Matthew R. Perry

Mark Driscoll, Reformed Loose Cannon — I Am Officially Off the Bandwagon

In Church Life, For Preachers/Pastors, For Seminary Students, Missions, Preaching on May 2, 2007 at 2:15 pm

By now, you may have seen the video by Mark Driscoll and the Acts 29 Network which deals with church planting. So much good stuff in this video (as in all of his sermons). And he rightly notes that the least likely age group to come to church are men in their 20s.

But good grief! I want to like this guy’s ministry… I want to promote his ministry to my people but just can’t … I want to even be an admirer and supporter of his hip, cool, trendy, shocking style of preaching (a switch, considering that I preach in a traditional, Southern Baptist Church in the buckle of the Bible belt).

But I just can’t.

Today marks the day I am officially off the bandwagon. I just have such difficulty sifting the beauties and majesties of the truths he preaches from God’s Word from the sophomoric jargon he uses as a vehicle to carry along his point. At first, I liked his candor — now it embarrasses me. He is a Reformed loose cannon who bends over backwards to be edgy and his message of the cross of Christ and its offensiveness to the world’s cursed worldview is buried in another type of offensiveness — his presentation.

An alternative? Tim Keller. He is informed on the culture, presents his message with clarity and heart, and most importantly, I can in good conscience give one of his messages to one of my deacons or one of my On-Mission Team members at church.

What frightens me most is that there are many who may try to style themselves after Driscoll. Be careful if you do — speaking the truth in love still applies, last I checked (Ephesians 4:15). Regardless of his motives, he comes off too much as a loose cannon to convey a passionate love for his people and his city.

What think ye?

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  1. Personally I go back and forth. Yet, I have not read any of his books nor listened to any of his sermons. I guess all my opinions are formed from hearsay. Therefore, I think it is fair to say that my opinion on Driscoll is currently middle of the road or undefined depending on how you look at it. I like some things I hear about him and I don’t like some things I hear about him.

    But I totally understand from a pastoral point of view what you are getting at. If I were in your shoes I don’t think I would be able to recommend him to one of my leaders. Yet, if I were in a new inner city church plant in Seattle that may be different. Tim Keller does seem to be a more stable alternative.

  2. Amen. I have felt this way for a long while, but until now, no one agreed with me. Thanks Matt!

    I love the intent of Driscoll’s ministry, but, man, drop the vulgar innuendo. Let me add a note. I was a pagan, God-hating person, who was wrapped up in all the vices that one finds in places far away from the Bible belt. It was not hip and edge that brought me to Christ. It was the Spirit that called and convicted me in the Word of God. When that transformation occured, I began to love other Christians, even those traditional Baptists of which I had nothing in common. It was the Holy Spirit that caused that-not me. When people are called into a relationship with God, they will love Christians and music tastes and will become less important- they might even attend a church that does not appeal to their tastes simply because it teaches the Word of God faithfully! ( This really does happen)

    So, we should be careful to focus on appearances. Lets focus on Christ.

    Lets keep Driscoll in our prayers.

  3. William:

    Just a cursory read through Mark’s first book will give you all you need to know about his presentation. He is a theological horse — but so much extraneous nonsense accompanies it.

    *Shakes head* Why? Oh why!?!?

  4. Tim Keller would fit your audience much better. Mark is made for Seattle!

  5. I agree with Bumble. Driscoll even says himself that his ministry is geared for the people of Seattle. He wouldn’t expect one of the pastors of an Acts 29 church in India to preach like him, much less a pastor in rural Kentucky.

  6. Yes, I agree that Mark takes the Seattle culture into consideration — we as preachers must certainly consider our audience. I live in a city of 250,000 people with two major universities and numerous JuCos within 15 minutes of us. But I would question according to Scripture whether any of his vulgar, sophomoric comments belong anywhere in the mouth and mind of a believer. In considering Ephesians 4:29:

    [29] Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

    … would you ever consider much of the bantor of Driscoll is ‘wholesome talk’? Does he truly build up with his jokes?

    When I hear Driscoll in some of his remarks, I cannot help but think of James 3:3-12

    If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. [4] Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. [5] So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

    How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! [6] And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. [7] For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, [8] but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. [9] With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. [10] From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. [11] Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? [12] Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

    Too much salt water comes out along with the fresh — “these things ought not to be so.”

  7. If I’m not quite where you are, then I’m really close. I was watching the same video and thinking how great it was. Then, I suddenly envisioned showing it to my church, and then I suddenly envisioned my people in a paralyzed state of shock?

    Just a clash of cultures, or is Driscoll over the top? I’m not sure yet, but man I do I sympathize with what you’re saying.

  8. […] Bill Hybels publicly criticised for not speaking of women church planters. * But Matt Perry is officially off the Driscoll bandwagon. * An interesting blog I hadn’t come across before: Mark Meynell who wrote an excellent […]

  9. Attending Mars Hill for a couple of years now when I travel to Seattle (bi-monthly) has been a great experience. Sitting in the “pew” and participating in the worship and hearing Pastor Mark preach to his congregation is the only way to really understand his ministry. I’ve also had occasion to hear other Mars Hill pastors preach from time to time – Lief Moi stands out for his excellent expository skills. What anyone who listens or watches Pastor Mark’s sermons must do is keep in mind the “Sitz im Leben” of the messages – they are delivered as a labor of love to a growing body of radical believers in a city largely given over to the pursuit of all that the world has to offer. Seattle is a wealthy city – both monetarily and culturally, and largely liberal & tolerant of just about anything other than the Gospel. It is to THAT culture that Mars Hill speaks and labors to allow the Gospel to permeate the message, their lives and mission. I have to agree that Tim Kellor is the “better” teacher, but one thing to keep in focus is that Pastor Kellor, John Piper, and C.J. Mahaney have all been mentoring Pastor Mark and continue to have a great impact on his life and teaching. We should all pray for the work of God in cities like Seattle, and not just at Mars Hill, but throughout that city.

  10. Glenn:

    Thank you for your perspective on this. After I wrote this and after talking with a couple of friends of mine on this matter, I wonder how much of this is his ‘sitz im leben’ (situation in life, so to speak) coupled with youthful zeal. He and I are roughly the same age, so I tend to see things from that perspective anyway. I would love to see Driscoll in 10 years to see if any of that edge comes off.

  11. I watched Mark Driscoll speak in Canada recently at the same conference at which John Piper was also a guest speaker. Mr. Driscoll called men at his church “knuckelheads” that he would “yell and scream” at — and that it was received well by them (unless women were there).

    Then I heard John Piper speak.

    I regret that John Piper’s name and message is connected with Mark Driscoll’s name and message.

  12. Piper took a lot of heat for having Mark speak at the DGM National Conference last year. Make no apologies on behalf of Dr. Piper. He is a strong supporter of Driscoll’s vision and commitment to the Gospel. The conference was wonderful and Driscoll was excellent.

  13. I get the sense that those who have a strong negative reaction to Driscoll are watching him with their religious cultural radar on and not their Biblical eyes. If men are “knuckelheads” there is nothing unBiblical about saying so. In fact that is called speaking the truth. And before you say that it doesn’t sound very loving remember some of the unloving sounding but truthful things Christ said to the Jews during his ministry.

  14. Chuck:

    I get the sense that you are making way too general a comment about those who do not care for Driscoll’s delivery. And by comparing Driscoll to Jesus is by far the biggest stretch in defending him. It’s one thing to offend — it’s another thing to continue pepper your sermons with sophomoric jargon reserved for locker rooms and continually peppering your sermons with what Paul calls “unwholesome talk.” Regardless of the culture, it’s inappropriate and takes away from the thrust of his otherwise fantastic content. He’ll either have to season or he’ll be a footnote on the pages of history. I’d rather have the former.

  15. Here is a different take on Mr. Driscoll’s manliness.

  16. (From Matt: I wanted to include this comment, but will cover over some of the saltier words with asterisks (*).)

    I’m 17 and now live in Vancouver, BC after moving here 3 months ago to attend school. Before now, I have lived in and around Tacoma, WA, roughly 30 miles south of Seattle. I’ve been in church since before I was born and have primarily attended Pentecostal charismatic churches, from AG to Foursquare, and am now ashamed to say, was a sissy. For the past year I have been attending Mars Hill and since then, my life has changed. I also watched that video and honestly, Seattle needs a man like Mark Driscoll, a man who calls the men of the church to step up and be patriarchs. I’ve been to ‘feel good’ churches where sex is a twice a year sermon and the pressing issues of marriage, baby making, lament, masculinity and theological grounding get pushed off for teachings of blessings, faith and the overly popular grace of God. Which are all fine and dandy; but how the h*** is someone to overcome a sin like pornography or fornication, when all they hear is how God’s grace covers our sin and not Psalms 5:5 which says “for you hate all who do evil.” ‘Love the sinner, hate the sin’? that’s was Ghandi, not Lord Jesus Christ. Now this isn’t a sissy God who says, ‘you can do whatever the (h***) you want cause my blood covers it’ but rather ‘I love you but you really (****) me off when you when you sin against me’. Seattle needs a teacher like Mark, someone who calls it like it is, tells you when you’re wrong, and makes you want to be a righteous man or at least ashamed of being a self worshiping pervert.

    Now if you come from a conservative place with mullets and giant haired preacher’s wives, then I can understand your shock. But here in the Northwest, home of the rain, it’s not always happy, and life ain’t always full of blessing, and life is never fair, so we don’t need someone telling us it’s wrong to get angry or that we should be happy all the time even though our sisters just got raped, and that with faith, we can get anything and everything we want. We don’t need that. We need Mark Driscoll.

  17. I began to listen to Driscoll because I like Piper so much and I thought if Piper likes him then I’m on board and I live in the Seattle area. I heard the Mars Hill youtube video where a young man spoke of his pagan past that involved “nailing as many chicks as possible”. I was jarred with that image and attitude and then I listened to Driscoll’s macho church video about the “chick-i-fied” church and began to seriously read all that was coming out of his ministry with more and more horror.

    The fruit of Driscoll is displayed very clearly in Joshua’s post above. In his post you see a young man raised in the church who is now ashamed of himself for his love of a sissy gospel and likes the “real man” talk of Driscol. And if you read Driscolls book he flaunts his days of “banging weak willed women like a broken screen door in the wind”

    He swears in his post (this is a Driscoll thing too) and he mocks the sissified people of the south and so on and he has adopted the language and attitude of his Real Man pastor. Please read Driscolls site resurgence where one of his blogger’s writes about the feminization of the church and see how he defines real men–primarily rude, raw, edgy, offensive, arrogant, obnoxious and at times vulgar. The fact that Driscoll maintains that men today don’t want to worship a Jesus they could beat up.

    Actually, if you spend about 40 hours just sifting through all that he is saying and see the response in this town, look at his videos, read his web-site, listen to his critics and allies it becomes very clear that he is very, very dangerous to the cause of Christ and to living with humility and brokenness. Driscoll is gaining an audience by appealing to the lust of the flesh of young men. Read how his peer Anthony Bradley calls the Hard-Core Punk culture awesome and says we should embrace them in all their violence. It is stunning.

  18. Carly,

    I’ve attended and listened to well over 200 hours of Driscoll’s teachings, and read his books, I have no idea what you are talking about. Driscoll teaches biblical masculinity. I’m gonna go out on a limb and ask if you do(or will) let your boys play with guns and swords? The result of passive sweater vest good little christian men, is that they are prone to not doing anything and end up committing sins of omission. They stand by while perverts sneak into the church and take advantage or our sisters, they don’t step up to the adventure that God has called them too and worst of all, they don’t defend the scriptures or challenge questionable doctrine. Driscoll doesn’t tell guys to pick fights or unjustly assert themselves, he teaches them to stand up for Truth and to defend their wives, children, and sisters in Christ, as well as the name of Jesus. Driscoll’s teaching is very raw but that’s because he took heed to 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. He became like a Seattlite, to win the Seattlites. Unless anyone can find me a verse that speaks against what Driscoll is teaching, then there aren’t any grounds for argument and this is only meaningless talk as 1 Timothy says. I would encourage you to watch http://www.marshillchurch.org/sermonseries/nehemiah/week_06.aspx .

    Not teaching christian men to stand up and fight is like building a house without any locks on the doors.

    I hope this helps.

    -Joshua

  19. Sorry Matt, But I thought I put an ‘e’ in Carley, must’ve missed it. Could you fix that for me. Thanks.

  20. Hi Joshua,

    I just seriously wonder if you are okay because of your focus on pervert’s feasting on your sisters as a point of frequent reference. Did something really bad happen to your sister or is this something they teach at the church. Are they instructing you that it is your role to protect the women from perverts waiting at the door or worse sneaking in? I know you think you are instructing me in the way more perfectly, but really your writing is just quite alarming.

    What you should know is that one of the leading causes of death among women, is not the pervert sneaking into the church but the macho guy they marry… You ought to check the statistics out if you are really concerned about the physical welfare of women. Having worked with battered women it became clear early on the more invested in being macho men are the more violent they are to the women in their lives. And churches with more authoritarian approaches to women often have incredible levels of violence going on behind closed doors. However, it is a wide-spread problem not just in the church.

    I also wonder about the reference to the macho Driscoll men not wearing sweater vests and being good little Christians so they can beat the perverts up. It makes me think that somewhere along the line your sense of masculinity was really challenged or that a family member was really hurt and the male authority figure did not protect them? Or worse the male authority inflicted the damage. Either this happened to you, or your world view is being shaped in frightening ways by this Driscoll’s odd teachings which by the way I do not find biblical.

    I also get the impression that you believe that people who oppose Driscoll like sweater vested emasculated men who are sissies and wimps (using language you use) Thus you make the assumption that if I had sons I wouldn’t let them play war games and you make the assumption I am young. It is a stereotype, which concerns me and makes me wonder what is being done to your head that you see the world through that kind of lens. A lens predicated on the nothion that anyone who opposes Driscoll for theological or moral reasons wants to emascualte men and dress them in pink.

    I see this sort of slant as its own kind of perversion. Your Emails have been the most persuasive argument about the damage this church does to impressionable young men.

    Again, it also makes me wonder if something really bad happened to your family or if you are being taught that the perverts want to come and damage sisters–but Driscoll men are manly enough to beat them up? I’m sad for you if that is the case.

    I didn’t have sons I have fabulously beautiful, extremely well educated daughters and nieces who have lived within walking distance of Driscolls church and when I ask the impression of the church among them and their friends and other Seattlelites he is supposed to being winning over en masse because he is so manly, relevant and cool, they report that the Hipster woman hating church is considered a joke among most, except the very small percentage of the town that are entertained and titillated by the Hipster drama theology. Which really is one of the most irrelevant things in town compared to the other issues Seattle faces.

    I’m relieved they are not attracted to it, because I fear them becoming the slave of a macho Driscollite that keeps them barefoot, pregnant and picking up socks in the name of protecting the little women from perverts… Frankly, women probably need more protection from those kind of guys in terms of wasting their lives then they need protection from perverts. There is more than one kind of predator. I’m very grateful my daughters and nieces found this church appalling and go to churches where they are treated with respect. I wouldn’t want them to waste their lives and dumb themselves down enough to fit into a place like that

    There was a point that I was really fascinated by this discussion and I appreciate your efforts to win me over. You didn’t succeed and now, I’m done with the conversation because I understand in terms of the Church of the Living God, all over the world, this little gnat of a movement in Seattle will blow over and be seen for what it was. Just one man’s little kingdom around a strange blend of shock jock, reformed theology, woman hating, beer drinking, profane, loud and ugly empty noise. Ultimately the big draw is that it appealed to the pride of man and the desire to be some kind of gospel ganster and Lord over their own domain. What a waste.

    Take care
    Carley

  21. Carley,

    I thank you for your concerns about me, but when I say sisters I mean my sisters in Christ and I treat them like 1 Timothy 5:2 says to. And I can’t tell you how many times I have heard nonchristian men(or boys rather) say that church is the best place to “pick up chicks”(and I use this phrase because the phrases they actually used were much more crass). In Seattle, the number one talk show host among young men is Tom Leykis. Look him up; you’ll want to throw up. I did.

    Secondly I would like to apologize for the tone I carried in my last posts; I was not as loving as I should have been. And I encourage you to read this post with the knowledge that I am a sinner.

    Now I will continue with first a prayer so that I may not sin because in all honesty I am very flustered. Not out of my own pride but out of the blatant attack on the works of Jesus Christ and my 2 Corinthians 10:17 and my 1 Corinthians 1:31.

    Jesus Christ, You are a sovereign God and you reign over all people in all nations. Lord I thank you for your sacrifice on the cross and I pray that you would give me the words to write and Holy Spirit keep my mouth in check and in line with the Word that you inspired. You are a righteous and just God, slow to anger and abounding in love; I pray that I would be the same. Amen.

    Carley,

    After what you’ve said. I’m not sure that you’re even a Christian. You’re actually saying that you want the spread of Christianity in Seattle to stop. Jesus accused the Pharisees of being sons of the devil and without Jesus I would say much worse than that. But I won’t. Your religion-not the true religion of James, to care for widows and orphans, but the kind that put Jesus on the cross-You religion is sinful. Scripture says in 2 Timothy 3:16 that all scripture is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. (And in all honesty I could use 1 Timothy 2:12 right now, but I do not think that would be loving, but it would be funny) So please let me rebuke you. Not harshly (1 Timothy 5) and not with my opinions, but softly with scripture. But before I rebuke you or defend Jesus Christ and his works, I want to first tell you about Jesus. Because nothing you have said supports any notion that you actually know him-the Jesus of the Bible.

    There is one God. He is the maker of Heaven and earth, and he made us in his image and likeness, male and female with dignity, value, and worth, with purpose. He made us to worship, and we chose to sin against him, to rebel against him, to disobey him. As a result we are separated from God and we live under the foolish myth that to some degree we are each our own god declaring right and wrong and living our own life by our own standards. And that God lovingly came into human history as the man Jesus Christ. Fully God. Fully Man. He was born of a virgin and lived a life without sin, even though he was temped in every way as we are. And he went to the cross, and there he substituted himself. Our first parents in the garden substituted themselves for God, and at the cross, Jesus reversed that substitution and substituted himself for sinners. And when Jesus went to the cross, he took willingly upon himself the sin of those who would come to trust in him. That means me. He went to the cross and took upon himself all my sins, past present and future, sins of omission and commission, sins of thought, deed, and motive, and Jesus Christ, God, who was a man, died. In my place, for my sins, paying my debt to God and purchasing my salvation. Jesus’ dead body was then laid in a tomb, and for three days he was buried. On the third day, a Sunday, which is why I worship on that day, Jesus rose, in victory over Satan, sin, death, demons, and hell. And He commissioned us, with the Holy Spirit, to be missionaries telling this amazingly good news that there is a God who passionately, lovingly, continually, relentlessly pursues us. And he ascended into heaven, and today Jesus is alive and well and He’s seated on a throne and he is ruling and reigning over all nations, and all cultures, and all philosophies, and all races, and all periods of time and he is the KING OF KINGS AND THE LORD OF LORDS and He is ruling and reigning over all people, commanding everyone everywhere to repent of everything and he is coming again to judge the living and the dead. And those who trust in Him will enjoy eternity in his kingdom of heaven forever, and those who do not will suffer apart from Him in the conscious eternal torment of hell. That is what I believe. I believe in Jesus Christ.

    Now if you believe this, then continue reading. But if you don’t, I pray that you would grab your Bible and spend some time in prayer and start a real relationship with Jesus Christ, the God of the Bible. But if you believe this, that’ll be quite ironic, because this is a direct quote of Driscoll. (Did you catch the part about “male AND female with dignity, value and worth”?

    If you are by any chance a widow I love you the same and what follows is not for you so please don’t read on, and I sincerely apologize for my combativeness against you, for it is not my place if you do not have a husband to teach you the scriptures. And if that be the case, I still love you as a sister in Christ but encourage you to not post your opinions on message boards without a husband to keep you accountable to scripture and love you like Christ loves the church. If you do have a husband though, I pray that he would love the Lord and step up to be the man that God has called him to be and teach you the scriptures so that he would not have to be held responsible for these sins as Adam was held responsible for the sin of his wife Eve.

    Please, please don’t continue if you don’t know this Jesus of the Bible. It is not my place to judge or rebuke the sins of an unbeliever, only to share Jesus with them, and for not previously assuring this, I apologize. But if you’re still reading this then I take it you do believe in the Jesus of the Bible, your husband is alive, and you would like to hear what I have to say. Here goes.

    First.

    You have not presented one bit of scripture, but rather irrational statements based on your “religious” opinions. Satan quotes more scripture than (taken out of context, twisted, and altered) but at least he’s quoting it.
    All of this has just become an argument and 1 Timothy 6:4 says: “he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions,” I do not want this to become that, though it already has started.

    This brings me to my second point: Slander.

    How dare you accuse Driscoll of woman hating. Clearly you haven’t read or listened to him. In my hundreds of hours of reading and listening and attending Jesus’ church that he preaches at, I have heard nothing whatsoever that supports this claim. (Jesus help me out here, keep me from sin, James 1:5 says that to obtain wisdom, all I must do is ask, Jesus please give me wisdom to handle this situation) He loves and stands up for women and teaches us to do the same. You are a liar filled with deceit. And to anyone reading this: Seek the truth. Don’t trust even what I write, though I am not at all trying to deceive you. Nonetheless test it all. I’m a sinner too (Romans 7 and 8 is a fun study for this one).

    Beer drinking is not a sin. Jesus drank wine. It’s a sin to get drunk though, as well as break law. Give Ecclesiastes a good 6 month study and you too will be convicted to drink good wine and eat good meat. (And don’t even think about arguing this without a verse.)

    The Bible doesn’t touch swear words, I mean behavior regarding them. But the Bible does use strong language itself. I believe Isaiah 64 says that our righteous acts are like blood tampons. And Philippians 4:8 says that it is like dung. The word that is actually used there in its original Greek is “σκύβαλα” pronounced “skubala.” This word literally translated to English is “Shit”(Matt, Please don’t edit this out, it’s the Bible, if you don’t trust me, please flip to Philippians 4 in your Greek Bible and see for yourself) and early English translations of the Bible actually used this word. You could argue that that’s the only Greek equivalent. That would be false. There is επίστεγο-poop, περιττώματα-feces, κοπριά –dung, λίπασμα-manure, κόπρανα-excerement, απόβλητα, λύμα, σπατάλη, σπαταλώ-all meaning ‘waste’. So you see there are many other words Paul could’ve used, but he chose one with strength and vulgarity, σκύβαλα. So get off Driscoll’s case for doing the same in a city where nude bicyclists freely parade down our streets.(Again, please don’t argue this without a verse, you won’t be helping your case)

    Thirdly

    I don’t think you understand biblical masculinity. You are confused. If I continue, I may sin, so please read Genesis 1,2, and 3, the books of 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, 1 Corinthians, and Revelation 19. And I pray that the Holy Spirit would convict you of your sin.

    Lastly,

    I conclude only because it’s late and I have better things to do. After studying the letters of 1,2 and 3 John, I sincerely thank God for you. Because when people not unlike yourself come into the church and oppose the Word of God, Christian men bury their noses in scripture to in order to defend the truth. And because of you, I have grown in my relationship with the King and knowledge of his divine Word. So thank you. I really love you, I do. As well, studying Galatians, which I would encourage you to do also, I understand that you may say the things you do to anger me and lure me into sinning. And I probably have, and I apologize for that. It is very clear that you are trying to provoke me, but because of Jesus, I can love you and I feel (without pride or self-righteousness) that I have-for the most part-maintained self-control. (Thank you Jesus)

    Jesus, you are a gracious God, a compassionate God, and the only true living God. I thank you for the Son you sent and the reconciliation that resulted from those tragic and sovereign turn of events Lord Jesus. I lift Carley up before you. I pray that she would be convicted by your word and not by my unworthy lame defense of your name, as much as I try. Lord I pray for her husband if he is still here with us on earth. I pray that he would dive into the scriptures to see what kind of man you have called him to be. Jesus I pray that you would show your love to Carley’s family and that you would help her understand that you are the way the truth and the life, and that religion and stupid rules have no say in whether or not we get to enter your kingdom. Holy Spirit please soften her heart toward Mark Driscoll and the amazing things you’re doing in Seattle and the thousands of people who are getting saved and the hundreds of churches that are being planted because of what you are doing through him. Lord I pray for him that he would continue preaching the scriptures and that more and more people would turn from their worldly lives of sin to you, the only source of joy. Jesus I pray that you would show Carley that just because things aren’t done the way that she would have them done, they aren’t wicked or sinful, but contrarily expanding your kingdom. Jesus. I can’t change Carley’s heart, only you can, and I pray that you would, because I love her, and I hate to watch her get wrapped up in meaningless religion that takes attention away from you and the love that you have for her. Jesus I thank you for this opportunity for me to grow in my knowledge of you and my understanding of your word. I thank you that I was able to hold my tongue(or fingers rather), and because this has a propensity to cause pride and self righteousness to swell up, I pray that you would keep at the forefront of my mind that I am wicked and you are holy, I’m a sinner and deserving of hell, but you love me. Jesus I love you dearly, and I thank you for the cross.

    Amen.

    Carley, I love you.

  22. A year has gone by since you started this thread. A lot has happened. Lief Moi (who founded Mars Hill with Driscoll), who Glenn above said “stands out for his excellent expository skills,” is no longer an elder/pastor at Mars Hill. In fact, most of the original elders have left or been fired. When you watch these videos, it will make you weep:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/ReallySad1
    .

  23. I just read the blog post “I am officially off the bandwagon.” regarding Mark Driscoll from over a year ago. (It’s Thanksgiving today.)

    You referred to Brother Driscoll as a “Reformed” loose cannon. First of all, I am sick and tired of the term “reformed” being to anyone and everyone who is a Calvinist. “It ain’t so, Joe.” The appellation requires much more than simply being a Calvinist. Driscoll apparently has, at least for now, a soteriology that is Calvinistic. That’s about as far as it goes for him. Don’t devalue the term by referring to either Mark Driscoll OR Tim Keller as “reformed.” You don’t know what you are talking about. And don’t go crying, “Well, who are you to define the term ‘reformed’? Mark Driscoll is a very powerful and dynamic speaker, and there are some real beauties in his sermons. But, he is anything but “reformed” in the classical, historical sense of the word. When I think of Brother Driscoll simply as a broad evangelical who is a Calvinist caught up in the contextualization fad, I don’t get the heebeejeebees. But, when I hear guys like you refer to him as “reformed”, I freak out of my mind. I can appreicate Driscoll as a brother with a passion and a message to narrow niche of American culture. However, when it is suggested that he is “reformed”, I get heartburn. Mark Driscoll is an example of an “emerging church” type who believes in the sovereignty of God. That’s about it.

    I do want to warn readers that he is dead wrong in his exegesis and interpretation of Genesis 1-2. In his sermon on Genesis 1&2, the first five days, he tells listeners not to write him any letters. He doesn’t want to hear it. Phew! That’s not only super prideful, it is dangerous for his soul.

    I am appalled that so few modern leaders in the “reformed” movement get it so terribly wrong on the first 11 chapters of Genesis. Boice, Piper, Dever, Keller, Driscoll, Alister Begg(sp?), RC Sproul (finally repented but keeps silent on the issue.)…Do any national figures beside Al Mohler and John MacArthur really take seriously the first 11 chapters of Genesis?
    Error in the beginning is like poison. It brings death in the end. These men might be able to keep the error in check in their own theological lives, but, eat will eat the soul right out of the avegage person in the pew. Church history bears this tendency out.

    You guys who went to TEDS, Gordon Conwell, Westminster, Fuller, Wheaton and Covenant need to read beyond Boice’s commentary on Genesis, Kline’s “Because It Had Not Rained”, Phillip Johnson’s many books on ID and Hugh Ross on Progressvie Creation. You give Biblical Christianity a black eye when you espouse this compromise. The unbelieving world KNOWS what Genesis 1-11 teaches and that the rest of the Bible backs it up. How is it that they can get it right, and you can’t?

    For the glory of Christ and the Truth,
    jo
    (PS: I’m pushing 50 so hard it hurts.)

  24. Dear Jo or Jon (you signed one place Jon, but in your comment, Jo):

    So tell me: how do you feel about Driscoll being referred to as “reformed?” I couldn’t quite tell, so could you state it for me one more time.

    Kidding.

    First of all, I’d recommend you getting to know me before you put forth all this speculation and conjecture. First, Driscoll refers to himself as “reformed” in his book “Confessions of a Reformissionary Rev.” Tim Keller also refers to himself as reformed in numerous sermons. So in both cases, I’m quoting them.

    Secondly, I hold to the literal nature of Genesis 1-11, so be sure and take care to make sure you know where I come from before you tell me I give Christianity a “black eye.” Let’s get it right before you start with the accusations.

    I’m surprised this blog post made you “freak out of your mind.” Seems like anytime anyone speaks of Driscoll, it’s too polarizing. Wow.

  25. Mark Driscoll is certainly out of my comfort zone, but I beieve he speaks the Truth at least as much as many of the “proper” preachers. He lives in Seattle where they needed something other than conservative Christianity which borders on joyless, loveless legalism. His theology is pretty good from what I’ve seen – God will continue to use him as he becomes more sanctified. I’m glad, though that he doesn’t ft the mold of Christinas who don’t understand they’re on a performance treadmill leading to death.

    Some of you need to understand *why* Paul needed to say “Shall we sin then so that grace may abound?” If what Paul was preaching didn’t sound a lot like “God will not be angry with you because of your sin” they never would have asked that question.

    Get a life.
    If you don’t like it, take it up with the Sovereign Lord. He sure seems to be using Mark.

    Or would you rather have the Joel Osteen blinding-white smile with nary a negative anything?

    You don’t have to like him, but don’t judge him. If you think what he does is wrong, fine, don’t do it.

  26. Two thoughts. First, I have personally been very encouraged and convicted by Mark Driscoll and his call for men to be men. He says frequently that he is targeting young men, and his style that comes off as a brash loose cannon to some is geared toward that audience. Second, as I’ve listened to a wide range of Driscoll’s sermons, I notice that he is not always a ‘loose cannon’. I think he is very discerning in how he treats different topics. He is funny when humor is helpful, he is harsh when harshness is required, he is serious when the subject is serious, and he is tender when he needs to be tender.

  27. I used to like to listen to Mark but after awhile it just becomes more and more dribble. In Australia we call it ‘little man syndrome’. I come from a background that would make Mark blush and if I ever preached like he does I would as he say’s “punch myself in the head”! I understand that it is hard in Seattle, get over it Mark. Where I currently live in Australia they still dig holes and bury you if you upset the wrong people and if you talked to most people on the street here like he does in church they would give you a right flogging. We had one preacher stick his nose in once and they cracked his skull.
    Folks just ask yourself would you see Jesus talking like that, why do we think it is any different or worse now that back when He was here? Are we called to be like the world or set the example for the world? Sorry but I think it just aint right and in no way honors our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity,and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.Titus 2:6-8 (English Standard Version)

    • I hear you, Erik.

      The context in Seattle is a bit different in Australia. Men struggle being ‘men’ here. It’s an extended adolescence here, and Mark tries to combat that lazy MENtality. I get it… just still struggle with it.

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