This is really two posts in one - dealing with both the church and politics.
Dave Black has written a challenging and somewhat revolutionary book. The reason I say this is that the author challenges the reader to take a long look at how his life compares to what the bible has to say about what it is to follow after Jesus Christ.
I have already said that I believe the bedrock issue Dave Black addresses is biblical hermeneutics (interpretation). A simple, even cursory, reading of The Jesus Paradigm challenges the reader to not just obey the commands of scripture, but to live according to the model we see in scripture. This model comes from both Jesus Christ and the early church. In other words, Black seemingly sees all of the New Testament as not only descriptive, but also prescriptive.
Once the reader of this book realizes (and it doesn't take long) that Black believes followers of Jesus Christ should live personally and corporately based on what we see in scripture, he - the reader - can take a good guess at what Black will have to say specifically about both the church and politics.
To put it simply, Black writes that the church of today should live like the church from the Book of Acts. As we see in the N.T., Black emphasizes that every member of the church should minister within the body. All have responsibility to one another. All are to be active. The author also stresses that every member ought to be a missionary. Regarding leadership, the church must avoid the typical clergy-laity divide. Jesus Christ alone must be recognized as the senior pastor.
As for politics, Black stresses that the bible does not call upon the church to serve a particular political party or particular ideology. The church is not to be a servant of the state or be involved in fighting culture wars. The church, on the other hand, is to impact society for Christ by being salt and light in the world. As Christians, our utmost allegiance must be to the Kingdom of God rather than to any political movement.
The Jesus Paradigm is revolutionary, but it is also simple. It is challenging, but it is also a relatively easy read. The reason for these things is that Dr. Black is simply trying to be as biblical as he can be.
If we want to claim to be biblical, we cannot pick-and-choose what sections of scripture to follow. Black does his best to exhort us to live by all of the bible.
I encourage every Christian to read this book. Even if you do not agree with all the author says, it will cause you to think. That is always a good thing.
To order, click here or here.