Archives For Mark Van Steenwyk


Deeper into the the Way of Jesus

A Feature Review of

The Story of King Jesus

Ben Irwin
Hardback: David C. Cook, 2014
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A Wolf At the Gate

Mark Van Steenwyk
Paperback: Mennonite Worker Press, 2014
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Seeing Christ Embodied in Healthy and Mature Ways.

A Review of

Christo-Anarchism - That Holy AnarchistThat Holy Anarchist: Reflections on Christianity and Anarchism.

Mark Van Steenwyk.

Paperback: Missio Dei, 2012.
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Christian Archy. (Areopagus Critical Christian Issues Series)

David Black.

Paperback: Energion Press, 2009.
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Reviewed by Chris Smith

Christian ArchyChristianity. Anarchism. The two, I imagine, would be understood by most people as at odds with each other.  I have long been inclined to think that they are compatible and was pleasantly surprised to find these two recent books that seek to reconcile the two: David Alan Black’s Christian Archy and Mark Van Steenwyk’s That Holy Anarchist: Reflections on Christianity and Anarchism.  Both books are brief, helpful introductions, more like pamphlets in format than books, perhaps a tip of the hat to the long tradition of anarchist pamphleteering.


Black’s Christian Archy takes a conceptual approach, choosing to survey the biblical and theological literature on the Kingdom of God from the perspective of Christian anarchism.  “There is perhaps no clearer example of the church’s misguided appropriation of the world,” begins Black, “than the god of nationalism.  Instead of following Jesus, whose kingdom is marked by powerless love, we have attempted to use Christianity to support worldly power” (1).  Black proceeds to recognize the influence that the work of Jacques Ellul and Vernard Eller have had on his thought.  The remainder of the book reads like an very basic introduction to the key ideas of both of these important thinkers.  The book is obviously aimed at (more conservative) church audiences that have a basic grasp on both the Bible and theology.  The middle chapters of the book introduce the basic tenets of “Christian Archy” and its implications, explore the relationship between church and kingdom, and a chapter on “the power of the powerless (people of God).”  The material it covers is good and works pretty well as an introductory survey, but it seems to move way too quickly, leaving one with many questions, particularly in the church and kingdom chapter.


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