Irresistible Revolution–Food for Thought (Second Helping)

There were a couple of things that I forget to mention in my last post about Shane Claiborne’s book The Irresistible Revolution. It was late and the post was getting long. Anyway…

One positive…I really connected with Shane perspective on the myth of redemptive violence. The idea that we can re-order things, fix them, or control them by means of violence. If you hit me, then I must hit you to make it right. This is a foolhardy way to live or exist, and the way we as a society operate. I think Walter Wink says it better than I could from his paper “The Myth of Redemptive Violence” from Ekklesia.

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“In short, the Myth of Redemptive Violence is the story of the victory of order over chaos by means of violence. It is the ideology of conquest, the original religion of the status quo. The gods favour those who conquer. Conversely, whoever conquers must have the favour of the gods. The common people exist to perpetuate the advantage that the gods have conferred upon the king, the aristocracy, and the priesthood.”

I have always had problems with this mentality. I must confess that I am, and have been a jock. I know how to use my presence to intimidate, scare, and hurt. Sometimes it seems that it is better for someone to know that you could respond violently, but you choose not too. Before I get off on a tangent about pacifism, let’s just say…I am a broken and sinful creature, so I have been in phyiscal altercations, I have responded in violence, but I have found that I never felt comfortable with striking another human, even when it was expected. So…Shane’s call to respond to violence with love I can totally relate to.

One not so positive…let’s call it critique…while I was reading this book there were a couple of instances in which I felt like Shane was too Christian focused. (I realize that for some it is impossible to be TOO Christian focused but it’s my blog) Especially regarding his time in Iraq…first let me say that he did things that I have not and probably won’t do in my life and for that I am grateful for his witness. But it seemed that he only spoke with, ministered to, or helped Christians. He talks about a very moving worship service that he attended with hundreds of Christians, a worship service where the priest read a statement “directed to the Muslim community” not with. It’s hard to be critical of a man who risks his life and lives his faith everyday, I guess I just was desirous of more inter-faith dialogue. I will be sure to work on that when I move to the inner city, travel to Calcutta, and visit Iraq. ;-)

I said it before and I will say it again. You should read this book. I think that it provides excellent food for thought and helped me to rethink what I was saying and what I was doing. Thank you Shane.


Greg Bolt

PS I found this funny link when searching around the interwebs…Check it out!


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