What is the gospel and how do we communicate it? Is communicating the gospel in word only, or is the primary way to preach the gospel through “A Mission-Driven Life”?
But we also muddy the waters for the gospel by holding on to the past. Christians of the past may have lived a culturally relevant faith during their time, but culture has changed. So we must learn with Mark Driscoll to be
“sifting cultural from scriptural” (pg 48).
Remember from the introduction Mark’s assessment of fundamentalism. He stated that fundamentalists may love Jesus and their fellow church members more than they love their neighbor. He also said that they may love their church more than they love Jesus. In Chapter 2, the outcome of this type of pseudo-love is traditionalism–not being willing to give up practices in the church that are more cultural than scriptural. In other words, many of the practices or attitudes in the church were designed to address a particular time in the culture that is now past, yet those same attitudes are critical of attempts to be culturally relevant again, no matter how biblicly acceptable. The culture of the past has blinded the church from reaching the culture of the present or even future with the gospel.
What do you think about this? Are there practices in your church that inhibit the spread of the gospel? Are you practicing a culturally irrelevant faith?
Now, before you go out a-lynching Mark Driscoll (not intended to be an offensive pun), he warns younger Christians from “[ingoring] church history and its lessons in pursuit of unrestrained and undiscerning innovation” (pg 52). He agrees that there is something “disctinctive and countercultural [about the] nature of the gospel.”
So here is where reformission begins–communicating the truth and lifestyle of the gospel in culturally relevant ways.
“As God’s people on reformission, we too are to function as reporters, telling the good news about Jesus in a way that is both scripturally accurate and culturally accessible” (pgs 57-58).
He gives 7 signposts as guides for leading people to Jesus:
- the gospel connects to life
- the gospel infuses daily activities with meaning
- the gospel names sin and points the way to forgiveness
- the gospel transforms life
- the gospel builds a spiritual family
- the gospel is about participation with God
- the gospel is about Jesus as the means and end of our salvation
Are these 7 signposts true about you?
Do you believe that the gospel is life (mission is life)?
This is why I call my blog the mission-driven life. My whole life, even my failures, belong to Jesus and he is able to use me even when I sin. And he is changing me the whole time. (More about this later.)
Do you realize that the gospel is about confession AND forgiveness?
It’s not just about beating yourself up, or condemning others, its about finding healing. Homosexuals do not need us to throw their sin in their face, they need to know that God can heal their wounds!!! The gospel is not just conviction of sin, it is finding a helper in time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Do you value your gospel family?
You are inviting people to become your brother (like blood). I say water is thicker than blood. Baptismal waters are thicker than the blood you share with family. (This is not a slam on inherited family, but an elevation of the body of Christ. Note: unless you share Christ among your blood relatives, you will spend an eternity separated from them. Jonathan Edwards preached from Revelation 18:20, imploring relatives to come to Christ, that one day parents will rise up rejoicing over the condemnation of their unbelieving children. Find that sermon here.)
Do you see the gospel as a life-long process?
This does not negate the perseverance of the saints. But you have been saved, yet at the same time are being saved. What do you think about that?