Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Irresistible Revolution

The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical by Shane Claiborne
5/5 stars
Zondervan, 2006
367 pages
Adult Christian Non-fiction

Source: B-day present :)

This is going to be a shorter review since it's Saturday, it's non-fiction, and it was just amazing so I don't have any nits to pick. My very good friend gifted this to me for my birthday since she knows what a reader I am but that I don't really read a lot of non-fiction. Claiborne is one of her favorite authors and I'm excited to have been introduced to him.

Favorite Quote: "I have pledged allegiance to a King who loved evildoers so much he died for them...teaching us that there is something worth dying for but nothing worth killing for." (pg 365)

Trying to decide where exactly to start is quite difficult as the book covers a lot of ground following Claiborne's life as a Christian, from his inauthentic conversion as a youth, accepting something he didn't fully understand and tracing his adult life searching for that authentic faith and disturbing his comfortable lifestyle for something Christlike. It's a history but it's also a calling to work and an inspiration for where to go. The overwhelming impression I have is of the fire in Shane as he reaches out to us, very personally, trying to shake us up especially good for me as I had become somewhat complacent in the waning days of 2012. Additionally I found his writing style just very smooth and engaging even when it made me uncomfortable, either because I knew he was calling me out in a way I needed to be challenged or because I didn't entirely agree with him.

The other theme I would like to touch on is the seeming contradiction in the subtitle "an ordinary radical." How do those seemingly opposite words fit together in Claiborne's vision? Well he traces the word "radical" back to its origins in "root" and sees it as utterly fitting that his lifestyle is now more in line with that of those in the early church. If it seems odd to contemporary Western Christians, then that's more a reflection of the culture in which we immerse ourselves; it would seem typical to disciples in the early church. There are lots of other educational passages in this book and all together it was an excellent read and very jolting.

Thank you very much Kim :)


  1. Interesting! I like memoirs, though I don't think I've ever read one about religious conversion.

  2. I don't really do non-fiction or autobiographies either, I usually leave that up to the other half! Glad that you enjoyed it though, it's always nice to discover something new that you like :)

  3. The quote is great. Glad you liked this so much. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  4. So glad you loved it! Great quote choice and I love your thoughts on it.
    His other books are good too; most of them are co-written as conversations with other Christian activists. His most recent book "Red Letter Revolution" may be my new fav.

    I do need to re-read "Irresistible Revolution" though. It's been awhile and he's gotten older and changed a bit since then, so it will be interesting to look back and compare. I find his story and the work he is doing so inspiring and it definitely made me see some things in a new light.
    I do love how his other books are co-written, so you get different views from the other authors that don't always match his, to extend the idea that Christians don't have to agree on everything or follow the same exact path, but we do need to love everyone and be open to discussion and creative solutions, for both inside and outside of the Church. :)

  5. Love Shane Claiborne. Glad you liked this one! :)


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