Contend Earnestly: Vintage Church

Friday, February 27, 2009

Vintage Church

Vintage Church sets up to be the continuation of where Vintage Jesus left off. Vintage Jesus upset some people as they thought that Driscoll took too many liberties in describing who Jesus was. Although I disagree with them, it is hard for me to see where those same people will have issue with this book. This book is set up to be an open an honest discussion of what the church is. At some point, if you are a pastor of a church, you will be challenged by Driscoll and Breshears and even rubbed the wrong way in their description of what a church should look like.

This is not because they are purposely trying to demean churches, but they are taking the modern church and testing them to Scripture. Driscoll himself even shows in some places that he wishes that they were better at, or where they have corrected Mars Hill over the years. Again, this is exactly what makes Driscoll so attractive, he is honest with his mistakes while pointing out others. He hammers on emergent church designs and also the traditional fundamental churches, to make sure they return to the true calling of the church as a whole.

What I believe this book will turn out to be is a handbook for church planters or those who are desiring to test what they are doing within their churches. The book is set up like the others that Driscoll has done in recent years. Meaning, he puts forth a topic through the Scriptures and culture and then Breshears answers commonly asked questions on that topic of the chapter. Vintage Church sets up everything from answering questions on preaching, ordinances and church discipline to how to utilize technology as a church. This book is very practical and reminds me of "The Deliberate Church" by Mark Dever and Paul Alexander. The difference is that Driscoll and Breshears cover more ground and looks more into the culture and missional aspects of the church.

In the end, the readers for this book will be pastors and elders, and not as many congregants will enjoy this book like they did with Vintage Jesus. This doesn't make the book bad, it just makes it targeted. I felt that the book was really a grown up version of Confessions of a Reformissional Rev. That book told the story of the beginning of Mars Hill, and this tells the current story. This is my only "gripe" with this book is that it seems to more of a polemic for the current way that Mars Hill is doing things. So, when you get to topics like "What is a Missional Church" and "What is a Multi Site Church" the descriptions are more of what Mars Hill is doing and less of a general look into these topics. But, should I really expect anything less of a book written by a pastor who believes (as do I for the most part) his church is doing the correct mission of Christ?

I also did enjoy the reminders to big churches that not all churches should be big, and the reminder to small churches, that not all churches should be small. Criticism of each other usually comes from each side of the issue, but Driscoll and Breshears really exhort each one to do the calling that Christ has called them to. But, because Driscoll's church is huge, some of his practical wisdom on how to live out church are going to fly over the head of those pastors in small churches. Some of the things discussed in technology and multi site are just not going to be able to be utilized by small churches. This is fine though, because the book is for all to read, not just big churches or small churches.

Although this book could have been titled, "Vintage Mars Hill" or "Confessions: Part II", the book delivers a very good understanding of the church. My favorite part of the entire book was simply, "What is a Christian Church?" Driscoll puts to shame those who believe that online churches, or coffee shop churches are true churches. Driscoll walks through what a church should include to be a true Vintage, or Scriptural, church. I very much enjoyed this description so that one does not get together with a friend for coffee and call it church, or a church gets off target and loses focus of what a church should encompass.

If you are a church planter, or one that is about to engage in new church plant, pick up this book. If you are a leader in a church that is looking to restructure or desire to test yourself to make sure that you are a biblical church, pick up this book. If you are a dated church that desires to reach today's generation, pick up this book. You will not be disappointed. I would also highly recommend that one pick up The Deliberate Church and The Master's Plan for the Church
alongside Vintage Church for great study and great resources on the Christian church according to Jesus. Highly Recommended.

Link to Buy


Westminster Books


Boaly said...

I can't wait to get into this book!

Related Posts with Thumbnails