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551 Power, Pacifism, & Being Consistently Pro-Life with Shane Claiborne


What does it mean to be pro-life? Drawing from the words of Jesus, the Apostles, and the early church, Shane Claiborne says most American Christians have gotten it wrong. His new book, “Rethinking Life: Embracing the Sacredness of Every Person,” argues for the value of the unborn, but also for combating poverty, racism, and other dehumanizing evils. He talks with Skye about how the early church’s consistent ethic of life changed once it gained political power. It’s one thing for a tiny church on the margins of society to apply the teachings of Jesus, but how do we apply his words when Christians have control of governments and armies? Skye is joined after the interview by Christian Taylor and Phil Vischer to debrief Claiborne’s challenging ideas.


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0:00 - Sponsor World Relief

0:46- Intro


3:16 - Shane Claiborne


Tyre Nichols and policing


13:55 Rethinking Life


28:24 Ethics and power


33:49 Abortion


48:30 Phil, Skye, Christian debrief


1:07:03 End Credits


Other resources:


Rethinking Life: Embracing the Sacredness of Every Person by Shane Claiborne - https://amzn.to/40EvZZZ


The Irresistible Revolution, Updated and Expanded: Living as an Ordinary Radical by Shane Claiborne - https://amzn.to/3x3SDxt


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29 opmerkingen


Cat Wise
Cat Wise
18 feb. 2023

I REALLY appreciate hearing the hosts debrief the interviews lately. I'm also so thankful to be hearing such thoughtful conversations even when you don't agree with everything the guest says. Bravo!

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trevecca okholm
trevecca okholm
17 feb. 2023

Listening to the dialog between Skye, Phil, and Kaitlin following the interview made me remember a Netflix series from Denmark that we watched a few years ago. "Ride Upon the Storm" wrestles with many of the ethical issues of the church today from abortion to war to suicide to caring from the poor and immigration and a lot more. It would be an excellent viewing recommendation for church groups wanting to have these hard conversations beyond Claiborne's "Rethinking Life" - being consistently pro-life - and about the church's failing to address these issues. Here's a great overview from The Guardian on the series: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/mar/14/booze-bishops-and-breakdowns-the-biblical-brilliance-of-ride-upon-the-storm

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Michael H
Michael H
14 feb. 2023

Skye, great interview once again. I still wonder why you don't embrace Christian Pacifism. Every time I hear you talk, you sound like a pacifist. I think you should just claim it as an ideal worth holding. While it is certainly true that there are complications in holding it, it is no more complicated than the only other viably Christian position (at least as it is related to war)--Just War Theory. As Nigel Biggar admits in his interview with John Dickson, both of these positions require those who hold them to ultimately be willing to lose--that is, die and possibly allow others to die--rather than engage in a certain level of violence. It would be great to get John Dickson…

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Mike Wilson
Mike Wilson
11 feb. 2023

Interesting interview with Shane. Reminds me of days of Tom Sine and Sojourners in Seattle. Ok, I'm dating myself. My comment has to do with the first part of your interview about police officers. I happen to have a daughter in that profession. 2 thoughts: Get out of how policing is done in Kentucky:). Meaning, one or even several related incidents does not mean that is how policing is taking place all over. My daughter is in a major metro area million plus, they have several psych officers, on every shift in every station across the entire city to do intervention if needed or call upon. They have the lowest officer involve shootings in the country for a maj…

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Jen Manlief
Jen Manlief
22 feb. 2023
Reageren op

I would see a role for investigating crime. I don't know if that would be "police", or if that word isn't wholly tainted by the current system. I don't think an armed, authoritative presence does much to decrease crime in society, I think we're just conditioned to assume it does because it's all we know. There are studies that show that there are much more effective ways to reduce crime- and money spent on police patrols could be redirected to those effective ways. I am not looking for the idea of police just called something else. I would not want police that looks anything like the systems we have now in terms of presence, role, weaponry or authority.

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Trela Haralson
Trela Haralson
11 feb. 2023

I always enjoy hearing conversations with Shane Claiborne, but there's a point he misses every single time. The death penalty is something the state does to a person. Abortion is something the state allows a person to do.


I completely respect the pro-life position that Christians are not allowed to be soldiers, police officers, brothel workers, or to have abortions. But I don’t believe that Christians should tell all the citizens of the U.S. that they are not allowed to be soldiers, police officers, brothel workers, or to have abortions. Christians should follow the leading of the Holy Spirit for themselves, and not try to exert power over their fellow citizens to compel them to do likewise.


In a republic…


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Roberto Rivera
Roberto Rivera
11 feb. 2023
Reageren op

The failure to make this distinction was the most frustrating thing about this otherwise excellent conversation. It's one thing to say "Christians, with a few rare exceptions, should not have or participate in an abortion." I strongly agree with that position, with some caveats about the need for grace and the commitment to support women in difficult circumstances.

It's another to apply this principle to the entire society through the use of political force and/or coercion. Discussions about about abortion nearly always elide this distinction.

As for pacifism, there is a similar elision at work: Christian's story about her son and the Nazis are an extreme example. In modern politics, the decision to use lethal force is, much more often…

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