Before we begin to discuss this book, let me tell you how I plan to go about it. Firstly, I am not trying to critique the book. I might come across things I dislike, but I will let that be reflected through questions or later in the comments. Secondly, I am not planning to summarize the book but to deal with ideas. There are five or six ideas this book is trying to get across that will dominate how I write about “the RADICAL reformission.” (Yet I will summarize his introduction because it serves as the foundation of his whole book).
Here’s a great description on how most people really view God:
“Growing up, I thought as long as I believed in a nebulous Sky Fairy named God and was a decent, moral person outperforming those below me on the ethical food chain, I would end my life hearing the old theme song from The Jeffersons television show and be “movin’ on up” to heaven will all the other good guys” (pg 11).
Mark Driscoll came to Jesus from a background that most Americans find themselves in. Through his personal experience, he came to understand the desperate hopelessness of his neighbors who pray to a God they know nothing about.
So his reformission is a clarion call for Christians to get out of their Christian ghettos and reach the unreached peoples of America. He states, “What I am advocating is not an abandonment of missions across the globe but rather an emphasis on missions that begin across the street, like Jesus commanded (Acts 1:8)” (pg 18).
As such, he is calling us to a new missiology, one that embraces, the church, the culture, and the gospel.
What do you think of these equations and Driscoll’s evaluation of the concepts?
Gospel + Culture – Church = Parachurch
Evaluation: “[Their] success…is due in large part to their involvement in culture and loving people…But the failure of such ministries is that they are often disconnected from the local church, connecting unchurched people to Jesus without connecting them to the rest of Jesus’ people. This can lead to theological immaturity” (pgs 19-20).
Culture + Church – Gospel = Liberalism
Evaluation: “They convert people to the church and to good works, but not to Jesus…The success of these ministries lies in that they are involved in the social and political fabric of their culture, loving people and doing good works. Their failure is that they bring to the culture a false gospel of accommodation, rather than confrontation, by seeking to bless people as they are rather than calling them to a repentant faith that transforms them” (pg 21).
Church + Gospel – Culture = Fundamentalism
Evaluation: “The success of these churches lies in that they love the church and often love the people in the church. Their failure is that it is debatable whether they love Jesus and lost people in the culture as much as they love their own church…Fundamentalist Christians are commonly found to love their Lord and their brothers, but not their neighbors” (pg 22).
Church + Gospel + Culture = Reformission
Evaluation: We shall see!!!