Another City is not an extensive ecclesiology, but an attempt to explain the stance that the church should have towards a post-Christendom world. For the early Christians, Barry Writes, the Church was "another city," so we cannot withdraw into private religous experience or worship in congregations that are functionally equivalent to gated communities. To this end, Harvey examines the apostolic and patristic vision of the Church not as a separate community, but as another city existing within the earthly city. He outlines the collapse of this ecclesiology from the time of Constantine to the medieval and modern periods. Harvey traces the blurring of the distinction of heavenly and earthly city that followed the Constantinian shift, to the abstraction of religion from secular concerns that took place as the result of a Cartesian shift.
In the end, he urges a renewal of the early church’s vision of herself and her
mission, so that the church can again engage in a proper "sanctified subversion"
( a phrase from Rodney Clapp) of the postmodern risk culture. Is the
postmodern church's struggle an intellectual one, adapting its message to the
surrounding culture? Or does our struggle require technical or programmatic changes in
order to attract outsiders? For Harvey, our struggle must be an ecclesiological