Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Great book

Well, Shelley will be so happy because I finally read the book she's been recommending to me, Irresistible Revolution: Living Life As an Ordinary Radical by Shane Claiborne. And it was AWESOME!

Shane has spent time working in India with Mother Teresa, visited Iraq during the war, and is the founder of "The Simple Way." The book is about his journey as a Christian and his hopes for the world and the church. He has a profound love for people, an earnest desire to help the poor and writes with a lot of humility (and humor!) Some of his ideas are fairly "new" to me (most of the Christians I have known have a pretty specific set of beliefs that are pretty different from his.) A lot of what he wrote really resonated with me, some of those things I've been thinking for awhile now.

Overall I was totally challenged by much of the book. Some of it made me uncomfortable in that it cut through the usual political rhetoric to make some points that I cannot easily dismiss. It addressed everything from nationalism and the death penalty to how churches spend their money. It was less "predictable" than I thought it would be and I am still processing it all. While I don't necessarily know that I agree with every single point he makes (what book besides the Bible can you really claim that about anyway, unless you write it yourself?), like I said it is not easy to dismiss. And much of it I DO agree with.

One thing I have come away with is that I think it's important for Christians to take the time to search the Bible and pray about some of the issues that we seem to take for granted as being acceptable, the "right" thing to do, etc. Sometimes being raised in a Christian environment involves being around a group of very like-minded people with a set of beliefs that everyone takes for granted as being "Christian" beliefs, even though perhaps we've never sat and thought about the alternatives to those beliefs, or what God thinks about them. Maybe you'll come to the same conclusion you had before, but it's still good to think and pray about them. As for me there are a couple of things that I plan to reevaluate, as the result of reading this book. Maybe later I'll share more about some of the specific things that grabbed me, but for now, it was a great book that I really do recommend.


richlisad said...


Thanks for the recommendation. This sounds like a book I would like, and I plan to get and read it. We are going through some of the same process of being willing to question the things we were raised knowing that this is just the way it is, without questioning and finding out for ourselves what the bible really says about these things. I see many things as institution of the church stuff, rather than kingdom of God stuff.



richlisad said...

Oh yeah, here is another good one to read that sounds like you may like (based on your description).

It is Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller.



Jeannett Gibson said...

I just started "The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom. I've only read a few pages, but I'm kind of dreading reading more...only because I know that I'll cry, and I'm not sure I have the emotional energy for that! :0)

Rachel said...

"The Hiding Place" is a great book. And yes, you will cry.

Brianna Heldt said...

The Hiding Place is a GREAT book, but I'm a tough sell on the crying. It takes a lot! (I think I cry more at movies, but again only at certain ones.)

Andy Gibson said...

oh, women.....

Erin O' said...

Short-time lurker here, in the process of adopting from Ethiopia, btw. I enjoy learning how you and your family are doing, your thoughts about adoption, etc.

Thanks for the book recommendation. I started reading a sampling and would like to read some more. I'll give the other commenter's recs a look, too.


shells said...

Yippiee!!!! We just got in from vacation and I am happy you made it through the book! Awesome, awesome. While we were gone, I got a new book about a missionary to Wolitta/Sodo area of Ethiopia, where are boys are from. I will let you know how it is!

Jeannett Gibson said...

Brianna? Are you there? I miss your musings!


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