I have been a fan of Mark Driscoll for years now. While there are times I do not always like or appreciate his approach, there are other times where his pointed words are prophetic in my life and the Holy Spirit has used them to spur me on to a deeper love and understanding of him. Over the years I have heard his tone shift and distinctly remember a sermon in which he stated he wants to move from an angry prophet voice to a caring fatherly voice. This review is not a defense of Driscoll or his past, but A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future? could potentially be the turning point for his future.
Driscoll begins by tracing the path to how Christianity got to where it is today in America and how the decline has left Christians disoriented and confused and set up for a knockout punch is we are not willing and able to engage with culture in a different way than before. He then explores the tribalism of Christianity that has splintered people into so many groups and subgroups. Based on how you answer some of the major theological issues can subdivide and divide group from group—going to show that one of the biggest dangers for the future of Christianity is not necessarily outside pressure by internal conflict. Because of this he goes on to suggest ways that differing groups can still disagree on open-handed issues but work together to advance the Gospel. Integral in the spread of the Gospel, Driscoll contends, is the Holy Spirit. But, in order for Christians to be united in the Holy Spirit we must first be united about who the Holy Spirit is. And when the Spirit is present repentance follows, not just admitting we we wrong but true heartfelt change. It’s in these moments that we begin to look different than culture. He closes by looking at seven different areas Christians can focus on in and where they are at to begin a resurgence—all of which are practical steps to begin but are not meant to silver bullets.
With candor and humor Driscoll is known for in his communication, he sets for a very plain case that Christianity in the West as we know it is at a crossroads. For too long we have operated with the mentality that we are the majority when, in fact, we are the minority. If we continue to operate under that assumption then Christianity will cease to have the influence at large we believe it has today. This does not mean it is the end of Christianity in America by any means; Driscoll is trying to wave the flag and alert as many people as possible to the future before it is too late.
You might not like what Mark Driscoll says, how he says it or to whom he says it, but one thing is for sure, you cannot ignore the issues he is bringing to light. Christianity is losing its perceived hold in the America of today and unless a new generation of Christians is humbled to repent, resolved to engage, and determined to redeem then we are looking at the rise of a post-Christian America sooner rather than later.