Andrew Wilson, pastor in Eastbourne, UK and author of If God, Then What?, writes an even-handed review of Mark Driscoll’s latest missive, A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future?. An excerpt:
At the center of the book, however, is an unresolved tension that threatens to scuttle the whole volume. On the one hand, Driscoll insists that, in order to pursue “resurgence,” the various tribes in contemporary evangelicalism need to unite around the gospel, choose our battles wisely, and allow all sorts of disagreement over non-essential matters (116). The tribes that he, John Piper, Bill Hybels, Steven Furtick, John MacArthur, Joel Osteen, Stanley Hauerwas, Scot McKnight, Andy Stanley, T. D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer, and Albert Mohler represent all agree on the non-negotiables of evangelicalism (95-96 and following)—an observation I suspect will astonish some of these leaders!—and we should understand each other’s tribal preferences without making everything a divisive issue (117-123). On the other hand, in the next chapter he draws what he calls the “border issues for biblically faithful and culturally missional Christianity” in such a way as to privilege Reformed, complementarian, continuationist, missionals—that is, people like him (and, as it happens, me)—and defines evangelicalism in a way that excludes huge numbers of professing evangelicals (122-136). So, for instance, the “border issues for biblically faithful and culturally missional Christianity” include believing in biblical inerrancy (125), an originally perfect world (127), an Augustinian view of original sin (128), the centrality of penal substitutionary atonement (130-131), a Reformed view of justification (132), the idea that all Christians are missionaries (133), and the conferring of spiritual gifts at regeneration (135). I’m not certain how many of the tribal leaders he mentions in chapter three could affirm all of those views, but I suspect it would be a small minority. I know I couldn’t.
But in my view, the flaws in the central chapters of the book—which I read as critical given what he is trying to do—are significant enough to spoil it. Maybe read A Call to Spiritual Reformation instead.
Read the whole thing.
HT: Derek Rishmawy