Tuesday, 8 March 2011
Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture
Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture by Mike Frost is a mission in itself. Short of answering the timeless question of "boxers or briefs?", Mike Frost covers every aspect what it is to live as an exile from both the current Christian culture and general society. It is three hundred and twenty seven pages telling us how we should shop, eat, sing, live.
The book's call to a genuine, all-encompassing Godly lifestyle resonated with me, so I wasn't too put off by the length and sweeping subject matter. Little annoys me more than Sunday Christians: those who go to church sit in the pews, think that their job is done and live hypocritically the rest of the week. Christianity should be an all life deal. This is something that the exiled Church is realising and I find this exciting. I was excited by a lot of what Exiles offered in its beginning chapters. I loved the descriptions of the potential of "a radical, subversive, compassionate community of followers of Jesus."
What did put me off, though, was Frost's willingness to criticise. I should have heeded the warning in the "Note to the Reader" that "this book contains a good deal of pointed critique." It is really important to name and deal with problems within the church. Frost does it well and I agree with he has to say. He could have probably done this, though, without hauling individuals over the coals (such as Matt Redman). Although I agreed with the points he made, they lack a flavour of grace.
It's quite similar to Total Church in its priorities and I would probably suggest starting there, and then moving onto this one. It's shorter for a start.