Frost & Hirsch

Today at work I finished 'The Shaping of the Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21st-Century Church'' by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch. It wasn't the fastest read, but it was definitely thought provoking. I will go back to it in the future. It was annoying at times, especially with all their trendy adjectives. It did make me think/rethink some issues like membership, reading the gospels through Pauline eyes, bivocational ministry, the need for buildings, distinctive clergy/laity ecclesiology, the 5-fold ministry taught in Ephesians 4:11-13, and so forth. They had some good things to say about our middle classness, our emphasis on right belief rather than right living, and other places where we (evangelicalism) have things a little off. I particularly enjoyed Ch. 7 titled 'The God of Israel and the Renewal of Christianity.' Here are some quotes:

'The missional church is incarnational, not attractional, in its ecclesiology. By incarnational we mean it does not create sanctified spaces into which unbelievers must come to encounter the gospel. Rather, the missional church dissembles itself and seeps into the cracks and crevices of a society in order to be Christ to those who don't yet know him.' (12)

'As Mark Driscoll has said, "I want to prepare like an evangelical; preach like a Pentecostal; pray like a mystic; do the spiritual disciplines like a Desert Father; art like a Catholic; and social justice like a liberal."' (27)

'If by holiness we simply mean no drinking, no smoking, and no dancing, we have a very limited view of the concept.' (54)...'Holiness is primarily defined not by what we don't do, but rather by what we do in our hallowing of the everyday.' (132)

'Ironically, full-time clergy in the traditional attractional churches often find themselves so run off their feet with the busyness of serving on various committees, attending myriad meetings, and running worship services, that they have very few social contacts with unbelievers. We thing this is one of the great blights of the institutional church; it covertly withdraws its clergy from casual, social contact with the neighborhood community.' (59)