Mark Driscoll’s latest book, Religion Saves: And Nine Other Misconceptions, has a unique premise. Driscoll polled his young urban, Seattle congregation and compiled the top nine questions they had concerning religion and religious perspectives. He then addressed each question from a biblical worldview. What resulted were a sermon series and this book.
The subject matter of the questions are quite eclectic ranging in everything from birth control, humor, predestination, grace, sexual sin, faith and works, dating, the Emerging Church, and the regulative principle. Driscoll has a very clear writing style and does a good job in researching each topic. His ability to concisely cover each of these weighty topics in a single chapter and do them justice is quite a feat.
I personally found his chapters on birth control, dating, and the Emerging Church to be some of the best summations on each topic that I have read. I would note that the chapter on the Emerging Church is a must-read for anyone hoping to discern what is taking place in this movement.
The chapter on humor is a very interesting chapter that is bound to stir some debate. Driscoll’s use of humor has been one of his more controversial targets by critics. I thought the chapter wasn’t quite as radical as I expected and he makes some very good observations. However, I do think that he stretches some Scriptures to justify the use of humor. For example, Driscoll states that “one of his favorite funny stories” is the one where Noah got drunk and lay naked in his tent. In understanding the context of the story and the reactions of Noah’s sons, this was not a funny story but completely the opposite.
Also, I thought the chapter on the Regulative Principle (“Does theology regulate just our theology but our methodology, too?”) to be a little underwhelming – especially since it was the number one question. Unlike the rest of the book, Driscoll doesn’t seem to be as clear concerning the conclusions although many of his points are good ones.
All in all, Religion Saves is a good book. Driscoll deals with each subject matter in a whimsical yet thoughtful manner. I would especially recommend this book as a good reference point for those who may have questions concerning some key theological and cultural issues, wanting a thorough summation without having to buy an entire book on each subject. As a bonus, I also liked the retro design of the book evoking the nostalgic feel of a textbook from the 1950’s. – Todd Burgett, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
After 343,203 online votes on the Mars Hill Church website, nine questions for Pastor Mark Driscoll emerged as the ones most urgently calling for answers.
Inspired by 1 Corinthians, in which Paul answers a series of questions posed by the people in the Corinthian church, Pastor Mark Driscoll set out to determine the most controversial questions among visitors to the Mars Hill Church website. In the end, 893 questions were asked and 343,203 votes were cast. The top nine questions are now each answered in a chapter of Religion Saves.
After an introductory chapter devoted to the misconception that religion is what saves us, Driscoll tackles nine issues: birth control, humor, predestination, grace, sexual sin, faith and works, dating, the emerging church, and the regulative principle.
Because the purpose of this book is to address commonly asked questions, all readers will find relevant, engaging material, written in Driscoll’s distinctively edgy, yet theologically sound style.