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Religion Saves: And Nine Other Misconceptions (Re:Lit:Vintage Jesus) Hardcover – June 5, 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Forget political correctness and timidity. Through this gritty, didactic countdown, author Driscoll answers sensitive questions Christians may be afraid to ask. Pastor of the Mars Hill megachurch in Seattle, Driscoll (Vintage Jesus) asked his congregation to submit their burning questions online. After they submitted and voted on 893 questions, Driscoll answers the top nine in the nine chapters of this book. From worship styles to explicit discussions of sex and birth control, the topics represent timely questions with which real people struggle. Driscoll includes quotations, stunning statistics, endnotes and footnoted verse numbers as evidence. Historical context and pop-culture references help to further clarify the more complicated explanations. When handling controversial topics, Driscoll sometimes employs a crass, mocking humor. Though this humor accomplishes its goal of being arresting and difficult to ignore, it may alienate the very readers from other denominations, religions and sexual orientations Driscoll hopes to rebuke and reconcile. Some questions have only idealistic, black and white answers (don't have sex until you're married). In other instances, such as birth control, he presents the arguments and leaves gray areas the reader may resolve as their conscience permits. On the whole, Driscoll is strong medicine. (June 30)
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Review

"Driscoll has a unique gift of unpacking and explaining lofty truth in a language any of us can understand. Not only does Religion Saves challenge readers, but it also allows them room to wrestle. This is a fantastic book full of biblical truth. You can't help but walk away thinking about the content daily."
LeCrae Moore, hip-hop artist, Reach Records

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Product Details

  • Series: Re:Lit:Vintage Jesus
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (June 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433506165
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433506161
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,026,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I like the concept of the book as found in its title Religion Saves. As much as a book debunking that religion saves needs to be written I think it is hard to do in the format Mark Driscoll has chosen. Letting others pick your topics and then finding an appropriate title would not be an easy task for anyone. I say that as I ask the question of whether or not the topic of religion saves was actually tackled. Most of the topics aren't really salvation issues. They are moral issues for the world and Gospel issues for the church. Driscoll is very good at addressing moral issues, their practical outworking in one's life and practical solutions. Let's browse through the topics.

Question 9: Birth Control

This chapter is to be appreciated. Driscoll goes over the biblical view of people as God's creation, families and children. He then lays out a helpful over view of the history of birth control. Birth control is looked at in five different levels. No birth control (19), natural (33), non-abortive (34), potentially abortive (37) and abortive murder (40). He walks the reader through the different forms of each type of birth control and attempts to give biblical guidance for each. Mixed in with Driscoll's answers are historical and medical research. I found this chapter helpful as it offers a good over view and wisdom from which to make decisions.

Question 8: Humor

Next to the question what is too crude for a pastor and the pulpit, this is a much wondered about question from Driscoll's perspective. I appreciate much of Driscoll's humor. Not all of it. Even though no particular group is under his radar as names them off I wonder at times just how pastoral this approach is.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In the author’s own words, “[R]eligion never saved anyone, and religious answers to complex questions are simply misconceptions.” Examples of some of these complex questions include birth control, dating, breaking free of sexual sin, predestination, the “gift” of singleness, grace, the emerging church, and the fallacy of justification by works. Overall, Religion Saves is a phenomenal but heavy, intricate book that dives deep into the scriptures and theology to convey its message. By no means does the text ever gloss over a topic, exclude important points or steer away from a challenging question because it will get too “messy.”

This inspiration for the book comes from I Corinthians 9:22-23 where the apostle Paul answers questions from the Corinthian Church through a letter. He subsequently becomes “all things to all people” by serving as a common reference point for all people from all walks of life. Religion Saves was written based upon the 9 most popular questions asked via an open forum to the church on any topic under the sun.

One reason why this book triumphs is that it takes a very Bible-oriented, yet rational and intellectual approach to address all questions from several angles. Driscoll never goes off on a rant and says “this is how it is,” but addresses all questions in a very comprehensive manner, begins with issue’s history, cites specific biblical references, and then incorporates truths and data from modern sources (both secular and non-secular). The chapter on predestination for example, addresses the historical development of the idea from the first century, describes the two schools of Calvinism and Arminianism, and then comes to a complete conclusion citing specific verses and therein answering more questions on the topic.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, answered questions from his congregation in an evening service (without children there). The top nine sermons are included in this book. In the introduction he states that "religion never saved anyone, and religious answers to complex questions are simply misconceptions, hence the title. His answers are Biblical and he notes that many of today's issues are not addressed in the Bible.

Questions covered deal with dating and sex, the long standing debate between Arminians and Calvinists, Catholics and Protestants, the emerging church and how Christians should relate to culture and the lost. The chapter on what worship is and isn't describes differing views about this in a clear and balanced way. This is an excellent and well researched book written in an easy to read format.
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Format: Hardcover
You may have heard of Mark Driscoll. He's pastor of a large, fast-growing church in Seattle. I'd seen his name from time to time, but really took interest when I read that there were eight motions at the Southern Baptist Convention last June relating to him! All of them condemnatory! One called for SBC organizations to "refrain from inviting speakers who are known to be unregenerate and curse, speak vulgarly and support alcohol." And Driscoll's not even a Southern Baptist! I knew if someone irritated the SBC that much, I had to find out more about him!

Religion Saves is based on a sermon series Driscoll preached at Mars Hill Church, of which he is founding pastor. On the church's web site, they had people vote on questions they had about church, faith, God, whatever, and then vote for the top questions. Then during the series, they had Q and A sessions, included questions texted to the pastor, for clarification and further questions (apparently he fields questions like this every time he preaches). Hundreds of questions, thousands of votes, and nine sermons later, this book is the result. While Driscoll's style includes plenty of humor, off-the-cuff remarks, and colloquial language, I was surprised by the depth and scholarship that he demonstrated as well.

Many, if not most of Driscoll's congregants are young and single, and many of them formerly unchurched, having been immersed in our free-wheeling, sexualized culture, which explains why three of the nine chapters deal with sex. He writes on birth control, dating, and sexual sin. In these chapters he is very frank, bordering on explicit (not in a titilating way, but instructionally). Some of his teaching on sex has drawn the ire of his critics.
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