Do I Even “Want” to be an Ordinary Radical?

I just finished reading the book The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical by Shane Claiborne, and I must say that it has been very challenging to me. I’m actually reading it again right now just to try to absorb some more good stuff. Since I’m still a little blown away (and big time convicted) this first post will simply contain a handful of choice quotes. I’m hoping to get a few friends together to discuss this stuff further as I’m still in the process of developing some new convictions – I think.

  • I am alone, surrounded by unbelieving activists and inactive believers
  • Dualism has infected the church. People separate the spiritual from the political and social
  • We live in a consumer culture with stuff gathering dust on our shelves
  • Most things have been said far too many times and just need to be lived
  • For me it became hard to read the Bible and just walk away as if I had just watched a nice movie – Jesus never seemed to do anything normal
  • As I read Scriptures about how the last would be first, I began to wonder why I was trying so hard to be first
  • I recall joking with a friend that if someone had a heart attack on Sunday morning the paramedic would have to take the pulse of everyone in the congregation in order to find the dead person
  • We can’t begin to understand the poor until we understand what poverty is like
  • We’ve insulated ourselves from miracles, we no longer live with such reckless faith that we need them
  • Take care of people because we could be entertaining angels and not know it
  • I saw a street kid get twenty bucks panhandling outside a store and then immediately run inside to share it with all his friends
  • I found that I was just as likely to meet God in the sewers of the ghetto as in the halls of academia
  • I learned more about God from the tears of homeless mothers than any systematic theology ever taught me
  • How can we worship a homeless man on Sunday and yet ignore one on Monday
  • Church resurrected
  • We decided to stop complaining about the church we saw and start becoming the church we dreamed of
  • We were not interested in Christianity that offered these families only mansions and streets of gold in Heaven when all they needed was a bed for their kids now – when many Christians had an extra one
  • I knew that we were not going to win the masses to Christianity until we began to live it
  • What if Jesus really meant the stuff he said?
  • He read the gospel and it messed everything up
  • We are called not to be successful but to be faithful
  • We can do no great things, just small things with great love, it’s not how much you do but how much love you put into doing it
  • I’m not that interested in what I’m going to do, I’m more interested in what I’m becoming

And I think that last line describes where I am right now. What am I becoming? I sure want to become more caring and aware of the needs of those who are less fortunate than I. And I hope to figure out how to desire more for faithfulness than success. I want to be influenced more and more by the gospel.
[amtap book:isbn=0310266300]

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