Book Review of Vintage Jesus

Driscoll’s new book “Vintage Jesus” is sure to be controversial and helpful to many. Just like any book that is written, Driscoll has an intended targeted audience in mind as he writes this book, and since it is those outside the tent of Christianity, this book will offend some more conservative folk. It might be my west coast upbringing but none of the language was really all that offensive to me, maybe if I was a southerner who thought pro-wrestling was real, girls who chewed tobacco were sexy, and ate a lot of Hot Pockets with my uncle-daddy, I would feel differently (Vintage Jesus, p.1). Yet when I hear things like this I only have flashes of comedians like Daniel Tosh and Jim Gaffigan, especially the whole line about the Hot Pockets. I might have posted this here before in the past but watch this Hot Pocket bit by Jim Gaffigan, its genius.

Vintage Jesus is largely constructed off a sermon series Mark Driscoll did by the same title a few years back. Which you can watch here. Not to mention in each sermon he goes to Hemp Fest and interviews stoners about what the think of Jesus, classic. Aside from all the shenanigans the book carves out the perfect niche by popularly addressing such timely questions as: Is Jesus the only God? Did Jesus rise from the dead? Why did Jesus’ mom need to be a virgin? Where is Jesus today? And does Jesus think it is okay for men and women to swim together? Yeah I made that last one up as a shout out to Pastor Steve. Each chapter is rigorously researched with both biblical evidence and cultural engagement. And just like in any good sermon, Driscoll anticipates the questions that the reader may have and addresses them at the end of each chapter. For most Christians who will never read Christology from people like Erickson, Grudem, and Grenz, Mark Driscoll’s treatment of the topic is an excellent book to help fill in the critical gaps of understanding the person and work of Jesus Christ.

For those who get hung up on the language I would just ask you to realize that this book is not intended for those who are against women wearing pants and churn their own butter. Mark Driscoll has been pretty clear that he would like to see this book make it to the some of the bestsellers lists and reach a broad audience. You know that un-churched guy down the street playing Wii and wondering if Ramen is a food group. So language police put aside your preferences and realize that as Christians we have the liberty to contextualize our message without changing the message for the audience we are communicating to. It is an obsession of so many to major on the minors. We are so busy playing language police that we are willing to nullify the amazing impact that Mark is having for the Kingdom.



7 Responses

  1. Geez Ryan, who in the Challies are you talking about with that whole language paragraph?

  2. I was just excited I could incorporate a Jim Gaffigan clip into a book review.

  3. Driscoll has done the Gaffigan technique of talking with a high pitched voice as to what the audience would be thinking.

    – “Did he just say that?”
    – “Does he do this all the time?”

  4. Thanks for the great review. I have listened to Driscoll a few times and he does seem to have stolen some stuff from that Gaffigan guy. Who do you guys think this book would be good for?

  5. People who need Jesus. This book is for Christians who need Jesus and for non-Christians who need Jesus. This book is for people who need Jesus.

    Although I can still remember talking to Driscoll on the Ave. in Seattle telling him my non-Christian dad was coming to Mars Hill for the first time and asking what the topic was for the weekend to which he replied, “Unlimited/Limited Atonement”. There was a moment of awkward silence.

  6. “Dead Pocket!” I love this guy! He is so clever, I could never think of 4 minutes worth of stuff to say about Hot Pockets, let alone funny stuff to say!

    I am looking forward to reading this book. I really enjoyed this sermon series when it came out. I really appreciate Driscoll as a preacher…one of the few in my neck of the woods, lol. kam

  7. Kammi I think you and Matt with both really dig this book, it also might be a great book to pass on to Andy. It seems ideal for the circles that he swims in.

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