Book Review: A Book You’ll Actually Read…
Mark Driscoll is one of my favourite Christian authors at the moment. I don’t always agree with how he does things, but I’ve never disagreed with what he says. His no nonsense delivery, almost non PC, is refreshing and challenging. And he’s dead set keen on showing people the Jesus of the Bible and not just wishy washy emotional religion. That appeals to me. Driscoll has four new books out in a series called A Book You’ll Actually Read. The four books are On The Old Testament, On The New Testament, On Church Leadership, and On Who is God.
These books were originally written for Driscoll to hand out to people at his Church who had questions on different issues. Once his congregation grew beyond a certain size, he found he was unable to meet with everyone one on one, but still wanted them to receive doctrinally sound answers to common questions. Now these books have been retooled and published for others to use.
On The New Testament and On The Old Testament are great books for Christians who are young in the faith. They help make reading the Bible not only achievable but desirable. They provide summaries of each book of the Bible, as well as dealing with issues such as the reliability of Scripture. The answers are short, concise and convincing. At the back is a list of resources that not only point the reader in further directions for study but also encourage the reader to study further. I’d recommend these two books for anyone who is looking to get started reading the Bible for themselves, but don’t know where to start and need a good push. It’s also a simple place to start if someone has questions about the authority of Scripture and the formation of the cannon.
On Church Leadership is a book that explains the leadership decisions of Driscoll’s Church from a Biblical position. Issues such as Biblical authority and women’s ministry are dealt with in this book. The purpose of this book seems to be to solidly state the position of Mars Hill Church. If after reading this book you disagree with Driscoll, then the feeling I get is that you are encouraged to go elsewhere. I appreciate this approach. He has thoughtfully, derived from Scripture, put down in writing his position. If you don’t agree with him, he isn’t going to change, so you should leave. It’s better to be up front with your views so as to avoid trouble later. I’d recommend this book for those in Church leadership, to help them to make their structures and understanding of Scripture clear.
On Who Is God is a book that canvasses what we know about God from Scripture. It outlines some heretical views on God and demonstrates why they are wrong. It is recommended for those who want an elementary text to start exploring the doctrine of God.
These books are great starting points. They are short and to the point. They are a bare bones approach to the topics – short on illustrations, but full of information. They shouldn’t take more than an hour each to read. As a pastor, it’s worth having a few copies of each on your shelf – one to help get you started with sermons etc, and a couple to give away. You can find these books at the Bible Society NSW Bookshop.