Clarence Jordan seemed to be born with an ability to see things just a little bit differently than other people did–and sometimes that got him into trouble. Like his views on racial equality: they just weren’t popular with many other White people in the Deep South of his day. Like his views on war and how to deal with violence and hatred.
For Clarence, the Gospel was very clear about these issues. Moreover, he believed that Jesus’s teachings were not just abstract principles but were meant to be applied directly to everyday life. That got him into trouble too, especially among certain church-going people.
Along the way, Clarence became a progressive farmer, a sought-after preacher, a Greek scholar, an author, a precursor of the Civil Rights movement, and a family man. An irrepressible sense of humor enlivened all these aspects of his life.
Today, Clarence Jordan is best known as the author of the Cotton Patch Gospels and as the inspiration for Habitat for Humanity. The story of the making of this extraordinary man is not so widely known. Cotton Patch Rebel tells that story.