Did you know that there are more left-handed people in America than evangelical Christians? Exposing the falsehood that Christianity is alive and well in our postmodern culture, Driscoll calls us to unite around Jesus, anchor ourselves in the essentials of God's Word, and join the resurgence of faith that will transform the church and our society. 220 pages, hardcover from Tyndale.
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Customer Reviews for A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future?
Review 1 for A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future?
Pastor Mark Driscoll writes a compelling book that calls Christians to stand up and be salty. As the religions and gods of today seem to dig in stronger around us, we need to realize that God is not dead. Christianity is not dying; although the candle light is flickering wearily. Driscoll believes – as do I – that God is still working, and that god is bigger than any detriment we as Christians are to our own faith. This is a must read for all people. It reaches to the newly saved persons, the persons who think they are saved but just aren’t sure, the unbelieving persons, and the searching. It is written for believers, but I am sure unbelievers will pick it up and find much “fault” with it. In the book’s dedication, Pastor Mark writes the following: “If you love Jesus, do something. If you are not ready to do something, get ready and then do something. If you do something and God doesn’t bless it, then do something else. Whatever you do, do it under the authority of a Bible-believing, Jesus-loving local church. Give your life to what Jesus gave his life for – the church.”
Driscoll starts right out in chapter one stating the obvious and putting the facts of Christianity today right on the line.
Nothing matters. It doesn’t matter how strong the opposing force or enemy is that you are fighting. Jesus is for you and He will fight for you. Nothing else can win. Many are concerned with the increasingly hostile culture that is creeping in on the Christian faith. This is nothing new. Remember the vicious Roman Empire? The call in this book is a call of resurgence; not a call of retreat and regroup. Now is not the time for compromise, but a time for courage. Driscoll writes, “We’ve got work to do. There are lost people to reach, churches to plant, and nations to evangelize. Hell is hot, forever is a long time, and it’s our turn to stop making a dent and start making a difference?” (4). Faith is faith by faith alone. Without an inward, heartfelt conversion there can be no outward, active devotion. “Younger generations increasingly feel less obligated even to profess Christianity, and society increasingly provides less incentive to do so” (17). In many churches across the country, congregations prefer to show the gospel rather than speak about the gospel. The Gospel by definition is the Good News of Jesus. It is crucial to our faith and foundational to our beliefs. It is what Jesus has done and it demands to be spoken of! Conclusion: “According to Jesus, not everyone who talks like a Christian or acts like a Christian is actually a Christian” (26). One could be born into a Christian home, baptized in a Christian church, have attended Christian school, pray ever day, and even be a ministry leader and still not be a Christian. You can believe in God and not be a Christian. Disagree? Look at the apostle Judas. Driscoll writes that morality today is more like wine tasting that banking (62). He concludes that Christians needs to basically stop standing around chewing their nails and waiting for the Holy Spirit to swoop in with more grace (80). “At the end of the day we don’t need more celebrities and more debate. We need more Spirit-empowered Christians we take their call to witness to God’s work in this world, and to do so in unity with other Christians, even if they don’t agree on some secondary matters” (81).
As he writes throughout the book, Driscoll points out that the Holy Spirit is still working in the church and in the lives of believers. He calls – or challenges – Christians to repentance. Life isn’t going to get any easier. Trials and hardships will still happen after you seek God’s forgiveness (221). In order for a resurgence to take place the church needs to realize the mission we are called for. This book ends on a great and positive note about the actions we take as a church body and as an individual christian. I recommend this book to any Christian or even anyone seeking to know more about Christianity. It is a powerful and challenging read whose author doesn’t beat around the bush.
I received this book from Tyndale House Publishing and am not being compensated for my review.
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Review 2 for A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future?
A Powerful Gateway to Clear Thinking
Date:January 25, 2014
Location:Carleton Place, ON
Mark Driscoll writes as a contemporary prophet who feels the pressing need to address a huge amount of issues that the North American Evangelical Church is facing (or choosing not to face) today. He’s also a loving pastor, clever writer, and passionate promoter of the gospel who loves Jesus and His People and wants the best for His Church. He pulls no punches as he unapologetically pulls the skeletons out of our evangelical closets for all to see and explains why we are in such a steep decline. If you’re not alarmed, enlightened, angry, weeping, or offended by this book, then you probably aren’t reading it right.
My Driscoll Bias
Let me admit my bias. Mark Driscoll is a very intelligent, courageous, biblical, Christian leader who is sold out to Jesus Christ and who loves his church. I read everything Mark Driscoll writes, listen to his sermons regularly, and am a big fan of what the Resurgence and Acts 29 is doing. I looked forward to reviewing this book as soon as it was available from Tyndale, and as I read it, I knew what to expect and heard exactly what I expected to hear – which was a good thing.
Driscoll has always seen himself as a button-pushing, prophet and in this book he pushes as many buttons as he can. He chooses headline garnishing illustrations which shock the average person into listening to whatever he’s about to say. He is brilliant, clever, and purposefully abrasive – which is part of his charm and what drives people crazy. Regardless of what you think of his style, you should listen to him, because he’s probably right.
“A Call To Resurgence” is a powerful gateway to clear thinking about the troubles the church is facing today. It is an education for church leaders and a perfect primer for anyone who has recently looked up from behind their pew and wondered, “Hey, where is everyone?”
Driscoll is a skilled teacher who helps his readers understand the key issues, what got us to this point, and then asks us to step out of our comfort zone and make the necessary changes to our thinking and practices. He raises criticisms of every kind against the Christian church and follows them with questions that every believer (and every church) needs to answer. Click here for Tim Challies’ great overview of the individual chapters.
This book is not only worth buying for the great content of the chapters, but for the pitch-perfect appendices. His section on the history of the various Christian/Religious “tribes” in our culture and recommended reading list are worth the price of the book.
I do have a few issues with the book, though they are not many:
First, I couldn’t figure out who the target audience was. It’s not for non/new Christians because there is so much in-house discussion that is only understood by people who have been part of the church for a while. Older generations might not appreciate the aggressive language and humour. Comfortable believers won’t pick it up in the first place. I’m a pastor who appreciated the whole of it, but I wonder if much of the systematic theology and historical content might confuse or overwhelm the average attendee (or bore them). If this is a call to action for all believers, I’m not sure everyone will be able to get all the way to the end of it.
Second, every sub-section is valuable on its own, but taken as a whole, the book seems disjointed. This is a shotgun blast, not a sniper shot to the heart of the issue. He hits so many issues (history, parenting, theology, money, homosexuality, church statistics…) that the book reads like a pile of great sound bites assembled around a theme – which means that occasionally it feels incohesive. I often found myself thinking “This is really good, but why is it in here?”
Third, though his section on tribes is excellently written and extremely helpful, at times it came across as partial, biased and stereotypical. Still, if the point was show us what tribe we are in so we can evaluate its strengths and weaknesses, he did that very well.
I highly recommend this book. It’s not going to be an easy read for anyone, but I believe it’s important for everyone. Remember when your mother told you to eat your vegetables because they were good for you? That’s this book. If you read it, and get a taste for it, it will change you for the better.
Driscoll is always a treasure-trove of choice quotes. I wanted to close this out by sharing some of my favourites:
- “He was dumped like a prom date with tuberculosis…” - “Shallow, entertainment-oriented, self-help, knockoff, consumer Christianity that offers bumper-sticker clichés in response to life’s crises fuels the movement to embrace atheistic one-ism. It’s weak sauce.” - “Evangellyfish with no backbones will propagate the myth that God and Jesus are infinitely tolerant.” - “The least likely person you’ll see in church is a single twentysomething male. He is as rare at church as a vegan at a steak house.” - “When trying to evangelize, fundamentalists are more prone to use methods such as tract bombing and aggressive street witnessing, which are devoid of relationship and which unbelievers experience as the spiritual equivalent of a flasher in a trench coat.” - “…let’s just admit that most people stink theologically and are about as ready to articulate basic Christian belief as a basset hound is ready to fly a helicopter.” - “In our day of ample opportunity for Bible reading and instruction, we are like fools starving to death at the grocery store.” “Men are like trucks: they drive straighter when carrying a load.” - “…we’d rather believe that faith is a stick and God is a piñata, and if we swing hard enough, health and wealth will come pouring down upon us.”
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Review 3 for A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future?
Let's be honest. I got the book so I could read it and then when people bashed it I would have a basis for my opinions. Admittedly, I don't get all the negative hype about Mark Driscoll. And I don't understand where in "A Call to Resurgence" he really says anything that would make Christians upset. What he talks about is something that my husband and I have talked about at home even before this book came out. Live what you believe. You might not be popular, but you'll be fine.
I liked the chart on pages 112 and 113 that kind of breaks down the different "tribes". (Reformed, Fundamentalist, etc). I'm somewhere between two groups, I think. But it was interesting to look at and see just where I fell on the "spectrum" of beliefs.
Definitely would recommend this to people. People who like Mark Driscoll and people who don't (so long as they can read with an open mind and not discredit the message simply because of who is presenting it).
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. No other compensation was received.
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Review 4 for A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future?
Mark Driscoll has authored a serious wake up call for Christians in America.
I'm going to quote a few things:
"This is not a political book.
This is not a reactionary book.
This is a prophetic book.
Christendom is dead.
Jesus is alive.
(page 31 bottom)
"I am not predicting that things in the West will get dire anytime soon, if ever. But things are not trending in the direction of Bible-believing, Jesus-loving, sin-repenting, mission-serving Christianity. We are a minority in an increasingly hostile host culture, and the sooner we accept that reality, the better off we will be." (page 140)
Pastor Driscoll lives in Seattle and that alone would jade a believer! (I'm not suggesting he's jaded, but I do live here too, so...) I live a couple hours away and I get the cynical eye. Got a touch of that myself and see some of the things I don't like ingrained in myself. Welcome to the beautiful but liberal Pacific Northwest!
He does a good job outlining some basic doctrines, denominational differences, Christendom history, and cultural issues.
Personally I thought this book is something every believer needs to read. I can visualize this as a book used in history classes someday. (Today?! Please!)
I think it's one of the most important books published in the Christian world today. It speaks to so many issues. It's written well, and it's a fascinating read.
I thought the hearse pictured on the cover of his book was a comical way of getting the message of this book across without words. *U* *I received this book free in exchange for an unbiased review from the publisher*
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Review 5 for A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future?
A Call To Resurgence Book Review
Date:November 27, 2013
A Call to Resurgence by Pastor and author Mark Driscoll takes a tough look at the issues facing the modern Church and Christianity in the Western world. In this blunt and extensive look at the challenges facing Christians in America in the present culture, Driscoll offers up historical references, deeply researched topics, and personal experiences which deliver an authentic and heart wrenching look at where believers in Jesus stand today in ministry, missions, and their personal walk of faith.
Driscoll touches on many difficult subjects that the church as a whole must confront and have answers for. The thorough research that is outlined along with supportive statistical information and person experiences of the author will likely cause the reader to jolt awake and take heed to various problems in the body of Christ. Driscoll touches sensitive topics such as the church stance on homosexuality, abuse, biblical roles of husbands and wives, as well as many other topics, yet does so in such a direct fashion that the reader will be compelled to know where they stand on such issues. Throughout the book, the overtones are convicting, yet motivating to Christians to get them to take up their cross and go forward with a clear mandate to get to work! Driscoll does not spare the reader the realities of the serious challenges that threaten Christendom, nor does he apologize for the forthright way in which he delivers the staunch truth of error in the church and in the way the church engages unbelievers.
Driscoll does well to break down theological terms that may be unnoticed or ill utilized in the body of Christ. The Christian heritage and laboring of many historical saints and well noted movements of God throughout history are well noted and expounded on. Such recounts add to the content of the book in a manner that challenges growth, examination of ministry, as well as laying forth possibilities for the future of Christianity.
If you are looking for a book that lays out many of the existing issues that face the church in our time, this book sheds much light on such issues and has countless research invested in revealing these issues from both a personal standpoint, as well as a statistical standpoint. A Call to Resurgence is a sobering invitation for Christians everywhere to cease from playing church and to give their lives wholeheartedly to the work of the Kingdom of God.
*I received a copy of A Call to Resurgence from Tyndale Publishing House, in exchange for my honest review.