Defining Reformission by Mark Driscoll
I have just came across this interesting quote by Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA. while surfing the Christian blogosphere:
Reformission is a radical call to reform the church's traditionally flawed view of missions as something carried out 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 significant, they need a gospel and a church who are faithful both to the scriptural texts and to the cultural contexts of America....What I am advocating is not an abandonment of missions across the globe but rather an emphasis on missions that begins across the street, like Jesus commanded (Acts 1:8)I wholeheartedly say a resounding AMEN to these words by Mark Driscoll. Too often, our idea of missions is to uproot ourselves, travel to a far-away distant land, experience a foreign culture and preach the gospel in a foreign language. I agree that missions is not something that is solely done in some remote countries, but should begin across the street. To put it in a local context, do we really need to go to Thailand to preach the gospel when we have plenty of unreached people in Singapore who never have the gospel preached to them? Not that I am against overseas missions, but I think we must adopt a balanced approach to missions at home and overseas.- Mark Driscoll, The Radical Reformission
After reading a couple of blog reviews, I think I would most probably be purchasing the book The Radical Reformission: Reaching Out without Selling Out, which appears to contain a number of interesting ideas. I thought the three formulas provided by Mark Driscoll conform pretty much to my perception of the Christian environment today:
- Gospel + Culture - Church = Parachurch
- Culture + Church - Gospel = Liberalism
- Church + Gospel - Culture = Fundamentalism
On the second formula, I do have a special concern for churches and Christians that seek to be culturally relevant. While we might fall into the trap of sectarianism, where being so culturally irrelevant that you lose your mission, the trap of syncretism is just as real - being so culturally relevant that the message is lost. I see this happening particularly with Christian youth, where there is a danger of infusing too much entertainment and seeker-friendly sermons into the worship service that I am afraid the gospel is neglected – people are converted to the church or the pastor but not to Jesus.
Update! 1 June 2006: I have gone to SKS Books Warehouse yesterday to buy the book. It appears to be the last copy in the store.