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Follow Me to Freedom

Author Shane Claiborne & John Perkins
Narrator Valmont Thomas & Eddie Lopez
Runtime 5 Hrs. - Unabridged
Publisher christianaudio Hovel
Downloads ZIP MP3 M4B
Release Date July 13, 2009
Availability: Unrestricted (available worldwide)

Re-imagine leading and following in a world longing for true justice, compassion and freedom followers of Christ yearn to see the world changed in compassionate, positive, effective ways. As prophetic voices, Shane Claiborne and John Perkins lead the way in this move to be the hands, feet and heart of Jesus.

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Re-imagine leading and following in a world longing for true justice, compassion and freedom followers of Christ yearn to see the world changed in compassionate, positive, effective ways. As prophetic voices, Shane Claiborne and John Perkins lead the way in this move to be the hands, feet and heart of Jesus. One is young, a self proclaimed reformed redneck who grew up in the hills of Tennessee and now lives in inner city Philadelphia and the other is decades older, an African-American civil rights leader who was almost beaten to death by police in Mississippi, and went on to found a reconciliation movement and counsel three American presidents. Claiborne and Perkins draw on more than a century of combined following and learning, activating and leading. Together they craft a timely message for ordinary people willing to take radical steps to see real change happen. In Follow Me to Freedom, Claiborne and Perkins lead the way toward justice for all, unfolding a proven strategy as ancient as the patriarchs of faith and as fresh as the needs of every human heart. Starting with Moses as a model, they re-imagine leading and following in a world desperate for true social justice, compassion and freedom. They offer practical ways to internalize and live out God’s promise of freedom in the twenty-first century. Followers of Christ will not only be inspired but also catalyzed into action, and the world will never be the same.

Customer Reviews

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Social Gospel isn't truly the Gospel
“Follow Me to Freedom” by Shane Claiborne and John Perkins is a book about showing Christ's love and compassion through deed, and not just by word.
There are some good things about the book and audiobook. I like the creative way Claiborne and Perkins approached the book: as a conversation between the two. The book was pleasant to listen to, and I felt like an eavesdropper to the conversation. I don't know if reading the book would have had the same impact. The two narrators were also excellent. They were both convincing, passionate, and “got into their character.” I especially enjoyed listening to the person who narrated for John Perkins. If I hadn't heard the real authors of the book speak at the beginning of the audiobook, I would've thought that Claiborne and Perkins themselves narrated their own book.
Both Claiborne and Perkins had many sound Biblical things to say. I think they do a lot of much-needed outreach that many churches should be doing. It seems like they start outreaches and hand them to those who know the neighborhoods the best, which I totally agree with. Who better to do a neighborhood outreach than the people who come from that neighborhood? It's the same way with planting a church in a foreign country and having an indigenous pastor take over. I agree with both that their needs to be repentance and fruit in the believer's life.
However, the pros are outweighed by the cons of the book. Right away, I found the book interesting and creative, but there were many times I disagreed with their theology and their philosophy. That led to this audiobook being a hard task. They both talked about race a lot, and Shane Claiborne especially brought it up a lot. He is a self-proclaimed “redneck,” and he even mentioned that he wanted to be mentored by an older black man. Why not a Hispanic or Asian woman that was the same age as him? He talked about a conference in which all kinds of people would get to speak, including African-American women. I have no problem with a woman (regardless of race) speaking in a women's conference, but a woman shouldn't be teaching adult men about the Bible. In fact, there are some Christian women who I believe are better speakers and students of the Word, but I don't think they should be teaching a co-ed Bible study. The Bible itself prohibits this (I Timothy 2:11-14). I didn't write this, it's in the Bible! This isn't a conservative White male ideal.
I'm a female, and I'm neither black nor white, but the “affirmative action” view of the church and society was irritating. One shouldn't pick somebody to lead because they are a poor minority. A leader should be somebody that can lead, regardless of race or economic status. And preachers and Christian speakers should be based on Biblical principles, not on giving them a “fair chance”. I also disagreed with many of Claiborne's “mentors” and people he associates with. He mentioned people who have watered-down or even heretical theology. Claiborne speaks too highly of Mother Theresa, one of his mentors. She was a sinful human, like the rest of us. I don't know that much about Mother Theresa, but I know she had helped many people in India. Unfortunately, helping people and doing good aren't going to get you to Heaven. Only God knows if Mother Theresa truly repented. I hope she did.
Overall, the message I got out of the book was to help those less fortunate and who don't have as many opportunities to rise above the poverty or obstacles that have faced them. Again, I agree that we need to help the needy and oppressed, but the most important way to help them is to share the Gospel with them first.
Review by / (Posted on 11/30/2010)
I have just finished the book...
I have just finished the book Follow Me to Freedom by Shane Claiborne and John Perkins. I have definitely learned a lot from this book about the nature of poverty and injustice. I have also learned some steps that can be taken to alleviate it. However, I felt that the constructive parts were few and the destructive elements were many.
I for one admire both Shane Claiborne and John Perkins. They definitely practice what they preach. I wish that I were able to have the care and concern for the under-privelaged that they do. However, authenticity is not the measure of truth, and I feel that these authors are authentic in their beliefs, but sadly misguided. For one thing, it appears that they started with an ideology, and fit the Bible into that ideology to serve their ends. They make Jesus primarily a social reformer and the gospel mainly a declaration of alleviation from the troubles of injustice. While all true followers of Christ must have subsequent works that follow, it is a mistake to confuse the fruit for the root. The root of Justification produces the fruit of care for the poor and oppressed. And the gospel is not a message about a well paying job, financial help or free healthcare. No! The gospel is much deeper, and far more satisfying!
A second thing that struck me in the book was Shane's desire to be different and cutting edge. It seems he will do anything to make a statement. He prides himself on the amount of times he has been to jail. He will go to jail for almost anything. I walked away with the feeling that Shane would stand by any person who felt oppressed by "the man." And I feel that sometimes when he sides with the poor, he is actually further entrenching the poor in their poverty. For advice on poverty alleviation, I would highly recommend When Helping Hurts. This book properly understands the gospel, and what it means to truly help out the suffering.
The third main objection to the book is the mistaken statement, "each person is better than the worst things they do." This oft repeated phrase is very misleading and doctrinally untrue. It stems from the assumption that man is basically good and occasionally does bad things. The Bible teaches that man is basically bad, and it is only through the common grace of God that we do anything good at all. Yes, we could all be worse, but teaching someone that they are inherently good is wrong and dangerous.
There are many good things in the book. I admire the mentor student relationship between John and Shane. And I appreciate the racial harmony that they are trying to promote. There are a lot of good ideas in the book. I would recommend it to a cautious and discerning reader who knows how to critically analyze the words of the book and the underlying worldview the authors have. The Audio is done in a conversational manner with Shane and John both using their own voices. This is a good effect because it accurately portrays the passion that these two men feel about their topic.
Review by / (Posted on 5/8/2010)
Follow Me To Freedom is a...
Follow Me To Freedom is a series of conversations between two civil rights activists. John Perkins is an African-American who lived through the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, and Shane Claiborne is a young redneck. They spend the course of the book discussing leadership, justice, helping the poor, and other related topics.

The format of the book is interesting because it is basically a series of transcripts. Perkins and Claiborne sat down and simply discussed things related to leadership and helping the poor, and these conversations became the book. It seems to work well at first- it's almost like listening to interviews, but without a host asking questions. However, the book eventually begins to drag on- contrary to the information on christianaudio's product page, the audiobook is over eight hours long. The last few conversations just seem to go over material we've already gone over, and I think the book would have been better off had it been shorter.

The audiobook is read by Valmont Thomas and Eddie Lopez, and they do a great job with it. I don't know who is reading whom, though, but whoever was reading Perkins' lines was exceptionally good. He conveyed the emotion almost as if he were Perkins himself (though there were a couple parts he spoke so quietly I couldn't hear him while walking down the street). The person reading Claiborne did a fine job, as well. The authors themselves read the introduction, which was a nice touch, though it made it clear why they had others doing the book itself.

Now, on to the content and views espoused in this book. I found myself agreeing very much with what Perkins and Claiborne said about leadership, and about the proper way of assisting the poor. There is some sound advice in this book. Don't just give the poor a bunch of money- give them the tools and training they need to make money. If you're uneducated, pick up a book. If somebody is going hungry, suffer alongside them- don't eat, so you can know exactly what they're going through, just as Christ comes alongside us and knows exactly what we're going through. Leaders need to be nurturers, and humble- they must always give God the credit, not themselves. Leaders need to make sure that their followers know them as a friend. Leaders shouldn't work or speak for people; they should work or speak with people. There is plenty of good advice in this book.

However, discernment is critical. I liked and agreed with almost everything Perkins said. (I hold some reservation towards his view on civil disobedience. Some of the examples were fine; others, I thought, were unnecessary.) Perkins struck me as wise and godly, and his contribution is fantastic. Claiborne is a different story, unfortunately. While Perkins was very clearly God-centered, and he emphasizes doing God's will, and keeping God at the center, and he uses Scripture to back him up, Claiborne struck me as man-centered. He seems to espouse a pragmatism that downplays or denies Biblical truth in favor of social progress, and he focuses on Scriptures that help his case, and just doesn't bother with Scriptures that don't. This pragmatism presents itself in his awe of Mother Theresa (he claims she had the spirit of Christ, while at the same time describing her participation to the Mass, which denies certain truths), his praise of Catholics and Protestants setting aside their differences, and his complaint about conceited, self-righteous, cowardly white men not allowing women to preach (God knows what his opinion of the Apostle Paul must be). It gets to a point where I'm under the impression Claiborne must have visibly cringed when Perkins quoted Paul's condemnation of homosexuality. It's rather disappointing, too, because things like these undercut the other stuff Claiborne has to say. Instead of listening to him with interest, I instead found myself listening with some suspicion. You simply cannot claim to represent Christ and call others to follow His commands and believe His Word, while explicitly or implicitly denying the more obnoxious commands and claims of His Word.

Claiborne's doctrinal issues aside, though, Follow Me To Freedom is a good book to read. Perkins was great, and Claiborne has a rather unique ministry, and where they're right, they're right. As mentioned, discernment is necessary, as it always is. We must be like the noble Bereans, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things are so. (Acts 17:11)

This audiobook review of Follow Me To Freedom by John Perkins and Shane Claiborne was made possible by the christianaudio Reviewers Program.
Review by / (Posted on 5/5/2010)
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