Irresistible Revolution, by Shane Claibourne

Awake all night so I read a book. Fighting and swearing outside our window. After the police left around 3am I still couldn’t sleep so I made a hot bath and read Shane Claibourne’s book The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical. Its been on my shelf for (oppps . ) probably forever . .. but I didnt read it because Shane’s a friend and I see him occasionally and get the skinny from him. But people talk highly of his book so i thought i would read it.

Shane Stern

And it was excellent. It took me almost 3 hours to finish it. It really is a good read and totally worth buying. I will put it on my top ten emerging church books list.

Shane;s great. I have blogged about him before. I didnt realize until I read the book how similar his community called The Simple Way was to our community that moved into an apartment in Haight Asbury exactly 4 weeks after his community moved into their space in Philly. Same stories – communion in the park, street kids everywhere, fighting for their spaces, being Freegans, being homeless, sharing everything, lots of people and ONE toilet, yeah . . . same stuff. But I am sure Shane tells it better than me.

Anyway, great book. Captures the heart of what following Jesus means in our culture. Totally recommend it. Maybe I am getting soft, but I just cant think of anything negative at all for this book which doesn’t make me very objective but it does make me complicit in this revolution.


Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)


  • The iTunes version is great also. Shane reads the book and makes wee comments along the way. I have given the book to several students the past few months..I hope it will have an impact on them forever…

  • yeah I second that one, Jesus for president takes things a step further that Ordinary radical, I just reviewed it recently, really good stuff.

  • I agree, it is an excellent book. It is not required reading for all our new staff and our DTS students. I just picked up Jesus For President, but it will be some time before I get to it.

  • Oh Andrew – Shane HATES to be called Emergent and had asked me when possible to mention that so he doesn’t get labeled with the other “emergent” literature.

  • Hi Becky – I can understand that. The 100+ books on my emerging church bookshelf go back to the 70’s and many are on the kind of new-monastic structures among the poor like Shane and I have been involved with long before Emergent Village came around. I use the “emerging” word much more liberally and widely than most and never to point to a single group.

  • Yep…except the title is “The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical”, not “rebel”…. but seeing as i’m not that anal i will forgive the error.

  • Completely agree – it’s challenging and radical. The beauty of it is that it expresses a new kind of theology in a way that’s sooooo readable. And the guy is living what he speaks.Ten out of ten.
    Btw, it would be interesting to hear more when you have time about your cooperative-thing that you’ve got going in orkney.

  • Yep, Irresistible Revolution and Velvet Elvis have done more to revitalize non-readers and semi-readers in my peer group than any other books…Zondervan hit ’em out of the park with those.

  • thank you! i read your blog and it inspires me to understand a bit more about church and culture. irresistible revolution has changed my heart for the best. it inspires me more that you’ve mentioned this book and the happenings of shane.

  • The other life-changing book I’ve read recently and it is still hard to get is “Wounded by Love: the Wisdom and Teachings of Elder Porphyrios” It has only recently been translated into English from the original Greek. It’s not only a soul-shattering book, but very comforting and just warm and fuzzy. It’s really masterful how he can change you without preaching even a tiny bit.

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