This book is written as an autobiography about the author and how, as a founding member of The Simple Way, a radical faith community in North Philadelphia, describes an authentic faith rooted in belief, action, and love, offering an invitation into the movement that begins inside each individual and extends into a broken world. Shane’s personal stories and realizations are written in a gut wrenching way. Both for the evidence and impact of how the actions of the author have truely changed many lives and also for the realization of how different this way of life is than what most Christians are currently living.
This is really an inspiring book that will shake your ideologies and beliefs about what is a true “Christian” and give you quite a number of interesting stories and samples of where some simple, yet radical steps in faith have delivered not only bountiful rewards to the author, but also to the many people he’s encountered in his travels and way of life. I think that the message of taking servant hood as far as is demonstrated by those in the The Simple Way is a powerful way to show living a life like Jesus. I greatly enjoyed the book and now pray that I too can take steps in similar ways to show a deeper love for others and leave a lasting impact on their lives (both those I already know and those I don’t).
Now, the book itself is NOT an easy to learn from or easy to digest directive guide to better living. He describes such a radical way of life that its not as simple as deciding to do it and making some changes in your life. He describes and outlines in his stories how truly living entirely like Jesus has wrecked everything he knew about living what he coins “Safe Christianity”. He challenges you to sell/give away everything material and temporary that you have, to simply trust in the lord and live for and with others in every way. He is very hard on the modern day Christian life and Christian church with many criticisms about how the world now sees Christianity and the damage that has done. Unfortunately, much of it is true and the world really does need more ordinary radicals to live life differently for others to turn the world around, bring back hope and better image to the Christian lifestyle.
Claiborne comes across quite strong and has much to say about the complacency of modern western Christianity. Its a book not to be taken lightly and will definitely have some impact on your life, or at least your thinking of how you live your life. He has chosen to write this book about his life and the kind of true Christ-like living that any Christian should admire. He has set a high standard for Christians to live up to in the modern world.
The back cover sums it up great, “This book will comfort the disturbed, disturb the comfortable, and invite believers to change the world with Christ’s radical love. “
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