I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Vintage Jesus by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears. Driscoll is the pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington and has risen in national attention because of his connections with the “emerging church movement.” Thankfully Driscoll’s firm commitment to sound theology has distanced himself from much of the “emerging church elite” and their neo-orthodox leanings.
Thus, Vintage Jesus turns out to be a unique read. Driscoll, with help from one of his seminary professors, Dr. Gerry Breshears (Western Seminary), has put together a great tool for introducing someone to the person and work of Jesus. Especially if that someone is under the age of 40.
Driscoll’s aim is to introduce and bring clarity to such biblical doctrines surrounding Christ as the incarnation, atonement, resurrection, etc. However, he’s not just writing another book on the subject of Christology but tries to surround these doctrines with lingo and references for a younger audience who may not be familiar with such doctrines. Driscoll’s style is very readable and his treatment of the doctrines of Christ are clear and understandable without being “dumbed down.”
Driscoll and Breshears have put together a nice format for each chapter. Each chapter covers a key aspect of Christology and Driscoll has included much opinions and quotes from notable people in history and pop culture then weighs in as to what scripture has to say. Breshears concludes out each chapter by answering frequently asked questions on the particular doctrine. All in all the format is very readable and has a nice flow to it.
This meshing of theology and “relevance” will not satisfy everyone. Case in point, Driscoll refers to Jesus as a “dude” and sometimes uses crass euphemisms to make a point. No doubt that will offend many a church-goer or those more prone to a pristine approach. However, I personally thought of one young un-churched man that this book would be good for and bought him a copy.
In fact, my greatest worry about a book like Vintage Jesus is just how dated it may seem in 5, 10 or 15 years. The pop culture references, although timely for bridge-building today, will become passé or even laughable in a matter of time. Thankfully the theology presented is what is truly relevant because the biblical doctrines are timeless.
All in all, I would recommend Vintage Jesus as an introduction for anyone under 40 as to the work and person of Christ. However, my one caution is that Driscoll’s use of slang to connect to the unchurched may offend some. Pick up a copy of Vintage Jesus for the Starbucks or Blockbuster employee you’ve been sharing Christ with. Todd Burgett, ChristianBookPreviews.com
Some two thousand years after he walked the earth, Jesus Christ is still a hot topic. And for all the ridiculous, twisted, Da Vinci Code-esque conspiracy theories and lies about Jesus that have permeated popular culture and even the academy over the years, the truth about his character, nature, and work has not changed. So what exactly is the truth about Jesus Christ?
That’s the question the authors of Vintage Jesus seek to answer by breaking it down into a number of sub-questions about Jesus, including Is Jesus the only God? Why did Jesus come to earth? Did Jesus rise from death? Why should we worship Jesus? and others. Nonbelievers and new Christians looking to sit down and delve into the topic of Jesus, asking the toughest, most confounding questions they can think of, will find solid, biblical answers presented in a relevant, accessible way.