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The Radical Reformission: Reaching Out without Selling Out Paperback – September 13, 2004

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (September 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310256593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310256595
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #667,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Reformation is the continual reforming of the mission of the church to enhance God’s command to reach out to others in a way that acknowledges the unique times and locations of daily life. This engaging book blends the integrity of respected theoreticians with the witty and practical insights of a pastor. It calls for a movement of missionaries to seek the lost across the street as well as across the globe.

This basic primer on the interface between gospel and culture highlights the contrast between presentation evangelism and participation evangelism. It helps Christians navigate between the twin pitfalls of syncretism (being so culturally irrelevant that you lose your message) and sectarianism (being so culturally irrelevant that you lose your mission). Included are interviews with those who have crossed cultural barriers, such as a television producer, exotic dancer, tattoo studio owner, and band manager. The appendix represents eight portals into the future: population, family, health/medicine, creating, learning, sexuality, and religion.

Mark Driscoll was recently featured on the ABC special The Changing of Worship.

About the Author

Mark Driscoll is one of the 50 most influential pastors in America, and the founder of Mars Hill Church in Seattle (, the Paradox Theater, and the Acts 29 Network which has planted scores of churches. Mark is the author of The Radical Reformission: Reaching Out Without Selling Out. He speaks extensively around the country, has lectured at a number of seminaries, and has had wide media exposure ranging from NPR’s All Things Considered to the 700 Club, and from Leadership Journal to Mother Jones magazine. He’s a staff religion writer for the Seattle Times. Along with his wife and children, Mark lives in Seattle.

More About the Author

Pastor Mark Driscoll is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Church, based in Seattle, Washington, and one of the most popular preachers in the world today.

In 2010, Preaching magazine named him one of the 25 most influential pastors of the past 25 years. Pastor Mark's online sermons are downloaded millions of times each year, he is the author of over 15 books, and he has also written for CNN, The Washington Post, The Seattle Times, and many other outlets.

With a skillful mix of bold presentation, accessible teaching, and compassion for those who are hurting the most--in particular, women who are victims of sexual and physical abuse and assault--Pastor Mark has taken biblical Christianity into cultural corners rarely explored by evangelicals. He has been grilled by Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Walters on The View, gone head-to-head with Piers Morgan on CNN, debated the existence of evil with Deepak Chopra on ABC's Nightline, bantered with the gang on Fox and Friends, and explained biblical sexuality on Loveline with Dr. Drew.

Numerous ministries trace their roots to Pastor Mark's leadership. He is the founder of Resurgence, which offers resources for Christian leaders, including books, events, classes, multimedia, and a blog that welcomes 7 million visits annually. He is the cofounder of the Acts 29 Network, which has planted over 400 churches in the U.S. and over a dozen other nations. In 2010, following a cataclysmic earthquake in Haiti, Pastor Mark cofounded Churches Helping Churches with James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel. The organization raised $2.7 million in funds and delivered an additional $1.7 million in medical supplies to the devastated country.

Born in North Dakota, Mark Driscoll grew up in south Seattle, the son of a union drywaller. After graduating from high school, he attended Washington State University on scholarship. He became a Christian during his freshman year, and finished college with a degree in speech communication from the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication. He later completed a master's degree in exegetical theology from Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon.

In 1996, at the age of 25, Pastor Mark and his wife, Grace, started a small Bible study at their home in Seattle, the least churched city in the U.S. at the time. By God's grace, Mars Hill Church grew beyond all expectations, and now gathers weekly across 15 locations in five states: Washington, Oregon, California, New Mexico, and Arizona. In 2012, Mars Hill was recognized as the third fastest growing and 28th largest church in the country by Outreach magazine.

Pastor Mark and Grace enjoy raising the "fab five" Driscoll kids, and he's grateful to be a nobody trying to tell everybody about Somebody.

Customer Reviews

Hands down one of my top 10 books of all time.
J. Daniel Byrd
It must be very Biblical and involved in culture without being conformed to culture.
Harvest Alliance Church Peters
He reminds us that a day will come when the Kingdom of God will be complete.
Aaron Davis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Brian G Hedges on September 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most refreshing and engaging books on church/culture that I've read, and is probably THE best book I've read from a leader in the emerging church.

Driscoll contends that as believers we must be concerned about three things: the gospel, the church, and the culture. When we neglect one of these three elements, we fall into one of three errors:

The Church + The Culture - The Gospel = Liberalism

The Church + The Gospel - The Culture = Fundamentalism

The Gospel + The Culture - The Church = Parachurch

I think this is slightly reductionistic, but it still provokes reflection. Driscoll's book is a plea for the church to be faithful to the gospel within the culture - not by isolating itself from the culture. He says, of course, that faithfulness to the gospel involves some measure of separation. As Christians, we are different - called out of darkness into light - and this will affect our life-styles and ethics. But Driscoll also contends that Christian liberty must be maintained in areas where Scripture is silent - and that our liberty should be used for the sake of reaching culture.

Of course, culture looks different in Seattle than it does in the Midwest, where I minister. Driscoll's church looks different than ours, with lots of tattooed, pierced, young Christians decked out in Gothic clothing and make-up! But Driscoll rightly argues that becoming a Christian doesn't necessitate a conversion to wearing business attire (like a middle-class, white suburban American Christian), but rather a conversion to Christ and His kingdom. As I said, this is a thought-provoking book.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Noel Lloyd on October 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
Started attending Mars Hill Church, where Mark Discoll is the head teaching elder, a little over a year ago. Only very serious problems can keep us away on Sunday. I'm twice the age of the average member/attendee, but Mark preaches old time religion applied to today's culture and I and about 2,500 others seem very comfortable with both. Mark is very real, sometimes shocking and shows real grace. Week after week my wife and I ask each other "Is that the best sermon we've ever heard AGAIN?"

What you get in RR is what I see happening at Mars Hill, along with Mark's humor and wisdom that's beyond his years. I've been a believer for 35 years and I'm as excited about Jesus as I've ever been and due in no small part to the vision you read about in this book. Would I feel the same way if I wasn't watching Mark practice what he preaches up close and personal? Maybe not, but when I read it, I could honestly say I saw RR being worked out and it's authentic.

Read RR, log on to the MHC web site, stream the sermons, praise God and have a blast.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By K. Carter on September 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
Driscoll's sense of humor is rather twisted. His willingness to say aloud what others forbid themselves to even think is refreshing. His views are thought provoking. His concepts in practice are enlightening. Some people "will" find parts of Radical Reformission offensive. My parents were offended by the copy I gave them. But they are now buying more copies and recommending it to everyone. RR will show you how to use your freedom to set others free. Thank you Jesus for Pastor Driscoll.
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Drew E. Goodmanson on September 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
Mark Driscoll's work on living on the balance of syncretism/sectarianism is critical to the church as we struggle between moralism and 'selling out'. His work has had a profound impact on his church and church pastors across the country. This book is a must read whether you are an 'emerging' pastor or if you have been in the ministry for decades. I pray it is a wake up call to a radical but necessary place of tension.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By really2k1 on August 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I won't rehash what a lot of people have said regarding the book's humor. This is Mark Driscoll. Either you love him, hate him, or can tolerate him.

Radical Reformission, Driscoll's first book, has much to offer.


Driscoll has already convicted me through his sermons and through the work of The Resurgence and Acts 29 that the church as a whole, which includes each individual Christian, needs to be on mission in their communities, not locked in their houses in a plastic bubble. I was convicted a few times reading this book of some legalistic attitudes.

For instance, Driscoll tells of the time he went with a friend to a gay bar to reach him for Christ. Driscoll invited the man to church, but the man refused because he said that Driscoll would never go into his world. Driscoll called his bluff and went into his world as a witness. I wouldn't have done that. But as Driscoll points out, Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners in order to reach them. Are we holier than Jesus that we would not go into their world? Or should we try to be like Jesus?

In another instance, Driscoll points out the current prevailing unbiblical Christian view toward alcohol, which tends to be either prohibitionist or abstentionist. He points out that Jesus drank alcohol as did the disciples. Instead of creating legalistic laws of prohibition or abstention, we should be free to drink as long as we don't sin or cause others to stumble; and we shouldn't judge Christians who drink without getting drunk.

Driscoll's point is that our adding to God's Word has created legalistic and man-made rules which may cause us to stay away from unbelievers and to develop judgmental attitudes toward them.
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