Monday, March 4, 2013

Identity & Idolatry - Reviewing Driscoll's Newest Book

Back on January 26 I promised a review of Mark Driscoll's newest book,  Who Do You Think You Are: Finding Your True Identity in Christ. In the interest of full disclosure, and in conformity to my book review policy, I' informing you that I received a free pre-publication copy of the book from the publisher as part of their program for bloggers. However, I would review it the same had I paid full price for it.

This book is a study of identity, based on Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians. I have read Ephesians countless times, and have read many commentaries and studies on the book. But until now, I have never read or heard anyone point out something Driscoll does. Every commentator points out that the Book of Ephesians has too parts: Chapters 1-3 are theological in nature, and chapters 4-6 are more practical. Driscoll adds a unique (to me anyway) insight that chapters 1-3 are about identity in Christ, and chapters 4-6 attack the idols in his readers lives based on that understanding of their true identity. That makes perfect sense to me. 

Those two themes have come up over and over in my recent reading of books and of Scripture. I think God is trying to tell me, and tell us, something important. I've published a lot of quotes from the book on this issue over the past month to emphasize this point. Getting identity right- knowing who you are in Christ, is foundational to Christian living. Once that is settled, you can then reject the competing idols of other sources of meaning and identity.

I have read several (but not all) of Driscoll's previous books. I have not found anything in the ones I have read that I seriously disagree with. Pastor Driscoll is controversial, and I certainly am not going to blanket endorse everything he has written or done. However, anyone who has built a church as large as his in one of the most unchurched cities in America deserves at least some benefit of the doubt.

There is nothing flashy or unique about his treatment of Ephesians, other than the insight mentioned above. It's just good solid Bible teaching on two themes that are sorely needed by Christians today. I got a lot of of it - could you tell by all the quotes I published? 

I recommend the book.