Top critical review
One person found this helpful
Confessions of a Reformission Rev.
on January 30, 2011
Confessions of a Reformission Rev.: Hard Lessons From an Emerging Missional Church is Mark Driscoll's second book, and the account of the founding and growth of Mars Hill Church.
Driscoll is humorous and centers his founding, growth, and governing of his church in Jesus first, and then in love for neighbor and community. Although his church is "nondenominational," as he describes his theology and government, he is functionally a Reformed Baptist and a non-cessationist (though eh does not require tongue-speaking as some non-cessationists do).
I have not heard him preach as yet, but I very much want to and plan to, having read this and his previous book. Although I don't agree with all of his theology, I think he is likely a very engaging preacher.
Driscoll has an interesting argument against Sunday School classes (159): Driscoll states that they don't have Sunday School classes because if one brings a non-Christian to Sunday School, the non-Christian will likely not want to stay for worship as well, and worship takes primacy. Second, Driscoll argues that teaching opportunities are best in small groups in homes of parishioners, not in the church building..
I see two advantages of his thinking: one, there is the potential for "deeper" discussion, rather than frequent return to the basics. (Not that they are unimportant!) Two, it allows people to get to know each other better through the comfort and intimacy of the home.
However, I did have some problems with his book:
Driscoll writes, "The church exists to welcome and convert lost people" (109). I think what he means is that the Church exists to reach out first, not to care for Christians first. Whatever he means, I believe he is wrong. The Church exists first to Glorify God, second to equip the saints, and third as a witness to unbelievers.
Driscoll writes that a "deacon...grow[s] up to be an elder" (146). Although this is a popular notion, it is not biblical. The elder and the deacon are two different offices, but equal. They are not junior and senior offices. One may be an elder, then a deacon, or a deacon, then an elder, or just and elder, or just a deacon. One is not a higher position than the other.
And then there is a general impression I get: Although Driscoll says that any size church is just fine, it seems as he goes through his history and, especially, as he describes the distinctives of a large church, Driscoll really believes that larger churches are better, more faithful, and more spiritual. He has no justification for this.
Driscoll's book is interesting, and it gave me food for thought, but I cannot recommend it without serious caveats.