Reaching out without selling out
Although I’ve known of Pastor Mark Driscoll for some time due to his exposure in the emerging church scene, I’d never read anything of his directly until a friend gave me this to read during our recent holiday. I have to say, that although sceptical when I picked it up, I loved this book!
The main thrust of the book is about getting back to the business of sharing the gospel with the world by being present in the various cultures around us. Driscoll argues that to fulfill this mission we must have equal emphasis on the gospel, the culture and the church. To leave one out leads to parachurch, liberalism or fundamentalism. For examples and explanations of this, read the introduction.
Reformission is a radical call for Christians and Christian churches to recommit to living and speaking the gospel, and to doing so regardless of the pressures to compromise the truth of the gospel or to conceal its power within the safety of the church.
I found the whole argument rather compelling and it certainly reinforces my own experiences about the relationship between gospel, culture and church. In fact, I agreed with pretty much everything he was saying! Throughout the book he punctuates chapters with real-life interviews with people who are living out ‘reformission’ and therefore back up his argument.
Driscoll has a really honest yet direct writing style which is bound to get up the nose of certain traditional Christians. For example:
Doesn’t the story sound like the plot of a trashy, daytime television talk show? The God-Man is born to a teenage virgin in an animal stall, grows up with a blue-collar dad in a dumpy rural town, and has a weird cousin named John, who lives in the woods and survives on a steady diet of bugs, sugar, and repentance.
I would highly recommend this book if you’ve ever longed to see Jesus transform the world around you but become disheartened by the evil in the world and the traditions within the church. Driscoll helpfully puts all these struggles into context and explains an exciting way forwards; reformission!