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Death by Love: Letters from the Cross (Re:Lit:Vintage Jesus) [Kindle Edition]

Mark Driscoll , Gerry Breshears
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Real people. Real sin. Transformed lives. A compilation of heartfelt letters written from a pastor to his people that explains Jesus' work on the cross.

Death by Love is a unique book on the cross of Jesus Christ. While many books debate the finer points of the doctrine of the atonement, what is often lost are the real-life implications of Jesus' death on the cross for those who have sinned and have been sinned against. Written in the form of pastoral letters, Death by Love outlines the twelve primary effects of Jesus' death on the cross and connects each to the life of a different individual.

Driscoll, one of America's most influential pastors, and Breshears, a respected theologian, help readers understand, appreciate, and trust in Jesus' work on the cross in a way that will transform their lives. Both deeply theological and intensely practical, this book shows how everyone can find hope through the death of Jesus Christ.

"This book is brutally honest about sin and suffering, and wonderfully hopeful as it points us to our true Savior."

Timothy S. Lane, Executive Director, Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation

"The stories portrayed in the chapters of this book are all too real, but more importantly, the pastoral responses offer riveting applications of the cross for true and lasting transformation."
Bruce A. Ware, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Practical and powerful. It applies the sufficiency of Jesus to the real-life challenges we face in the church every day. If you work with hurting people you need Death by Love."
Dan Jarrell, Teaching Pastor, ChangePoint Church, Anchorage, Alaska

"A key reason for my confidence in this book is its brilliant presentation of the historic theology of the cross and how it defends reprehensible attacks against it."
Gregg R. Allison, Associate Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"The authors connect squarely with our ever-changing culture, declaring the central doctrine of Jesus' death and why it is important."
Bill Mounce, President, BiblicalTraining.org



Editorial Reviews

Review

-This book is brutally honest about sin and suffering, and wonderfully hopeful as it points us to our true Savior.- Timothy S. Lane, Executive Director, Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation -The stories portrayed in the chapters of this book are all too real, but more importantly, the pastoral responses offer riveting applications of the cross for true and lasting transformation.- Bruce A. Ware, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary -Practical and powerful. It applies the sufficiency of Jesus to the real-life challenges we face in the church every day. If you work with hurting people you need Death by Love.- Dan Jarrell, Teaching Pastor, ChangePoint Church, Anchorage, Alaska -A key reason for my confidence in this book is its brilliant presentation of the historic theology of the cross and how it defends reprehensible attacks against it.- Gregg R. Allison, Associate Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary -The authors connect squarely with our ever-changing culture, declaring the central doctrine of Jesus- death and why it is important.- Bill Mounce, President, BiblicalTraining.org

Review

"Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears demonstrate with great pastoral skill how rich the gospel is for addressing the common and not so common battles of daily living. The Christian message of a man dying on a cross to rescue wayward sinners and sufferers can seem remote and irrelevant. Yet, Mark and Gerry take the many facets of this diamond we know as the grace of God revealed to us in Christ's life, death, and resurrection and show how powerfully relevant it is for us today. What is so encouraging is that their emphasis on living the Christian life is rooted solidly in the person and work of Jesus. As a pastor and counselor, I was encouraged personally as I read each story and strengthened in my confidence that the gospel is truly sufficient for all who seek rest in a weary world. This book is brutally honest about sin and suffering and wonderfully hopeful as they point us to our true Savior."
Timothy S. Lane, Executive Director, The Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation

"Unabashedly bold and yet at times touchingly tender, Mark Driscoll's voice has the ring of a modern-day Puritan. The authors have written a book that will, like few others, encourage, comfort, instruct, challenge and perhaps even occasionally enrage the body of Christ. Death by Love has all the makings of a modern classic of applied Reformed spirituality, with a pastoral twist. It deserves to be read, weighed, and deeply considered."
Gary Thomas, Author, Sacred Marriage; The Beautiful Fight

"In an age when many Christian leaders plunder pop psychology or tear pages from the latest self-esteem bestseller to bring 'practical' help to struggling people, Death by Love demonstrates that the greatest help and the only true solutions to our corrupt natures are found at the cross of Christ. The stories portrayed in the chapters of this book are all too real, but more importantly, the pastoral responses offer riveting applications of the cross for true and lasting transformation."
Bruce A. Ware, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"It seems that most if not everything cherished as the historic Christian faith is under attack today. Nowhere is this attack more fiercely waged than against the theology of the cross of Christ. A key reason for my confidence in this book is its brilliant presentation of the historic theology of the cross and how it defends reprehensible attacks against it."
Gregg R. Allison, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"It has been said that the church of the next generation will be led by those who can teach doctrine winsomely. Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears demonstrate that kind of leadership, and this work is an example of their skill. It is practical and powerful. It applies the sufficiency of Jesus to the real-life challenges we face in the church each and every day. If you work with hurting people you need Death by Love."
Dan Jarrell, Teaching Pastor, ChangePoint Church, Anchorage, Alaska

"I can't remember the last time a book about theology made me this emotional. I got angry and uplifted and stunned and encouraged in almost every chapter! This is an inspiring book from an ingenious idea. Since Christian theology was formed in real-life letters written to real people in the New Testament, why not teach theology through letters to real people in the twenty-first century? Mark Driscoll is an outspoken, in-your-face pastor. Gerry Breshears is a soft-spoken, precise theologian. Death by Love, written by both, reads like an epistle from the apostles Paul and Peter-precision-tooled and passionate and completely impossible to put down. This may be the first time you ever found theology both outrageous and logical, challenging and comforting, but never boring."
Rene Schlaepfer, Senior Pastor, Twin Lakes Church, Santa Cruz, California

"There is joy in reading a teaching pastor and a preaching teacher firmly rooted in historical doctrine. The authors connect squarely with our ever-changing culture, declaring the central doctrine of Jesus' death and why it is important. Both Mark and Gerry write with expected frankness, clarity, and depth of conviction. Thank you."
William D. Mounce, President, BiblicalTraining.org

"For anyone who thinks that theology is dry, boring, and disconnected to real life, read this book. Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears not only demonstrate the relevance of theology to life but convincingly show how it has the most compelling and satisfying answers to life's tough issues."
Clinton E. Arnold, Professor and Chairman, Department of New Testament, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

"Another incredible book by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears! At times this book will be painful for you to read, but it won't leave you where it finds you. It will leave you more in love with the God who died for you. It will leave you more resolved to devote your one and only life to his cause. I highly recommend this book, for students, professors, Christ followers, or those seeking the truth about Jesus. It will challenge the way you think and change the way you live."
John Bishop, Senior Pastor, Living Hope Church, Vancouver Washington; Founder, only god network


Product Details

  • File Size: 1632 KB
  • Print Length: 275 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1433501295
  • Publisher: Crossway Books (September 12, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001CDUQEO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,874 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Driscoll's Best Yet September 29, 2008
Format:Hardcover
Death by Love is Mark Driscoll's fourth book (or eighth if you count the "A Book You'll Actually Read" series of booklets released earlier this year by Crossway) and the second to be released in the 2008 calendar year. It follows Vintage Jesus, Confessions of a Reformission Rev. and The Radical Reformission. Along with Vintage Jesus it is the second to be co-written with Gerry Breshears. Death by Love is unique among Driscoll's books in that it is serious in tone from the first page to the last; gone is the sometimes-irreverent humor and gone is the biographical theme. In place comes a deadly-serious look at deadly-serious theology.

The book is written in quite a unique format. Following the model of the biblical epistles, Driscoll writes letters to his congregation--individuals who have come to him for pastoral counsel through the years of his ministry. He writes letters to address their issues in light of the gospel. "Our approach is an effort to show that there is no such thing as Christian community or Christian ministry apart from a rigorous theology of the cross that is practically applied to the lives of real people.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book on the Cross September 30, 2008
Format:Hardcover
The book is laid out as a set of twelve pastoral letters to people Driscoll has counseled, each section applying an aspect of the redemptive work of Jesus to their lives. With chapters like "My Wife Slept with My Friend," "My Dad Used to Beat Me," "My Wife Has a Brain Tumor" and "I Molested a Child," these letters are extremely heavy stuff. However, I found myself in tears more than once as I got to see the gospel given to broken, hurting people.

I really loved this book for a number of reasons. Let me offer two. First, the format is extremely helpful. I remember hearing Bryan Chapell comment that "If we try to apply a text to everyone, we reach nobody. If we apply it to a single individual, we reach everyone else too." I've read lots of books about the ideas Mark is discussing here. I can't think of any of them which have made me feel the truths as profoundly. I was especially struck by the chapters on justification and redemption; both ideas are far from new to me, but hearing them through different ears made me even more grateful for them myself.

Second, I really appreciate the breadth Driscoll assigns to Christ's work on the cross. He draws on twelve different aspects, ranging from the traditionally Protestant (justification, propitiation, imputation) to those which we often ignore (Christus Victor, Christus Exemplar, Jesus as the revelation of God). It is all too common to pit some of these "atonement theories" against each other in a way that the Bible, which teaches them all as an interconnected whole, does not in any way warrant. His chapter on Jesus as our example is especially helpful, drawing on all that goes into suffering with Christ and taking up our cross without thinking that this idea is somehow hostile to penal substitution or grace.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Driscoll nails it! September 23, 2008
Format:Hardcover
Mark Driscoll is accused of being many things. I would like to accuse him of being spot on in "Death By Love". His approach to this book is different than much of his previous writing - it is far more pastoral, with "letters" to people included. The goal of this book and these "letters" is to help people be transformed by the amazing grace that is Jesus Christ. Driscoll is Gospel centered in this book, and wise in his counsel. Jesus was victorious on the Cross, saving us from our sinful selves, and Driscoll does a good job of putting that into a perspective that applies to day-to-day living. While it is theological, it is not abstract. Driscoll doesn't shy away from tough or even potentially controversial subject matter. He approaches it head on and earnestly, giving his unapologetic style real world teeth.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good, but not what I'd hoped November 23, 2008
Format:Hardcover
When I heard about this book, the thing that interested me was that it took real life stories and told of their connection to Christ's death. Why is Jesus the answer for the woman who has been raped? Why is Jesus the answer for the pedophile? Why is Jesus the answer for the man whose wife has cheated on him?

I bought the book because in my own life, I often see a separation between hurting people and the gospel, I was hoping to gain insight as to how to counsel individuals who have gone through similar trauma. I think I was expecting more of a narrative. Each chapter starts with a short narrative, and each letter of response from Mark Driscoll begins very warmly and in the concrete, but I found myself struggling to track with the responses. There was a very definite demarcation between the "theology" part and the "real life" part. I was hoping there wouldn't be, which is why I bought the book. From the title, cover, and much of the letters written, I got the feeling Mark was trying to communicate that Christ's horrible suffering and death takes Him from an abstract theology to a very relatable, concrete personhood. The problem is that it's hard to relate to torture, and also hard to explain to people who are hurting that someone else's torture absorbs and alleviates their own.

All that being said, the book does give a great defense of substitutionary atonement. He explains it in very simple language. I was moved and inspired by the author's heart of love for each of the people he dealt with. And I appreciate that he presented Christ as the answer. I guess I was hoping that His life and resurrection would play into that answer a little more.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gives Clear perspective on how the cross applies to our sin
Although I am only part way through reading this excellent book, I have already found it to communicate clearly how God's purposes in the cross apply to our sin. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rebecca Butler Grow
5.0 out of 5 stars Right where life is
Awesome book taking theology out of the academic and applying it skillfully to very real life. Impact full in life changing ways!
Published 2 months ago by Warren
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical and Biblical...has Driscoll shining
I have not read all of Mark Driscoll's writings, but this is the best book of his I have read yet (one of the best books of any author at that!). Read more
Published 3 months ago by Tyler Trudeau
4.0 out of 5 stars Disruptive Reading
Driscoll's style is confrontational and direct, and the result is a disruptive reading experience. He portrays the sins of his subjects very graphically which disrupts the reader's... Read more
Published 5 months ago by G. Hertzler
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Testimonies
Wonderful read. Glorifying the power of our All Mighty! The stories here are truly relatable. Anyone will definitely become encourage by the faithfulness of our Creator.
Published 7 months ago by YahLove
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Very good book! For anyone (all of us) who struggles with their faith in the Lord.I highly recommend it! Amen
Published 8 months ago by Kelly
4.0 out of 5 stars Such a great read.
I received this book in great timing. Great service and the book is amazing. Take your time reading it. It's packed full of some really powerful material.
Published 8 months ago by Trudybelle
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Review
Great Book for anyone with questions about faiths workings. go deep into the personal aspect of individual people needing help
Published 10 months ago by Author R. Thompson Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, practical application of Christ-centered teaching
The basic idea of this book intrigued me so much that I bought it while browsing in my seminary library. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Jason Custer
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical and Thorough
This book is fantastic!
The practicality that Driscoll offers to common and intense circumstances are profound. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Bethany
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recommend to a non-christian/sem... friend?
I don't think it's too much for a non-Christian to handle at all. Driscoll writes to numerous apparent non-Christians in the book and explains the theology of the cross to them in a way that doesn't compromise the message but doesn't get caught up in a bunch of terms while failing to help the... Read more
Jan 11, 2009 by Brandon Saunders |  See all 2 posts
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