Baptist Identity Crisis

Ah yes. It was going to come eventually.

Saith iMonk:
It’s not the t-shirt- it’s what’s ON your t-shirt that matters.

I see the big dogs have now picked up the “what clothes are you wearing” aspect of the Missional discussion. What a disappointment. One moment you are discussing missionary methods as the future of evangelism in our culture, the next it’s the discipleship implications of what kind of shirt and shoes you wear. The big problem with missionals: phony in the way they dress. Let’s mail them all _________________ t-shirts so they will be properly and age appropriately attired.

Post a pic of a 19th century preacher somebody, so we all know how to dress.
That's right: someplace the subtext of my posts on this subject is "buy team Pyro t-shirts" or "shop at my pawn shop". Yep -- do that. That would certainly clear up the problem I'm talking about here. That's why I started this discussion in the first place.

Not the fact that what goes on in SBC teen ministry is actually what passes for "missional" ministry 7 times out of 10 (or more); certainly not the example of the ex-con biker in prison ministry. It's all about the pawn shop.

Here's another opinion, and we'll see where it goes from here: I think iMonk doesn't want to deal with the issue that one of the things which poisons the well for "missional" thinking is that there's actually poison in the well. That is: (and let's see if this gets through his mental filters) even Ed Stetzer admitted that the field of missionals is full of bad examples. That is: most "missionals" are not like Tim Keller.

In inviting iMonk to this exchange of ideas, I wanted to find out if he thought that the SBC which he loves had, in his mind, any good reasons for rejecting what passes for "missional" these days. Apparently it has none -- they are only at fault for being concerned about how this things plays out even though they have evidence that it doesn't often play out to the good.

Go back and listen to what Dr. Stetzer delivered again and see if he has that rosey a picture of what is happening. I don't think he does: I think he is concerned that our convention is whithering on the vine, and that it ought to so something, but that something has a great deal to do with reforming in the face of the Gospel. That something does not mean merely wearing a costume or playing social games which people understand: it means

Gospel -> Cultural Context -> Counter-culture

That is not what the vast majority of "missionals" are doing. It is far better than what they are doing.

But, as a bone to iMonk, let's have a teachable moment for me. Teach me that I am wrong about the majority -- even 51% -- of the missionals available to observe today. I'm willing to concede without argument that Matt Chandler, Mark Driscoll and Tim Keller are exactly what Dr. Stetzer are talking about; I'm willing to give you that the 100+ churches in Acts29 are all unquestionably solid and the "right stuff". Demonstrate for me in some way that this is what most missional adventures are like.

You could even have a t-shirt if you have some kind of evidence that this is the case. How sweet can the offer get?