conspire with me

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : January 16, 2008

I’ve been thrilled by the response to the changes I’ve made to in the past several months. I’ve worked hard on the design, and it seems that the consensus is that it works well.  And I’ve also been pleased by the contributions…but I think we should take things to a new level.  Here’s how:

submissions for “aesthetics”

What’s this category for? I know all we have in there so far is poetry, this is an area where people can submit visual art, poetry, short stories, music reviews, film reviews, and literary reviews.  I am particularly eager for people to submit articles for this category.

submissions for “culture”

I’m also eager for cultural commentary. While doxis and praxis are sort of the “meat” of this site, our best insights into doctrine and practice are stunted if we are ignorant of our cultural context. Understanding cultural happenings and trends is important, and we could use your help coming up with awesome content.

the curse of homegeneity  

Despite my best efforts (and personal requests), Jesus Manifesto is dominated with the White Male Voice.  That probably is because I am a white male and I assume that my writings have connected most with white males.  I would LOVE for this to change.  I know many non-white male radicals who could write quality stuff here…so please help a dude out and share your voice. PLEASE.

What is my goal? 

I have two primary goals with Jesus Manifesto:

1) To provide content that helps people reimagine following Jesus in the West. That means sharing the basic ideas of the Kingdom of God (doxis), understanding our cultural context, embodying the Gospel in that context (praxis) creatively (aesthetics) and with a light heart (satire).  All of the content here is an exploration of what it really means for us to embrace the way of Jesus in our culture.

2) I want to build community. My hope and prayer is that the Jesus Manifesto can be a place where kingdom-oriented Christians can be inspired to go embody the Gospel in their communities. The Jesus Manifesto is designed to facilitate conversation (through our forums).  I also provide links to groups that are exploring the stuff we talk about in a particular context.  Meanwhile, I’m a part of two growing networks that explore these ideas in the context of community: Submergent and Christarchy!.   Submergent explores this stuff with church leaders, while Christarchy is a purely grassroots endeavor.

In other words, I’m conspiring to create some “plumbing” for a kingdom revolution: I’m trying to gather content that challenges the status quo through the Jesus Manifesto.  And I’m working with others to organize leaders and laypeople to put these ideas into practice. And there are others who are doing likewise (visit some of the links at the bottom right of this site for more info).

Will you be a co-conspirator with me?

Mark Van Steenwyk is the editor of He is a Mennonite pastor (Missio Dei in Minneapolis), writer, speaker, and grassroots educator. He and his wife Amy have been married since 1997. They are expecting their first child in April.

for further reading . . .


2 Responses to “conspire with me”

  1. Brandon Jones on January 16th, 2008 3:00 pm

    Is this the sort of thing that would fit in aesthetics: ? I’ve got other pieces that might fit in this and other categories as well (if you don’t mind contributors from OK :) )


  2. Mark Van Steenwyk on January 16th, 2008 3:34 pm

    I enjoyed your review. I’m not sure it would fit the vibe of this site as-is. I would like to see it trimmed down a bit while, at the same time, a deeper exploration of the way in which it plays off of Christian view(s) of atonement and redemption.

    The other thing is that I tend to discourage folks from submitting content that they’ve already submitted at their own site. Exceptions can be made, on occasion. Some collaborative sites are filled with double-postings, so I don’t even go to them at all. Why visit them when I can just add the blogs of the separate contributors to my rss feed?

    Having said that, I’d encourage you to submit. I enjoyed your review and would love it if you want to write a review from time to time with our readers in mind.

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