going to the booths and writing in our Candidate, because he doesn’t seem to be on the ballot.” This conclusion follows a section of the book that provides numerous examples for how we may choose to live differently than our surrounding culture. I did not enjoy this latter section of the book as much as the first half of the book, which summarizes large chunks of the Biblical story, from Genesis to the arrival of Jesus on the scene, and Claiborne and Haw use this narrative to explain the book’s central theme: the identification of empire and the ways in which God has always asked his people to resist empire in favor of faithfulness to the alternative way of God, one grounded in love, grace, and compassion. Books I thought of while reading: A Peculiar People by Rodney Clapp Resident Aliens by Stanley Hauerwas

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kurt

    Visually, this book is amazing. Pages are printed in different colors and with different textures, so it feels like a scrapbook. There are photographs, line drawings, and captions all over, and many of the otherwise ordinary written passages have editing marks all over them. Reading this book is an unusual and inviting experience. As for the content, though... The book shines with the personal stories at the end, with concrete examples of what it looks like to radically live out the love that the Visually, this book is amazing. Pages are printed in different colors and with different textures, so it feels like a scrapbook. There are photographs, line drawings, and captions all over, and many of the otherwise ordinary written passages have editing marks all over them. Reading this book is an unusual and inviting experience. As for the content, though... The book shines with the personal stories at the end, with concrete examples of what it looks like to radically live out the love that the authors describe, enduring occasional arrests to stand with the poor and needy. I found the Biblical exegesis leading to those stories, though, to be unsatisfying. It may be that the authors use a juvenile tone, with plenty of typographical errors and overly conversational syntax, or it may be that their analysis of Biblical events tends to reduce the events to statements on systemic issues (which, I know, is no better than the opposite tendency to reduce them to statements on personal sin issues), but I remained unpersuaded at the end of the discussion. For example, if the authors are going to categorically state that military service is contrary to Christian life (even when they do a good job backing that up with quotes from early Christians), I personally need either a lot more directly Biblical argument or a sense that I can trust the author before I can agree. I don't feel that either was provided, although I do trust that these authors have the best of intentions and are genuinely following after Jesus as well as they can. I do hope that this controversial book generates some real discussions and personal soul-searching, but in the context of one reader and one book, I was disappointed in it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    This book has done many things during my time hammering through the pages. I have laughed, I have been disturbed, I have felt anger both at situations or even at the author, and have been gazing at the book with my jaw dropped wide open while realizing that I cannot deny what the author is portraying. This book has helped me think of America, politics, and Christianity in a whole new light. The authors express that when thinking about politics, Christians or followers of Christ must always seek This book has done many things during my time hammering through the pages. I have laughed, I have been disturbed, I have felt anger both at situations or even at the author, and have been gazing at the book with my jaw dropped wide open while realizing that I cannot deny what the author is portraying. This book has helped me think of America, politics, and Christianity in a whole new light. The authors express that when thinking about politics, Christians or followers of Christ must always seek after the Bible first and give our allegiance to Jesus and only to Jesus. While I don't always agree with all of the authors', there have been some strong statements that I will continue to struggle with for some time. Toward the end of the book the authors state that it isn't so much who we will decide to vote for in this next election, but rather, what is it that we are voting for each and every day in our own lives? What kinds of media, corporations, or social situations do we vote for with our actions? These are the questions that the author challenges the reader to ask. Overall this was a great book, and forced me to stretch my thinking.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    I'm not quite done with this book and I'm rapidly trying to finish it b/c it was due at library on Thursday...but I can't return until I'm done! It's so good! I'm definitely buying this one to keep in my collection...there is a lot of wisdom here that I'll want to keep going back to years from now. It's one of the best books I've read in a long time...so many great ideas. And it's also one of the best looking books I've ever seen...every single page is a work of art! I recommend this book to eve I'm not quite done with this book and I'm rapidly trying to finish it b/c it was due at library on Thursday...but I can't return until I'm done! It's so good! I'm definitely buying this one to keep in my collection...there is a lot of wisdom here that I'll want to keep going back to years from now. It's one of the best books I've read in a long time...so many great ideas. And it's also one of the best looking books I've ever seen...every single page is a work of art! I recommend this book to everyone! Seriously, it will make you think and rethink every part of your life and this society we live in...page after page is an inspiration to live your life in a more positive, impactful way.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ramón

    Frankly, the layout of this book distracts me beyond belief, but there are a moments when it is pitch perfect. As far as content, it is a very refreshing exercise in prophetic imagination filled with inspiring stories of creative nonviolent resistance to the prevailing empire and radical embodiment of the way of Jesus. Claiborne also does an impressive job synthesizing key works from names that most 20-30 somethings are either unfamiliar with or unmotivated to explore (J.H. Yoder, N.T. Wright, W Frankly, the layout of this book distracts me beyond belief, but there are a moments when it is pitch perfect. As far as content, it is a very refreshing exercise in prophetic imagination filled with inspiring stories of creative nonviolent resistance to the prevailing empire and radical embodiment of the way of Jesus. Claiborne also does an impressive job synthesizing key works from names that most 20-30 somethings are either unfamiliar with or unmotivated to explore (J.H. Yoder, N.T. Wright, William Cavanaugh, Oscar Romero, A.J. Heschel, etc.). Highly recommended.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Carlisle Davidhizar

    A book I desperately needed in the face of the current political climate.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Moss

    Came very close to giving this 5 stars, consider it 4.5. This will probably be the only book I'll ever have strong economic and theological differences with and still absolutely love it. Does this author even realize the rejection of violence, as embodied in Christ, and presented so well in this book, pushes us to anarchy, i.e., no king but Christ? The author never says so. Or, at least, I never saw mention of it. But this author's work isn't really about that question. To ask if we should be ana Came very close to giving this 5 stars, consider it 4.5. This will probably be the only book I'll ever have strong economic and theological differences with and still absolutely love it. Does this author even realize the rejection of violence, as embodied in Christ, and presented so well in this book, pushes us to anarchy, i.e., no king but Christ? The author never says so. Or, at least, I never saw mention of it. But this author's work isn't really about that question. To ask if we should be anarchists is to ask a lesser question than the one this book truly addresses: what does it mean to be a Christ-follower? And the answer to that question most definitely leads to both anarchism and agorism. For, undoubtedly, to live like Christ is to love and serve like Christ, both of which means we are not to lord it over others with state violence (anarchism), but, instead, to look for creative ways of engaging the world's broken inhabitants (agorism). And to do that quite often means bending or breaking laws, as, for one example, finding ways to not pay taxes, or at least pay less, since, as the author points out, many Christians recognize paying taxes means funding the military industrial complex, and thus: global violence. This book is a breath of fresh air. It'll push you where you need to be pushed. Even in my case, as someone who has studied economics more than the average person, this book forced me to ask some very difficult questions about my economic stance. What I came to realize was that rather than simply trusting the "invisible hand" of the market, there are ways in which I can have a more visible impact on people's lives economically - all that's required is for me to think creatively and compassionately. With that said, I think the author makes some pretty large mistakes when he ventures into the economic realm. It's pretty obvious that Marx's economics has had an impact here, either directly or indirectly, as evidenced by the multiple claims of, even if never expressly stated, that capitalism is inherently exploitative. What's good is that although the author has drunk some of the Marxist Koolaid on economics, it's rather clear he hasn't embraced the violence inherent in Marx. To the issue of economics, I have to humbly recommend two Christian economists (Robert P. Murphy and Shaun Ritenour) that I think offer great insight into how it is capitalism that allows many of the neat - entrepreneurial - anecdotes the author shares at the end of the book. Those entrepreneurial solutions to people's suffering can only come about because of the wealth accumulated through the capitalist system. The two books from Murphy that I'd recommend are: "Choice: Cooperation, Enterprise, and Human Action" and "Politically Incorrect Guide To Capitalism". And the book from Ritenour would be "Foundations of Economics: A Christian View". Although both economists are devoutly Christian, the latter work does an incredible job of presenting a thorough work of economics while continuously showing how economic insights are compatible, if not derived from, scripture. One last thing I think I need to say about this book is that it includes graphics, some of which are really effective in pushing the narrative. Therfore, I recommend the physical edition, not the kindle.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brendan Beale

    Too simplistic. Jesus, in Clairborne’s telling, is boiled down to something approaching a Che Guevara leftist, and the gospel to a social reengineering program. Okay, maybe that critique is itself too simplistic. Claiborne does draw a more nuanced picture than the social gospel or liberation theology of yore, and certainly takes the Bible more seriously than mainline liberals. Some of his insights were brilliant and compelling. He rightly seeks to apply the political ramifications of the gospel Too simplistic. Jesus, in Clairborne’s telling, is boiled down to something approaching a Che Guevara leftist, and the gospel to a social reengineering program. Okay, maybe that critique is itself too simplistic. Claiborne does draw a more nuanced picture than the social gospel or liberation theology of yore, and certainly takes the Bible more seriously than mainline liberals. Some of his insights were brilliant and compelling. He rightly seeks to apply the political ramifications of the gospel for a church that has boiled down its faith to a “get out of hell free” Gnosticism. The overall message of the book- that following Jesus has radical ramifications for every one of our political beliefs- is more needed now than ever. And yet I can’t shake the feeling that both his diagnosis and his prescribed treatment tell me more about his own political leanings than they do about Jesus’. I don’t think he sufficiently grapples with the unique role of the church, nor of the necessity of faith and repentance to take part in Jesus’ kingdom. In rebelling against the over-realized eschatology of conservatives who make America the Promised Land, Claiborne ends up falling into the same ditch on the other side of the road. There are helpful nuggets and searing quotable insights here. But if you’re looking for a theologically and biblically sound path forward for the American church out of its cultural captivity, I don’t think this book is it. I’d recommend the more thoughtful, church-centered approaches of writers like James K.A. Smith and Russell Moore.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Fox

    A genuinely cool book. I found Jesus for President under the New Non-Fiction section of the library and couldn't help but check it out when I read the title. I didn't know what to expect from the book (there's no summary on the back) and decided immediately that that was part of the overall allure it presented. What I got was not exactly what I expected, but instead was something more fascinating. Firstly, I have to praise the formatting of the book. The pictures and somewhat interactive footnote A genuinely cool book. I found Jesus for President under the New Non-Fiction section of the library and couldn't help but check it out when I read the title. I didn't know what to expect from the book (there's no summary on the back) and decided immediately that that was part of the overall allure it presented. What I got was not exactly what I expected, but instead was something more fascinating. Firstly, I have to praise the formatting of the book. The pictures and somewhat interactive footnotes make it a fascinating read. The content, also, was excellent. The book at first is a political history of the Bible that ties the ancient politics to present ones and offers a good compare/contrast of the two times. The final section of the book is the best, where it talks about practically implicating what it means to be a good Christian into today's world. Jesus For President was difficult to get through at times (any fact heavy book is) but overall was an excellent examination of contradictory Christianity that goes above and beyond the norm by actually providing examples of how to consolidate this contradiction.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Christopher M.

    Ok, where do I start? It's not that these guys can't speak some truth or don't make some valid observations and solutions regarding the blind following and condoning of the establishment. 2 problems. 1) This isn't the gospel. Never once is sin portrayed as something personal that we can't take care of ourselves. Righteousness is not only something exemplified by Christ, but something that can come from ONLY Christ. 2) The opinions are expressed with such a breathtaking immaturity, I had to force Ok, where do I start? It's not that these guys can't speak some truth or don't make some valid observations and solutions regarding the blind following and condoning of the establishment. 2 problems. 1) This isn't the gospel. Never once is sin portrayed as something personal that we can't take care of ourselves. Righteousness is not only something exemplified by Christ, but something that can come from ONLY Christ. 2) The opinions are expressed with such a breathtaking immaturity, I had to force myself through every word of the first two chapters. Nearly every comment is wrought with trite ad hominem against Bush, Republicans, the rich, the government, the establishment, whatever. Sorry guys, but Jesus did NOT have politics on his mind with every single thing he said (Nor are there even applications to politics from most of what he said). Plenty of important material to work with here, and plenty of things people need to hear, just too bad they can't get past their own immaturity and ignorance to make it worth reading.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Inder

    Okay! I wanted a very radical approach to Christianity, and this is it! Whoa! Very challenging, and very cool, even if it did push my buttons in some respects (specifically, I really shouldn't make money or pay taxes? ouch! can lawyers even get into heaven? get ready to pass a camel through the eye of a needle!). But in addition to some seriously fringy and radical interpretations of scripture, this book is full of ideas about how to truly be of service. I'll be thinking about this one for a whi Okay! I wanted a very radical approach to Christianity, and this is it! Whoa! Very challenging, and very cool, even if it did push my buttons in some respects (specifically, I really shouldn't make money or pay taxes? ouch! can lawyers even get into heaven? get ready to pass a camel through the eye of a needle!). But in addition to some seriously fringy and radical interpretations of scripture, this book is full of ideas about how to truly be of service. I'll be thinking about this one for a while. But unfortunately, it's not as well-written as it could have been - very redundant. It was a struggle to read this from beginning to end, and my attention constantly wandered (it's overdue now, so I finally got around to finishing it). This book would have benefited from a much better editing - actually, I just wanted to pull out a pen and start editing it myself. But there are some amazing, challenging ideas here. I recommend it, but I would suggest skipping around a bit.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Meadow

    This book totally blew my mind! First of all, it was a really unique style - kind of pictorial narrative discourse, or something :) (In other words, it had lots of pictures and stories and historical information.) The more I read the more I worried I got, because it was clearly the kind of book you can't read without changing to become more radical! But I kept reading, because becoming more radical for the cause of Jesus is worth it. In the end, I have to say, this book was life-changing. I don't This book totally blew my mind! First of all, it was a really unique style - kind of pictorial narrative discourse, or something :) (In other words, it had lots of pictures and stories and historical information.) The more I read the more I worried I got, because it was clearly the kind of book you can't read without changing to become more radical! But I kept reading, because becoming more radical for the cause of Jesus is worth it. In the end, I have to say, this book was life-changing. I don't agree with everything Shane Claiborne said or did, but his thirst to see the kingdom of God advanced, and freed from anything that is merely added by our culture is inspiring and awesome. If you want to have your political views as a modern American (or Western) Christian strongly challenged, and/or you want to learn more about the political world that Jesus lived and walked in during Roman times, this is the book for you!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    Mixing the church and state is like mixing ice cream and cow manure. It may do much to the manure but it sure messes up the ice cream. Tony Campolo. Many Christian words used today were loaded with political meaning for Jesus and his contemporaries. gospel, faith, throne, kingdom, lord, savior, banner, messiah. These words Rome knew well. “The most divine Caesar…we should consider equal to the Beginning of all things…for when everything was falling into disorder and tending toward dissolution, h Mixing the church and state is like mixing ice cream and cow manure. It may do much to the manure but it sure messes up the ice cream. Tony Campolo. Many Christian words used today were loaded with political meaning for Jesus and his contemporaries. gospel, faith, throne, kingdom, lord, savior, banner, messiah. These words Rome knew well. “The most divine Caesar…we should consider equal to the Beginning of all things…for when everything was falling into disorder and tending toward dissolution, he restored it once more and gave the whole world a new aspect; Caesar…the common good Fortune of all…The Beginning of life and vitality…All the cities unanimously adopt the birthday of the divine Caesar as the new beginning of the year…Whereas the Providence which has regulated our whole existence…has brought our life to the climax of perfection in giving to us the emperor Augustus…who being sent to us and our descendants as Savior, has put an end to war and has set all things in order; and whereas, having become God manifest, Caesar has fulfilled all the hopes of earlier times…the birthday of the God Augustus has been for the whole world the beginning of good news concerning him.” (The Priene Inscription, written 9 BCE) Calling Jesus Messiah or Lord is like acclaiming him president. He was like the president who did not want to be president. Jews had strict rules about gardens, and kept mustard seeds out of their gardens. It was notorious for invading well trimmed veggies/plants, and would take over the entire garden. Jewish law forbade planting mustard. When they heard Jesus’ images of God’s mustard seed kingdom, it would have been funny or shocking, it’s an infamous plant to describe God’s kingdom. Pigs are symbol of uncleanliness. Jesus invited the legion to enter the pigs (2,000) and they plunged into the sea. The legion of Pharaoh’s army also plunged into the sea. They got the message. Imperial power is bad for your health. No wonder the towns people urged Jesus to leave. The coins of Roman Empire had stamped on them, Long live the Son of God. The economy belonged to Caesar. Jesus was praying (Jn 17), not for the world to be changed, or Rome to be reformed, but that this peculiar group of people would be set apart, and therein lies the hope of the world, faithful to God’s way. The supermarket of the day was called the Agora. Just as Walmart has an American flag, so too the agora existed under the mythology of the powers. Just as our money say, In God we trust, so did Rome’s. To enter, you had to pledge allegiance to the economy patronized under Caesar. No one thought about it. Few could tell the difference between Caesar or God. You would drop a pinch of incense before the image of Caesar before entering the market. Then the person visiting the market would receive a mark on their right hand, allowing them to enter and buy or sell. Christianity is at its best when it is peculiar, marginalized, suffering, and at its worst when it is popular, credible, triumphal, powerful. (Imperial Christianity has done so much harm. Conversion was cheap grace, and the integrity of discipleship was lost. We had an identity crisis. Wo needs a Creator when we can sculpt mountains? Who needs a physician when we can heal ourselves? Who needs providence for food when we can clone animals? Who needs a savior when we have a 400 billion defense shield? Who needs a deliverer when the empire has become a democracy? Who needs a god when we are worthy of worship ourselves? I’m proud of to be unAmerican if its imposed peace by violence, counterfeit bloody liberation, etc. If grace, humility, non-violence are American, then I’m proud to be American, if sharing for a sustainable world is, if loving our enemies is American, then I’m proud to be American. I love the pure, peaceable, impartial Christianity of christ. Therefore, I hate the corrupt, slave holding, women whipping, cradle plundering partial hypocritical Christianity of this land. Frederick Douglas. Greg Boyd, You can no more have a Christian worldly government than you can have a Christian petunia or aardvark. John Adams said, The government of the United Sates of America is not any sense founded on the Christian religion. Christians are to be little Christs, to be the body of Jesus int he world. People who put flesh on Jesus. To some, you are the only Jesus people will see. The promise of the Church is this: None of us alone are Christ (blasphemy), but all of us together are Christ to the world (ecclesiology). Political embodiment means that we must be the change we want to see in the world, and not depend on politicians to change things for us. Those who would like to see abortion grow rarer and non-existent, must also be ready to take in teen moms and adopt some unwanted babies. To be pro life we must come alongside these. The question will not be what are you going to do when you grow up, but what kind of person are you becoming? What kind of doctor, lawyer (etc) will you be? Public confrontation of those who have visibly misrepresented Jesus is important practice of faith. It’s a way of saying, When you do that, it’s not just your reputation at stake but mine and our God’s. (Matt. 18:15-18) We need to celebrate holy days and feast days. We must mark our calendars differently. In the name of cultural idols like Easter Bunny, Santa Claus. It’s not July 4th, but Pentecost. Our fireworks should go off then. (etc) Who are the masters and Caesars we put our trust in by the way we live? We vote with our feet, hands, lips, wallets. We are to vote for the peacemakers, the marginalized of our society, poor, oppressed, most vulnerable. These are the ones Jesus voted for. The ones the empire leaves behind, and no politician will represent. When it comes to voting for candidates, we can use prophetic imagination.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    It's been several years since I've read Shane Claiborne. This was a bargain book for my Kindle, so I decided to give it a try. As a Christian and a Democrat, I often find myself at odds with the politics of my church, so Claiborne's title intrigued me. I can't remember what I expected, but what surprised me was his intense pacifism. I should have known this from reading him previously, but many of his arguments this time were very persuasive and thought-provoking. I don't agree with everything C It's been several years since I've read Shane Claiborne. This was a bargain book for my Kindle, so I decided to give it a try. As a Christian and a Democrat, I often find myself at odds with the politics of my church, so Claiborne's title intrigued me. I can't remember what I expected, but what surprised me was his intense pacifism. I should have known this from reading him previously, but many of his arguments this time were very persuasive and thought-provoking. I don't agree with everything Claiborne proposed, but he certainly moved me closer to his thinking than I was before reading the book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah O'Dell

    Rarely have I read a book that made me stop reading mid-sentence to reflect on what I believe and why I believe it. This book caused me to do just that on nearly every page. Though I was very closed to the message of this book initially, I found it extremely compelling by the end. It really has made me rethink a lot of things about faith, what Christ truly asks of us, and how we are to live it out. Whether or not you agree with all of it or not (I didn't), this is certainly a phenomenal read a Rarely have I read a book that made me stop reading mid-sentence to reflect on what I believe and why I believe it. This book caused me to do just that on nearly every page. Though I was very closed to the message of this book initially, I found it extremely compelling by the end. It really has made me rethink a lot of things about faith, what Christ truly asks of us, and how we are to live it out. Whether or not you agree with all of it or not (I didn't), this is certainly a phenomenal read about what it means to be a Christ-follower.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    This was phenomenal. There is this whole other radical way to think about everything. This book had very little to do w/ presidential races or voting . . . and lots to do w/ everyday races & politics. Lots to say about how we are voting every single day. I will write more about this book later, but suffice it to say, I loved the book & admire the authors very much. If I wanted to pick some heroes, these guys would be it. This was phenomenal. There is this whole other radical way to think about everything. This book had very little to do w/ presidential races or voting . . . and lots to do w/ everyday races & politics. Lots to say about how we are voting every single day. I will write more about this book later, but suffice it to say, I loved the book & admire the authors very much. If I wanted to pick some heroes, these guys would be it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Well, this one definitely presented a fresh look at politics for me. I could see that if you are very close minded, and do not enjoy hearing someone's point of view that is much different from your own, you would not enjoy this book. I liked the different point of view, I don't know if I agree with everything in the book, but definitely enjoyed reading it. I'll read anything Shane Claiborne writes...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Virginia Davis

    For anyone trying to reconcile faith (or more appropriately, discipleship to Jesus) with politics. Obviously, we can't expect everyone to lead the life Shane leads, but there are some seriously good ideals to attempt to hold ourselves to in this book. If we dismiss the ways of Jesus in favor of a certain political system, we are (as Shane points out) suggesting that we find that system more realistic and believable than Jesus.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Abbey

    This book is interesting, creative, challenging, inspirational, imperfect, thought-provoking; one that (like a lot of great books) I think could be dangerous in the wrong hands, but I can't fault the book for that. I'd definitely recommend it to just about anybody, although I think it would upset some. So I'd recommend it to those people even more.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    One of the last gifts a close friend gave me, this was challenging and over-simplified, partisan and disinterested. It took me years to read and I will probably be pondering it for a long while yet. One of the few books on faith, theology or politics that may change the way I believe and respond to the world around me.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Erica Shier

    It would be hard for me to overstate how much I love this book. I was challenged, inspired and moved by Claiborne's vision of what it means to truly live as a follower of Jesus in the midst of a world (and country) that is so fraught with violence, inequity and greed. This is one I will have to ponder and return to many times as I try to implement some of these ideas in my own life.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Evan

    Great read for the election year, and beyond. Written by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw, it balances Biblical study with the past and current ideas of government, ultimately illuminating the Kingdom we should be serving as followers of Christ.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Heather Djama

    This book gives its readers a lot to think about. Although many of the ideas in the book I fully agree with many of them I think the authors take a little far and make them almost impractical. However, this book did give me a lot to think about and for that I am greatful.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Raleigh

    Simple. Beautiful. Takes what I already believe and transforms it into something that I can articulate to others.

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