The Irresistible Revolution

Posted in book review, discipleship by Nathan Creitz on August 1, 2006

I just finished reading a book entitled The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. Shane has really challenged me in a lot of ways with his book. He has a strict non-violence view that I can’t totally jump on board with (which sounds bad, but I would need 5 minutes of your time to explain what I mean). He has some crazy thoughts on community and on social justice that I love and I hate all at one time. I disagree with him some, but mostly, I think he’s got a lot of stuff figured out about the way we should be living our lives as followers of Christ. It’s nothing new, it’s just a call to living a simple life of a disciple.

There was one paragraph that my friend Josh and I discussed earlier today. Shane writes,

As we practice hospitality, there comes a point where the suffering around us drives us to ask what it would take to reimagine the world. We’ve all heard the saying “Give someone a fish and they’ll eat for a day, but teach them to fish and they’ll eat for the rest of their life.” But our friend John Perkins challenges us to go farther. He says, “The problem is that nobody is asking who owns the pond.” As we consider economics, some of us will give people fish. Others will teach people to fish. But still others must be looking at who owns the pond and who polluted it, for these are also essential questions for our survival. We must storm the fence that has been built around the pond and make sure everyone can get to it, for there are enough fish for all of us.

As Josh and I talked about this paragraph, we decided that our church should be involved in every aspect of this to some extent. Giving away clothing or a meal to a homeless person or a bottle of water to someone in need is something we can do to give. Teaching ESL to an international student or partnering with a group like SIFAT is the second part. Finally, doing something about the fences around the pond is the long term goal of what we are doing as a church targeting the university campus.

This pond part is what excites me most. I do everything I can to invest in college students because these are the men and women who are going to be the decision makers and policy makers. They will be in education, in government, in business. In some countries, the corruption and greed of the government are keeping people from getting to the pond of health and the pond of essential needs. There are plenty of resources to go around, but it will be men and women of faith who can influence these governments and can teach social awareness that will make a difference in the needs of our different cultures. I get to play a small part, for a short amount of time, in shaping the thought of a small amount of young believers as they study here in Boston. My prayer is that God would be able to use me to influence people who will also be influential wherever they end up in life.


2 Responses

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  1. adam said, on August 3, 2006 at 12.25 am

    that looks like a really good book…i’ll have to look for it. by the way, have you ever read any donald miller? i recommend him highly. “blue like jazz” and “searching for god knows what” are his two best.

  2. nathan said, on August 3, 2006 at 11.53 am

    no, somehow i haven’t read any miller yet. i have the blue like jazz book that someone gave me for free but just can’t find time to read it. i also have a couple of piper books that people gave me but i’ve never read any of his books. i did hear don miller speak at harvard and was really impressed and i’ve heard piper several times. i like both of them, so there’s really no excuse for me not to have read anything by either of them. i read c.s. lewis all the time though.

    so those of you reading this post and these comments, which aspects of fishing are you involved in? giving, teaching or being good stewards of the pond. Yeah, we’re all involved in each at different points, but which one are you really passionate about? I’ll share more of my thoughts if 20 people reply to this post. Tell your friends =)

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