Dave Black (Thursday, March 26, at 12:36 p.m.) gave us a glimpse into the content of his newest book, which he has recently sent to the publisher. The book is called The Downward Path of Jesus. This is what he says:
I argue in The Downward Path of Jesus that New Testament ecclesiology is much more than “doing church right.” If we are to be true to the New Testament vision of the church as a family, then we must insist upon a more costly and participatory manifestation of the unity and diversity of Christ’s Body. The patterns that I read in the New Testament lead me to conclude that a successful church is much more than an organization with a hard-working paid staff, a large and expanding membership, a growing budget, and a multiplicity of programs. The church, to me, is simply a group of radical Jesus-followers ministering to each other sacrificially and reaching the community about them with the Gospel in word and deed. This kind of radical discipleship as taught by Jesus and modeled for us by the early church is, in my thinking, the great need of the hour. Being a citizen of Christ’s kingdom involves a commitment to a radical way of living that both rejects the corrosive influences of Christendom and embraces a citizenship status quite apart from political or official church structures in any given time or place. Christian discipleship means trading everything for the privilege of gathering voluntarily around the person and example of Christ and giving all for the cause of Christ’s mission in the world. That’s why I argue that restoration, not reformation, ought to be the goal of church renewal today. As I mentioned to my publisher yesterday, nobody will really be happy with my book. It will please neither traditionalists nor emergents, neither red Christians nor blue Christians, neither age-integrationists nor age-segregationists (or any other -ists), neither those on the left nor those on the right. I hope, however, that it will appeal to anyone who is prepared to pay any price necessary to develop churches dedicated exclusively to life and faith under Jesus’ authority. The Jesus way of life is a consistent lifestyle of sacrificial service rather than occasional acts of solidarity with people who cannot give us anything. We are called to be revolutionaries by acting (and not only thinking) like Jesus. Our only loyalty should be to Him and the Kingdom He is building. We cannot have two allegiances. We cannot serve two kingdoms.
It doesn’t get much better than that.