Book Review – Sweetheart (Mark Driscoll)


I was privileged to receive a pre-publication copy of Mark Driscoll’s forthcoming book, thanks to the good folks at re:Lit. It should be appearing soon at all good booksellers, so here is my review to whet your appetite.

In this book, Driscoll explores what it means to be a “real man”, lamenting the fact that too many Christian guys have got completely the wrong idea about how they should behave. He exposes the lie that manhood is somehow all about courage and strength, and calls us to lay down the tough guy exterior to reveal your “inner sweetheart”.

The book is organized into three main sections, each exploring a different facet of biblical manhood:

1. Crying

A moving chapter on John 11:35 demonstrates that real men cry. Lots. He tells the tragic story of one pastor who was so hard-hearted he remained dry-eyed right the way through Sleepless in Seattle. He explains how in choosing Peter, himself a cry-baby (Matt 26:75), Jesus shows the type of sensitive soul that he is looking for in church leadership.

2. Caring

The way some people talk, you might think that being a man is all about feats of strength and endurance, winning wrestling matches or climbing mountains. But Driscoll shows that the real way to be a man is to care for beauty. Those men closest to God have always enjoyed what some might consider “girly” interests. He illustrates this with examples of Calvin’s love for poetry, Stott’s love for bird-watching, and Don Carson’s gift for interpretive dance.

3. Cowering

One of the real problems with being a macho man, is that by confronting problems you could get hurt. And God doesn’t want any of his little preciouses getting hurt, does he? Driscoll shows how the great masculine heroes of the Bible knew when to run and hide. The great apostle Paul set the example for us by hiding inside a basket rather than facing up to his opponents (Acts 9:25).

Of course, the greatest example of what it means to be a man is Jesus. Driscoll unpacks from Matt 12:19-20, the need to avoid conflict, speak quietly, and have gentle and soft hands (he recommends this hand cream).

Verdict: This makes essential reading for Christian men, who are so easily made to feel ashamed of their love for lime green cardigans and herbal tea, and suffer under the crushing pressure of being expected to achieve things or take a lead. Driscoll sets us free from all that false guilt, and proves once and for all that the true symbol of manhood is not the sword, but the daisy.

32 thoughts on “Book Review – Sweetheart (Mark Driscoll)

  1. Any idea when it’s going to be out, can’t wait to get my hand on this. A love of cardigans has been a source of ridicule for me over the last few years…oh, and liking Grey’s Anatomy.

    Is the rumour about all pre-orders getting a special journal with a lock on it to keep all their thoughts and emotions stored in true? I hope so

  2. I got all the way to “Don Carson’s gift for interpretive dance” before realising…! Good work.

  3. My first April fools blog!
    Thanks – I too loved the image of DA Carson doing interpretive dance

  4. Hang, just realised that you must have mocked up the cover. THAT’S(!) what makes it work, attention to detail. Could have just as well done a post sans and image, but you didn’t, you put in the graft. A doff of the hat to you sir.

  5. This is so inspiring. I appreciate how open and vulnerable Pastor Mark is showing himself to be in this book. Thank you for reviewing the book…off to get some tissues.

  6. Funniest thing I’ve read in months! Must confess it had me going for a while. Got a really unhelpful image of Dr Don stuck in my head now though!!

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  9. SOOOOOO funny!!!!!!! At first I thought, “oh my word, what has Pastor Mark been drinking lately” since I just listened to his sermon on Marriage for Men – LOL This was great 🙂

  10. Seriously, fantastic. Like Ecclesiastes says, there is a time to laugh. Great work!

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  12. I’ve been had! Was really worried for a minute as to what had happened to Mark Driscoll! Good April fool’s Mark and a fantastic mock up of the book cover!

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