Resistance: Table of Contents

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : October 4, 2006

I submitted a proposal for my new book to a publisher yesterday. We’ll see if they bite. I decided to start with Wipf & Stock, because I appreciate the books they publish, the community (Church of the Servant King) that they’re connected with, and in particular because they published 12 Marks of the New Monasticism.

Here’s the proposed contents of my book, which I’m tentatively calling Resistance: Allegiance to Christ in the American Empire. I’ll include a brief description of what exactly I’m picking on within American culture for each chapter.

Introduction: Against the world, for the world (If you’ve read Hauerwas, you know where I’m going with the introduction. If you haven’t, then read some of the comments here to get an idea).

Chapter 1: The Kingdom of God and the American Dream (This basically challenges the way in which Christians understand their identity within America. Nationalism, patriotism, and partisanship are enemies to living as citizens of the Kingdom. I know that some of you may disagreee with that statement, and indeed it depends upon how one defines these words.)

Chapter 2: Rugged Individuals Need a Hug (The critique against individualism has been pretty well developed. However, developing practices which resist individualism haven’t).

Chapter 3: The Consumption of Faith and the Faith of Consumption (If you’ve read my blog for very long, you know I have alot to say about this. Here’s one of my posts about the subject).

Chapter 4: Why Pragmatism Doesn?t Work (Americans are results oriented. We measure success quantitatively. We tend to justify our means through our ends. This can be seen everywhere from the seeker megachurch movement to our justification for bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki).

Chapter 5: Going to War with Militarism (We live in a violent world in which America is the the most powerful nation. Christians must not buy into the myth that violence brings peace. We know that peace comes from Christ. So instead of partaking of the cycle of violence, we must resist violence, in all of its forms, with our peaceful presence.)

Conclusion: A Call to Resistance

My intention with this book is decidedly NOT to simply “bitch and moan.” While I certainly want to name some of the things that have erroded the counter-cultural nature of the Church in America, my goal is to move from critique to resistance. That is, I want to point out communities that are doing something about these systemic forces which errode the church and offer some ways that we can fight back, spiritually. Our struggle is NOT against flesh and blood. Our warfare is spiritual and requires spiritual, non-violent, resistance. We must live as a counter cultural community.

So, readers, can you think of communities that embody resistance against these systemic forces–these “powers?” Your imput will help me in my research. I’d prefer it if you share communties that you KNOW about rather than have READ about.

for further reading . . .

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12 Responses to “Resistance: Table of Contents”

  1. Steve Hayes on October 5th, 2006 1:41 am

    I’m looking for a way to link to this post, rather than to your blog as a whole.

  2. Van S on October 5th, 2006 3:04 am

    If you click the title for each post, it brings you to its seperate page. This post is located at

  3. blorge on October 5th, 2006 1:33 pm

    Your table of contents seems pretty good, although on the surface of things, I’d reccommend:
    1.) I’m not sure how you’re going to be able to make a whole chapter’s worth of material in order to fill up chapter 4 given your description. It seems like a good topic, but given your description, it’s either going to be your shortest chapter (which is going to be odd given that you have 5 chapters) or you might be able to find a way to integrate the material elsewhere.
    2.) you may want to re-tool your chapter 5 description, because it seems like it could be a book unto itsself. I’m sure when you write it, you’ll be able to tie it together, but since you’re still pitching it, you may want to think about how you can best present it in a way that people who aren’t familiar with you and your blog will be able to see.

  4. Van S on October 5th, 2006 2:01 pm

    Blorge, these descriptions aren’t the pitch I’ve given to Wipf & Stock, but are quickly thrown together for readers of my blog. There is so much to write about pragmatism and “success” that I’m not worried about having much to say. You’re right about chapter 5 being a book unto itself. My goal for each of these chapters isn’t to lay out a big and complete case for resistance, but to lay a brief, yet solid, introductory case for resistance and then spend most of my time on praxis–drawing from examples that I hope to find and interact with in the coming months.

  5. blorge on October 6th, 2006 9:41 am

    Aha, I see now. When I saw it on your blog, I was a bit concerned about whether your pitch would go very far. I think it’s imortant for people to come out with pragmatic responses to Capitalism, etc. because so much of the stuff out there lies on the more theoretical side. Given that there is a growing conscern amongst Christians about things like poverty and the effects of globalism, but it is often difficult to really know what to do in concrete terms.

  6. Steve Hayes on October 9th, 2006 12:50 am

    Thanks for the link info — I’ve now linked to it from my blog.

  7. fargo john on October 11th, 2006 2:30 pm

    dude- i was going to come to the cities this weekend, but i have to work on saturday. i’m still hoping to come down sometime soon, i’ll keep you posted. adios.

  8. Ben Finger on October 16th, 2006 11:42 am

    I hope this book will be affordable because if it is published, and hopefully good, I will totally want to read it.

  9. Sivin on October 17th, 2006 12:16 pm

    looks good

  10. Tim on October 19th, 2006 1:02 am

    I think I’ve told you about Stllwater Catholic Worker, but they really do seem to fit your description on many levels. They meet on friday nights I think, they have a time of prayer, usually a speaker, and a meal together. They meet at one of the two “houses” they set up for women who need short term shelter, 3months or so. Various topics the group has addressed: patriotism, soaring housing costs in Sitllwater and what to do about it, Mennonite experiences (given by me), etc. I’m not sure how they would enter into the pragmatism chapter but otherwise I think their community has something to offer all your chapters.

    Sounds like a great project mark.

  11. David Fitch on October 23rd, 2006 3:17 pm

    Mark.. awesome … please consider me a willing sounding board .. David Fitch

  12. Van S on October 23rd, 2006 4:16 pm

    Thanks David. I’ll take you up on that offer.

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