Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mark Driscoll + Hipster Christianity

Cool + Christ = Hipster Faith is the feature article in the current issue of the magazine Christianity Today. Having 3 kids in the relevant generation, I found the article absorbing .Dozens of traditional Christian icons are repudiated by this new wave of Jesus followers. End-time hysteria, Adventures in Odyssey, the Ten Commandments in courtrooms and tract distribution are among the new pariahs. Passionate concern for social justice, organic meals, church liturgy and outings to microbreweries are the new normals. (To learn more about this phenomenon? movement? fad? wave? read Brett McCracken's Hipster Christianity).

Shock jock Mark Driscoll, described in the article as "the polarizing Howard Stern of neo-Calvinist Christianity" is in with this gang.
Matthew, a former staff member at the store, just graduated from Regent College in Vancouver. In his mid-20s, well-educated, thoughtful, he was a perfect choice for a review of Mark Driscoll's latest book, Doctrine - What Christians Should Believe. You can imagine my astonishment when I read his scathing post. Far from affirming, Mat blasts Driscoll's scholarship and conclusions. Here we go.

I was asked to read Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears and provide my reflections on its content. I have read some of Driscoll’s previous works, and was impressed with them. However, this was not the case with Doctrine. Both the publisher and the authors make bold claims about the book’s credentials. First, they claim scholarly pedigree. The suggestion is that this book is worthy of serious, even academic, study; rather than for merely devotional purposes. This is a goal worthy of commendation, since it is a necessary and important one.

Second, it
claims to be an accurate representation of what genuine and normative Christian beliefs must look like. I believe both these claims are false, and from reading it, I am convinced that this book lacks the credibility to make them.

Doctrine
makes claim of how the text should be used, yet does not follow this itself. It minimizes scholars because they have a different view on various issues, without naming them or presenting argumentation. It misrepresents translation theory, and naively minimizes the role and function of the Septuagint. Christian doctrine, it must be remembered, rests entirely on God’s revelation. The Bible is the surest record of this. If one misuses it everything collapses. Since Doctrine misuses the Bible, why should I trust anything they say?

Even though Doctrine makes many good points,
is filled with great truth, and portrays many elements Christians should believe, I cannot be certain these claims hold water because they are built on a faulty foundation. This book is not meaty, but Tofu; not universally Christian, but Driscollian Christian.

Doctrine, and the sermon series from which it evolved, is a
prerequisite for membership at Mars Hill Church. This will be the impact of the book. If you are not a fan of Driscoll, it is doubtful Doctrine will change your mind. If you are a fan, and agree theologically with him, Doctrine will go far to cement your worldview. For those who are indifferent to Driscoll, I see nothing in this book that lives up to its claims, or any reason to read this in order to understand Christian doctrine. If you read to challenge your mind, Doctrine will fail you. If you read to probe your heart, it will fail you as well. In a nut shell there are better books than this one to present Christian doctrine. For full review see....http://cstheo.blogspot.com

--Mat

2 comments:

  1. It may merely be my problem, but the link doesn't work for me

    ReplyDelete
  2. It should be just http://cstheo.blogspot.com
    not blogger/cstheo...

    ReplyDelete