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Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  2,460 ratings  ·  97 reviews

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 f

Hardcover, 461 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Crossway (first published 2010)
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Potential readers should know off the bat that this book is not really designed to be casually leafed through from the first page to the last. It is a dense black brick with indie rocker artwork and a million footnotes. Which is great in a lot of ways, but it's a disappointment if you're not expecting it. I bought this book because I listened to the original podcasts and really enjoyed them. They were engaging and amusing and thoroughly Biblical. This book retains the last characteristic but bas ...more
Jason Cox
Sadly, most Christians rarely, if ever, put a second's thought into the doctrines of Christianity. Many may even find the title (Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe) to be offensive or controversial. Many, if not most, self-professing Christians may not even know what "doctrines" are or where they stand on the important doctrines that make up the Christian faith. All the more reason that every Christian should read this book (or listen to the audio version). No, not all Christians believe t ...more
There were some topics in here that didn't seem to belong in a book on doctrine. In addition, it seems there was a glaring omission of failing to define what doctrine really means, how the topics covered in each chapter constitute doctrine, and how doctrine differs from, say, theology. There were certainly some good insights in these pages, but certainly also sections tainted by opinion. There was also a lot of content in here which I've seen expressed in other works by other authors who, frankl ...more
Nathan Mckinney
Not the first book on doctrine that I would recommend. It was a worthwhile read as it encouraged me to dwell upon a variety of biblical and theological topics that I hadn't put thought to in a while. Know that this really is just a run-through of what the now defunct Mars Hill church believes, with the range of issues touched on reaching very broad. Given the title ("what Christians should believe") I thought several topics probably should have been left out. Or they could have changed the title ...more
I read through this together with a few other guys, one chapter a week, as a way of introducing them to reading theology. We then met up each week to discuss. It worked really well in this format and I know all the guys benefited from the discipline of reading and talking about theological concepts, particularly soteriology, eschatology and the Church. The book is an excellent tool to be used as an introduction to theology and it certainly stimulated great discussion and prayer for us. In fact t ...more
Amelia Sorenson-Abbott
I think I had way too high of expectations for this book. I love Mark Driscoll's sermons but I didn't really feel that same passion in his book. Very long, very dense. Took me longer then it should have to finish, (my indicator I wasn't completely into it). Had some solid doctrine and thoughts but I disagreed with several points and felt a lot of questions I had were glossed over or unanswered. Still going to listen to his preaching, but not sure if I will go for another book.
Reading for Doctrine Series at CBC
Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears (Vintage Jesus, Vintage Church, Death by Love) have teamed up on their 4th book together, entitled Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe. In it, the authors seek “to trace the big theological themes of Scripture along the storylines of the Bible” (p. 9). With this structure, readers are walked through chapters like “Trinity: God Is” and “Creation: God Makes” all the way through “Cross: God Dies” and Kingdom: God Reigns.” Filled with Scriptural and bibliograph ...more
Not being a Driscoll fan, I was surprised how much I enjoyed and agreed with this book. It is very hard to review an audio-book in depth as you don't have a ready reference to which to turn. This book in particular, which is very dense, follows an almost catechetical format, and would be at home in the class-room, took some getting used to in the audio-format. The narration also took some getting used to, something about the inflection in the narrator's voice, I think. However, it was clear and ...more
Brad Atchison
Doctrine is one of those books that is quite good at trying to blend systematic theology, biblical theology and the application of it while still containing a few unusual quirks. Driscoll's and Breshears's goal is to present a basic evangelical doctrine in which believers may understand their beliefs and worship the Lord that much more. The Book is divided into thirteen chapters:

Chapter 1. Trinity: God Is
Chapter 2. Revelation: God Speaks
Chapter 3. Creation: God Makes
Chapter 4. Image: God Loves
Setting aside Mark Driscoll's recent fall from grace and the collapse of Mars Hill Church due to it being founded on the near personality cult that had grown up around him, this is still an interesting and useful book.

The style is eminently readable and it explains many core Christian doctrines very well. While I can't agree with everything written here, I do recommend it as providing a very good basis in Christian doctrine.
Tim Baker
Take whatever you think about Mark Driscoll and throw it away. This book is great for getting to the foundations of the Christian Faith. If Theology is hard for you or intimidating, this book is very approachable. It is grounded in Scripture and even gives perspective on competing views usually in a fair light. If you want an understanding of Christian Doctrine, but textbooks frighten you, check this out.
It's a useful resource. It reads well, and is generally a good representation of evangelical theology.

Like most systematic theology books, there's bound to be something one disagrees with.

Every once in a while, a statement pops up that will leave you scratching your head. For example, when discussing the cross, he argues that God reconciles all people to Himself, but not in a saving way. But, how can you say that someone who is eternally condemned is in any way reconciled to God?

Like any syste
What a very educational and informative and VERY well researched book! It seems to cover all the really important Biblical subjects such as creation, the trinity, Jesus' death and resurrection, stewardship, hell, etc. I especially have enjoyed watching Mark Driscoll's Doctrine messages that go in line with each chapter to learn things that aren't included in the book. This was a book that people who want to learn more about their faith can deepen their understanding of things which is great for ...more
Deanna Smith
This book was a great overview. I like that it was co-authored so the entire book is not just one soul author's opinion. While there were a lot of arguments, ideas, and theories left out or sometime overlooked, this was a book that beginners to theology could understand, grasp, and enjoy. The point was not a deep investigation into every topic filling up hundreds of pages but a general overview of Christianity with broad ideas and topics presented. It's a great start for those wanting to dig dee ...more
Solid overall and a very good introduction into theology. Many discussions receive brief and still comprehensive treatment. There are a few subjects that are not discussed at all. Namely, the relationship between Israel and the church as in dispensationalism and covenant theology. Likewise, he says nothing of the end times, the tribulation, his view on the millennium, or the rapture. He does not fully bring out the importance of eschatology to Set the world to rights. One weak place also was the ...more
This was a surprisingly interesting book. I've had the likes of Driscoll written off for years but he has come around to a much more orthodox view of Christianity. While I don't necessarily agree with him at every turn and I find him making a number of unsupported assertions, this book really is a fairly complete condensation of Christianity. If this was required reading for American Christians, I can't help but think the modern church might be in a slightly different position at this point. He ...more
Isaiah Jesch
I enjoyed this work as a basic introductory systematic theology. It has a relatively conversational style, but I don't find it to be as thorough or useful as many others I own and have read. It's a good basic work, but not among my top recommendations.
Matt Horne
I really enjoyed this book. It took me several years to finally complete it. It would be a really great Bible Study class for a small group or a Paul/Timothy sort of intentional discipleship thing.

They ask and answer a lot of really great questions, but even though it's well over 400 pages, it's really succinct and short for all the subject matter included. There is much more to be said about each topic.

So, it's a really great primer on some basic Christian doctrines, whether you agree on every
The good: fresh and persuasive new ways of explaining old doctrine in an accurate and fair way.
The bad: fresh and persuasive new ways of explaining old doctrine wrongly and using overly simplistic and offensive generalizations
Lindsay Kennedy
[[See full review ht-tp://]]

Doctrine would serve as a good introduction to theology for a young adults (or older) group. As noted above, the approach and language are refreshingly easy, and Driscoll’s name is a drawing point; some might pick up this book merely because he is the author. I have mentioned my concerns above, but overall this is a solid work and mostly achieves what it attempts to do.

The book closes with an appeal for the unsaved to place their trust i
Solid. Has some 'moments of glory' in a few outstanding chapters where he really nails it, but also some fairly average chapters that seem not fully formed. Highlights were chapters on Trinity, Image, Incarnation, Cross and Church -- even if you've read him on these topics before, he really nails them in Doctrine. A little slower to read than his other books, but still an accessible intro to systematic theology. I think he struggles at times with the balance between letting loose on his own pers ...more
Cory Shumate
Just finished this awesome work by Driscoll and Breshears. At 450+ pages, it took more than a few days to wade through, but it was well worth it. In this book, the authors work through Biblical doctrines in the order that the Bible presents them, working from Genesis to Revelation. With intensely practical applications appeal to any reader, Christian or not, and very accessible language, this book is no dry systematic theology. It's certainly not exhaustive, but it isn't meant to be. It is compl ...more
J.S. Park
Leaving behind some of his crude humor, Pastor Mark Driscoll (with Gerry Breshears) has crafted a handy, distilled masterwork of Orthodox Christian belief into a highly readable package. It's the perfect length with great sources, vivid testimonies, and a respectable Christocentric focus. It's a supplement to more thorough works like those by Wayne Grudem or D.A. Carson. Like all systematic theology works, read with discernment. I agree with about 93% of all Driscoll says and writes. In core bel ...more
Jeffrey Backlin
A helpful presentation of theological views written in modern language from a conservative reformed thinker.
Aaron Ventura
Enjoyable intro to systematic theology despite the whirlwind of controversy that followed.
I liked this systematic theology. It's more accessible than Grudem or Erikson and has a more "elastic" than most of the conservative theologies. (For example, Driscoll opens the door on an extended creation.) I understand why Mars Hill requires its leaders to read this. It does a nice job of organizing the pieces. Not since seminary have I read a systematic theology, and even then, I took the classes out of order. Going forward, I will likely reread this every two years or so in order to get the ...more
Sarah Tilby
This book is absolutely phenomenal and striking. Coming from a background in Mormonism which mixes strange modalism theology with pagan practice, this comprehensive, in depth, incredibly well researched not to mention written book of basic and biblically sound and correct Christian doctrine is a must read as it unpacks the difference between rational faith and false religions. Backed by one of the greatest theologian, evangelical pastors of our day and spoken into by the research and experience ...more
Chad Barnes
This is essentially a systematic theology, but in an entirely different format from, say, Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem. Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe is written in a highly readable format, comprised of just more than 10 chapters, which would actually be read like a book, rather than treated mainly as a resource like Grudem's. On the other hand, Grudem's Systematic Theology is much more thorough and more easily searchable. I'd recommend this book for people junior high and up.
Hamish Osborne
Brilliant little book on Doctrine. Very good for a new believer, not so good for those that want to get into the depths of theology. Driscoll at times declares things to be true when the foundations are rather flimsy, this isn't a detractor at first. But as you progress in the faith and absorb more and more theology and begin to scrap the surface of theological writings this book begins to create problems as what was once held to be truth turns out to be far more complex than Driscoll declares.
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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 about Mark Driscoll...
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