I have read a lot of Emergent, post-modern evangelical books. One of the leaders in the new Christianity is Shane Claiborne. Claiborne is known for his dreadlocks and his approach to ministry. Without a doubt he has sacrificed much in order to fight for justice among the poor, the forgotten, and the abused. Claiborne has been accused of affirming the social gospel, and although there are elements of truth to that, he is at times difficult to nail down.
Claiborne's latest book, Follow Me to Freedom: Leading As an Ordinary Radical is co-written with John Perkins, a civil rights leader who has a story to tell. Together, the two men approach the issue of leadership, especially among Christians and at the local church, and show how in true leadership one must be willing to follow.
The book weaves in biblical application, especially from the story of Moses and the Exodus, with personal stories of how an Ordinary Radical can lead. What the authors want to see is Christians and each local church take charge in helping to end poverty, fight injustice, and live Christ-like. Though these are important manners that the Church needs to take more seriously, I felt that much was absent from this presentation. Perhaps we should first discuss the gospel; propitiation, resurrection, etc. We will not lead by following until we truly understand the cross and what it really means.
Part of my frustration with the book wasn't just with the content, but with the audio. I listened to this book as a digital download from www.christianaudio.com. I found the narrators themselves distracting. I believe part of my confusion and frustation with the book centered around the presentation and narrating of the book. Its not that the production was bad but that the narrators distracted me.
I believe that if I were to have the opportunity to actually read the book, I would have enjoyed it more. I just found myself, distracted by the narrators, wondering what the authors were trying to say. So would I recommend this book? I don't know. Perhaps in the near future I will read it for myself and then come back and tell you what I really think about the content.
Review - "When Helping Hurts"
Review - "A Sweet & Bitter Providence" by John Piper