In Who Do You Think You Are?, Mark Driscoll unpacks the multifaceted new identity we have in Christ by working through the book of Ephesians.
In his introduction, Driscoll claims, “this world’s fundamental problem is that we don’t understand who we truly are—children of God made in his image—and instead define ourselves by any number of things other than Jesus” (2). In this way, he suggests our sinful behavior finds its source in our false identities which idolize self and the material things of this world.
Following this brief but important introduction, Driscoll—in subsequent chapters—unpacks various facets of what it means to be in Christ as found in the book of Ephesians (I am blessed, I am appreciated, I am saved, I am afflicted, I am forgiven, etc…).
In a culture obsessed with finding itself, Driscoll’s “self-help” language and accessible title gives this book the opportunity to find its way into the hands of those who might not typically read a more academic looking/sounding book. Pastor Mark opens up the book of Ephesians—and the truth of Christ—to a wide range of people. He manages to do so without patronizing less academic readers or failing to offer fresh insights to theologically inclined readers. This is to be commended.
Commitment to Scripture, Truth, and the Gospel
Perhaps the greatest strength of this book is that, even as Driscoll points readers to various identities, he demonstrates how they are all rooted in Christ’s completed work. We are saints because of Christ (ch 3). We are blessed because we are in Christ (ch 4). We are appreciated, saved, reconciled and so on because of Christ (ch 5–7 respectively). A reader might pick up this book, read the table of contents, and hope to find encouragements about who they are. What they’ll find instead is THE encouragement of the gospel, where Christ is the source of our identity and blessing.
While the theme of identity holds the book together on a macro scale, it does so somewhat loosely. Each chapter reads like another week’s sermon, with little to no reference of previous illustrations, examples, or verses. In this way, the chapters are fairly episodic and disjunct. While the content is all valuable, there’s no major metaphorical or illustrative thread that holds the myriad of stories and themes together. Given the nearly infinite scope of “identity,” this is an understandable difficultly. In light of this, I’d suggest Who Do You Think You Are? be read devotionally, one chapter at a time, rather than as a single logical argument with an introduction, argument, defense, and conclusion.
While the book isn’t at the top of my recommended reading list, there is still much to commend about it—the greatest of which being its high view of both Scripture and the work of Christ.
I received this book as part of Thomas Nelson’s Booksneeze blog reviewer program.