Religion Saves: Why a Week?

Religion-Saves-intro

Inspired by 1 Corinthians, in which the Apostle Paul answers a series of questions posed by the members of the Corinthian church, Pastor Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church in Seattle began the “Ask Anything” campaign on their website. Here, online listeners and church members could pose any question they wanted (subject to moderation for inappropriate content), and readers would then vote for their favorite questions. In the end, 893 questions were asked, 343,203 votes were cast and the top nine questions were selected for the sermon series, Religion Saves & Nine Other Misconceptions.

This series, covering birth control, humor, predestination, grace, sexual sin, faith & works, dating, the emerging/emergent church, and the regulative principle (!), also included a new feature: Attendees were permitted to text message in any question they had during the sermon and Driscoll would answer, on the spot and off the cuff.

The resulting sermons were then reformatted and expanded in the book, Religion Saves & Nine Other Misconceptions, released in June, 2009, through Crossway and RE:Lit.

I read this book over the course of several days in August, 2009, not only because I enjoy Driscoll’s teaching and writing, but because I wanted to see if it differed much from the sermon series itself. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was far more in-depth, and many chapters were far more thoughtful than the initial sermons themselves.

I also found that I had so many notes, there was no way I could contain them all in a single post! (In case you’re wondering, I had six pages of notes covering all nine subjects. The only book I’ve ever had more on was The Shack—and no, that’s not an indication of the quality of this book.) In light of this, I am devoting the week to my thoughts on Religion Saves.

When reading, I also noticed there were a few interesting patterns that developed, with several themes being interconnected. And because I enjoyed the interplay which occurred, I’ll be grouping my comments on each section thematically, rather than in order of publication.

Tuesday’s post will feature Birth Control, Sexual Sin and Dating. Wednesday is Predestination, Grace and Faith & Works. Thursday is Humor, the Emerging Church and the Regulative Principle. And Friday will be a wrap up and final thoughts.

In the end, I hope that this week will be enjoyable, grace-filled, thought-provoking, and, ultimately profitable for everyone.

At the very least, I hope it’s not boring for those who stick through it.