Monday, August 22, 2011

The Radical Reformission - Mark Driscoll

The Radical Reformission: Reaching Out Without Selling Out by Mark Driscoll
Zondervan 2004

Rating: 6
Readability: 8 (as long as you don't mind PG-13 content)
Impact: 7

Read it Again: Probably not, but got some good notes.
Recommend It: Maybe

What to Expect

Pastor Mark Driscoll tries to answer the question of open evangelism without compromise. He raises a lot of excellent questions and brings interesting facts and observations into discussion, but failed to give me a satisfying answer to the challenge.

His style is interesting and engaging but he goes beyond PG-13 sometimes. The world is a sticky, dirty place, and I don't mined some honesty and grime if it's to a point. In Radical Reformission, it seems like Pastor Driscoll is simply being earthy to prove that Christians can be earthy.

Overall the book is a interesting look into evangelism and how we've tangled ourselves. There is certainly plenty of wisdom and insight anyone can learn from.

My Squib

This book was good. I guess my main beef with it was on its view on the relationship between Gospel, the Church, and culture. He starts the book with this diagram in the introduction--

I could be just grossly misunderstanding this, but he does try to explain. I think culture/church will always be a complicated problem, but it seems like culture should flow from the worship as community of believers. His general lack of acknowledgement of the Church was a strain for me through out the whole book.

Here is a very un-techno diagram of what seems like a more natural/direct order of things.

This is big topic and I certainly know I don't have the answer, but Radical Reformission raised some questions that fascinated me.

I thought the book lacked a big picture look. Some of his answers and the Bible interpretations seemed overly simplistic. People are complicated and some of his answers just didn't allow for that.

Partly this book is his recent sermons and writing I see a different flavor that seems much more like the wizened sage who's been battered a bit more with the stupidity of human nature.

I have learned a lot from Mark Driscoll and he has a lot of wonderful, insightful things to say. But if you're looking for a book on this topic I would recommend Radical and Radical Together by David Platt before picking up Radical Reformission. Pastor Driscoll is a stronger on home-based missions, but I left unsatisfied and still puzzling about

From the Book

"God desires to bless all nations and cultures of the earth through us, and so he has sent us into exile in places and among peoples no less strange or lost than the Babylonians. I would never have chosen Seattle as my place of ministry because it is one of the most politically liberal, expensive yet uncharitable, and least churched yet most self-righteous cities in the nation. But as Paul said on Mars Hill, it is ultimately God who has chosen my birthday and address, placing me in Seattle today (Acts 17:26). Likewise, where you live is a place of Babylonian exile where God has placed you to be about reformission. And it is incumbent upon you to be wise, faithful, and fruitful, like Daniel was, so that the gospel can take root in your Babylonian soil."


DForster said...

I like your diagram. It makes more sense to me! Thanks for writing this review.

Leper Watchman said...

The part about God determining our times and borders(right out of the Mars Hill address) is all true. But exile? Not so much. The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ. It is His (as a man) now, and He has ordained his saints to rule His Estate. We are no longer in a foreign strange land. This our land, our Master's ground, the holy land, wholly His, as in "Saint's real estate". His, by creation, by inheritance gift from His Father, by trade of His labor and life, and He won it in a 'fair fight' having bound the strong man (Satan) and spoiled his goods.