Coffee with Shane Claiborne


Shane Claiborne is the author of Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals in which he says, “Some folks may be really bummed to find that “God bless America” does not appear in the Bible. So often we do things that make sense to us and ask God to bless our actions and come alongside our plans, rather than looking at the things God promises to bless and acting alongside of them.”RSS Pointer

Shane Claiborne is a Red Letter Christian and a founding partner of The Simple Way community, a radical faith community that lives among and serves the homeless in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Wendy McCaig, a friend of mine (whom we interviewed recently) was excited to hear that I’d be interviewing Shane. She had already recommended that my wife (Wendy’s intern) read The Irresistible Revolution by Shane. Wendy recalled with passion how the book had come out while she was in seminary and it had changed her life. The Irresistible Revolution Updated and Expanded: Living as an Ordinary Radical is a tenth anniversary, deluxe edition was published in January. Furthermore, Shane  is the co-author, with Chris Haw, of Jesus for President. His forthcoming book, Executing Grace: Why It is Time to Put the Death Penalty to Death, comes out June 2016.

Shane6Shane Claiborne graduated from Eastern University and did graduate work at Princeton Seminary. In 2010, he received an Honorary Doctorate from Eastern. His adventures have taken him from the streets of Calcutta where he worked with Mother Teresa to the wealthy suburbs of Chicago where he served at the influential mega-church Willow Creek. As a peacemaker, his journeys have taken him to some of the most troubled regions of the world – from Rwanda to the West Bank – and he’s been on peace delegations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Shane8He is married to Katie Jo, a North Carolina girl who also fell in love with the city (and with Shane). They were wed in St. Edwards church, the formerly abandoned cathedral into which homeless families relocated in 1995, launching the beginning of the Simple Way community and a new phase of faith-based justice making.

Shane writes and travels extensively speaking about peacemaking, social justice, and Jesus. Other books authored by Shane include Red Letter Revolution, Common Prayer, Follow Me to Freedom, Jesus, Bombs and Ice Cream, and Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers. He has been featured in a number of films including “Another World Is Possible” and “Ordinary Radicals.” His books are translated into more than a dozen languages. Shane speaks over 100 times a year, nationally and internationally.

His work has appeared in Esquire, SPIN, Christianity Today, and The Wall Street Journal, and he has been on everything from Fox News and Al Jazeera to CNN and NPR. He’s given academic lectures at Harvard, Princeton, Brown, Liberty, Duke, and Notre Dame. Shane speaks regularly at denominational gatherings, festivals, and conferences around the globe.

There are important links at the bottom of this post. Here are some quotes that I found valuable to meditate on.

Shane1“I asked participants who claimed to be “strong followers of Jesus” whether Jesus spent time with the poor. Nearly 80 percent said yes. Later in the survey, I sneaked in another question, I asked this same group of strong followers whether they spent time wit the poor, and less than 2 percent said they did. I learned a powerful lesson: We can admire and worship Jesus without doing what he did. We can applaud what he preached and stood for without caring about the same things. We can adore his cross without taking up ours. I had come to see that the great tragedy of the church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor but that rich Christians do not know the poor.”
Shane Claiborne, The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical

“What is the point in calling anything God if it does not also hold sway in every part of one’s life–especially one’s politics?”
Shane Claiborne, Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals

Shane7“Christianity is at its best when it is peculiar, marginalized, suffering, and it is at its worst when it is popular, credible, triumphal, and powerful.”
Shane Claiborne, Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals

“Some folks may be really bummed to find that “God bless America” does not appear in the Bible. So often we do things that make sense to us and ask God to bless our actions and come alongside our plans, rather than looking at the things God promises to bless and acting alongside of them. For we know that God’s blessing will inevitably follow if we are with the poor, the merciful, the hungry, the persecuted, the peacemakers. But sometimes we’d rather have a God who conforms to our logic than conform our logic to the God whose wisdom is a stumbling block to the world of smart bombs and military intelligence.”
Shane Claiborne, Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals

Shane & Tony Campolo
Shane & Tony Campolo

Links:

Sermon on the Mount – Free Download

Tony Campolo Interview

Wendy McCaig Interview

Billy Moore Story

Executing Grace: How the Death Penalty Killed Jesus and How It’s Killing Us by Shane Claiborne

Irresistible Revolution Updated and Expanded: Living as an Ordinary Radical by Shane Claiborne

RedLetterChristian.org

The Simple Way

Facebook: ShaneClaiborne
Twitter: @ShaneClaiborne

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