Bible Study responding to a Shane Claiborne Challenge

Tonight we took two quotes from Shane Claiborne as a challenge for out Bible Study. The idea came from a blog post by Bishop Willian Willimon: A Peculiar Prophet: Claiborne’s Call to Young Christians.

In it he had a collection of quotes from Shane Claiborne. Two stood out for me at the moment:

“Most good things have been said far too many times and just need to be lived.”

“I need to be born again,…. But if you
tell me I have to be born again to enter the Kingdom of God, I can tell
you that you have to sell everything you have and give it to the poor,
because Jesus said that to one guy, too. But I guess that’s why God
invented highlighters, so we can highlight the parts we like and ignore
the rest.”


So we used the Bible Study to evaluate our Church and selves by these criteria.

As a starting point we took the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5, 6 & 7). That seemed a straighforward way to get a wide collection of the teaching of Jesus in an amount we could handle(ish) in an evening.

We went through point by point (taking the TNIV headings as points – that made 19 excluding the beatitudes) for each we had a short discussion before awarding out Church a score (0-5) for how visibly taught this passage was in our Church and then another score (again 0-5) for how much action took place in our discipleship based on this passage.

I left the beatitudes til last as I suspected we would run out of time if we started with them and sure enough we ran out of time so did not get back to them.

We found it a challenging way to explore the quotes from Shane ie the extent to which we highlight some of the teaching of Jesus while ignoring other bits  and how much we actually live out the teaching.

We are going to come back to this to look at how we can respond to the lower scores.

5 thoughts on “Bible Study responding to a Shane Claiborne Challenge

  1. Rhea

    “I need to be born again,…. But if you tell me I have to be born again to enter the Kingdom of God, I can tell you that you have to sell everything you have and give it to the poor, because Jesus said that to one guy, too. But I guess that’s why God invented highlighters, so we can highlight the parts we like and ignore the rest.”
    To me the big problem with this is that there is an assumption that in both instances Jesus was only talking to one person (as in, what he was saying was only relevant to the specific individual that he was talking to). I firmly believe (and I think that it’s clear from the context) that regarding the discussion of being born again, Jesus wasn’t merely saying that that particular man needed to be born again, but that ALL men needed to be born again. In the other situation, I believe that Jesus was specifically speaking to that young man, and perhaps all ppl who love money over God…but not necessarily to ALL people on the planet.

    Reply
  2. Dave

    Rhea,
    Having read one of Shane’s books I am sure he does not make assumptions about being born again being for only one person.
    I think his point is much more about the universal nature of Jesus’ ethical teaching as well as salvation. All need to be saved but also all need to follow the ethical teaching of Jesus.
    In other words Shane wants (along with Jesus and Matthew) to see Christians actually living according to the Sermon on the Mount etc. That is teaching for all people just as being born again is.

    Reply
  3. Dave

    John,
    The score is private (as it was a group assessed score for the church). But it could be improved and indeed we are going to look at that.

    Reply

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