from The Christian Post June 18, 2009
Aaron J. Leichman
Mars Hill Church, the Seattle megachurch of pastor Mark Driscoll, plans to open a school this fall that hopes to eventually help develop thousands of new and existing pastors and deacons with a passion for the gospel, a love for people, and a heart for Jesus and his church.
“Re:Train represents a significant effort to build a lasting legacy out of the ministry of Mars Hill Church in obedience to the Great Commission,” Mars Hill leaders reported. “People need Jesus, and we’ve been called as a church to aggressively expand the preaching of the gospel and to train other leaders to do the same.”
Led by Pastor Rick Melson, Mars Hill's Campus Network leader, Re:Train offers a 36-hour graduate program that the church describes as reformed, urban, and missional.
Of the alumni who have shared public testimony about the nature and content of the Master in Missional Leadership from the Resurgence Training Center none has provided a more comprehensive insight into the course materials than Chris Blackstone. Even this simple list of books with reviews using five-star rating system is of at least some use to those moderately read in Christian publications.
Re:Train Book List
Here are all the books we’ve read for Re:Train. It’s a long list with some outstanding books and some that were, at least to me, a little lacking. I’m try a quick rating system (out of *****). At some further date, I may add a fuller review of each book
Spiritual Formation and Disciplemaking taught by Pastor Bill Clem
•Death By Love by Mark Driscoll – **
•How People Change by Timothy Lane and Paul Tripp – **
•God’s Big Picture: Tracing the Story-Line of the Bible by Vaughan Roberts – ***
•Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges – **
Missional Christology taught by Dr. Bruce Ware
•Jesus in Trinitarian Perspective: An Introductory Christology by Fred Sanders and Klaus Issler, eds. – * [WtH, wow ... Blackstone really didn't like this one]
•Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, and Relevance by Bruce A. Ware – *****
•Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ by John Piper – ****
•Pierced for our Transgressions: Rediscovering the Glory of Penal Substitution by Steve Jeffery, Michael Ovey, and Andrew Sach – ****
•Vintage Jesus: Timeless Answers to Timely Questions by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears – **
•Your Jesus is too Safe: Outgrowing a Drive-Thru, Feel-Good Savior by Jared C. Wilson – *
Missional Ecclesiology taught by Dr. Gregg Allison
•Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears – **
•The Assembly of “The Way”: The Doctrine of the Church, Foundations of Evangelical Theology by Gregg R. Allison (forthcoming from Crossway) – ****
•Evangelical Ecclesiology: Reality or Illusion? by John G. Stackhouse, Jr., ed. – ***
•The Essence of the Church: A Community Created by the Spirit by Craig Van Gelder – ***
•The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative by Christopher J. H. Wright
Missional Missiology taught by Dr. Ed Stetzer
• Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending Church in North America by Darryl Guder, ed. – ***
• The Open Secret: An Introduction to the Theology of Mission by Lesslie Newbigin – ***
•Breaking the Missional Code by Ed Stetzer and David Putmum – **
Missional Practicum taught by Mark Driscoll, Scott Thomas, and Jeff Vanderstelt
•Leading on Empty by Wayne Cordeiro – *
•Confessions of a Reformission Rev. by Mark Driscoll – **
•Humility: True Greatness by C. J. Mahaney and Joshua Harris – *****
•One biography from this list (others were also approved including the Whitefield bio that I read – *****)
Spurgeon: A New Biography by Arnold Dallimore
Jonathan Edwards: A Life by Gorge Mardsen
Luther: Man Between God and the Devil by Heiko Oberman and Eileen Walliser
Calvin by Bruce Gordon
John Calvin: A Sixteenth-Century Portrait by William Bouwsma
John Calvin: A Pilgrim’s Life by Herman Selderhuis
Leader as Prophet taught by Dr. John Piper
•The Supremacy of God in Preaching by John Piper – ***
•Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture: The Application of Biblical Theology to Expository Preaching by Graeme Goldsworthy – *****
•Lectures to My Students by Charles Spurgeon – ****
•Between Two Worlds: The Challenge of Preaching Today by John Stott – ****
•Preaching and Preachers by Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Leader as Priest taught by Dr. Sam Storms
•A Sincere and Pure Devotion to Christ: 100 Daily Meditations on 2 Corinthians by Sam Storms – ***
•Brothers, We are Not Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical by John Piper – ****
•The Trellis and the Vine: The Ministry Mind-Shift That Changes Everyting by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne - ****** (yes, I know 6 stars. It’s that good)
•Signs of the Spirit: An Interpretation of Jonathan Edwards’ ‘Religious Affections’ by Sam Storms – ***
•Convergence: Spiritual Journeys of a Charismatic Calvinist by Sam Storms – *****
Leader as King taught by Rick Melson
•Biblical Eldership: An Urgent Call to Restore Biblical Church Leadership by Alexander Strauch – ***
•Spiritual Leadership: Principles of Excellence for Every Believer by J. Oswald Sanders – ***
•On Church Leadership by Mark Driscoll – **
•The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni – **
•Meetings That Work: A Guide to Effective Elders’ Meetings by Alexander Strauch – **
•The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make by Hans Finzel – **
So, there you go. Blackstone has provided what appears to be a comprehensive listing of the reading materials for the Master in Missional Theology program that was provided by the Resurgence Training Center for the 2009-2010 academic year.
A few things stand out for me. One is that Blackstone seemed to hate Jared Wilson's book. I have no idea why but that stuck out to me. I've read and enjoyed some of Wilson's blogging over the last six years. That Gospel Coalition affiliates would end up dominating the required reading list is not a surprise, at all.
For whatever reason Blackstone never rated a Driscoll book above 2 of 5 stars. Let the reader speculate as to why.
So there, dear readers, are the listings for the pertinent courses on the leader as prophet, priest and king, along with the other course work on the other courses.
Having provided that reference there's time, we hope, to get back to Munson's summation of what the three roles entail. Time permitting some discussion of Rick Melson's role in the Resurgence Training Center may get some discussion. He was heading up Re:Train at the time the course work seems to have been developed. He was listed as an executive elder during the time the program was developed and then after the students graduated (or at least a few of them did) it appears Melson's work was done and he went somewhere else. But that's getting ahead of things.