Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Book Review: Religion Saves + Nine Other misconceptions

Written by Mark Driscoll

When I was offered the opportunity to write a review of Religion Saves I jumped at the chance. If you know me, you know I've had a difficult time reading serious Christian writing for a while. So much of it either rubs me the wrong way or I simply don't understand what the writer is trying to convey.

Neither of these problems occured while I read Religion Saves.

Meet Pastor Mark 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

Learn more about Pastor Mark and Mars Hill Church by copying this link:


The Book

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 after the vote, 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.

The Low Down

Nine questions, perhaps not the nine that I personally would ask, but interesting and thought provoking questions regardless. I admit that I did not read this book cover to cover. Instead, I read the introduction and then dove right into the chapters that interested me most, of course I read every chapter.

I started with question nine: Birth Control. It's a subject that I have struggled with for years. Do we? Should we? Are we bad Christians if we do? Are we bad Christians if we don't? It's a tough question with no easy answers and I was glad to find such concise and biblically sound thoughts on the subject from Pastor Mark.

I'll also admit to reading portions of it allowed and saying, "Boy would this tick so-and-so off!" But, I'm just snarky that way.

What I didn't expect was a history of birth control along with a pointed discussion of today's methodology. I agreed with everything I read, but more importantly, I felt that the author made a point of being real. Pastor Mark is a sincere man whose desire to follow God is evident in each word.

I moved on to the chapters on Predestination, Grace, Dating and The Emerging Church (a hot topic in my circle I assure you!). I cannot say that I agreed with every point, but that's good a thing. Pastor Mark made me think and think hard. Why do I believe what I believe and how do I apply this belief in my every-day life.

I found the chapter on Predestination to be one of the best explanations of the topic I've ever read. I read it twice, just to make sure I was certain I understood what Pastor Mark was saying. Thanks for clearing a few things up for me Pastor!

I could ramble on and on about Religion Saves. I liked the book and the topics that were addressed. I enjoyed Pastor Mark's obvious passion for the word of God and his many attempts at humor (although written humor sometimes falls short).

The time I spent reading this book was time well spent and I've added it to the list of books I believe each of my children should read before they get too long in the tooth.

I think you should read it also. You may not agree with every point made; I didn't, but I believe you will be challenged and better informed on a variety of topics.

To read more reviews of this book, please go here:


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