Friday, May 21, 2010

Shane Claiborne

I had the good fortune to hear Shane Claiborne last night at my church. In case you don't know, his book 'The Irresistable Revolution' and the call to 'live as an ordinary radical' are causing a smallish stir in the Christian world at the moment.

I freely admit I went with a negative prejudgement based on the fact he has dreadlocks and in the only publicity shot I saw he was shoeless and looked like a well-meaning hippie. 'Here we go...' I thought.

Well, he probably is a well-meaning hippie at heart, but he won me over anyway. He had a certain charm. And he managed to talk about changing the way you live without making you feel burdened by guilt for the way you live now.

In that sense it was a genuine challenge. Most of the time 'challenging' speakers are just having a go at you. It was nice to hear someone who seemed to affirm you in the belief that you could be better, rather than tell you how crap you are.

There were several bits that stood out, but one was a quote from Martin Luther King about extremism, which paraphrased said:
We have to choose what kind of extremist we will be.
Will we be extremists of hate or extremists of love?
My name's Jon and I'd like to be an extremist of love.

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