Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Mark Dirscoll, the founding Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, is well known throughout the US and the world for his hard hitting, no nonsense preaching of the Bible. So to pick up a Mark Driscoll book, such as His latest project Who Do You Think You Are, one might expect to be confronted with their sin, exhorted to repent and challenged to live an uncompromising lifestyle that is free from religious hypocrisy. But, although Pastor Mark does address each of these areas in a less direct way, the primary focus of the new book is on finding your true identity in Christ.
The book is a verse by verse study of the book of Ephesians, in keeping consistent with the exegetical teaching found at Mars Hill Church, which Pastor Mark and his staff have engaged in aggressively since the church began in the mid 90s. However, for those who fear boring, dry, theological musings, you will find the book is not a theology text, but a practical living manual centered around the one theme of who you are in Christ, which is emphasized continually in the book of Ephesians.
In the first chapter of the book, entitled "I Am _______", Pastor Mark begins by discussing the subjects of worship and idolatry. He draws out these points by stressing that "What you do doesn't determine who you are. Rather, who you are in Christ determines what you do." (Pg. 3). He proceeds to break down the letters of the word IDOLS, with each showing an area of our lives that can easily become an idol, thereby distorting our identity in Christ.
Each chapter addresses one specific area of who we are as believers in Jesus, such as "I am appreciated", "I am loved" and other vital truths revealed in the six chapters of Ephesians. If the author had chosen to write about all of the 'in Christ' realities in Ephesians, he would have easily had to make 2-3 more books. Instead, Pastor Mark chose to focus on some of the most common areas Christians struggle, in forming their identity in Christ and answering the universal question of "who am I"?
Scattered throughout each chapter are also the stories of real life people who have had obstacles and sometimes horrific experiences to overcome in discovering their identity in Christ. And while their stories can sometimes be heart wrenching to hear, they clearly illustrate the truths that the author has endeavored to reveal. And, they also illustrate the power of the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to radically transform a life.
This book was given to me complimentary as a part of the book review program for bloggers at www.booksneeze.com. As a person who enjoys both verse by verse Bible teaching and the writings of Mark Driscoll, I was not in the least disappointed with the book Who Do You Think You Are. I recommend it highlyfor anyone, but especially to those who love good Bible teaching, and to those who struggle with realizing who they are in Christ.