This book had the interesting effect of making me laugh, wince, and take notes, sometimes all on the same page! At the end of the day, I could not put the book down. I was captivated by a transparent pastor’s heart who struggled day after day to put Jesus before his city in effort to see many converted.
The book chronicles the life of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington where Mark Driscoll has been the Senior Pastor since its inception. Driscoll takes readers through the various stages of growth from a small broken down Bible study with “Indie Rockers” and “artsy” folks to a thriving megachurch of over 4,000 impacting one of the most unchurched regions in the US.
In his narrative Driscoll explains, from first hand experience, some of the gestational development of the now prominent Emergent Church. Driscoll himself was involved, and in fact a leader in, a movement in the mid-90’s to mobilize missionaries to their culture, impacting them with the gospel of Christ. As this movement expanded and gained traction Driscoll had to separate himself from it:
“I had to distance myself, however, from one of the many streams in the emerging church because of the theological differences. Since the late 1990’s this stream has become known as Emergent. The Emergent Church is part of the Emerging Church Movement but does not embrace the dominant ideology of the movement. Rather the emergent church is the latest version of liberalism. The only difference is that the old liberalism accommodated modernity and the new liberalism accommodates postmodernity.” (p. 21)
So here Driscoll is distinquishing between Emerging and Emergent…himself clinging to the prevailing positives of the Emerging movement (missional, theological, active) while distancing himself from the atheolgoical wing of the movement (Emergent).