This is a review of Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical by Shane Claiborne. I loved this book, and then I thought about it some more and I found some sad gaps.
Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical
Author: Shane Claiborne
First Take: An aching glimpse of how it could be if I had a “do over”
When did I read it? 2020
This book is similar to Radical by David Platt. Where David takes you into the heart of traditional church life and promotes a radical reorganising of the existing structures of church, Shane shows you how you could start out living the radical life as your ordinary way of life.
That’s all very well, and I am delighted that Shane seized that opportunity early in his life. Most of us don’t get that opportunity early in our lives or more importantly, we don’t recognise the opportunity to live radically when it presents itself. We are living now in middle class suburbia – or some approximation up or down from that in terms of financial security and lifestyle. It’s all very well to push a subject of being radical (and its pretty appealing), but the fact is that most of us live a daily life of responsibility for other mouths to feed.
I could leave my job and live in a radically different way (believe me, I want to with my whole heart) but that is not my decision alone. When the kids leave home, my wife and I might be able to sit down and revisit everything, but right now, I have no right to unilaterally uproot everything to suit my own desires. My journey is mine, true, but I can’t impose it on those who rely on me.
The book has a problem
And that’s the problem with this book – as much as I love it immensely. The book is biographical and great for dreaming over, but sadly, there is limited practical advice to middle aged, responsible adults on how we can more radically serve God by serving others. At least with David’s book, there was some practicality for your average Church attender in the ‘burbs. Sadly the irresistible revolution is all too easily resistible.
I will say this, Shane is very inspiring and as much as I can do in my personal life to further my support of the homeless, I am keen to do.
I highly recommend the book, I particularly recommend it for younger Christians so that they actively seek radical service before “real life” ensnares them.