Category Archives: Books

Seven Marks Interview

[Note: Seven Marks of a New Testament Church is a more recent release by Dave Black. Its topic is not the same as The Jesus Paradigm, but they dovetail nicely.]

In other good news, I see that Henry Neufeld has released the first of the interviews I was privileged to do with him in Pensacola a couple of weeks ago.

The topic was my book Seven Marks of a New Testament Church. I think you’ll enjoy the discussion. Frankly, I hope it raises more questions than it answers. In addition, Henry has begun a series of blog posts about the book — the first being on the subject of church pews (of all things). But I think he’s right. Pews are a good witness — to our lack of fellowship. They are designed to make it well-nigh impossible for us to see directly the faces of our brothers and sisters. The problem here, of course, lies much deeper than architecture — a subject that we get into in the interview. But pews are a witness that something is perhaps amiss. At any rate, check out what Henry has to say but remember that he is completely biased as the publisher of my book.

Completely at the Disposal of the King

8:40 AM The Abnormal Anabaptist posts his thoughts about the SCOTUS decision in an essay titled What, did something just happen to change the world?  You simply must read it. It’s important to note that the acceptance he’s talking about is not passivity, fatalism, or resignation. It’s not about putting our head in the sand. It’s not about ignoring reality. It’s not about capitulating to evil or a refusal to do what you can do to change things. Rather, it’s a placing of oneself completely at the disposal of the King and His kingdom. It springs from love and trust. We have been shown the pattern by the non-political Jesus, who deliberately laid down His life and now calls us to lay down ours. There is very different from capitation or Quietism. Where there is no trust, where there is no radical abandonment to Jesus’ upside-down reign, it is not to be wondered at that decisions by SCOTUS easily upset Christians. We forget how the kingdom of God operates. The Anabaptists of the sixteenth century — I devote an entire chapter to them in my book The Jesus Paradigm — saw suffering and self-abnegation as normal. Their heroism lay in their acceptance of circumstances that other Christians would have avoided at all costs. Continue reading Completely at the Disposal of the King

New Book: Except for Fornication

1:58 PM This week I completed the editing of what I believe may well become one of the most important and helpful books ever to have been written on the difficult subject of Christian marriage and divorce. The book is entitled Except for Fornication: The Teaching of the Lord Jesus on Divorce and Remarriage.

From the author page:

Dr. H. Van Dyke Parunak is currently the Chief Scientist at Vector Research Center with Jacobs Engineering Group, Michigan. He has an AB in Physics from Princeton University, an MS in Computer and Communication Sciences from the University of Michigan, a ThM in Old Testament from Dallas Theological Seminary and his PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University. Dr. Parunak has over 100 publications in journals and highly-refereed conferences.

This book strikes me as a model of exegesis and interpretation. Not all will agree with its conclusions, but few, I believe, will be able to ignore its biblical arguments.


(From Dave Black Online. David Alan Black is the author of Energion titles Christian Archy, The Jesus Paradigm, and Why Four Gospels?. Used by permission.)

John Glas

6:45 PM I have a very good friend named Jon Glass. He’s served with us in Ethiopia on several occasions. He and his wife Matthea are super people. Jon was even kind enough to review my latest book over at his blog (Why you should read “Why Four Gospels?”). Yes, I like Jon Glass! But have you ever heard of John Glas? This “Glas” lived from 1695 to 1773. He was an ordained minister of the Church of Scotland. That is, until he was stripped of his ordination in 1727. His misdeeds? Continue reading John Glas

On Constantinian Sacralism in the Modern Church

From Dave Black Online:

Thanks so much, Eric, for raising again the perennial question about the Reformers’ insistence on maintaining medieval ecclesiology. I attribute today’s neo-sacralism directly to the Reformers and their faulty theology of the church, against which the Anabaptists inveighed. Under the tutelage of such sacralism church leaders today continue to accommodate biblical Christianity to the Constantinian distortion. Not least is this seen in the return to medieval theology in which “the Son of Man goes forth to war, a kingdom to subdue.” I continue to maintain that the Anabaptists were not indebted to the Reformers, were indeed not even a part of them. I spend a whole chapter in The Jesus Paradigm on this subject mostly because missions cannot thrive in a climate of sacralism. The Anabaptists were oblivious to national borders, and so am I. The New Testament plainly teaches that every Christian is a fulltime minister of the Lord Jesus Christ, a missionary even, and that every true believer will experience something of the cross. To this day there is a hesitation, even on the part of Christians who plainly acknowledge a debt to the Anabaptists, to import biblical ecclesiology into their churches. I say shame on us. We should know better.

(Dr. David Alan Black is the author of Energion titles The Jesus Paradigm and Christian Archy.  This extract from his blog is used by permission.)

Last Day for Blogging/Essay Contest Submissions

Today is the last day to submit your entry for our blogging/essay contest.  Entries will be accepted up to midnight eastern time tonight, based on the sent date/time from your e-mail.  If you are posting on your blog, please make sure to e-mail us as well at the same time.

Links and/or entries will be posted here tomorrow, and the judges will begin their work.  We will be including one additional prize which was not announced (no changes to the awarding of the original prizes), and will announce that tomorrow as well.

Blogging/Essay Contest – 21st Century Church

Energion Publications will host a blogging/essay contest.  Entries are open immediately and will close November 2, 2009 when Dr. David Alan Black’s new book Christian Archy is released.  Judging will take place during the first week of November, and winners will be announced by November 16.

To enter, simply write an essay in answer to the question: What should a congregation following Jesus Christ in ministry look like?

If you are a blogger, post the essay on your blog and link back to this post, then also e-mail just to make sure.  We will add your post to the list of those participating.  If you are not a blogger, e-mail your essay in either Word document or Open Document Text (OpenOffice) format to and indicate in the e-mail that you are entering the 21st century church contest.

Entries will be judged in the following areas, with each area receiving a score of from one to ten:

  1. Biblically rooted
  2. Historically aware
  3. Complete
  4. Clear and Concise
  5. Overall impression, including appearance, discussion generated, and anything one of the judges wants to include

Note that 1 & 2 and 3 & 4 may conflict in the approach of some people.  That is why there will be three judges, who come from different theological traditions:

Alan Knox (The Assembling of the Church), a doctoral candidate at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Geoffrey Lentz (, associate pastor of First United Methodist Church in Pensacola, FL, doctoral student at Drew University, and author of The Gospel According to Saint Luke: A Participatory Study Guide.

Elgin Hushbeck, Jr., author of Evidence for the Bible, Christianity and Secularism, and Preserving Democracy, (all from Energion Publications), and owner of Aletheia Consulting, Inc.  Elgin is a member of a Christian Reformed congregation.

Each judge will rate the entries independently.  One of our copy editors will also rate the essays, but that rating will only be used to break a tie.  Judges will not consider whether or not you use or quote from Energion Publications products or web sites in your post.

The prizes are:

First prize – Free copy of The Jesus Paradigm + two other Energion Publications books, with a $25 gift card for Barnes & Noble

Second prize – Free copy of The Jesus Paradigm + one other Energion Publications book, with a $15 gift card for Barnes & Noble

Third prize – Free copy of The Jesus Paradigm with a $10 gift card for Barnes & Noble

(If you have previously received and reviewed a copy of The Jesus Paradigm you may choose any other book in our catalog as an alternative.)

All other participants get the joy of participating in the discussion, and hopefully a fair amount of link love.  All posts regarding this contest will be cross-posted to, and you can comment/link there to enter as well.  Feel free to participate in the discussion even if you don’t want to enter the contest.

Note: All prizes will be awarded.  Prize winners have no obligation to Energion Publications other than the necessary steps to enter the contest.  Judges will be instructed to disregard use or non-use of Energion Publications books and web sites in judging the entries.