Review: Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe by Mark Driscoll
Mark Driscoll is the lead pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. It's a megachurch with over 8000 people in attendance. Mark is also the founder of the church planting network/wanna-be denomination called Acts 29.
I picked up Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe and began to work through it with one of the interns on our church staff.
We waded up through chapter 6 before putting it down this week. One caveat... if you're searching for what Christians believe and really want to know... and you're a patient reader, this book is easily digestible. It's not horrible. It's just.. well, boring.
It should be a crime to write a book about God who is most beautiful, loving, grace-saturated and self-sacrificing and be as dry and stale as this book is. If it were, put Driscoll and his coauthor Gerry Breshears in handcuffs.
If a person is not aware that there are other theology books out there written better, this might be a good place to start. It's not inspiring or breath-taking even though it is intended to portray a God who is and whose teachings match His character.
To be fair, there are a few spots that are very good. I would not hesitate to recommend the book to a college reading group or for one-on-one discipleship purposes with a new believer - if there are no other choices available and if they have already purchased the book. However, I got the impression throughout the book that it is more for Driscoll's church than a wider audience.
Driscoll is a dynamic leader and powerful personality in young Christian leadership circles. I appreciate that he upholds God's Word as authoritative and that he's unafraid to stand firm on its teachings. This book, however, will be no classic. It's good but not great.
Driscoll may have discovered that his book (only about $15) and short is a wise entry into the overall marker of Christian theology books. It's a savvy marketing decision because most of the good ones are rather large and in the $25-$40 range. With that said, if you're looking for a good, solid read on theology or the teachings of Christianity, I would suggest:
The two above are meaty. If you're not quite ready to dive into something like that, you might try..
John Stott's Basic Christianity
What other books would you recommend for someone wanting to ground themselves in the essential teachings of Christianity?