The Irresistible Revolution

Here is how I start the long review–mostly positive, with a few qualifications–that I did for the monthly column over at the website. I hope you read it all and catch our enthusism for this book.
I have been eager to tell you about a wonderful, fun, challenging, interesting and provocative book written by a young Christian who is getting some publicity these days; it is a guy weÕve come to know a bit, that weÕve heard of for several years, and are very encouraged to know of the release of his new book. Shane Claiborne is a hoot of a guy—radical in his commitment to evangelical social action, delightful in his lack of guile, inspiring in his show of guts and goofiness. I have a few reservations about the book, a pages-long backstory about my own journey (which I will try to tell only briefly) and more enthusiasm about selling this new book than anything that has come along in ages. It is called, if you donÕt know, The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical and is published by Zondervan ($12.99.) This in itself is a story that is curious since most evangelical publishers wouldnÕt risk telling the tale of a young man who lives with the poor, protesting the role of the military and who has been regularly arrested for nonviolent civil disobedience. Martin Luther KingÕs famous words to the more cautious status quo Reverends in his “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” are still pretty needed today, since most mainstream folks tell our idealistic social activists to cool down and go more slowly. I am overjoyed that Zondervan took a risk on this guy, and trust that the integrity and wholeness of ShaneÕs life, and the Biblical basis for his human rights activism, will become plain. For now, though, the release of this book is a huge thing. This is Zondervan, not Orbis Press! Shane came out of an evangelical Christian college, for crying out loud, not Oberlin or Koinonia Farms! He has spoken at Willow Creek! How did he even hear of the Berrigan BrotherÕs at his college? That is itself quite a story. I thought we were the only bookstore in the world that carries Max Lucado and Ammon Hennacy; Chuck Colson and Howard Zinn; Rick Warren and Dorothy Day. But IÕm ahead of myself…read more

5 thoughts on “The Irresistible Revolution

  1. Byron,Only you can make me love a book before I’ve read it. Excellent review. Think I need to get my hands around this one.Blessings,Michele

  2. It is SO great to hear from you. Hope the mommying continues to suit you. I think of you often, and maybe people who read these posts do, too.warmly,Byron

  3. Byron:I read your entire review. Wow.I must tell you that during the first half, I was yearning for what you wrote in the second half. I’m sure I will read Shane’s book later this year and I thank you for your thoughtful ruminations.+Aaron

  4. Great book! Am only half way through it but very inspiring – just one thing to note – it gives a link to When I went there to check out the website, I discovered the the ‘Iraq Body Count’ on their forum. To cut a long story short – they have banned me because I questioned this – no discussion, only dismissal. IBC’s John Sloboda himself states about 1/3rd way down on an interview with the UK’s BBC Newsnight“We’ve always said our work is an undercount, you can’t possibly expect that a media-based analysis will get all the deaths. Our best estimate is that we’ve got about half the deaths that are out there.I’m drawing your attention to this in the spirit of Shane’s book. We must not be silent about what is going on in our names.Peace to us all

  5. Byron,I really enjoyed your review; this book has changed my life and transformed a lot of the values I once held as truth. I just wanted to respond to what you said about being surprised that Shane ever heard of the Berrigan brothers at his college. As a recent grad of Eastern University (where Shane attended), I can tell you that Eastern is definitely not your typical “evangelical college.” There’s a burning passion for social justice here, unlike any I’ve ever seen at any other college. And trust me- we definitely talk about the Berrigans and lots of other justice-related topics all the time…whether it be in a classroom setting or just in discussions with friends. 🙂 Just wanted to clear that up. Have a wonderful day!Rachel

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