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Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals [Paperback]

By Shane Claiborne (Author) & Chris Haw (Author)
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Item description for Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne & Chris Haw...

Addresses the relationship between faith and allegiance, arguing that the ultimate hope of individuals lies not in partisan political options but in Jesus and the incarnation of the politic of the church as a people "set apart" from this world.

Publishers Description
Jesus for President is a radical manifesto to awaken the Christian political imagination, reminding us that our ultimate hope lies not in partisan political options but in Jesus and the incarnation of the peculiar politic of the church as a people 'set apart' from this world.In what can be termed lyrical theology, Jesus for President poetically weaves together words and images to sing (rather than dictate) its message. It is a collaboration of Shane Claiborne's writing and stories, Chris Haw's reflections and research, and Chico Fajardo-Heflin's art and design. Drawing upon the work of biblical theologians, the lessons of church history, and the examples of modern-day saints and ordinary radicals, Jesus for President stirs the imagination of what the Church could look like if it placed its faith in Jesus instead of Caesar. A fresh look at Christianity and empire, Jesus for President transcends questions of 'Should I vote or not?' and 'Which candidate?' by thinking creatively about the fundamental issues of faith and allegiance. It's written for those who seek to follow Jesus, rediscover the spirit of the early church, and incarnate the kingdom of God.

From Publishers Weekly
Here is the must-read election-year book for Christian Americans. What should Christians do when allegiances to the state clash with personal faith? Haw and Claiborne (The Irresistible Revolution) slice through politics as usual and well past the superficial layers of the culture wars with their lucid exploration of how Christians can and should relate to presidents and kings, empire and government. Their entertaining yet provocativetour of the Bible's social and economic order makes even the most abstruse Levitical laws come alive for our era. They also provide a valuable political context for Christ's life, reminding readers that Jesus did not preach the need to put God back into governmenthe urged his followers to live by a different set of rules altogether, to hold themselves apart as peculiar people. The compelling writing is enhanced by a lavish, eye-popping layout. The pages are a riot of textured callouts, colors, photos and fontsthe perfect packaging for a message that must compete in a world of sound bites. With this second book, Claiborne emerges as an affable, intelligent, humorous prophet of his generation, calling people out of business-as-usual in a corrupt world and back to the radically different social order of the biblical God. (Mar.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Awards and Recognitions
Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne & Chris Haw has received the following awards and recognitions -
  • Christian Retailing's Best - 2009 Finalist - Social Science category

Citations And Professional Reviews
Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne & Chris Haw has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Christianity Today - 06/01/2012 page 68
  • Publishers Weekly - 01/28/2008 page 59
  • CBA Retailers - 04/01/2008 page 44
  • Library Journal - 04/15/2008 page 90
  • Publishers Weekly Best Books - 11/03/2008 page 32
  • Christian Century - 05/04/2010 page 27

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Zondervan
Pages   355
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8" Width: 6.01" Height: 0.94"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 4, 2008
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
ISBN  0310278422  
ISBN13  9780310278429  
UPC  025986278427  

Availability  8 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 24, 2016 07:59.
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More About Shane Claiborne & Chris Haw

Shane Claiborne Shane Claiborne graduated from Eastern University and did graduate work at Princeton Seminary. In 2010, he received an Honorary Doctorate from Eastern. His adventures have taken him from the streets of Calcutta where he worked with Mother Teresa to the wealthy suburbs of Chicago where he served at the influential mega-church Willow Creek. As a peacemaker, his journeys have taken him to some of the most troubled regions of the world – from Rwanda to the West Bank – and he’s been on peace delegations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Shane is the visionary leader of The Simple Way, a faith community in inner city Philadelphia that has helped birth and connect radical faith communities around the world. He is married to Katie Jo, a North Carolina girl who also fell in love with the city (and with Shane). They were wed in St. Edwards church, the formerly abandoned cathedral into which homeless families relocated in 1995, launching the beginning of the Simple Way community and a new phase of faith-based justice making. where everything started back in 1995.

Shane writes and travels extensively speaking about peacemaking, social justice, and Jesus. Shane’s books include Jesus for President, Red Letter Revolution, Common Prayer, Follow Me to Freedom, Jesus, Bombs and Ice Cream, Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers – and his classic The Irresistible Revolution. He has been featured in a number of films including “Another World Is Possible” and “Ordinary Radicals.” His books are translated into more than a dozen languages. Shane speaks over 100 times a year, nationally and internationally.

His work has appeared in Esquire, SPIN, Christianity Today, and The Wall Street Journal, and he has been on everything from Fox News and Al Jazeera to CNN and NPR. He’s given academic lectures at Harvard, Princeton, Brown, Liberty, Duke, and Notre Dame. Shane speaks regularly at denominational gatherings, festivals, and conferences around the globe.

Shane Claiborne currently resides in Philadelphia. Shane Claiborne was born in 1975.

Shane Claiborne has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Classics in Spiritual Formation
  2. Peaceable Kingdom

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Reviews - What do customers think about Jesus For President?

Beautiful visuals, weak content that focuses more on convenient quotes from early Christians than the Bible they read  May 27, 2010
Visually, this book is amazing. Pages are printed in different colors and with different textures, so it feels like a scrapbook. There are photographs, line drawings, and captions all over, and many of the otherwise ordinary written passages have editing marks all over them. Reading this book is an unusual and inviting experience.

As for the content, though... The book shines with the personal stories at the end, with concrete examples of what it looks like to radically live out the love that the authors describe, enduring occasional arrests to stand with the poor and needy. I found the Biblical exegesis leading to those stories, though, to be unsatisfying. It may be that the authors use a juvenile tone, with plenty of typographical errors and overly conversational syntax, or it may be that their analysis of Biblical events tends to reduce the events to statements on systemic issues (which, I know, is no better than the opposite tendency to reduce them to statements on personal sin issues), but I remained unpersuaded at the end of the discussion. For example, if the authors are going to categorically state that military service is contrary to Christian life (even when they do a good job backing that up with quotes from early Christians), I personally need either a lot more directly Biblical argument or a sense that I can trust the author before I can agree. I don't feel that either was provided, although I do trust that these authors have the best of intentions and are genuinely following after Jesus as well as they can.

I do hope that this controversial book generates some real discussions and personal soul-searching, but in the context of one reader and one book, I was disappointed in it.
Thought-provoking book which considers how Jesus' 'politics' might really affect the world if put into practice...  May 1, 2010
To my knowledge, Shane is a moderate to progressive young evangelical who is part of the "new monasticism" movement and specifically a member of "The Simple Way" community in the Kensington part of Phila (where he and his housemates live, volunteer and worship amongst the poor and struggling there). This book - written and designed in an imaginative 'scrapbook' style looks at how Jesus would have dealt with 'political issues' of our day (including war and poverty) as compared to U.S. empire-building over the years by our goverenment (whether governed by the Republicans and/or Democrats. The chapters are short, so it makes for good bedtime reading... and prob. interesting dreams!
Life-changing!  Apr 1, 2010
This book came highly-recommended to me, and I now highly recommend it to others. This book made me reevaluate and then ultimately strengthen my faith as no other "Christian Lit" book has. This is a practical guide for the Christian who feels as if there is something missing from the modern-day church. It is multi-faceted offering wisdom to those who are new to Christianity and more mature believers alike. You will walk away from the finished book feeling renewed and ready to change the world! Read it! :)
Book Review: Jesus for President, By Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw  Mar 5, 2010
A friend of mine recently pointed out the importance of discernment when choosing what books to read. Most of us will not complete more than a dozen or so books in a year, and with all the fantastic books out there, we need to be careful not to waste our time on dribble. Unfortunately, Jesus for President, by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw, is not a fantastic book. It is a stunning example of what happens when Christians allow our political ideology and biases to affect how we approach the Bible. Billed as a "book to provoke the Christian political imagination," the reader is left with more provocation than actual thought. Showing no understanding of the differing roles of the Church and the state, the authors conflate the two in a misguided attempt to shape Christians approach to politics. The end result is a work that only the most radical of the Christian left will find intriguing, while the rest of us are left wondering if it is Jesus they are following or the god of Liberalism. The book is replete with error, all of which fit into one or more of four different categories.

1. Bad Hermeneutics (Biblical Interpretation)
The most egregious and prevalent of all their errors, the authors blatantly rape Scripture in order to bend it to their ideology. For example, even though 1 Chronicles makes it quite clear that David was not to build the Temple because he had shed much blood, Claiborne and Haw argue that God didn't want a temple because He likes sleeping in tents with poor people (pg. 35). Of course this doesn't explain why God seems to have been pleased to dwell in the temple Solomon built. In another instance the authors state that the Israelites had laws for dealing with illegal immigrants (pg. 58). By choosing the phrase "illegal immigrants," instead of what the text actually says "aliens," the authors are trying to make a passage that has little relevance to our current immigration debate fit their own ideological purpose. At one point Claiborne and Haw state that Jesus was from a family of "peasants" (pg. 116), when we now know that the fact that he was a carpenter most likely put him in what we would know as the middle-class. In another instance, the authors say that the people were hungry for revolution, and thus chose for Barrabas to be freed instead of Jesus (pg. 76), when the Gospel account makes it clear that it was the prompting of the Pharisees that led to this decision. Finally, they state that the book of Revelation was written in code so the empire wouldn't know what John was really saying (pg. 148), when it is commonly recognized that the genre of Revelation is apocalyptic and is thus written in such a mysterious manner.

2. Bad Theology
Despite the fact that Chris Haw is said to be working on a graduate degree in theology, the authors make some incredibly basic errors in theological understanding. In many cases they footnote their arguments by thanking some scholar for giving them "new eyes to see" on a particular issue, but due to the obscure nature of their argument, we are left feeling that they simply choose which eyes they like best. In one disturbing instance, they state that violence kills the image of God within a person (pg. 205). The doctrine of Imago Dei is one of the most foundational beliefs for Christian thinking, and no where does the Bible indicate that a person can have more or less of the image of God within them. The image of God is what gives each person their value, and, if the authors' assertion were true, we would be left with some people that are intrinsically more valuable than others, hardly the traditional Christian understanding. Another instance where the authors show their ignorance is their understanding of the Trinity. In a poor attempt at humor, the authors tell a joke in which Jesus is letting people into Heaven whose names are not written in the Book of Life (pg. 290). This type of naiveté is easily repudiated when one recognizes that the Trinity cannot be divided, and thus would certainly know who is allowed into Heaven. Of course, this issue is further complicated by the authors seeming to indicate that they might not believe that Hell exists anyway. In another instance, Claiborne and Haw state that it is difficult to know whether or not Jesus would pay taxes if he lived in the U.S. (pg. 257), of course the simple phrase "render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's" seems to answer that quandary. In still another case, the authors revel in the act of lying when it fits their political cause (pg. 297).

3. Bad Political Philosophy and Logic
In many places Claiborne and Haw show utter inconsistency in their logic, coupled with a radically naïve approach to politics. For instance, they state that capitalism is a yoke that we need to be freed from (pg. 113). And while they admit that writing a book participates in capitalism, they don't seem to grasp the fact that without capitalism their book would not be able to be printed or distributed. In a truly confusing paragraph, the authors argue that the industrial revolution wasn't really an advancement, an assertion so absurd it is difficult to even respond to (I'll let the fact that you are reading this be my rebuttal). And in perhaps the most stunning example of the sheer absurdity of their logic, Claiborne states that, if faced with genocide, he would simply take his clothes off and squawk like a chicken (pg. 273). Such a simplistic assertion fails to grasp the fallen world we currently inhabit, and instead makes a joke of over a million deaths on one continent alone.

4. Bad Use of Historical Argument
Still another way that Claiborne and Haw mislead their readers is by a deceptive use of history. They state that the more the early Church lived out the Gospel, the more they collided with the Roman Empire (pg. 141), when even a cursory understanding of early Church history shows that persecution was sporadic and wholly contingent on who was running the empire, not the degree to which Christians lived the Gospel. In an attempt to show the futility of violence, the authors state that an attempted assassination plot against Hitler only galvanized his resolve and made any efforts towards peace impossible (pg. 203). What they fail to mention is that this happened mere months from the end of WWII, and there was no indication that Hitler was going to surrender under any circumstances.

There are many other examples of all these types of errors I could list, all with equally simple rebuttals. The point is that Claiborne and Haw do not contribute anything new to the discussion of how our faith should influence policy. Rather, they simply carry the water for the far left, attempting to argue that Jesus agrees with them. Personally I am tired of people trying to prove that Jesus agrees with their ideologies, instead, I believe, we should be trying to agree with Jesus. Admittedly this is incredibly difficult for any of us to do, especially since Christ didn't have much to say about the role of the state (contra Claiborne and Haw). What He did address, however, is how we as Christians should act, and I think if we put those things into practice the politics will come naturally.

-Kolburt Schultz
Amazing Book  Jan 17, 2010
Jesus For president is an absolutely astonishing book. The book challenges many of the twisted values held by a lot of today's "Christians" and Americans. This book very clearly and compassionately written to explain and investigate the highly political nature of Jesus' actions which set Christians apart from the world to live a life of love that few today are following.
The book itself is very easy to read and it's artistic presentation is captivating. every page is unique and the text is often woven between different illustrations which look like they were sewed into the book itself.
I recommend this book for every person who is dissatisfied with the current state of polotics, for anyone who believes that there is more to life than routine and making money, and for all people who know that "christianity" as we know it today is seriously off course.

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