Jan 9, 2013

Who do you think you are?

How do you define your identity? Many people struggle with this. They try to define their identity in many ways and with many things. In his newest book Who Do You Think You Are?Mark Driscoll answers this question with two words, "In Christ." As a Christian, when we ask ourselves who we are, we ought to start with the fact that we are in Christ. We should not let anyone or anything other than Christ define us. Driscoll writes that, "The absolute best place to begin constructing an identity is in Jesus Christ."

Driscoll writes Who Do You Think You Are? because he has seen many Christians struggle with their identity. They have let other people, past events, and culture define their identity instead of letting Jesus be the one who shows them who they really are. He begins the book by saying that most people are in an identity crisis. People don't know how find their identity. Many have lett items, duties, others, longings, or sufferings (i-d-o-l-s) tell them who they are. Driscoll argues that instead, we are children of God made in his image and should let that define our identity. He starts of with that it means to be "in Christ." When we accept Jesus as their savior, we are no longer in Adam, instead they are now in Christ. We have received a new life and a new identity. Instead of making our own identity and living in our sin, Jesus defines our identity and we live our lives in him. Christ paid the price for our sin and made a way for us to be new. From here, Driscoll uses Ephesians as a basis as a way of understanding what it means to be in Christ. He writes that Christians are saints, blessed, appreciated, saved, reconciled, afflicted, heard, gifted, new, forgiven, adopted, loved, rewarded, and victorious.

I know that there are a lot of people who aren't fans of Driscoll, but I think that even many of his critics (not all, I'm sure that someone could find something wrong with this book) would be hard pressed to disagree with the premise of this book or the way in which he goes about it. One of the things that I have always appreciated about Mark Driscoll is his love of scripture. I don't always agree with his interpretations of it, but he is a man who studies and does his best to be faithful to the text. This faithfulness to the Bible shines through in Who Do You Think You Are? Starting in chapter 3, he opens each chapter with a passage of Ephesians then uses that text to explain who we are in Christ. In addition to the faithfulness to scripture, I believe the topic of this book is not one that would easily lend itself to controversy. Driscoll covers a topic that every Christian has to understand. We all have to understand how our identity is shaped by a relationship with Christ. The only place that he might cause trouble for some is when he gets to Ephesians 5:22 and addresses the issue of wives submitting to their husbands. Even there, though, Driscoll is not writing primarily about husbands and wives, he is writing about how Christ loves the church.

Even if you don't like Driscoll, I would suggest this book. If you are in Christ, you can benefit from this book. He covers a wide range of ways the people struggle to create their identity and odds are you have struggled with one of these ways. I believe that many people will be encouraged by this book and I believe that is why Driscoll wrote the book in the first place. It's well written, it's very scriptural, and it's obvious that he did a lot of study to prepare for this book. I would recommend this book for most any one and it would be great for a group to work through together. If you have some time Who Do You Think You Are? would be a great way to start your year.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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