Friday, June 30, 2006
The Radical Reformission
I just finished reading The Radical Reformission by Mark Driscoll. I loved it. Sure, I didn't necessarily agree with everything but I don't think I've ever read a book that I have (outside of scripture, and even there it isn't a matter of agreeing just believeing and obeying). One reason I liked it is because Driscoll seems to be the kind of guy who would get in trouble because he has a big mouth and is a little rough around the edges. Kind of reminds me of somebody I know. Possibly most helpful though was Driscoll's Biblically informed evaluation of our culture and suggestions as to how to confront that culture with the Gospel of Christ without compromising the message. This approach was a breath of fresh air as in a lot of circles I float in evangelism means inviting your unsaved coworker who barely knows you to come to church in the hopes that he will magically be able to interpret all the nuiances of our Christianesque subculture and give their lives to Christ. Too many times have I heard, (and been tempted myself) people explain the "gospel" as giving your life to Jesus or asking Him into your heart or even accepting Christ as the propitiation for our sins, as if an unchurched person is going to have any clue what that means. Driscoll proposes that we need to understand the cultural baggage that people bring with them and make sure that we share the Gospel in a way that is both truthful and effectual. Now I know to some of you that may sound like compromising or seeker sensitive or whatever. But I encourage you to read the book and then decide.
I'll leave this quote to chew on:
Because the kingdom is our model, we must be wary of every generation's tendancy to tout a "new" culture to replace the kingdom. A case in point is the present-day postmodern bandwagon.
What can we say about postmodernism?
First, postmodernism is basically a philosophical junk drawer in which people toss anything and everything they cannot make sense of. If you ask four philosophers what postmodernity is, you will get five answers.
Second, postmodernity is not actually that new, as demonstrated by the fact that philosopher Huston Smith wrote about life on the other side of postmodernity in his 1982 book Beyond the Postmodern Mind.
Third, even a cursory reading of Ecclesiastes shows that culture is a stationary bike that each generation climbs on in hopes of getting somewhere only to die and fall off so that the new young stud can take his turn peddling and , like a fool, make pronouncements about his progress. We would be wise to see postmodernity as simply the new guy on the old bike and not mistaking cultural change for kingdom progress.
Fourth, postmodern culture is not something we should ignore, oppose, or embrace; rather it is simply another culture that we should seek to redeem and transform by the power of the gospel. Indeed, culture is an old whore, and modernity and postmodernity are simply her old and new dresses. (161)