Thursday, March 25, 2010

In Store Now - Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe

Yesterday we received the newest book from Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe.  I know several of my customers have asked every time they were in the store if it had arrived yet.  Well, it's here!  Incidentally, Gerry Breshears was on Prime Time America yesterday talking about the book.  Since the book came out to the floor just before I was leaving from work I didn't have much time to look at it.  But I did notice the chart on page 267 on views of the extent of the atonement.  Listed are five views: "Heresy of 'Christian' Universalism," "Heresy of Contemporary Pelagianism," "Unlimited Atonement," "Limited Atonement," and "Unlimited Limited Atonement."  That last one is not a mistake.  I've seen this from Driscoll before and it has never impressed me.  He says, "Simply, by dying for everyone, Jesus purchased everyone as his possession, and he then applies his forgiveness to the elect--those in Christ--by grace, and applies his wrath to the non-elect--those who reject Christ.  Objectively, Jesus' death was sufficient to save anyone, and, subjectively, only efficient to save those who repent of their sin and trust in him.  This position is called unlimited limited atonement, or modified Calvinism, and arguably is the position that John Calvin himself held as a very able Bible teacher."  (270)  But this is only one observation based on a quick skimming of the book.  I'll spend some more time with it later. 

The catalog description follows:
"Doctrine is the word Christians use to define the truth-claims revealed in Holy Scripture. Of course there is a multitude of churches, church networks, and denominations, each with their own doctrinal statement with many points of disagreement. But while Christians disagree on a number of doctrines, there are key elements that cannot be denied by anyone claiming to be a follower of Jesus."
"In Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe, Driscoll and Breshears teach thirteen of these key elements. This meaty yet readable overview of basic doctrine will help Christians clarify and articulate their beliefs in accordance with the Bible."
Here are few of the reviews:

"I like Doctrine very much. It is a relatively short, clear, and accurate topical summary of biblical teachings, focused on the practical application of doctrine. There is much here to aid readers who have thought in the past that theology was too complicated, uninteresting, or irrelevant. This book is none of those things. It takes off on wings of eagles. It is so important today that believers understand and become committed to all that God's Word says. This book is a wonderful tool to help them do that."
John M. Frame, Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando

"I offer my unlimited limited endorsement of Doctrine. It's limited with respect to acknowledging that not everyone needs to agree with every point of doctrine outlined in the book in order to benefit from the fair-minded treatment that Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears give to each of the Christian doctrines examined. In areas where Christians are known to hold differing views, Driscoll and Breshears respectfully outline options before clearly stating their own beliefs. It's unlimited with respect to wholeheartedly embracing the clear ambition of the book. In an age when people, even Christians, place such high personal value on internal experience, we desperately need to look outside ourselves—to the doctrines of the Bible—to truly hear and receive the good news of Jesus Christ."
James H. Gilmore, author, The Experience Economy and Authenticity

"Christianity is ineradicably doctrinal, and, contrary to popular instincts, doctrine unites, as Paul makes clear in Romans 16:17. The question for church leaders, therefore, is how to communicate Christian doctrine in a clear, faithful, and winsome way. It is therefore a pleasure to commend this book, an excellent primer in basic Christian teaching. It will serve as an introduction for new Christians, a refresher for church members, and a good text for Sunday school classes. Highly recommended."
Carl R. Trueman, Academic Dean and Vice President, Westminster Theological Seminary

Mark Driscoll is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, one of the fastest-growing churches in America. He is president of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network and is the author of several books, including Vintage Jesus.

Gerry Breshears is professor of theology and chairman of the division of biblical and theological studies at Western Seminary.

Doctrine is from Crossway with 464 pages and sells for $21.99.

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