Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Missional Quiz

It goes without saying, but if the goal of missional Christianity is to engage the culture with the Truth of the Gospel, then those who desire to be missional have an obligation to engage the culture around them. In much the way “missionaries” living in another country must learn to live in and understand a culture that is not their own and be able to effectively communicate in that culture, Christians “at home” need to recognize that they too are surrounded by a different culture. All Christians need to live in and understand the culture around them and be able to effectively communicate in that culture.

To be effectively missional you do not need to read “how to” books. You need to read what the people around you are reading. You need to watch the TV shows they are watching and see the movies they are seeing. You need to engage the culture. An effective self-test can be made to see just how missional one is. The best comparison is found in the world of literature, because by and large Christian culture does not produce many movie or TV shows and vast portions of the sub-culture actually promote not watching any form of visual entertainment. Everyone reads.

First a clarification is in order. The goal of engaging in the culture is not to be influenced by it, or to learn how to think. That is something the Christian does reading the Bible. So, reading more “Christian” books than secular does not make one a more “spiritual” Christian. It just makes one a more “insular” Christian. (Insular being the opposite of missional.) So look at the two lists of major works of the past decade below. If you have read many titles on the first list, you are engaging in the culture the people around you are living in. If you have read most of the second but almost none of the first list then you are swimming firmly in the Christian sub-culture. You need to get out more!

List One:

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
By Michael Chabon

American Gods
By Neil Gaiman

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
By Stieg Larsson

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
By J.K. Rowling

The Hunger Games
By Suzanne Collins

Life of Pi
By Yan Martel

The Lovely Bones
By Alice Sebold

Never Let Me Go
By Kazuo Ishiguro

No Country for Old Men
By Cormac McCarthy

Twilight
By Stephenie Meyer

List Two:

The Purpose Driven Life
By Rick Warren

Radical
By David Platt

Operation World
By Patrick Johnstone

Desiring God
By John Piper

The Divine Conspiracy
By Dallas Willard

Any Left Behind Book
By Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins

unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity
by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons

The Cultural Savvy Christian
By Dick Staub

Vintage Church
By Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears

Epic
By John Eldredge

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