cowards seeking courage
Brooke Fraser (whose heart and song are manifest in her lyrics and soulful rhythms - www.myspace.com/brookefraser) on Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller.
“In Blue Like Jazz, I have found a friend. An honest, sane one - abounding in heart, wit, intelligence, spirit and clarity. Before Blue Like Jazz it had been a long time since I'd encountered a literary companion (with the exception of the works of the aforementioned authors) that was tasty and addictive and that elucidated things that are important to me in a way that didn't make me want to barf. If we speak of revelation in terms of pins dropping, Blue Like Jazz is like an earthquake in the sewing cupboard.”
I echo the brave and assiduous Ms. Fraser and may be so bold as to even “borrow” some of her descriptors for a book penned by a guy named Shane Claiborne. He's a part of a community called "the simple way." www.thesimpleway.org and the book that is like seriously rocking my world is this: The Irresistible Revolution - Living as an Ordinary Radical
As the title alludes, this book seeks to revolutionize paradigms and rock the boat of mediocrity, urging us, as the Body of Christ to live out a life of abundance, in the Spirit, supernaturally natural.
I highly suggest the reading of the book, but accompany that recommendation with a severe warning. Shane’s writings harken to the times (for me at least) of Luther's reformation, wherein he totally shook up the systems of conformity of the day, with his 95 Theses - challenging the teachings of the Church regarding the nature and usefulness of “indulgences”.
The non-literal, yet quite informed, biblically grounded exegesis that Shane shares in this book comes from a place of authority, no doubt – boldly declaring war against dis-compassionate living, launching into full on rants for the causes of love, truth and justice – leaving little room for restraint and middle of the road surrender to Christ.
What he says can be trusted. He is and has been living out his kingdom position fueled by the Holy Sprit - not on platforms - but with desperate and risky experiments, grassroots activism and transformational zeal! And dang it, what he shares makes me utterly uncomfortable challenged to my core and confronted on issues of complacency and commercialized Christianity I didn’t know existed in me with such a nasty grip. I hate it and love it and chaff at it and welcome it altogether… and maybe eventually, I too, will be able to embrace with unflinching tenacity and uncompromising commitment the truths of my Jesus teachings with comparable passion.
Some reviews of this book by other authors I deeply respect:
“Be warned, my friends: Shane is a poet, a friend, a brother - but underneath it all, he's a prophet with a fire in his belly and a story to back it up. If you listen - or in this case, read - you will not be the same.” – Rob Bell, author, Velvet Elvis
“Sometimes I think there is really only one Christian denomination in America: American Civil Religion—a consumerist, militarist, therapeutic, colonial, nationalist chaplaincy that baptizes and blesses whatever the richest and most powerful nation on the planet wants to do. But then I hear a voice like Shane's, I know that at least a few follow another leader on a less-traveled road. Read this book and let it make you uncomfortable, as it did me. We need this kind of discomfort more than we know.”– Brian McLaren, author, Generous Orthodoxy
And this from Shane’s mentor:
“Shane expresses the kind of authentic Christianity that most of us are trying to avoid because the cost is too great. He proposes a lifestyle that prophetically proclaims what it means to be a follower of Jesus in the twenty-first century.”– Tony Campolo, author, Revolution and Renewa