<%image(20050304-pipes.jpg|136|87|pipes)%>On my way into work I was listening to the Soularize Conference from 2004 from www.theooze.com. The speaker was Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. I have to say that I listened with a mixture of shock and wonder. I have never heard a preacher use profanity so much, but I was also deeply challenged with his burden for the Gospel.
I don’t think that Mark Driscoll is for everyone, but what he did for me was alert me to the necessity of sharing the Gospel message. It is the Gospel that brings the true transforming power of God.
Driscoll is keenly aware that the church needs to balance our inward nurture with the incarnational call of Christ. While he feels the pull to send people out to transform the culture, he is a voice of caution to the church that the “pipeline” leading out to culture will also lead the culture back to us.
With this in mind, Driscoll gave a strong warning to watch out for syncretism with culture, allowing the culture to play havoc with the Gospel message. While we should “plunder” from culture and utilize it for the Gospel’s purposes, he advocates that we proceed with caution in our cultural interaction.
I would have to say that I think emergent thinkers need to be aware of this possibility. Though I am more than ready to go out with the Gospel and interact with culture, I think that we must we wary of accommodation to culture that may go unseen. My approach may be a little more loose than that of Mark, but in any case, I think it’s worth asking ourselves from time to time, “What’s coming through the cultural pipe?” and “Should we interact or extract?”