So I don't usually do this, but thanks to a certain cousin of mine (Ally, my real cousin), I am here giving a free promotion for The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. I was very hesitant to do this, mostly because I've been talking about this book a lot with a few people and I just feel lame for being so excited about a dumb book. But alas, I have given in. This book has changed too much about the way I understand who Jesus is and what the Gospel is all about for me to simply not share it with the world. So here it is, world! Here's my amazing book review! I better get comments! Jayplay, but frealfreals, this was a good book. And I think you should read it. But only after you comment on this (or any prior) post. Hollatchaboy!
So, where to start. Ah yes... I don't know. Well first of all, this book has really inspired me to get more involved with the homeless community in Berkeley. Not sure what that means or how that will look when I get back, but I'm hoping that I'll be able to consistently be a presence with the homeless at People's Park or maybe volunteer at a shelter or something. One of the lines that I remember most was one that basically said, miracles are more rare today because there is no need for them. We can go to Safeway to get food, we have a roof over our heads, we can just hit up the doctor if we get sick... Not to say that these things are bad, but they take away opportunities for God to actually show us that he can take care of us in amazing ways. So I dunno about you, but I want to see God work and do miracles.
Another thing about this book is that it has confirmed my frustrations with the Church. Claiborne is never antagonistic (as I have sometimes been) about the way things are done in the American church, but he is still critical of what the church has become. Like I was talking about two or three posts ago (Here Comes the Bride), church for me is all too safe, comfortable, and blah an experience. Claiborne argues for a church like the early church in Acts2, where possessions were shared and the followers of Christ "had everything in common"--struggles, joys, experiences, money, etc.--and where church was a place where crazy Jesus people met up to discuss the amazing things that God had done during the other six days of the week. One of the things that I'm afraid of for FCBC is that, especially with concerns over attendance and numbers, the goal for church service will become keeping the youth interested and entertained rather than challenged... On a side note, I have similar worries with Living Water, my church in Berkeley, that they are becoming a very "flashy" and charismatic church (we have almost doubled in size over the past year) rather than one that really challenges, though I have definitely felt more challenged and convicted there than at FCBC. Nonetheless, I have grown skeptical of growing churches and I hope that desire for truth will always trump a desire for more people. (I know no church is really "perfect" and I love complaining; I'm just pointing these things out)
Lastly, this book has made me think more about what I do with my money. This one is difficult, mostly because what I wear helps me be really really ridiculously good looking.Ha ha ha I'm jayplaying again. But in all seriousness, this book has challenged me to question where my clothes are being made, where the profits are going, and where the money can otherwise go. Should I just shop at American Apparel (expensive/for white people)? Should I just not buy anymore clothes (God forbid!)? Should I just donate all my clothes? Should I make my own clothes (sike!)? These are things that I've been thinking about lately.
So, as you can see, my life is kinda being rearranged. Thank you, Mr. Claiborne. I was pretty ok with the way things were going, but no, you had to freakin write an amazing book and change the way I see things. Great. Thanks... Nah, I'm only kidding Shane. Shaney Shane. Shayborne. Anyways, I wanna do something. I wanna respond. But the thing about me is that I always say that I'm gonna do something (work harder, get buff, do chores, learn how to write left-handed), and I can take a step out the door, but when it comes down to it, I get real scurred and I just run back to my safe little life, where I know the routine and where I don't have to take any major risks. But yo, I'm saying it now, I wanna make changes. In myself, in my church, in Berkeley, in this world. Join me, it would help me out a lot :)