I’ve just finished the first chapter of Shane Claiborne’s The Irresistible Revolution entitled ‘When Christianity was Still Safe’. I can look over the chapter now with a fond recollection of my own teenage years and my submersion into what the author calls the ‘Christian Industrial Complex’. I remember going to the Jesus festivals and getting ‘born again’ every summer. I can remember listening to all Christian music, getting all ‘fired up’ for Jesus, and preaching the gospel to anyone who would listen and many who wouldn’t.
And then of course, at the end of the chapter, the author recounted his college years, when he began to befriend the homeless people of Philadelphia , ministering to them as they ministered back to him. I found the final line of the chapter to be utterly poignant, and one that more ears should hear: “I learned more about God from the tears of homeless mothers than any systemic theology ever taught me.”