Death by Love – Book Review

Here is my latest article for the Anderson Independent.  It is a review of Mark Driscoll’s “Death by Love.”

Jesus died for us. His death is the most important event in history. His sacrifice on the cross is what cleanses us from sin. It makes us right before God and gives us the promise of being with Him forever. But does Jesus’ death on the cross just affect our eternal destination, or can it also speak to the daily struggles each of us face? What does the cross mean to someone trapped in bondage to lust? Can the truth of the cross really set them free? What about the person that is dying with cancer? Or the “good Christian” who feels superior to others who struggle with sins he doesn’t? Does the death of Jesus affect them in a practical way? Can someone who has been abused find hope in the cross? Can it bring true healing to someone that has been harmed signifigantly by another? Can the cross help me to let go of overwhelming anger?

Each of these questions are wrestled with in the book “Death by Love: Letters from the Cross,” written by Mark Driscoll and co-written with Gerry Breshears. It is one of the most unique books on the theology of the cross I have ever read. It gives us an insightful look at Jesus’ death on the cross and the hope that the sacrifice of Christ offers for those who struggle with sin and have been wounded by the sin of others. This book is rich with theology and at the same time practical to believers and non-believers in explaining the love God has offered to us through the cross.

“Death by Love” is written as a compilation of twelve letters to people in Driscoll’s church who he is trying to reach out to. These people have come to him for pastoral guidance and these are his responses to them and anyone else fighting through similar struggles. Driscoll uses these letters to teach suffering people what the cross says to them in their specific circumstances.

This book helped me grasp the depth of what Jesus did for me and taught me how His sacrifice effects me practically every day. “Death by Love” offers hope to anyone struggling with their own sin or struggling to find healing after someone has wounded them. I love how Driscoll shares God’s heart and compassion with each person while speaking bold truth to them and never minimizing their sin or diminishing their personal pain.

This book is not a light read. It is full of real sin and pain. It is also full of the power of God’s truth to that same sin and pain. Each chapter shows the need for genuine repentance and reliance on Christ’s finished work to cleanse us from sin. It is a phenomenal book that expresses the true power of the gospel to broken people in any circumstance.

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