After dredging through the previous book, I have picked up the pace and am getting through Radical Reformission much more quickly. I have actually had time to read this week every day which as been an enigma in and of itself. Clark began sleeping in his crib this week, and the transition could not have gone more smoothly. That alone has freed up lots of time . . . and suddenly I am not so tired any more.
So on with Mark Driscoll’s book. I am finding it very provocative. There is a sense where it says the same things that all these new trendy postmodern “experts” say in all the other books, but at least he is a little funnier than the others. In any case, he does hit on a topic of concern for the established church in America. This idea of the Christian sub-culture. I have to admit, this idea was foreign to me up until a year or two ago. I did learn of a related phenomenon referred to as the “Lipscomb bubble” while I was in college. This especially applied to those people who attended a private Christian school from K through college. I knew some of these people, and they were great people, but they all had this condition. It was the inability to relate to those outside the bubble. They lived, breathed, and ate Lipscomb for fifteen or more years. They knew nothing else.
Expanding that idea to the Christian sub-culture has really opened my eyes to the real problem of evangelism facing the church. Driscoll hits on this topic hot and heavy throughout the early section of the book. He has this section that is hillarious about going into a gay country and western bar with a friend. His point was that it was as awkward for him to enter that environment as it is for someone from there to enter the world of the church.
Christians have really fled from the surrounding culture over the past 50 years and it has created a Christian sub-culture that mimics the surrounding culture, but Christianizes it. We have our own music, bookstores, books, websites, online dating services, coffee shops, magazines, and of course . . . Testamints. Christian bookstores make a mockery of the church by their immitation of popular culture. We have sold out our originality as artists and authors and have been sufficed to follow the cheap immitation of culture. Webber hit on it in his book, and Discoll pounds it out in his . . . Christians must returns to the streets, bars, and strip clubs (OK maybe not the strip clubs, but you know what I am saying) and bring Christ to those people instead of creating this “safehaven” for “our” kids and “our” people.
I can finally say this in the context of having a child (I always got so pissed when older people would condescendingly pat me on the head and say, “Just wait until you have children, that will change your mind.” Well, they’re wrong. I know Clark is still not wiping his own butt and makes lots of guttural noises that make no sense, but my feelings are strong. I want him to grow up in a blatantly honest and open home that does not shelter him from the big bad world. The fact is the big bad world sucks sometimes, and he doesn’t need his parents to sugar-coat it for him. Instead he needs to such it up and work out his salvation in the midst of the real world.
Children raised in this world can actually befriend a non-Christian. Those raised in the Christian sub-culture have no idea what to talk about or do with non-Christians. I write this as a minister, and it is doubly difficult for me to “hang out” with non-Christians. There is some baggage that they have to go through to check me out. Mary Beth’s friends from work always were surpised that I was actually “cool” or “pretty neat” or whatever, and not like some Reverend Alden from Little House. I laugh and make jokes, and even fart in public really loudly sometimes. And I still manifest the fruits of the spirit and walk daily in the shelter of salvation.
There are alot of good meaning Christians out there doing a disservice for the church because they are making the gap between the church and the world wider than it has to be.
I am done rambling for now. I look forward to pressing on in the Radical Reformission. It is a fun book to read because he talks about hating mullets and stuff. If you are interested in this kind of stuff (read: if you are a 20 something like me and are sick of the established church making you fit into their mold instead of the unique god-given mold that you are in: check out the Relevant Magazine link on the side. It is a really excellent magazine and community discussing these kinds of things.) Later, Peace out
By the way,
for those who care, the Cleveland Indians are driving me crazy. The cannot win a close game. Early in the year . . . 2 – 7 in games decided by a run. Inexcuseable.