Review of Economy of Love DVD with Shane Claiborne and Isaac Anderson

As part of the Ooze Viral Blogger program, I was given a copy of the “Economy of Love” dvd. Please know that just like all review programs that I know of, the blogger does not have to give a positive review. So this is my honest opinion. So the truth is that I liked it, but I was not amazed by it like I was say, The Irresistible Revolution – Shane set the bar pretty high with that one.  (But Jesus for President was absolutely fantastic).

Like most people, I’m a fan of aesthetics and it’s beautifully packaged and very well-produced. It’s professional and consistent with its theme. I especially loved the fantastic accompanying workbook. It provides a written commentary on what Shane said and a few notes like passage citations and sidebar comments.

F80B2CA3-FB62-4EB6-A354-F93EA6FF5C14.jpgAs always, Claiborne is excellent but those who have been following him for a while may be disappointed that they are not going to hear anything “new”.  I know he is more a practitioner and not a innovator but I’m just speaking as a reviewer who likes Claiborne but wasn’t particularly moved by the work. Know that it pains me to write that. If I can unpackage that a bit, I mean I’d like to understand more of perhaps the meditations and actions after The Irresistible Revolution as opposed to new ways and methods to think about the poor. I think we have become bored by the impovered, it’s probably due to the lack of ministering to them. However, more on the relational tithe would have been cool too. Maybe for future projects on a deeper look at the practices, “programs”, reflections of the Simple Way/Potter Street and how they can be adapted in different settings, rural, suburban, etc. As the risk of sounding overly critical, this would have been more helpful shortly after the release of Irresistible Revolution

However, if you are new to Shane’s work and ideas and if you are not going to read IR, there is no better place to start. But you should consider reading Irresistible Revolution.

Initially I was not sure what I would do with this work. At 3-5 minutes, the clips are very short which are nice in a sense because they leave time for discussion (if you have a group geared for that but they are short). There are 5 clips and the chapters are “Tension”, “Enough”, “Vulnerable”, “Filled”, & “Practice”. I’ve watched the series a few times now over the last week and a half and have thought of a few things. They make great sermon clips in traditional churches. I may may use the “Enough” chapter next time I preach to our suburban congregation. The clip being short will allow me to provide commentary around it.

Perhaps to consider a possible place for this work is in an Adult Sunday School setting or small group setting. I also wondered about our Ministry Commission Meetings (just brainstorming but I imagined one of our elders’ meetings. We have great elders, I think they would be moved by clips like “Vulnerable”). In addition to using them as a back-drop, they could simply be used as a home study group curriculum but I think the facilitator would have to bring some work to the table after the second week’s worth of dialogue dries up. Still, I’ll probably use it in our youth ministry, wished it was released last year (doh!). We’ve talked a great deal about generosity, stewardship, and the gospel that seeks to meet the local, global, personal, social, physical, emotional, spiritual needs of others. We’ve done Advent Conspiracy for a few years too.

All that said, the content cannot be better said in a such a concise amount of time. Shane’s words are very appropriate and as always, his presence comes across well – I think most audiences will find him very likable.

It’s definitely worth the $9.35 (from Amazon!)

Judge for yourself here’s a clip.

Economy of Love: Trailer from The House Studio on Vimeo.

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