Saturday, May 19, 2007

Reformission #7: "postmodern pandemonium"

In this final chapter, Driscoll addresses the difficulty the church has in ministering from the margins, since we’ve enjoyed a central place in culture for so long. After a brief history of the rise of postmodernism as a “junk-drawer” of ideas, he goes into seven demons that have found their way into much of the church from our “spiritual” postmodern age.

Demon #1: “the Sky Fairy.” Driscoll: “This mythical Sky Fairy is increasingly mistaken for Jesus, however, by many young pastors and Christians I have met who don’t want the gospel to be the offensive and foolish stumbling block that it is. So they remake Jesus into a feather-hair fairy in lavender tights and take the sword of revelation out of his hand, replacing it with a daisy” (166).

Demon #2: “keeping it real … sinful.” We’re so interested in authenticity that we forget it is “real” for us to be sinful, according to Romans 1. We need to die to ourselves rather than be ourselves.

Demon #3: “hermeneutics of the Dragon.” Scripture is a sword that we can interpret and it is truth. Don’t deny the truth, even if it is difficult to uncover at times.

Demon #4: “from creation back to ex nihilo.” In the era of deconstruction, people are into tearing things down, noting what they are “against” rather than what they are for. While critique is always necessary, we need to build a kingdom culture in our world, not just stand against it.

Demon #5: “the customer is always evil.” People approach church like the mall – looking for what benefits them. They’ll even go from church to church, ala carte style. We’re so eager to cater to the idolatry of self in the church that we don’t tell them that we’re sinners in need of repentance. Driscoll states, “If we simply give people what they want, we will not be giving them what they need.”

Demon #6: “the photocopy heresy.” The rampant egalitarianism in our culture is a partial truth – we’re all created in God’s image – but it makes the mistake of making all people on equal footing when clearly they are not. Ultimately, we try to make God more of our “buddy” than the Creator of all things who is sovereign. He concludes, “As we work among cultures that despise hierarchy, we must remember the kingdom values of children honoring their parents, wives respecting their husbands, Christians following the leadership of their pastors, and churches submitting to Jesus, because the governments of home and church belong to God and not the culture” (174).

Demon #7: “the hyphenated Christian.” We’re tentative to embrace truth and have reduced Scripture to perspectives. Driscoll states: “But as we work among cultures, we must never proclaim Jesus as God merely from our limited and biased perspective but rather as God and the King who rules over a kingdom that includes the cultures of the earth. And the view from his throne is not simply one of the many equally valid perspectives but truth. …In addition, they will demand that the Bible be taught as a series of suggestions rather than commands, that ministry be facilitated rather than led, and that self-discovery be promoted over obedience to God.
And reformission will cease” (175-176).

Take time, perhaps, over the next few days or weeks, to read the gospel of John and circle each occurrence of the word truth, or a derivative thereof. What did you learn about the truth? How does what John says about truth differ from what your local culture believes about the truth?

Do you consider yourself to be more modern or postmodern? Why?

Which of the seven demons is most worrisome to you? Why?

Do you think of any of the seven demons are compatible with Christianity? Why or why not?

Driscoll adds a conclusion of how he sees Reformission transform the city of Seattle. How do you see it transforming your culture?

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