Death by Love: Letters from the Cross (RE: Lit: Vintage Jesus)
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Death by Love: Letters from the Cross (RE: Lit: Vintage Jesus)

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  1,258 ratings  ·  77 reviews

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 tho

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Published (first published September 12th 2008)
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Christer Tschamler
This is an excellent book. Driscoll's style is very straight forward, and he doesn't pull any punches. If you want soft, flexible, or seeker-friendly Christianity than this book is not for you. If, however, you want straightforward honest biblical truth, then read this book.

Death by Love is great because it deals with real people in real life down-and-dirty situations. Not every story will apply directly to every reader, but you will undoubtedly find something to glean from each one, and I'm cer...more
It's not often I refuse to finish a book. Regardless of worth I tend to trudge through and finish what I started. I could only finish half this book. I just didn't see the point of continuing.

On the one hand I appreciate the aims of the book. It was clear to me that Driscoll and Breshears sought to make their pastoral ministry theological. For this I applaud them. This was written by a pastor and a theologian with a pastoral purpose. This is a worthwhile development and I greatly admire this mov...more
This book is both easy and difficult to read.

As readability goes, I zoomed through the 250 pages in about a week's worth of reading as I walked and grabbing the occasional read on my lunch break. The conversational style (at times a little forced) and the relatively short chapter length leads to a nice, quick read.
However (and this is not at all a bad 'however'), it is a meaty book filled with difficult topics and if you are anything like me, some of the chapters will have something of an emotio...more
James E. Robinson, III
This is a powerful book. Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, has compiled a collection of letters to folks he has met through his ministry.

The letters:
* Demons Are Tormenting Me, Jesus Is Katie's Christus Victor
* Lust Is My God, Jesus Is Thomas's Redemption
* My Wife Slept with My Friend, Jesus Is Luke's New Covenant Sacrifice
* I Am a 'Good' Christian, Jesus Is David's Gift Righteousness
* I Molested a Child, Jesus Is John's Justification
* My Dad Used to Beat Me, Jesu...more
I read this book alongside Leviticus commentaries, & found it to be a very practical, applicable view of what all Jesus' sacrifice actually accomplished. A couple of chapters were a little hard to follow; maybe forced - which is the only reason for the 4/5. But overall, I appreciated both the theological depth but also (especially?) the personal side of seeing what the gospel does in various situations.

I would definitely recommend the book to folks who wish to grow in their depth of apprecia...more
An innovative read on applying the theology of the death of Christ to the specifics of peoples' lives. Some of the personal vignettes were powerful illustrations of the need for Christ in the individual situation. The authors, Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears, did not pull any punches in their presentation of the situation or their response to it.

I found some of the reading repetitive; and for me, many of the initial vignettes and letters were the most powerful. Perhaps it was the structure of...more
Mark Driscoll has a heart! With feelings and everything! For a few years now, I have been a fan of Mark Driscoll's theology and his ability to communicate. Driscoll is someone who takes the Bible very seriously and has a great respect for God, and he speaks hard truths on a consistent basis, so I am regularly challenged when I listen to his podcasts or read his books. Unfortunately, he has an abrasive and condescending style, and it's hard to hear his heart underneath the growly demands for men...more
Jacob Van
This is a great book about the cross of Christ. It is not great because of shear theological content but the way the theology of the cross is applied. In this book Pastor Mark Driscoll writes letters to people in his congregation. The letters show the reality and wretchedness of sin along with the justice and grace of God. To do this, he applies the cross to their situations. He applies the cross and Jesus as Christus Victor to a demonized woman. He applies the cross and Jesus as redemption to a...more
Jason Custer
The basic idea of this book intrigued me so much that I bought it while browsing in my seminary library. Basically, what Driscoll does is write letters to people he has met with in his church and address their different issues by expounding on different aspects of Christ's atonement. So in essence he is using the cross as a means of counseling and applying Christ to different problems that come up in everyday affairs within the church body.

For example, he talks about how Christ is the propitiati...more
I have not read all of Mark Driscoll's writings, but this is the best books of his I have read yet (one of the best books of any author at that!). In a style untypical of Driscoll's other writings, this book is a collection of 12 letters that he personally wrote to 12 individuals he has pastored; each covering a different aspect of how the Crucifixion of Jesus on the cross adequately satisfies the struggles each individual is dealing with. The topics covered include: Jesus as Christus Victor, re...more
KC McCauley
Driscoll applies the cross in very specific ways--in the form of letters to various people he has counseled over the years. He writes to people that have experienced demonic torment, bondage to lust, adultery, child molestation, rape, a sure sentence to hell, familial hostility, an interest in Christianity, and even to his, with whom he discusses the nature and importance of the atonement.

Not only is this book great for counseling as it applies the cross to very specific situations, but it is al...more
Sit back, Goodreadians, for I'm ready to tell you a story.

My story has a little to do with the actual book, a fair amount to do with the author, and a lot to do with the impact the author has had on my life, though I've never met him.

You can glean from the one star this impact is not positive.

Some years ago, I was accepted for a ministries internship at a large church in my city. At the time, I had aspirations of being a pastor, and I thought this would be a good opportunity to gain experience....more
Matt Cline
This book will always have a special place in my heart. This is the book that introduced me to the fact that Jesus, the cross and this gospel message is the true center of theology and solution for all my life. I was shocked when I first learned what the cross really entailed and captivated by all the facets of what Jesus accomplished. And this started my investigation into reformed theology when I read this curious section on limited atonement.
Scott Ray
Excellent book looking at the cross from all the different angles. Looking at everything Jesus did through the crucifixion.

Done in a very practical way. Each chapter is a letter to someone that the author knows. Someone that has come to him with a problem. It starts off with a summary of what is going on in their life. Then the author responds to them with an aspect of the cross and how it applies to their life. In this manner you guet not only the doctrine of the crucifixion but also how you a...more
Bryan McWhite
This may be the best explanation of Christ's work of atonement on the Cross that I have yet read, including John Stott's classic, "The Cross of Christ." It is CERTAINLY the most easily applicable and practically useful work on the Cross that I've ever read. Most readers will find this to be an accessible work that will bring healing to wounds and will pitch crucially important theology of the Cross at an understandable level. Pastors will find this to be a GOLD MINE of pastoral theology and prac...more
An interesting look into the pastoral methods of Mark Driscoll. In this book, he presents letters that he sent to various people who have need of serious ministry and counseling. The hinge of each letter is penal substitutionary atonement. Throughout the book, Driscoll portrays how this theological point should play into how people work out their real-life situations.

Driscoll's pastoral work is not often gentle. He does no wooing to repentance. He calls. He demands. At times, it seems a bit to h...more
Exceptional pastoral theology. This book reveals that theology is life changing and practical. Driscoll describes 12 real people in a variety of very full-on life situations, and then writes each of them a letter explaining (very theologically) how Christ's death on the cross is their solution and (only) hope. It's a remarkable combination of gritty, harrowing life stories and unashamedly heavy theology. However, this does make for some slow reading at times! There's also the usual repetition th...more
Nov 28, 2008 Kristen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: people who like Mark Driscoll
This book is a collection of pastoral letters pointing different people to different aspects of the theology of the cross. Clear and straightforward, the letters themselves are generally marked with concern and godly counsel. The situations the recipients face run the gamut, but many are very dark, and they are considered with the gravity they deserve. At the end of each letter there is a section with theological FAQs to address aspects of the theology not dealt with in the letter itself. These...more
Update: Started re-reading this on audio last night and was brought to tears in the first chapter when Mark was describing the brutality of the cross. I always appreciate and need to hear Driscoll's approach of painful honesty and blunt delivery.

I listened to this on audio - Mark does the reading. This book will walk all over your toes but in a way that I think everyone needs. A lot of thought and prayer went into this book -- I can tell that from the get go. I've sent this to someone who I thin...more
To be honest, Driscoll's writing style in this book took me a little off-guard and I was surprised by it, but he has a disclaimer in the introduction that says that would probably happen. A friend, Bob, said of this book, "Makes me want to accept Jesus all over again," as it is a genuine reminder of all that the cross of Christ accomplishes purely because of God's love and grace towards us. At times I thought it a bit repetitive, yet it is always good to get the gospel pressed hard into you and...more
I like the approach and Gerry's sections. Love his thoughts but Driscolls letters go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on (his sermons too)...and on and on and on....
Chuck Lowery
I really wanted to give this 2 stars but I just can't. The letter to the real religious guy on gift righteousness made the book worth reading but not much else. The Unlimited Limited Atonement letter was nonsense. Mark just needs to accept limited atonement. Also, while I appreciate a pastor dealing with sexual sin and abuse, I wonder why it is every time I hear Driscoll or read him he is strangely fixated on very graphic sex matters. Frankly, the guy gives me the shivers (as Owen Meany would sa...more
Driscoll wonderfully expounds on the practical and systematic elements of the Gospel in the context of letters to his congregation. The context of the letters cover many common caricatures of the types of people found inside and outside of the church. The balance of anecdote, exhortation, and theological treatise is unlike any book I've ever read. Very well done.

I recommend this for anyone who is a stranger to the Gospel or such old friends with it that it has become overly familiar.
If you want to better understand the mystery of Christ's suffering and death on the cross. About what that has to do with you. This is the book. I read it twice and plan to read it again. Each reading brought me greater depth of understanding. This is one of the best Christian books I have read. Driscoll does a good job of explaining theological concepts to someone like me, with little background in Theology.
Ryan Matheson
This book does a great job of showing different aspects of the cross, and how they relate to people. I especially like the chapter entitled "my daddy is a pastor" where Pastor Mark describes deals with the question "who did Jesus die for?" explaining differences between limited and unlimited atonement, and more than that offers a third category of unlimited limited atonement
Jeff Bettger
The main preaching pastor at Mars Hill Church (which I am a part of) Pastor Mark Driscoll wrote this book with Gerry Breshears. It is an amazing book that highlights aspects of the atonement, by telling true life stories. It is an amazing book for Biblical Counseling. I would highly recommend it for anyone who disciples, trains, or counsels people.
Driscoll uses different approaches to the atonement to counsel several different people in his church, all of whom have been through significant trauma. Driscoll's advice can sting at times, but perhaps it stings with a purpose. His trademark snarkiness is for the most part restrained, but occasionally it still leaks through.
Wade Bearden
This book is beneficial because it applies Jesus' work on the cross to specific life circumstances. It is very practical. Driscoll writes letters to a number of people in need of Jesus' redemption. The big idea is that Jesus' death and resurrection isn't just for a group of Jews 2,000 years ago, but also for us today.
I loved this book. Because he teaches deep Gospel doctrine in the context of different sins in the lives of people it seems to stick. For example, I don't think I will get expiation mixed up with propitiation as a result of reading this because I am connecting those doctrines to a story now.
Barnabas Piper
I think this is Driscoll's best book. It combines pastoral care and empathy for serious pain with rich theology of the atonement. It is a unique way to write a book that tells of Jesus work by telling of it's intersection with people's sin, whether they are victims or perpetrators.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Mark A. Driscoll is the founder and teaching pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, as well as the co-founder of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network where he also served as President for a short period. Driscoll continues to serve on the board of Acts 29. He has contributed to the "Faith and Values"...more
More about Mark Driscoll...
Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe (RE: Lit) Vintage Jesus: Timeless Answers to Timely Questions (Relit Theology) Confessions of a Reformission Rev.: Hard Lessons from an Emerging Missional Church The Radical Reformission: Reaching Out Without Selling Out

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