"So this is a book of stories. The things that transform us, especially us "postmoderns," are people and experiences. Political ideologies and religious doctrines just aren't very compelling, even if they're true. And stories disarm us. They make us laugh and cry. It's hard to disagree with a story, much less split a church or kill people over one. And certainly no one hurts others with the passion of those who do it in the name of God, and it's usually over ideologies and doctrines, not stories. Besides, people seem to loosen up after a good story. I think that's why Jesus told so many stories — stories about ordinary first-century Mediterranean life, stories of widows and orphans, debts and wages, workers and landlords, courts and banquets.
Nonetheless, I know this is a risky venture. Dualism has infected the church, a dualism in which folks separate the spiritual from the political or social, as if the political and social issues were of no spiritual significance, and as if God had no better vision to offer this world. These stories, whether from the streets of Philly or the hospitals of Iraq, are political, social and spiritual. The issues we will stir up can be volatile and gut-wrenching. But I think there are enough of us so discontented with the old answers and traditional camps — whether believers or activists, capitalists or socialists, Republicans or Democrats, pacifists or just-warriors — that the risk is worth it. The time has come for a new kind of conversation, a new kind of Christianity, a new kind of revolution."
Stories are powerful. People want something real. That's why I'm so passionate about telling stories... it's about connecting the world through sharing experiences.
I wonder what could happen if we all started living in this ordinary radical kind of way that Claiborne talks about in this book... I'm sure I'll be sharing more tidbits of it with you here, but if you're a reader — and even if you're not — I encourage you to read it as well! Come on, it's Christmas break. You don't have anything else to do with your free time.