Saturday, February 22, 2014

Review: Mark Driscoll’s A Call to Resurgence

Mark Driscoll. A Call to Resurgence. Tyndale House, 2013. 336. $9.20 Kindle. $14.93 Paperback.

A Call to Resurgence is a clarion call for Christians to rise out of the ashes of Christendom (8) and the Moral Majority and return to a spoken gospel focusing on Jesus Christ’s finished work (24) and work towards unity with different tribes within the Church. A lot of the first chapters were heavy on politics, social issues, and cultural issues. He traces the history of evangelicalism starting with the beginning of the nineteenth century and looks at issues like pornography, father hunger, and homosexuality to show how Christendom died.

Driscoll then classifies the Christian tribes (for the record, I hate the term tribes) within the Church. He starts this section with a brief defense of the Elephant Room 2 debacle and T. D. Jakes. The main point of the entire fiasco, according to Driscoll, was T. D. Jakes didn’t know other Christian leaders in his tribe. “The point is that Christianity has become so splintered and separated that even Christian leaders don’t know each other” (85). Ironically, he says later that when he is talking about fellowship between tribes, he’s “not talking about tolerating false-teaching wolves who, in the name of false unity, love the sheep in order to feast on them” (115).

Reading parts of this section and the book as a whole take me back to reading Confessions of a Reformission Rev. The style departs from recent works like Who Do You Think You Are? (more tamed, less pomp) and returns to the style of his early works like Confession. There’s lots of jokes, punch lines, self depreciation, and a kind of jabbing at possible criticism through out. Not all of those are bad. Humor can certainly help make a book more readable. Also, you get all the normal Driscollisms--Seattle has more pets than kids, tribal leaders, national and state borders. I kept thinking that this book kind of feels like a collection or synthesis of Driscoll’s teaching over the years.

The book ends by discussing the topics of the Holy Spirit and his empowerment for Christian living and fulfilling the Church’s mission, repentance, and missional principles for resurgence. Overall, A Call to Resurgence represents the paradoxical nature of Driscoll’s preaching, teaching, and ministry. You have head-scratchers and crystal clear explanations of the gospel all in one book. You have quotable one liners and also an intangible genericness. Driscoll fanboys will eat this up, but if you’re looking for fresh insight into the state of the Church, you’ll probably be disappointed.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Mathew Sims is the author of A Household Gospel Fulfilling the Great Commission in Our Homes and also writes for CBMW Men’s blog, Gospel Centered Discipleship, and Servants of Grace. He’s married to LeAnn and they have three daughters. He also loves to read, hike in the woods, and cook. They attend Downtown Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Greenville, SC.

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