Title: Who Do you Think You Are
Author: Mark Driscoll
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publishing Year: 2013
My Rating: 4 out of 5 (1 meaning I hated the book, 5 meaning I loved the book)
Finding our identity in Christ is the topic of the latest coming from Mark Driscoll. At times it seems folks like Driscoll work too hard trying mold theology into a cool, trendy concept for a younger generation. Yet, this book moves beyond that imposed stereotype and addresses an issue this generation (and all generations) struggle with.
How do you identify yourself? Some are quick to mention their occupation, their hobby or their personal achievements. Yet others are trapped by memories of life-altering accidents, horrible sin or depressing tragedies. However, the good news of the gospel is that we are in Christ. Our works, our sin, our failures, our success, our regrets, our victories are erased by the all-encompassing work of Christ. As Christians we identify with the Savior and rest in His work and plan. Christ is my life.
In this book Mark Driscoll reminds us that to be in Christ means I am a saint, blessed, appreciated, saved, reconciled, afflicted, heard, gifted, new, forgiven, adopted, loved, rewarded and victorious. If you are a Christian, this is who you are. You are not known by God through your works of self-righteousness or sins of depravity – you are known through His Son Jesus Christ. What a blessing!
“As Christians, we live from our identity, not for our identity. We are defined by who we are in Christ, not what we do or fail to do for Christ. Christ defines who we are by who he is and what he’s done for us, in us and through us.” (page 17)
Each chapter of this book seeks to answer the question of “Who Am I?” by walking through the book of Ephesians passage by passage. I think Driscoll does a fairly good job of expositing the text and highlighting helpful nuances. Each chapter also features opening illustrations of individuals struggling with their past failures and finally coming to see their new life in Christ.
I must say this book was an incredible blessing to me. It was just the encouragement I needed to start the year off. I am one who struggles with the idea of acceptance and confidence so much of the content of this book really hit home.
One chapter in particular that took me off guard was 5 – “I am Appreciated.” It just doesn’t seem right to think of myself as appreciated. Sometimes as Christians, we don’t know what to do with praise, compliments or appreciation from others. We rightfully attribute anything of value we are able to do to God’s grace and strength. Yet, it is not wrong to appreciate the work of God in the lives of others nor is it necessarily a bad thing to revel in the value you have through the grace and strength of God.
Driscoll explains, “While it may sound spiritual to say that everything that happens in solely by God and that we take no credit and deserve no appreciation for anything we do, it’s unbiblical and ungrateful. The reality is that we are God’s “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” The word workmanship used by Paul denotes that we are God’s work of art or poem. Just as we do with works of art made by artists in this world, we can take enjoyment in, praise, and appreciate the work of the art itself while giving ultimate credit to the artist who created it.” (page 56)
There are a few things I may wince at or shake my head at a few times in these pages… While at times Driscoll’s illustrations can be graphic for my taste, I need to remember life outside the four walls of the white, suburban, upper-middle class comfortable churches and Christian organizations I am associated with can be rough. Sometimes I need to be reminded of the real needs of real people. Driscoll’s charismatic, spiritual-gift views are not where I am at, but this book is still of great value despite of my differences with him in these areas.
So, I would encourage you to purchase this book and start to study just what it means to find your identity in Christ.
Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.