Executing Grace: How the Death Penalty Killed Jesus and Why It's Killing Us

Executing Grace: How the Death Penalty Killed Jesus and Why It's Killing Us

by Shane Claiborne


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In this reasoned exploration of justice, retribution, and redemption, the champion of the new monastic movement, popular speaker, and author of the bestselling The Irresistible Revolution offers a powerful and persuasive appeal for the abolition of the death penalty.

The Bible says an eye for an eye. But is the state’s taking of a life true—or even practical—punishment for convicted prisoners? In this thought-provoking work, Shane Claiborne explores the issue of the death penalty and the contrast between punitive justice and restorative justice, questioning our notions of fairness, revenge, and absolution.

Using an historical lens to frame his argument, Claiborne draws on testimonials and examples from Scripture to show how the death penalty is not the ideal of justice that many believe. Not only is a life lost, so too, is the possibility of mercy and grace. In Executing Grace, he reminds us of the divine power of forgiveness, and evokes the fundamental truth of the Gospel—that no one, even a criminal, is beyond redemption.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062347374
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/07/2016
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 595,419
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Shane Claiborne is a speaker and activist, the director of Red Letter Christians, and the bestselling author of The Irresistible Revolution, Executing Grace, Jesus for President, Common Prayer, and Red Letter Revolution. He is a founding member of The Simple Way, a faith community in inner-city Philadelphia that has helped birth and connect radical faith communities around the world.

Table of Contents

1 Something Just Doesn't Feel Right 1

2 Let's Begin with the Victims 17

3 Death and Grace in the Bible 43

4 The Limits of an Eye for an Eye 61

6 The Most Famous Execution in History 81

6 The Early Christians and Execution 121

7 Death on the Run 147

8 Race, the Death Penalty, and Lynching 169

9 The Death Penalty's Hall of Shame 189

10 Putting a Face on the Issue 205

11 Putting a Face on the Innocent 219

12 The Haunted Executioners 227

13 A New Vision of Justice 249

14 Making Death Penalty History 271

Acknowledgments 289

Works Cited (and Other Books Worth Reading) 293

Notes 297

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