Paul Beston, a writer of whom SWNID knows nothing, posts a potent review of The Irresistible Revolution, a memoir by Shane Claiborne, whom we know from a recent Christianity Today article as a leader of the so-called "new monasticism."
What is the new monasticism? In sum, it is a "radical" movement among young Christians to serve with sacrifice and abandon among the poor and dispossessed. Claiborne (not surprisingly an Eastern University alum, doubtless under the spell of Tony Campolo) has, among other things, lived with the homeless in Philadelphia, worked with Mother Theresa in Calcutta, and comforted civilians in Iraq during the American invasion.
Beston assesses the New Monasticism as SWNID does; therefore, Beston is right. To wit: there is much to admire in the movement's sacrificial love and much of which to be skeptical in its political and social analysis. Beston notes that Claiborne's assertion of pacifism and socialism are less than thorough or convincing. But we'll go one better, or maybe two:
1. Pacifism actually kills more innocent people than just war theory.
2. Socialism actually impoverishes more people than free markets.
Is there a place for the "new monasticism" that isn't pacifistic and socialist? SWNID says yes, and points to Josh and Chloe Glenn and Jade and Kim Kendall, recent CCU grads living and serving just down the hill in Cincinnati's notorious Lower Price Hill. No pacifism, no socialism, just simple living among the poor with lots of communication, encouragement, outreach, and meaningful assistance. These folks know what it's all about, minus grandstanding, bad politics and bad economics.