Saturday, January 05, 2013

Who Do You Think You Are?

I'm an unlikely fan of Mark Driscoll's preaching & books, but I'm a fan. He's thoughtful about the Bible and I appreciate his candor.  (As I said last year when I reviewed his book Real Marriage, I like his "straight/no chaser" approach.)  When his publisher offered me a review copy of his latest, Who Do You Think You Are?, I was excited to check it out.

Driscoll is with a new publisher and I suspect he's getting more editorial input than before.  The results are great: reading him now feels like you're in a conversation, rather than a fight.  That's a good thing :)

The center of Who Do You Think You Are? is our search for identity. I think this would be an especially good read for anyone going through a tough patch.  Driscoll reminds us of who God says we are in blunt, factual way (rather than the sappy "hug yourself because you're so wonderful" junk that exacerbates hopelessness).  The encouragement is solid because it's based on something real you can lean into.

I get tripped up on a few of Driscoll's word choices -- I'm not sure about the use of "image" as a verb.  But that's stylistic.  Substantively, this is a really good book, and it gets better as it goes on.  One of my favorite sections makes this point about prayer:

"The true test of your theology is not just what you say, but how you pray.  If others listened in on your prayer life, would they hear you praying the kind of prayers that could only be answered if God really showed up in a big way? Do you truly believe down deep in your gut that God can do more than you can ask or imagine?"

A real strength of this book is Driscoll's skill in setting out provocative questions, then following them with points to help readers improve our answers.

And a note for those put off by Driscoll's hyper-conservative theology and extreme take on gender roles: there's not much of that in this book. (Again, hooray for good editing!)  I may not agree with everything Driscoll says, but I don't thing that's necessary to get a lot out of a book.  Four stars.

*Thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing the review copy - there was no obligation to post a positive review.

1 comment:

Mandie SheWritesStories said...

Oh my Trish, I don't want to seem like I'm commenting on every little thing, but I work in translations and I'm waiting for a report, and in my down time I'm reading all of your book recommendations. I love Driscoll too, although I couldn't tell you if I'm a complementarian or an egaliatarian. I was raised pente-baptist if that makes sense. Thanks for the book review!