Saturday, January 31, 2009

Vintage Church: Mark Driscoll

Vintage Church is the second in the 'vintage' series from Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears, following Vintage Jesus from last year. In twelve chapter and an appendix and 315 it covers a wide range of topics relating the the Church, from 'Why is preaching important' to 'how can a church utilize technology' to 'how can a church express love' It follows the pattern of the duos last two books with the chapters written by mark, and Gerry following up with answers to common questions at the end of each chapter.

It's excellent. Really really good. I'm so pleased Re:Lit exists, if only for this sort of well presented, well designed book. Of course, that wouldn't matter if the content was no good...but it is. Driscoll shares with passion and candour a mix of gleaned wisdom and experience, taking a look at the major areas of the traditional church, as well as a couple of chapters on technology and multi campus churches, which i really enjoyed. What is, possibly, one of the most remarkable things about this book is that we get to page 91 before there's a joke. 'Death by Love' was obviously a book with serious subject matter, but i'd assumed that Driscoll's usual humour would be worked through this book, as with Vintage Jesus and his two earlier books. It just isn't. There are funny moments, but they are far fewer than i'd expected. Does this make it easier to read or better? I'm not sure, but i thought it was interesting.

I loved this book. The chapters are in depth and lengthy but readable, it's helped clear and clarify my thinking about a couple of areas of church life, given me a refreshed vision for my own service my church and The Church, and, most importantly, made me excited about gathering with my church tomorrow.

I probably had four favourite chapters; 'who is supposed to lead a church,' 'why is preaching important,' 'what are baptism and communion,' and 'how can a church change the world?' the last chapter. I think it's worth buying the book for the last chapter alone. In it Mark discusses how to change the world the Church must look beyond changed individual hearts, and towards changing the way culture involves. If culture is a river, the Church needs to be pumping the Gospel in at the source, rather than in the middle. Culture rarely changes from the bottom up. This is why Acts 29 is so city focused, because cities are where the people that form and inform culture are.

Whether or not you agree with all the conclusions reached in the book, especially the last chapter, Vintage Church is still an excellent, excellent read. Like i said, it's made me excited about going to church, serving the church, and being part of The Church, so in that sense, it must be considered mission accomplished!

Buy it here


dave bish said...

Great, though it still feels expensive.

FloydTheBarber said...

I've just noticed that its more or less the same price in dollars as pounds, so 40% more expensive!

Might even be cheaper to buy it from amazon usa with the shipping price

Kent said...

Have you seen the new Driscoll sermon archive? Just released today... I thought you might be interested:

Mark Driscoll Sermon Archive