Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Book Review: Religion Saves by Mark Driscoll

I had a feeling I would like this book as soon as I pulled it out of its padded mailing envelope. Even the book's 'retro' looking cover suggested that there would be something different about this read. I looked forward to finally reading one of the increasingly popular pastor Mark Driscoll's works.

Religion Saves: And Nine Other Misconceptions is by no means just another summary of current hot topics the church is wrestling with. Instead, Driscoll's book thoroughly and thoughtfully tackles nine subjects that his Seattle based congregation put forth for his review. Are these the nine most important topics that Christians should be addressing today? Perhaps no, but one could argue that neither were the topics that the Apostle Paul addressed in the aptly compared First Letter to the Corinthians.

Of these nine subjects that Driscoll surveys some will likely continue to be tossed around in theological debate long into the church's future (Predestination - Question 7, Grace - Question 6, Faith and Works - Question 4). Other chapters address how we should go about forming biblically informed convictions and putting faith into practice (Birth Control - Question 9, Sexual Sin - Question 5, Dating - Question 3). Finally, Driscoll approaches subjects particularly relevant to the challenges of doing ministry today in our postmodern culture (Humor - Question 8, The Emerging Church - Question 2, The Regulative Principle - Question 1).

Driscoll's writing style stays extremely conversational throughout the book without sacrificing contemplative depth. Almost every page is footnoted with references to Scripture as well as other helpful works on the subject. Some readers might be a bit put off by the author's bluntness in his presentation but Driscoll needs not apologize. Matters such as these require both thoughtful reflection and heartfelt conviction for their presentation, both of which shine through from cover to cover.

While Religion Saves might be a bit more 'theological' then other popular works readers may used to, I found this work to be very approachable for most any pew (or stackable chair) sitter in our churches today. Grab a copy at your local Christian bookstore and enjoy. I doubt you'll be disappointed.
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