Radical Reformission

Radical Reformission

Reaching Out without Selling Out

by Mark Driscoll
Publisher: Zondervan
Trade Paperback, 208 pages
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Parts of this book are shocking. But Driscoll doesn't intend just to raise eyebrows—this is a reasoned appeal to the contemporary Church to bring Christ to the many fractured cultures around and among us. Senior pastor of Seattle's Mars Hill Church, Driscoll has encountered pretty much everything a pastor can, from drug addicts and transsexuals to legalists and Pharisees. He's frank about sin and its effects, and about the need to bring Christ, to those across the globe and those across the street.

The Radical Reformission is an appeal and battle plan for bringing the Gospel to those a lot of us tend to avoid. Each chapter ends with an interview with various Christians who either minister among specific subcultures or were saved out of sinful lifestyles (one is an ex-stripper). These stories and others from his own ministry help Driscoll demonstrate the need for the Church to present the Gospel in a way those unfamiliar with Christianity can understand—without losing any of its power or truth.

Engaging and often funny, this isn't some hipster trying to get us to water down the core doctrines. Driscoll identifies two traps the Church often falls into when it comes to evangelism:traditionalism and innovation. Many harbor an unwarranted nostalgia for the past (traditionalism); others embrace change for the sake of change (innovation). Balance is the proper attitude, understanding and respecting our heritage while contextualizing the Gospel for each culture we bring it to.

Contextualization doesn't mean changing the Gospel—it means presenting it so people will understand. This involves understanding where they're coming from. Driscoll talks about going to a gay bar with a man who invited him, sure Driscoll would decline. The pastor was troubled, but at the bar he ministered to more than one person. He left with a deeper understanding of the particular hurts experienced by homosexuals, and was more equipped for future ministry to them. This is the radical evangelism Driscoll calls us to, and to which he clearly leads by example.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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Exodus Rating:
FLAWS: Some schlock value
Summary A young pastor urges us to move beyond our comfort zones to confront others with the Gospel.

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  A Great Encouragement to Think Out of the Box
Doug Hayes of Oregon, 7/5/2011
This is the basic primer for Driscoll thinking - and what it means to be missional.

It is well written and challenging. There are plenty of things to quibble about - but its a great encouragement to allow/force ourselves to think outside of the boxes we so typically sequester ourselves in. It confronts our prejudices and preconceived notions about people (especially unbelievers) in light of Christ's example and imperatives to us about discipling the nations. It takes seriously the importance of sociological importance of cities and the need to transform cities for the Lord Jesus.

Driscoll is a great communicator and has been well used of God to proclaim a vision of Christian mission in a post-modern world.