Let's make a couple of assumptions about a church leader who reads Jesus for President. First, he or she actually finishes the book despite the occasional punch in the gut. Second, that this same church leader agrees (on some level) with the premise that too much of our American church life has been shaped by our comfortable relationship with the state. If one accept both of these assumptions, what then?

While the book offers plenty of fodder for thought and conversation, it is not a how-to manual of subversive Kingdom living. Since most of us will not be leaving our churches to join a New Monastic community with Claiborne or Haw, what is our response? How do we serve and lead congregations that preserve Kingdom distinctiveness while demonstrating God's redemption to our neighbors?

One way to answer these questions is found in how Claiborne and Haw compose their book's last chapter: story telling. The authors claim, "Preserving the distinctiveness of the kingdom of God has always been ...

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