December 13, 2013

A Call to Resurgence Review

This is a tough review to write, because shortly after it's release, the blog-o-sphere and social media started throwing out words such a 'plagiarism' and 'ghost writing' attached to the book. And while a part of me feels like I should acknowledge that accusations have been made, I also have no desire to jump onto the latest bandwagon argument, especially one that's convoluted with so many opinions and not nearly enough answers. So, the only way I know how to proceed is just with the written work itself, and it's overarching message for the time being.

My mind completely changed back and forth throughout reading A Call to Resurgence, in that I couldn't decide if I actually liked it or not. The subtitle is what Driscoll set out to answer: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future? A legitimate question of concern for sure, giving the movement and direction of our culture, and the declining state of the church itself in modern western civilizations. Of course, as followers of Christ, we know that regardless of what may, or already is, occurring in the world around us, Christianity will never die out or have a funeral, because God always has and always will have a remnant of His people gathering together and glorifying Him. Despite all the rocky, disheartening statistics and sociological studies that Driscoll shares in the beginning, he too lands on this hopeful point by the end of the book.

The book as a whole though, is a combination of a much needed wake-up call to those of us in the church who are slumbering, and oddly enough basic catechism almost. So in that regard, the second half of the book is far more reminiscent of his previous work, Doctrine, where Driscoll unpacks basic Christian beliefs on repentance, the Holy Spirit, and missions, and even on into the appendices where we get a brief history lesson on Christendom, which oddly enough was probably one of my favorite bits of the book. (But then again I'm a history lover.) Probably the highlight of this book though was the author's chapter on 'Tribalism' in my opinion, because I, among others, feel it's gotten absolutely out of control from all sides of the fence, even more so when it comes to the online 'world.' And it's here where Driscoll calls for all Christians to unite together more than we argue with one another, a trait that the outside world, does not particularly care for. Driscoll uses this great analogy in explaining this: That we all have a home, a denominational/theological base and background, which is great, but we also have cousins--those with some differences, but that we're united together under the blessing of the priesthood (i.e. the creeds and their orthodox teachings)--whom we should converse and encourage with more than feud (both in real life and online). 

Overall, there were parts that while I found discouraging (not in a bad way per say, but in that it's just the nature of the topics), I can see the need to have them... in order to get to the more hopeful bits. Other parts I really, really liked, and other sections, where I feel that for those of us raised on lots of catechism learning, such as myself, won't find anything new being said. So this book was a bit of a toss up for me. I still have a good deal of respect for Driscoll's ministry, and having read the majority of his previous books, this one leaned more towards the favorable side of the spectrum, but not one of my favorites for me personally. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, Tyndale, through the 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.” *Book Cover image made available for use in conjunction with a review.


  1. Excellent disclaimer, and review. This really makes me wish we were having phone/Skype conversations, haha. :)

  2. Sounds like an interesting book to discuss with a small group! I'm sure there would be LOTS of discussion.

  3. Interesting! I am interested in church history, too, so I may pick this up for that reason alone.


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