I received Driscoll's new book as a free gift for attending the Text and Context conference. Prior to receiving the book, I had read Challies review and had seen the uproar the book has caused, especially in some more conservative circles.
So I was interested to read this book for two reasons. First, because I had never actually read a Driscoll book. Second, to see if all the criticism and naysaying was warranted.
After reading it, I have to tell you that I really don't get what everyone's up in arms about. Not only is this book a solid book on Christology and an absolutely through defense of Jesus, it's just downright funny and I suspect is going to be a powerful book along with Keller's "The Reason For God" in helping many churches hand good books to non-believing Christians to introduce them to what Christianity truly is about, namely Jesus.
To give you an idea, one of the blurb writers for the book is J.I. Packer. Do you really think Packer would lend his good name to a book that he believed was heathen or out of bounds. And I think that's what's driving so many people nuts is that they want to paint Driscoll as some out of control freak show, but they can't figure out for the life of them why guys like Piper, Mahaney, Keller, and Dever are building and developing strong pastoral relationships with the guy.
There's a huge effort out there to discredit him, but the more that is pushed, the more he is embraced and pastored by the modern-day apostles of the church. I digress.
The book is 12 chapters, has all the right indices, and is really a good read. It's all about Jesus and the various aspects of Christology. Since it's a book taken from a sermon series, you would expect it to be the same engaging style Driscoll always has.
As a side note, I saw a different Mark Driscoll than I've listened to when I was in Seattle last week. The man, from my perspective, is changing and growing. And that was evident last week. As God continues to work in him and through Mars Hill, I think the best is still in front of them and I think Driscoll could become even more influential than he is right now.
Anywho, good book and I'll leave you with an excerpt that flat made me crack up on the plane home from Seattle:
At this time I was also going to a Catholic church with my parents and in Sunday school they started telling us about Jesus. As they explained Jesus, I wondered if maybe his mom, Mary, had actually given Jesus a lobotomy. The Jesus I was told about could easily have passed for one of the kids in the ghetto daycares near my house who were pumped so full of NyQuil they would sit quietly and drool on themselves while watching cartoons until their moms came to pick them up after work.....Worse still, this weird Jesus seemed to really like sheep. I never saw a picture of him with a baseball glove or other kids, but I did see him with a lot of sheep. Sometimes they even made us glue cotton balls to construction paper in an effort to make our own sheep so that we could apparently be as weird as Jesus. In short, Jesus seemed downright freakish, definitely not the kind of guy you'd want on your baseball team because he'd never have the guts to slide hard into second to break up a double play or throw inside to a batter to back him off the plate. Rather, he'd prefer to pick flowers in the outfield and daydream about fluffy sheep while praying for his enemies and keeping his emotions under control. (pg 41-42)Driscoll then goes on to describe a very different Jesus that the Bible portrays. You have to read the book.