Monday, September 11, 2006

the Radical Reformission & Confessions of a Reformission Rev.



While i was in Edmonton, i had the opportunity to read these two books by Mark Driscoll.

The only two things i had ever really heard about Mark Driscoll were that he was the cussing pastor in Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz and that Johnny Pipes speaks highly of him (seeing as he is one of the speakers at this year's Desiring God conference). This dichotomy left me confused and curious, so i decided to check him out. What i found, for the most part, is that i like Mark Driscoll and accept Piper's opinion of him.

The Radical Reformission
If you want to read the books in order (which is actually a good idea), this book would be the one you would start with. In this book, Driscoll defines the term Reformission as "the radical call for Christians and Christian churches to recommit to living and speaking the gospel...[with the goal of] continually unleashing the gospel to do its work of reforming dominant cultures and church subcultures...[It is] the gathering of the best aspects of...living in the tension of being Christians and churches who are culturally liberal yet theologically conservative and who are driven by the gospel of grace to love their Lord, brothers and neighbors."
In his own words, "the book focuses on issues related to the scriptural content of the gospel and the cultural context of its ministry."

A great characteristic of this book is its structure. Each chapter is broken down into teachings of the scripture, repentance, practical applications for action and then questions we can ask ourselves.

Another superb facet of this book is its emphasis on the gospel of Christ. My worries about Driscoll being another Brian McLaren dissipated when i noted the centrality of Christ in the book.

There are certain qualms i have with this book namely that Driscoll sometimes makes broad sweeping statements such as "the parachurch (he gives Campus Crusade for Christ as an example) tends to love the Lord and love its neighbours, but not to love its brothers." While his statements DO hold some relevance, sometimes his flippant remarks tend to be overgeneralizations. Additionally, i feel as though sometimes Driscoll takes culture to be more neutral in its impact on Christians than it really is.

On the whole though, the Radical Reformission, is a pretty good read. If you want a better synopsis see Tim Challies who does a very thorough examination of the book.

Confessions of a Reformission Rev.
This, i found to be the better book. i found it to be more practical and Driscoll's train of thought easier to follow. The book is essentially the biography of Mars Hill Church (the church that Driscoll founded and where he pastors). The chapters are divided based on the growth in size that was experienced by the church.

i don't have much to say about this book, except that i found it to be PHENOMENAL. Driscoll is funny but also ensures that there is much that can be gleaned from each chapter. He points out difficult lessons learned by the church, and the thoughts that went through his mind during these times. He also gives VERY practical applications for the reader who wants to see his/her church grow. His ability to candidly and humbly point out failures so that we can glean from them is what makes the book so poignant and such a great read. Its definitely a must read, and is applicable for a wide range of people. Driscoll makes some pretty hilarious comments (some of which you can find here) and also some very thought-provoking comments.
its a great book...so what are you waiting for? go read it!

2 Comments:

Blogger amac said...

swears in church! sweet. i think we should train c4c'ers to swear when they do EV.

so is driscoll a must-read? or just a good read...

11:39 PM  
Blogger Lydia said...

hmmm confessions is a must-read

radical reformission not so much.

oh yeah...and i think i've sworn before when i've been sharing with friends. y-ikes.

12:07 AM  

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