Shane Claiborne – “Irresistible Revolution” – Chapter 5

To support some of the many dangers that Christianity provokes amongst people, Christians have been more vocal about their hatred for religion, but their vast love for God. It is so often that people confuse God and religion (includes the church), with being on the same spectrum. With “God [being] everywhere… places cannot be God forsaken, but they can be church forsaken”, meaning that people have conceptualized the rise of issues with the idea of God being unavailable, when really it is the church, the body, that is to unite and gather all of God’s people together, regardless off socioeconomic status, race, gender, faith, sexuality, etc. (Claiborne 133). A spoken word artist by the name of Jefferson Bethke created a video that describes the difference between God and religion, and he speaks of some of the points that Shane also harps on within the previous chapters of Irresistible Revolution as well as this one:


While reading Chapter 5, I came across three distinct dangers of Christianity:

  • There are no well informed risk takers.
  • Most things that people desire need to be “spectacular”
  • The concept of “conversion”


Living in a world that is so consumed by the “noise of Christendom”, it is very hard to “hear the gentle whisper of the Spirit” which calls us to “amplify the voices that are not being heard” (115, 116). However, with the act of amplifying those dimmed voices, it requires Christians to mingle in with the undesired, unfortunately that is looked down on amongst many groups. Shane explains, “charity wins awards and applause, but joining the poor gets you killed… [due to the fact that] living out of love disrupts the social order that calls forth a new world”. (117). If people don’t know what the new world possesses, why would they want to believe what you say. Taking risks, and allowing “the doors of normalcy and conformity” to tear down, there will be no change, and everything will remain the same, which has been quite a danger in the Christian community (103).


Naturally “people are attracted to lights and celebrities, to arenas and mega churches” (120). There is nothing wrong with having those spectacular things, however they become quite a distraction. Claiborne realizes that “the church is tempted by the spectacular, to do big, miraculous things so people might believe” and end up straying away from the way that God calls us to follow (120). Will you “offer [your[)possessions to the community and form hospitality houses like Mary and Martha” or will you indulge and your wealth without lending a hand to those in need (131)?


Shane states that with the idea of radical conversion, “there is the danger that people will say we are being brainwashed or are joining a cult” (137). The body and family that God created has insisted on “telling [the people] what they believe, but [not telling them’ how their beliefs affect their lifestyles” making it so easy for people to be turned off from their “community of communities” (138).


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