Saturday, July 25, 2009

Blog tour: Book Review: Religion Saves

When the chance to review/be one of the first to read Mark Driscoll’s new book “Religion Saves: and Nine Other Misconceptions” I jumped at the chance.

Driscoll is the founding and lead pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, and a well-known figure. I became acquainted with his work during Nightline’s debate, held earlier this year, on whether or not Satan exists.

The book, with its catchy title, evolved from a sermon series Driscoll developed after he was inspired by Paul’s writings in 1 Corinthians. In that chapter of the Bible, Paul answered a series of questions posed by the church in Corinth.

For this sermon series, Driscoll invited people to submit questions they wanted answered most, through his church’s website. With more than 800 questions posed, and more than 340,000 votes cast, Driscoll boiled the series down to nine questions focusing on birth control, humor, predestination, grace, sexual sin, faith and works, dating, the emerging church and the regulative principle.

The 260-plus page book includes a plethora of footnotes and other notes – all designed to help you delve into the nine topics in an informed manner.

Driscoll’s writing appears similar to his speaking style. The book, though weighty in subject, is easy to read. Driscoll presents a variety of “sides” when applicable, all while explaining what he believes and why.

I’ll admit, my reading of theology books has been limited since graduating from seminary. Driscoll’s book provided a mental challenge for me.

It’s refreshing to find someone – anyone – who will address topics revolving around “hot button” issues such as birth control, sex, faith and works, and even the emerging church.

While I may not agree with everything Driscoll writes, I am glad that I took time to read his book.

For the record, I believe and follow the principles found in the Wesleyan/Armenian theology concerning predestination and prevenient grace. (Driscoll is unapologetically a follower of Calvinism).

I believe Driscoll has tapped into a current desire by many to define their identity – especially when it involves faith issues.

People are searching for answers – and for direction. If anything, Driscoll’s book gives readers a place to start their journey of discovery.

I’ll be honest. His book – and arguments – left me digging out “old” notes from class, as I reminded myself the reason for what I believe. Even after reading several of the chapters more than once, I still find myself trying to digest the topics and issues.

Ultimately, even if you do not agree with everything he writes, you will find some well researched ideas, which will definitely leave you searching for additional answers as you affirm what you believe in these faith issues.

About The Book/Driscoll

Religion Saves and Nine Misconceptions is part of the Re:Lit Series.

Want to see the book on Amazon? Click here.

More about Driscoll

Mark Driscoll is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, one of the fastest-growing churches in America. He is president of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network and is the author of several books, including Vintage Jesus.
Pastor Mark preaches on Sunday, trains pastors, and writes curriculum. Mark is married to his high school sweetheart, Grace, and they enjoy raising their three sons and two daughters. More about Mark here!
Want to read more about the book?

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As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by Litfuse Publicity Group. This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail.

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