I will post my review on Amazon below, but I just had to comment that one of the most exciting components of the book was how the author explained and applied the whole concept of Empire into the understanding of scripture and how Christians live among the various empires throughout time. Further, Van Steenwyk gives many practical ways to live out our faith in spite of empire, including the ones we live in now. It is rare when an author writes such a theologically profound book that is so comlpetely accessible to all in the church. For that he is to be highly commended!
I’ll admit, this book caught me by surprise. Perhaps the title threw me off, as I couldn’t quite connect with the book at face value, but as I read it, it all fell into place and I have been compelled to read, think and act differently as a result…a feat that many Christian books simply cannot pull off well.
Mark does such a good job of engaging the reader by immediately connecting us to his own story of a disconnect with practicing his Christian faith. This is something he not only calls out, but so gracefully guides the reader to meaningful, real, and valuable ways to amend one’s thoughts and practices to better fit with the way of Jesus.
Inherent in this book is a very readable and accessible explanation of the biblical theme of empire and how the scriptures counter this at every turn. Perhaps, this was most exciting to me, since so much of that material is more academic and simply doesn’t tackle the practical ramifications for Christians in the real world. As such, this book would be an incredible resource for group study for those seeking more missional ways of living among their communities.
This message is prophetic in the truest sense of the word, and it is a message Christians in the West need to hear. Many Christians are pulling away from ineffective churches. Mark reveals a new path that can be taken, a new way of seeing the Bible and Jesus that will awaken, revive and inspire the reader to look for immediate, local, and purposeful ways of living out their faith.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was challenged in many ways that I never would have imagined. Highly recommended!!!