Anyone who loves C.S. Lewis and Francis Schaeffer gets my attention, and Mark Tabb does both. In Mission to Oz, he addresses the need for Christians to recognize and speak to the needs of our current culture. Drawing analogies from The Wizard of Oz, Tabb weaves anecdotes with facts and insights to point out the unique characteristics of this generation and how to effectively reach it with the Gospel. This is not primarily a methodology, but an introduction to the basics of how the thinking and presuppositions of today have changed from those of a generation ago. While the content of the Gospel does not change, the Christian’s discernment at how best to communicate it to his generation must be flexible.
I did have some problems; however, these seem to be the kinds of problems that could be resolved with more clarification. For example, on pages 56-57 he says, “We think if we can disperse adequate information, people will be convinced Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and turn to Him. Those methods don’t work any longer. I’m not sure they ever did.” Obviously, no one method is effective apart from the work of the Holy Spirit. But the method Tabb seems to want to set aside is the method used by Peter on Pentecost, by Paul on Mars Hill, by Edwards and Whitefield in the Great Awakening, by Moody and Spurgeon and countless others. On page 65, he talks about how “God chose to write the Bible as a story. It doesn’t dispense information about God. . .” Strictly speaking, the New Testament epistles are not story, but do dispense information about God – doctrine. Jesus was a master storyteller; Peter, Stephen and Paul told the story of Israel’s history when preaching. But what do we do with the rest of Scripture?
Mission to Oz is a book that will definitely be of interest to anyone wanting to reach his world for Christ. The list of recommended books in the appendix is helpful, and there is an interesting article by Tabb on the Christian’s response to media. All in all, this will be a helpful and thought-provoking addition to your library. – Pam Glass, Christian Book Previews.com
Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.
It seems we live in a different world - the phrases that used to be understood no longer have cultural relevance. Assuming that today's generation has any links to biblical knowledge is erroneous. As today's culture sweeps by the Builder and Boomer generations, we are left asking how we can effectively engage and reach a "postmodern." Mission to Oz offers a down-to-earth, easy-to-read, practical explanation of postmodernism, designed for readers who don't want to get bogged down in academic lingo. This book will replace your fear and culture shock with the enthusiasm to reach out and connect. The key? Authenticity!