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Shane Claiborne is one of the founding members of The Simple Way in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This community was featured on the cover of Christianity Today as a pioneer in the New Monasticism movement. Claiborne is also a prominent activist for nonviolence and service to the poor and author of The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical.
While I was a theological student, a heated debate broke out during one of the Principal’s lectures around the issues of evangelism and suffering. The Principal’s view was that preaching faith in Jesus to hungry people was unhelpful because it did not meet their need for food. He argued that salvation had to be socio-economic, as well as spiritual, or it was of no use. In my youthful zeal I reacted strongly against this ‘deviation’ from the truth – that people really need to be saved from hell, so they can go to heaven when they die – and I shouted across the room, “Jesus is the answer! Now, what’s the question?!!” Fast forward nearly three decades to last summer,