Mark Driscoll - On the Old Testament (Book Review) ~ BitterSweetLife

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mark Driscoll - On the Old Testament (Book Review)

Sometime last year I commented that with a reported 7 books being published in 2008, Mark Driscoll had his work cut out for him. That seemed all the more true after I reviewed Vintage Jesus, a substantial book on Christ and the cross. However, the situation clarified itself when Driscoll's four latest books showed up in the mail, I eagerly ripped the package open, and then watched Aidan effortlessly balance them in the palm of his hand.

With the slogan, "A book you'll actually read," these are more along the lines of thick pamphlets than books. Not that that's a bad thing. But you should know going in. At 96 pages, On the Old Testament can be read in around an hour, which is probably about right for people who don't get excited when words like "covenant theology" and "substitutionary atonement" are mentioned.

Here's what I liked about On the Old Testament:

Driscoll doesn't have time for his usual comedy shtick, but he does a great job outlining the big picture in direct, simple language. This is a book I'd feel comfortable giving to someone with no theological background at all (which is why I'm reviewing it here). So Driscoll succeeds in writing a very accessible, "popular theology" book about the Old Testament.

The book hits obvious issues that aren't strictly "biblical," such as professors sneering at the OT in their classrooms as Christian students cringe in embarrassment. Driscoll is highly aware of our cultural landscape, which isn't friendly to the Old Testament God at all--and he addresses it.

Jesus is very much present--which may seem like a misnomer in a book about the pre-Christ Hebrew scriptures. Of course it's not, though, and Driscoll probably does his best writing as he explains how Jesus is omnipresent in the Old Testament.

**1/2 On the Old Testament is a short book (warranting a short review) - but I really like what Driscoll is doing to make crucial knowledge of the Bible very easy to digest. This book would be great for a newcomer to Christianity, trying to figure out the basics, or for believers who want to get a firm grasp on some basic theology. I'm going to break with tradition and give it two and a half stars, since it's almost too pamphlet-like to qualify as a real book. But highly recommended. Yeah, it's on the Master Book List.

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