3 Short Non-Fiction Reviews: Shane Claiborne, NT Wright, Peter Scazzero

Before I started blogging on Bookwi.se I started tracking my books on Goodreads.com (social network for readers).  I have a handful of short reviews on Goodreads before I started blogging.  So as part of cleaning up my Goodread/blog structure I am going to repost some of the shorts reviews from Goodreads.

The Irresistible Revolution by Shane ClaiborneThe Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical by Shane Claiborne

I read this as an audio book, and I think that is the way that you should read all of Shane Claiborne (and Rob Bell’s and most of Eugene Peterson’s) works. They are such conversational writers that their writing doesn’t always flow right if it is not read. Even better if by the author.

Many people will not like or agree with what Shane says or does, but I think that there are very few people that are actually trying to live a radical Christianity like Shane is. I put him in the category of St Francis of Assisi. Many people thought he was nuts too, but he did more for the long term health of the church than almost any other human. Shane will not have the kind of impact, but that doesn’t keep him from trying.

Also, after reading several other’s reviews I think that the main issue that people seem to have is with his economics. People keep charging that he is forcing people to redistribute money to the poor. He is not, he is suggesting that we give it away and by definition, giving it away is not forcing. You may be shamed that you are not giving, so give when you prefer not to, but that is not being forced either. One reviewer actually compared him to Stalin. But I should just ignore that.

Surprised by Hope by N.T. WrightSurprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church by N.T. Wright

I thought this was a very important book. As with some other articles of Wright’s that I have read, he tends to over play his argument a bit.  Wright thinks that we spend too much time thinking about heaven and not enough time living on earth. He posits (and I think there is a good bit of support for the fact) that there will be a new Heaven and Earth and that the resurrection will have us on the new Earth living and working for Christ without sin, as God originally intended. He suggests that the work we do now is actually practice for the future work and that we in a real and spiritual way will impact the new Earth by our work in this earth. This isn’t a “works” issue, it is a following Christ’s commandments because we love him issue. From what I have seen people often really like the theology at the beginning or the practical examples at the end, but often not both.

I liked it enough that have I bought three other copies to give to friends.

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter ScazzeroEmotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero

This is a good and helpful book. I think that we, as Christians, need to make Sabbath and healthy care of ourselves a priority. But taken inappropriately, this could lead to too much self interest. However, that is not the intent of the author. What kept me from five stars is that he spent a lot of time encouraging healthy behavior, but not enough describing what he did.  What are the alternatives that you chose that was more healthy. That is what I would like to see more of for it to be a great book for me.

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