About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Irrestible Revolution

I'm almost finished with Shane Claiborne's book The Irresistible Revolution.

I like it.

And I don't.

He's extreme in some of his ideas although I can completely see why - working with lepers in Calcutta with Mother Teresa would do that to a person. I don't think there is a bad thing about his extremity, it's just that I couldn't do it myself. I think Shane would be OK with that. He is very gracious and willing to allow for other's convictions. That's one of the things I like about his book - he is no legalistic in his compassion.


Here are some of the points that I really, really like about his book:


The idea that people want to give to the poor, but often don't know how to, or give in unhelpful ways because the wealthy are so separated from the poor. He points to that distance or separation as the real problem, not that people do no care or want to help.

I've seen this myself in the small ways that I try to be involved. After the recent peanut butter recall, our Haiti team had to go through bins of peanut butter that had been donated to sort out the bad stuff. I went to help. As I was sorting I came across a jar of "Fat-Free Peanut Butter" and laughed because they were obviously buying for a fat American rather than a malnourished Haitian. Often in our desire and hurry to help we give something that is useless to the person we are giving to, or maybe even offensive because we simply are so removed from their lifestyle that we have no clue what is truly helpful. His main idea is that we need to live in closer relationship with the poor and truly know them. Then we become part of a family with them and our perspective will change.

Along that same line of thinking, he encourages us to move beyond charity to justice. Rather than just giving (that's good too) he encourages followers of Jesus to get more involved in changing some of the unjust situations that cause poverty to make a positive change in the world.

The book is also an easy and enjoyable read. He includes many personal stories that are quite interesting. Besides, he's a U2 and Rich Mullins fan and Tony Campolo was his professor at Eastern University, so he can't be too bad.

If you've not picked up a copy of this book, I would highly recommend it.

3 comments:

David Cho said...

Very well summarized, Amber and both points are spot on.

The first point - Evangelicalism tends to thrive in the suburbs often a world away from poverty both in this country and also overseas. So there is very little we can relate to.

The second point is even more thought provoking, and I've been thinking about this. Often I think the word "justice" scares Evangelical Christians deeply entrenched in the capitalistic mindset. They see socialism whenever they see that word, which is a knee-jerk reaction at best. I am conditioned to think that way as a life long advocate of free-enterprise, which I am now re-examining.

Amber said...

David,

I am finding that Evanelicals think of socialism when they hear the word "justice" too. Remember my Worldview Weekend test score. ;) It's sad to me that those who claim to follow Christ react like this when Christians are the very ones who should be most concerned about the poor and the oppressed. Isn't that a big part of Jesus' message?

I was talking to a friend the other day about a crazy idea I had. Since we are doing the Blood:Water Mission thing I began to think how awesome it would be if a McDonald's or some other such place gave all of their profits from soft drinks for one day to BWM. It would be great publicity for them and would generate a lot of money for wells in Africa. My friend informed me that they would never go for it. He's probably right but that disturbs me. I asked, "Are they really THAT greedy?" He said, "That capitalism. That's how it works". Sad.

It also makes me sad that so many who claim to follow Christ don't feel any desire at all to move toward buying Fair Trade products. Sometimes it is hard to do, but sometimes it's really easy. Why would we who follow Christ want to support industries who make their money by keeping others in a cycle of poverty and debt - or worse yet, use small children who are sold into slavery? It just doesn't make sense to me. Well, maybe it makes sense in light of the sheep and the goats story in Matt. 25

David Cho said...

Absolutely, Amber.

Corporate greed..big business...

Christians are scared to death of "big government," because it smacks of socialism. I agree and sympathize. But are we ignoring corporate America taking over while we asleep?