Gospel + Culture + Church

I am reading a book currently called, “The Radical Reformission” by Mark Driscoll. I have read his other book, “Confessions of a Reformission Rev” and it was fantastic…a must read.

In the opening chapters of his book he touches on 3 important crucial elements of the Bible: Gospel + Culture + Church. Mark talks about the triangular movement of the gospel through the culture and into the church. This is a very helpful way for us to understand the intersection of all three of these important biblical themes. Here are some of my thoughts added to Mark’s:

  1. The gospel of Jesus is the heart of the Scriptures
  2. The culture is where we live and what shapes us
  3. The church is the “called out” (ekklesia) people of God

For us to truly be a missional people that is making a significant difference for the advancement of God’s kingdom then we need to heed Jesus’ call to firstly, the gospel (Loving our Lord); Secondly, the culture (Loving our neighbour) and: Thirdly, the church (Loving our brother).

Where mission breaks down in church life is when 1 or 2 of these crucial elements aren’t being engaged effectively. When this happens, mission starts to look like this:

  • Gospel + Culture – Church = Parachurch:Many Christians are so frustrated with the church that they bring the gospel into the culture without it. What happens is that Christians get disconnected from the local church, connecting pre-Christian people to Jesus without connecting them to the rest of Jesus’ people.
  • Culture + Church – Gospel = Liberalism: Some churches can get so concerned with being culturally relevant, that though they are deeply involved in culture, they neglect the gospel. They convert people to good works and the church but not to Jesus. 
  • Church + Gospel – Culture = Fundamentalism: Some churches are more into the traditions of their church and the politics involved in church life that they rarely take it out of the church. They know the gospel theologically but aren’t engaging with it outside of the church walls practically.
  • Gospel + Culture + Church = Missional (Best case scenario):Being a missional church is the intersection of the best of these types of Christianity and living in the tension of what I call culturally accessible and yet theologically conservative. Being missional is about being driven by the gospel to love people in the culture and connecting them into God’s House.

Lead the Change!

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One Response to “Gospel + Culture + Church”

  1. Rach Wallace Says:

    That’s a really cool concept. Never thought about it that way. Its so true. BTW this morning’s sermon was tops. Really inspiring and debunked some of the leadership myths I have carried myself. Awesome stuff!

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