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"Doctrine - What Christians Should Believe" by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears

Discussion in 'Reformed Book Review Room' started by AndOne, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. AndOne

    AndOne Deliver me oh Lord, from evil men

    United States
    3 STARS out of 5 (this is my amazon review of the book)

    This is definately not the best book out there that I've read on the subject of Christian doctrine - although I will say I did enjoy reading this book. It is definately written for the average layman and quite easy to understand - and despite its length is easy to get through in a reasonable amount of time. It's well organized and for the most part this book well documented.

    There are some problems however which bear mentioning. Though it is a minor mistake the statement was made that Jesus is a direct decendant of Joseph - which is incorrect. If I recall correctly it was Judah.

    Also there are two times that the theologian John Calvin is mentioned negatively and yet no detailed footnotes are provided to document from which writtings. On page 132 he is accused of claiming that the human soul alone "is the defining aspect of what it means to be human" - essentially putting him on the same ground as Hinuism and Sikhism. As someone who has read a lot of Calvin I have yet to come across this accusation in any of his teachings. There was no footnote provided to show where Calvin is perported to have taught this.

    Calvin is also accused of interpreting the scriptural descriptions of hell as being metaphorical (pg 424-425) - yet the footnote only lists volume II of the institutes as a reference. Ah - Volume II is like 242 pages long - I would say this should be narrowed down a bit.

    I'm a bit perplexed as to why this was done - Driscoll has made no apologies for the fact that he is Calvinist - so one would assume that some Calvinsts are going to read this book and question these claims regarding the teachings of Calvin. Personally I believe they are incorrect and the lack of documentation proves it.

    Another issue I had with the book is the constant going to N.T. Wright as a good resource on the resurrection. I'm not going to go into why I think this is a bad idea - but anyone who is concerned with the doctrine of Justification will know what I'm talking about.

    In closing I'll say that I do love Mark Driscoll and that I listen to every podcast I can get my hands on with him preaching. Despite the issues I have with the book - I think they are minor and this book is still worth reading - particularly chapters 6 - 9 which are incredible and the book is worth reading for these chapters alone. But - the sermon series of the same title (which you can get for free on iTunes) is much better.
    A better book to read and for use in small groups is Wayne Grudem's "Systematic Theology."
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  2. Hammster

    Hammster Safeism is the new religion. Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

    United States
    I have issues, obviously, with N. T. Wright on justification. But he is cited by many as one of the leading authorities on the resurrection. Other than that, good review.
  3. SatisfiedNHim

    SatisfiedNHim Newbie

    My sons (college age) read "Doctrine". Both told me that they felt like it didn't give enough explanation - in essence, it was too simple. I see Driscoll's reasoning in writing it that way though. The three of us are reading Grudem's "Systematic Theology" and we are loving it!
  4. Renee Arisen

    Renee Arisen Member

    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015