What a fantastic book. James Smith is one I have discovered only recently, and his Desiring the Kingdom I highly recommend as well. In this small book...moreWhat a fantastic book. James Smith is one I have discovered only recently, and his Desiring the Kingdom I highly recommend as well. In this small book, he deals with all of the issues that most empassion me about Calvinism - and irritate me. It seems they irritate Smith too. The pride, the intellectual overload, the undue focus on hyper-individual soteriology, the attacking of other Christians, the "Westminsterization" of American Calvinism, he deals with them all. What he is most yearning for is a Calvinism of love and gracious behavior, instead of insufferable know-it-all-ness and snobby denouncements of all who are different.
Instead, Smith calls us back to the Calvinism of Calvin - a Calvinism that is focused on God's people and the church, on humility, on denouncing the true idols of our age (not one another). The book is ecumenical and holds to its convictions firmly, and all written in an engaging style, as a series of short letters to a fictitious young man.
There were a few places I differed here or there (for instance, his view of women in the ministry), but overall a solid book.(less)
A real basic introduction to the life of Jesus, answering questions like was Mary really have a virgin birth and why did Jesus die. There's not a whol...moreA real basic introduction to the life of Jesus, answering questions like was Mary really have a virgin birth and why did Jesus die. There's not a whole lot of new material, and Driscoll, as usual, tries too hard to be hip and cool, and it just comes across as flippant. I don't understand why these folks think cracking jokes about the Bible and writing in a "hey, dude, check this out" sort of style will produce devout people who are going to take the Bible seriously. In actuality, it seems to me it just taps into the rebellion against respect and honor that is so prevalent in people of my age group. Driscoll does make some good points anyway, and does break us out of the mold of the androgynous proto-hippie "gentle Jesus, meek and mild." But then again, he also makes the error of believing you could earn your way to heaven in the Old Testament, and he really ought to know better. Overall, the book might do you some good, but there's no new ground, so I found it rather recycled.(less)