You can read chapter one of unKingdom below. Like the book? Buy it via Wipf and Stock, Indiebound, or Amazon.

Download a pdf of the chapter here.


Praise for unKingdom:

“Mark’s book is a new kind of conversion story: not from disbelief to faith, but away from toxic fundamentalism to a healthy, contextually grounded discipleship of the Jesus of the Gospels. I heartily recommend this book for anyone who has struggled to find and follow the authentic Jesus so often hidden behind walls of Christian dogmatic thought and practice.”

—Wes Howard-Brook, author of Come Out, My People: God’s Call out of Empire in the Bible and Beyond

“Mark’s eloquent writing and sharp wit invite readers to do serious work as they engage ‘the unKingdom of God.’ As Christians do we actually understand the subversiveness of Jesus’ statement that the poor are blessed? In this age of hyper-capitalism and hate fueling a refugee and climate crisis, followers of Jesus the unKing, must connect the dots. Mark humbly aids us in this effort with his revolutionary book. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself disturbed.”

—Joanna Lawrence Shenk, author of The Movement Makes Us Human and Widening the Circle

“Sometimes I look around at the church and think its biggest need is a revolutionary manual, a manual for undoing the myths that enslave us, for revealing the ideologies that blind us, a manual that probes for new points of engagement where we can start living this grand radical life that has been made possible in Christ’s victory over the powers. Mark Van Steenwyk’s book could just be that manual.”

—David Fitch, B. R. Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology at Northern Seminary

“This is not an easy read. Van Steenwyk challenges us to take a hard look at the many ways we are complicit with a profoundly corrupted American Christianity (and he makes it clear he has done and is doing his own work in this). But with humility, humor, and practicality, he offers us a way out―a way of repentance, but also a way of a renewed and authentic anarchistic faith.”

—Conspire, Fall 2013

“In The Unkingdom of God, Mark Van Steenwyk calls us to rethink our faith. It’s convicting, revealing and thought-provoking.”

—Relevant Magazine

“Mark Van Steenwyk is a committed voice of a new generation rising to the ancient calling of radical discipleship. Mark’s perspectives will seem new and troubling to American Christians, yet they are rediscovering the historic stream of gospel dissent to empire that has always survived at the margins of the church, following the Jesus who forever afflicts the comfortable and comforts the afflicted.”

—Ched Myers, Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries

“I’ve often wondered, if I had lived back in Old Testament times, would I have listened and repented of veering from God’s ways or turned a deaf ear to the jarring words of his prophets? The prophetic message of The Unkingdom of God brings that question forward into the present. Gripping, unsettling and painful to read at points, this book exposes how we’ve reshaped Jesus in our own Western image and lost him in the process. Van Steenwyk calls himself and us to repent, rethink and ‘rewild’ our faith in God. Read at your own risk, but be forewarned–no one gets off easy.”

—Carolyn Custis James, author of Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women