Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Radical Reformission, Pt. 1

Here are some notes from Mark Driscoll's The Radical Reformission.

These are from chapters 1 and 2 of the book.

This “reformission” is a radical call to reform the church’s traditionally flawed view of missions as something carried out only in foreign lands and to focus instead on the urgent need in our own neighborhoods, which are filled with diverse cultures of Americans who desperately need the gospel of Jesus and life in his church. Most significantly, they need a gospel and a church that are faithful both to the scriptural texts and to the cultural contexts of America (18).

George Barna – The first and most important statistic is that there are a lot of Americans who don’t go to church – and their numbers are increasing. The figure has jumped from just 21 percent of the population in 1991 to 33 percent today. In fact, if all the unchurched people in the U.S. were to establish their own country, they would form the eleventh most populated nation on the planet (18).

One of the underlying keys to reformission is knowing that neither the freedom of Christ nor our freedom in Christ is intended to permit us to dance as close to sin as possible without crossing the line. But both are intended to permit us to dance as close to sinners as possible by crossing the lines that unnecessarily separate the people of God has found from those he is still seeking. To be a Christian, literally, is to be a “little Christ.” It is imperative that Christians be like Jesus, by living freely within the culture as missionaries who are as faithful to the Father and his gospel as Jesus was in his own time and place (40).

So reformission requires that God’s people understand their mission with razor-sharp clarity. The mission is to be close to Jesus. This transforms our hearts to love what he loves, hate what he hates, and to pursue relationships with lost people in hopes of connecting with them and, subsequently, connecting them with him. The actually protects us from sin, because the way to avoid sin is not to avoid sinners but to stick close to Jesus (40).

The result of traditionalism is a Christianity that has all of the right answers to all of the wrong questions, because the questions that were once pressing are no longer being asked (51).

Gospel Signposts (58-60)
1. The gospel connects to this life
While previous generations worried about what would happen to them after they died, and were compelled by the idea of belonging to Jesus for the benefits in the life to come, many people today plan on living long but miserable lives and are likely to be more compelled by the idea of belonging to Jesus for the benefits in this life.

2. The gospel infuses daily activities with meaning
Our culture is filled with “successful” people who are mired in anxiety and confusion because they do not know the point of all their toil.

3. The gospel names sin and points the way to forgiveness
No matter how strenuously people fight them, their consciences prevail in revealing the filthiness of what they have done to others and of what others have done to them. Only the gospel can show people not only how bad sin truly is but also the justice of God through Jesus’ death in our place to forgive sin. Once forgiven, we can leave sin behind and move on in newness of life.

4. The gospel transforms life
What people long for most is not just a way to cope with who they are and how to manage their sins. They also yearn for new lives as new people, hence the popularity of television makeover shows.

5. The gospel builds a spiritual family
In our day of devastated families and generational fracturing, churches that operate like loving spiritual families, caring for and correcting one another in love, can be the most convincing proof of the power and benefits of the gospel.

6. The gospel is about participation with God
The gospel is not simply about getting my sins forgiven and then sitting around until I get to heaven or until Jesus returns. The gospel compels us to participate with God in the culture we live in. Any gospel that does not compel us into mission overlooks both the duties and delights of being a Christian.

7. The gospel is about Jesus as the means and end of our salvation
Simply, Jesus is not a means to things such as wealth, health, heaven, happiness, wisdom, and success in marriage, church, ministry, theology or politics. To remain on task with reformission, we must continually be about Jesus as the means and end of God’s will, and we must both proclaim his truth and live his lifestyle.


Anonymous said...

Great summary on 1 & 2, Robert. Thanks. A good friend of mine from Portland attended a Driscoll church planting conference. He told me about him and I've been been reading/listening ever since. Do you visit his website? I've found a treasure chest of MP3 downloads here:

Robert said...

Yeah. I actually visited Mars Hill a few years ago. I was first turned on to their music. Not you normal "church music." I visit their site often.