Shane Claiborne And The New Evangelical Vote

Do you recognize this guy?  No he is not the guy who was asking you for spare change last week on your way to work, he is Shane Claiborne.  Claiborne is a young Evangelical leader involved in monastic movements and helping Christians think more holistically about their faith, this includes not being lock step with one political party or another.  His most recent book, Jesus For President, has become quite popular as a rallying cry for younger Evangelicals who want to consider issues such as the environment, social justice, health care, and taxes instead of just abortion and gay marriage.

CNN has a nice cover article on Claiborne and those who want consider how the Lordship of Jesus should effect not just where we spend an hour on Sunday mornings.  Many will read Claiborne and dismiss him as a utopian idealist, thinking that what he and his followers is advocating is to extreme and unrealistic.  After all, how many of us will ever participate in communal living or forsake almost all earthly possessions?  Not many of us.  But I think to wave Claiborne so easily aside is a mistake.  While I do not agree with all of his ideas or all the ways he thinks we must live out our Christian faith; I am sure of his authenticity, love for others, and passion for God.  Voices like Claiborne are good for all of us to hear and should be allowed ample room in all of our cushy lives to convict and stir up new possibilities of what it would look like for us to more seriously live out the Kingdom of God.

Oh yeah his previous book, Irresistible Revolution is amazing, though it does get somewhat repetitive the last 50 pages.  All of you should read it and be ready for God to rock your world.


2 Responses

  1. Thanks for your post Ryan. While I do agree Claiborne has some good things to say I do not think I would call his book “amazing”. I read Irresistible Revolution and I loved about 70% of it but in 30% I thought he totally missed the point, missed the cross!! That makes the gospel no less watered down than the culturally adaptive gospel that we HATE!

    A quote from the CNN article, “Trading lines back and forth from a script with Haw, they save the most wrath for Christians who they say have missed the point of the cross.” REALLY your most wrath is saved for Christians who want the gospel to not be centered around self or others but around JESUS?? Isn’t that the point??

    I do see many areas we need to grow and I enjoy the challenge of Clariborne’s works because of that. The biblical pattern though is to serve and preach and serve and preach. I would argue that Shane’s following of service without preaching Jesus while noble is not any more biblically centered than the preaching Jesus without serving model we see throughout America. It would be amazing if individually and corporately we could figure out how we can serve those in need and preach what is the true salvation for their needs, that I think would change our country!

  2. I don’t think that Shane shares your views on homosexuality. In his new book, ‘Jesus For President,’ the Litany appendix was written together with Brian Walsh and peace activist Jim Loney (see page 347). Don’t know who Jim Loney is? Check out his entry on wikipedia.

    Compare that with Shane’s views here ( ) and it makes you wonder, if he really does hold an orthodox view on homosexuality, why he would write a litany with an openly homosexual man in a homosexual relationship when we’re told in 1 Corinthians that we’re not allowed to even eat with a brother who is an adulterer? And just so we’re clear, I’m not saying that I’m holy and perfect and am not a sinner – because I’m screwed up, believe me.

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