A Review of Christian Archy

by David Allen Black
Gonzalez, FL: Energion Publications (C) 2009, 43 pages, $9.99 (paper)

Flow of Thought

  • Chapter 1: The church was subverted by Christendom into a self-sufficient and self-important entity that has nothing to do with biblical Christianity; the way forward from Christendom to Christian archy [1] is to return to the proclamation and practice of the Kingdom of God, entered by suffering and ruled by only one Lord (ix, x, 3).
  • Chapter 2: The church, the one archy with Christ as her head, is the only archy that matters; all others are “eliminated, and vanquished” by Christ (8).
  • Chapter 3: The Gospel, the account of God’s working through the incarnation of Christ to bring eternal and abundant life, is the only truth that can make all things new (16).
  • Chapter 4: The church has one mission: to spread the rule of Christ by accurately representing him in the world; all of our internal activities and structures must work toward that end (18, 20).
  • Chapter 5: The mode of our mission is following the Suffering Servant by working to reconcile all persons to God through Christ (32).
  • Chapter 6: The church will be the church when she takes the Kingdom of God as seriously as does the New Testament (33).

Critique

Christian Archy offers much-needed correction for a church that too often follows after the worldly powers of consumerism and political influence. Black’s Christocentric, missional solution aligns well with Scripture and offers the sort of exhortation that can inspire Christ-followers to take action. In a scant 43 pages, Christian Archy defines the problem, unpacks the Scriptural teaching, and declares a way forward.

In his solution, Black correctly calls the whole church (including all persons who comprise it) to prepare for and participate in proclaiming and practicing the Kingdom of God. To that end, the decided goal of every internal activity is the declaration and demonstration of the rule of Christ in the world. But, while this is a much-needed correction in the church today, Black goes too far. On pages 22-23, he cites Ephesians 4:11-12, in support of his claim that leaders are to prepare all for mission in the world. While mission is one purpose of our continuing existence in time and space, it is not the stated purpose in this passage. Ephesians 4:11-16, speaks of the maturation of the Body of Christ, not of her participation in God’s mission; further, the “works of service” prepared for in verse 12 are directly related to the Body-growing activity of all the members in verses 15 and 16. There are passages that speak of the Church’s necessary participation in mission; this is not one of them.

Recommendation

Christian Archy is especially recommended for those in the grass roots of the church, who see Christendom as an unbiblical direction and have determined to do all they can to bring their local churches into alignment with the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.


[1] Black defines “Christian archy” as the Kingdom of God, which “is in no way imperialistic. It has no political ambitions. It conquers not by force, but by love. It is this humble characteristic of the kingdom that is a stumbling block to so many today” (x).

About Laura

My name is Laura and I am on a journey, pondering the implications of God's glorious design of humanity and integrating every aspects of this design into a description of whole life health.
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