Friday, May 24, 2013

"Death By Love" by Mark Driscoll & Gerry Breshears: A Review

Mark Driscoll is a breath of fresh air in the Emerging Church. That is, if you consider Driscoll as still part of the Emerging Church. Driscoll was one of the first major leaders in the movement but has since removed himself from the movement due to where it was going theologically. For that, I applaud Driscoll for standing on orthodoxy and principle. And his latest book, "Death By Love: Letters From the Cross," is a reflection of his Reformed orthodoxy.

Driscoll characterizes himself as being a Reformed Charismatic pastor. At the outset, this sounds like a contradiction. And as someone who considers himself Reformed and a cessationist, this looks initially like a contradiction, but this is a growing movement nonetheless with men like Driscoll and CJ Mahany holding to this theology.

"Death By Love," is a practical look at a Reformed view of the cross. Driscoll covers issues like justification, substitution, propitiation, and other aspects of the cross. But this is not merely a theological book. It is that, but it is more than dry theology. Each chapter consists of someone in Driscolls life that is need of the gospel message. At the end of each chapter, the authors answer common questions regarding the subject at hand.

This is a book that every Christian needs to read. Not only does Driscoll lay out clearly the gospel message and a theological understanding of the cross, but also the practical, everyday importance of the cross. Redemption is a lifelong process, not something that we deal with one day. Furthermore, Driscoll shows why our ultimate need isn't self-help therapy, but the cross of Christ.

Another thing I appreciated about this book was that it was raw and unadulterated. Driscoll does not offer a sissified, feminized gospel. In other words, Driscoll is driven by the text, the hard truths of the gospel, and does not back down from speaking the truth. He is willing to tell people that they are wicked, the worse of sinners, and not deserving of the cross. In fact, at one point, he spends much time explaining to one certain person how he is the worst person who should rot in hell for what they had done. Driscoll is unashamedly hardcore and straight to the point. There is no room for wimps in this book.

The power of this should be obvious, but it is missed too often in our culture today. Most would read some of Driscoll's words and be appalled at his sternness. We are told to play nice and hope for the best. However, by ignoring the ugliness and seriousness of sin, we rob God of his glory, the cross of it's power, and love of it's overflowing magnitude. It is because Driscoll presents the worse of the worse, the undeserving of the undeserving, that we get a bigger and better glimpse at how amazing God is in His justice and yes, in His love.

I highly recommend this book. It is well worth your time. Every Christian should not only understand the depth of the cross, but also it's practical application. Driscoll does that. He expects much, and he gives much. Go buy this book!

For more:
Doctrine by Mark Driscoll
Death by Love  by Mark Driscoll
Religion Saves by Mark Driscoll
The Radical Reformation by Mark Driscoll
Vintage Jesus by Mark Driscoll 

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