Tag Archives: Mark Driscoll

Doctrine by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears

Driscoll, Mark and Gerry Breshears. Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2010. 464 pp. $22.99. Purchase at Westminster for $16.32.

Audiobook

Narrated by Sean Runnette.  Escondido: christianaudio Hovel.  15 hours.  Download–$16.98, CD–$20.98.

Introduction

The guys at Re:Lit (Resurgence Literature) are lighting up the book stores with a ton of recently published materials. Doctrine is perhaps the creme de la creme of what they have published to date. As with many books being published today, this, too, was first a series of sermons. You can download and listen to those sermons here.

Summary

At 436 pages of actual reading material, Doctrine is not a picnic. Divided into thirteen chapters, Driscoll and Breshears look at thirteen distinct doctrines of the Christian faith that are “the big theological themes of Scripture.” They begin by looking at the Trinity and move from there to Revelation (Bible), Creation, Image, Fall, Covenant, Incarnation, Cross, Resurrection, Church, Worship, Stewardship, and Kingdom.

In essence they discuss why these thirteen doctrines are necessary elements of one’s faith as a Christian. Without these doctrines, the person professing to be a Christian is, in effect, denying specific presuppositions made by the Scriptures.

Included at the back of the book is a valuable section entitled “Small Group Resources.” This little section is meant to drive small groups into studying the nuts and bolts of the Christian faith. The questions are not too difficult nor are they too easy. They will cause you to think and, most importantly, to interact with what the Bible says about a particular doctrine in context.

Review

Unlike most systematic theology books (Doctrine is most certainly a systematic theology book), the authors chose to start with the Trinity. Most systematics begin with the Bible since all of the material must come from the Bible. Once the doctrine of the Bible has been established, then most authors move to God and break that section down into the many facets that define God including the doctrine of the Trinity.

Again, most systematic theologies take a logical, compartmental approach to laying out their discussion and teachings. Interestingly enough, Driscoll and Breshears have approached their systematic in a far more biblical manner. They begin with the Trinity because that is where the Bible begins. “In the beginning God” (Elohim which is a plural form of El) immediately introduces the reader of the Bible to a Triune God.

Next, the authors tackle the Bible as God’s revelation to man and then move on to the rest of their doctrines as they occur in the Bible. As you look at the list above once more, you will see how this order plays out in both the Bible and in Doctrine. This is to be commended and helps the reader to remain within the framework of the Bible itself as God’s plan of salvation plays out from Genesis to Revelation.

Another element found in Doctrine is one of an apologetic nature. This perspective allows Driscoll and Breshears to argue for or against commonly held misconceptions of these essential doctrines. Unfortunately, the authors become tepid on some issues. For example, they walk a very fine line when it comes to the doctrine of Creation. They do not take a stand but only state that it is acceptable to believe one of a few different understandings. What you believe and understand about Genesis 1 and 2 will greatly determine your understanding of the rest of the Scriptures.

In most other instances, they offer reasons as to why believing certain heretical understandings of these doctrines is wrong and a denial of Christ. In many cases, they do come down and state that one must believe in _____________ if they are to be a Christian.

Audio book review

The audio book was nice. It was read at a pace that was both fast enough to keep your interest and slow enough to allow you to think about what was being said. There were a few sections where the cut/paste on the digital recording fell short of christianaudio’s usual superb standards.

What I most liked about the audiobook is that you can actually listen to a systematic theology and enjoy doing so! The audiobook is ideal for that Christian who is busy with work or raising children and does not have the time to read a book about Christian doctrines. For those seeking a deeper understanding of theology, Doctrine has quickly become one of the best places to begin insofar as audiobooks are concerned.

Recommendation

With the publishing of Doctrine by Mark Driscoll has suddenly made systematic theology both acceptable and cool. That excites me. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to begin to plumb the depths of God and what He has revealed to us through His word, the Bible. The additional audiobook makes this a double feature worth owning.

Winsday: Religion Saves by Mark Driscoll

Purchase at Westminster for $13.19

This week’s Winsday giveaway is sponsored by Crossway Books. We are giving away a copy of Pastor Mark Driscoll’s book, Religion Saves and Nine Other Misconceptions. You can read my review of here.

How to Win

We are going to try something a bit different this week. Instead of sending an email for your entry, please leave a comment below answering one of the following questions:

  • How has Pastor Driscoll impacted your life?
  • What misconceptions have you had to deal with in your own life or in the life of others?
  • Or, you can just leave a comment encouraging Pastor Driscoll in his ministry.

As always, you can Tweet about the contest using Twitter. Simply copy/paste the following:
RT: @ChristBookNotes is giving away Religion Saves by @PastorMark from @CrosswayBooks http://wp.me/pviKd-Rj

Leaving a comment and Tweeting the contest are two separate entries.

We will not allow sharp criticism or rants in this contest.  The contest will end Monday, January 18 at noon. Good providence!!

As always, you can subscribe to Christian Book Notes to stay up to date on the latest reviews and giveaways.

Religion Saves by Mark Driscoll

Driscoll, Mark.  Religion Saves + Nine other Misconceptions.  Wheaton:  Crossway Books, 2009.  288 pp.  $19.99.  Purchase at Westminster books for $13.19.

Misc. Background Info.

Before I begin this review, I would like to share some fond memories of the roots of this book. A friend of mine, Tim Brister, posed a question as part of Mark Driscoll’s campaign to come up with nine questions that were dogging the church today. Brister asked a question regarding the regulative principle and its application in the church today. Things got a bit ugly in the comment box and in the voting to the point that Tim decided at one point to step out and let his question fall out of the top nine. However, after much discussion with some of his friends and prayer, he decided to have a “ninth-inning rally” and called out to his friends and readers of his website to vote and vote often. What ended up happening was his question went from off the page to number one!

I was one who voted each day the maximum number of 10 times for Tim’s question.  While there were some very good questions, I admit I voted for Tim simply because he was a friend of mine.  He is currently serving as the associate pastor at Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL.

Review

I know Mark Driscoll has been called on the carpet more than once by many in my convention and by many in evangelicalism at large.  I also know that not many agree with what he has to say.  This book certainly will do nothing to change that, but it cannot be said that God is not using Mark Driscoll.  With a particular candor that is often lacking in many pulpits, Mark deals directly and biblically with many issues of today.  Simply because many think a topic too taboo to discuss, does not deter Mark.

In Religion Saves, Mark looks at nine questions that were voted on during a couple month period in a drive entitled “Ask Anything.”  The top nine questions were asked in ascending order from number nine to number one.  They are as follows one is actually nine and nine is one):

  1. There’s no doubt the Bible says children are a blessing, but the Bible doesn’t seem to address the specific topic of birth control.  Is this a black-and-white topic, or does it fall under liberties?
  2. Why do you make jokes in sermons about Mormon missionaries, homosexuals, trench coat wearers, single men, vegans, and emo kids, and then expect these groups to come to know God through those sermons?
  3. Why does an all-loving, all-knowing, and all-sovereign God will into creation people he foreknows will suffer eternal condemnation–and the Romans 9:20 answer seems a cop-out!
  4. Of all the things you teach, what parts of Christianity do you still wrestle with?  What’s hardest for you to believe?
  5. How should Christian men and women go about breaking free from the bondage of sexual sin?
  6. If salvation is by faith alone, then why are there so many verses that say or imply the opposite–that salvation is by works?
  7. How does a Christian date righteously, and what are the physical, emotional, and mentally connecting boundaries a Christian must set while developing an intimate relationship prior to marriage?
  8. What can traditional or established churches learn from “emerging” churches?
  9. Do you believe that Scripture not only regulates our theology bu also our methodology?  In other words, do you believe in the regulative principle?  If so, to what degree?  If not, why not?

As I said, you may not (probably will not) agree with where Driscoll comes down on some of these topics–I know I do not–but you will appreciate his candor and his use of Scripture to support his answers.  If you do not have the time to read the book, then you can go to the website of Mars Hill Church and download the audio and/or video of each sermon in the series Religion Saves that comprises this book. All in all, this book is worth picking up and reading as I know that many Christians have the same questions about what they can and cannot do and still be right.  At the very least, you will have a good starting point when it comes to engaging others about these topics.

Death by Love by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears

Driscoll, Mark and Gerry Breshears. Death by Love: Letters from the Cross. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2008. 272 pp. Hardback, $19.99. Buy from Westminster Books

Introduction

Mark Driscoll is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Wa. He is also the president of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network as well as the leader of the Resurgence Missional Theology Cooperative. He also has a series entitled “A Book You Will Actually Read” on various theological topics including God, the Bible and church leadership. Continue reading Death by Love by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears