This is a book I’ve wanted to read since I heard about its release. I like the book’s main author, Mark Driscoll. He’s the preaching elder at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, a multi-site church in Seattle with 8,000 people attending at one of their multiple weekend services. Driscoll doesn’t hold anything back–he tells it like it is, doesn’t water anything down, and is straight up about the truth of the gospel. “Death By Love” is no different.
This book takes the different aspects of the cross of Christ–justification, propitiation, expiation, atonement, etc.–and explains them through an effective literary device. Driscoll explains these doctrines through letters to actual people, and he applies the appropriate aspect of the cross to their situation.
The book is graphic. It describes the situations that these people experienced–rape, physical and sexual abuse, anger, spiritual torment. This isn’t a “feel good” book at all… and the cross of Christ shouldn’t be. The book is heavy on theology–again, as it should be. But it isn’t written in a scholarly, textbook manner. It is conversational. Driscoll is Calvinist in his theology, which comes through at points. I’m not hip on Calvinism, but I’m not going to make a huge deal about it. The theology of the cross is right on in this book.
In an age when preachers and churches are robbing God of his holiness and avoiding his wrath (which ultimately waters down the cross), Driscoll has done a tremendous job in fleshing out the different facets of the cross. It’s totally worth the price of the book.