My dad had read Confessions of a Reformission Rev. a couple weeks ago, & I picked it up from his office Monday as I was sick. I could not put it down. This book is great. My dad's brief synopsis was that the introduction (10 curious questions) was worth the price of the book alone. He also felt a love hate relationship with the book because of Mr. Discoll's much talked about vulgarity (known as "Mark the Cussing Pastor" in Don Miller's Blue Like Jazz). I will interact more with that (as well as John MacArthur's recent writing about this later.
The book is Mars Hill Church's autobiography as told by senior pastor Mark Driscoll. I had heard many good things about Mr. Driscoll before, but I was floored by this man's love for Jesus & his passion to serve his Lord. He lets nothing stand between him & the vision that God has given him for Mars Hill Church and the city of Seattle. Just from reading this book I acquired a hunger to get to know Jesus more deeply. Mr. Driscoll's passion for Jesus & drive to have Jesus as the leader of Mars Hill is evident throughout the chapters of this very well-written book.
Mr. Driscoll shares his vision for growing his church and thoughts on general ecclesiology as well. If you are planning on planting a church, you should not even think about it, without having read this book first (in my opinion). Mr. Driscoll is transparent in his telling of the first decade of the church. He shares his personal struggles, encounters with demon-possession, lessons definitely learned the hard way and his sometimes Moses-esque anger at his people.
In an article I came across Thursday, John MacArthur harangues "worldly preachers...[who] adopted boththe style and language of the world", and specifically Mark Driscoll. Dr. MacArthur calls Mr. Driscoll's language "deliberately shocking" & that the style he employs "ought to be clearly marked off limits for the pulpit."
I by no means feel any need to defend Mark Driscoll. However, I have had many people talk about this subject with me. I personally do not think that Mr. Driscoll's "vernacularizing the gospel" is a gimmick, but he is just being himself. I think that there are speakers and people who do this to be thought of as "cool" & in that instance I would agree with John MacArthur (never thought I would say that!). However, I think that there are just some "rough & tumble" guys - men's men who are just being themselves. I think that for others who might consider themselves "scholarly" and "cultured" might be put off by this. There are definitely certain aspects of blue collar life that I do not wish to be associated with - even if it isn't just for blue collar people anymore (country music [sorry - hate it], NASCAR [not sorry - hate it], and "pro" wrestling [i don't want to be vulgar here myself]).
I don't have an answer for this. I know that I personally have no issue with a "cuss word" here or there (just not taking God's name in vain), and realize that as people, we are messy, dirty, sometimes disgusting & earthly creatures. (It is interesting to me too that Jesus was fully human too & this is a point that Mr. Driscoll makes in one of his sermon series entitles Vintage Jesus). I do not think that we should hide our earthlyness, but also, we should not glorify it.
Anywhay I look at it, this book is my book of the year & another will be hard pressed to knock it off.