Sunday, June 22, 2008

review of Vintage Jesus

I just finished "Vintage Jesus" by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears today. I have to say that I was surprised by the content and the frankness of the book in general. For as little as I had known about Mark before the book, which was what I'm sure the average person knows (a hothead preacher who spits venom and is only awake at night in order to stay away from the sun), the book was solid. Questions were the titles of all chapters, and thus he set out to answer those questions. Very straight forward.

As a great apologetic tool as well as Christology, Vintage surprised me with the explanations to almost all questions. The most important message to take home from the book is biblical supremacy. Mark and Gerry do not shy away from first saying what God tells us, and then from there drawing either contemporary or ancient ideas to compare with the Word of God. Mark uses examples from all around our culture without covering up who our culture thinks Jesus is. I enjoyed this because too often people take the culture and do one of two things with it; either they embrace it to incorporate it into the Kingdom of God, or they find it so wrong that even in talking about it they cover up what our culture says about Jesus. It is as if the latter camp by saying these things about Jesus believe that this is now attributed to them. It is not, as long as we follow the example of Mark and Gerry, by comparing it the Word, not incorporating it into the Word.

I will be sprinkling some thoughts from this book throughout future blogs, so more of the beef will come out. This is due to the many topics within the 12 chapters each one discusses.

My final two points. First, a critique. I laughed out loud at times when Mark talked like Mark. This is to say that he swung for the fences and took no prisoners in these comments. I would suggest, however, that he can retain the humor without creating casualties at the same time. Second, a praise. In not only a time of postmodernism, but also coming from someone (Mark) who has spent significant time conversing with those upholding this view and the many conclusions that come out of it (because, well, what conclusions can one draw when they lead to more questions?), it is refreshing that a stance for Truth can be found inside the Emergent label. If we screw up Jesus, we have a different god. But if we draw from the Word, the source, then we can paint Jesus not with our own strokes, but with His hand guiding ours. We can't afford to get Jesus wrong because simply, we need a Savior that only God provides, not the personal savior of our desires and sinful nature.

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