Jesus For President is first of all a very beautifully designed book. The layout and design help the book move along. The pictures are very powerful. The feel of the book is unique. I couldn’t put it down because I kept wanting to see what the next page would hold visually.
But I also really enjoyed reading the book. The basic premise is that as Christians we have allegiance to Jesus first and not America (or the empire). So the authors basically go about setting Jesus up against the systems of empire in his time and our time as well. I have a feeling that super patriotic people will not like this book. But it turns out the super patriotic people didn’t really like Jesus in the first place.
I found myself underlining a lot of great nuggets of wisdom and making quite a few notes in my moleskine. One of the most interesting sections in the book was when the Authors set the Coronation of a Caesar up against the Crucifixion. The Parallels are stunning and they bring a lot more power to the crucifixion narrative.
Shaine Claiborne is probably associated pretty strongly with the emergent church and many people might not want to read this book because of that, but he really does share some compelling arguements and stories about consuming less of the empire’s systems, resisting violence, and trying to be like Jesus.
the Book is a quick read and it’s divided up into 4 Main sections with a lot of little sections throughout. I read it at copper island in about half a day (there wasn’t anything else to do).
One thought on “Jesus for President – Review”
We have a group working through the book right now. We are in section 3 of 4 this week. It has generated excellent conversation.
One of my favorite ‘nuggets’ so far is…
Jesus did not think that only he sowed the Word of God. He was constantly sending people away, telling them also to sow the seed of the kingdom . . . a distracting, violent, and tempting world, keep sowing the seeds of love. Sow it everywhere, even when Herod cuts it down, and even when the world’s riches try to choke it.
Sowers must not become discouraged easily. The disciples were constantly butting up against Jesus’ thoughts about the way God’s reign comes on earth. ‘It will never work that way!’ you can hear the disciples thinking at almost every encounter. They thought the kingdom would come quickly like the apocalypse, as almost all revolutionaries from Marx to Guevara have insisted. But Jesus’ revolutionary patience claimed that another kingdom is coming—one that you can participate in but cannot build; a seed you can plant and water but cannot make grow. You can’t drag the kingdom of God into the world. But you can’t stop sowing the seeds either. Sow them everywhere. “Jesus for President,” (Claiborne and Haw)