Tags: Christianity, History, Mark Driscoll, RPTS, Seminary, Theology
Today Time Magazine published an article suggesting that “the New Calvinism” is the 3rd most influential idea changing the world right now. In Response Driscoll quickly put up a response. He said:
1. Old Calvinism was fundamental or liberal and separated from or syncretized with culture. New Calvinism is missional and seeks to create and redeem culture.
2. Old Calvinism fled from the cities. New Calvinism is flooding into cities.
3. Old Calvinism was cessationistic and fearful of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. New Calvinism is continuationist and joyful in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
4. Old Calvinism was fearful and suspicious of other Christians and burned bridges. New Calvinism loves all Christians and builds bridges between them.
Does anyone else think that Mark Driscoll is
the last guy not the guy who should speak about Old Calvinism (if there is such a thing), and does anyone else think that after his comments above it seems like he doesn’t really understand Calvinism?
Of course guys who go to his church, or people who are big fans of Driscoll will think Im just another bitter and back biting “Old” Calvinism. Well I’m not, but I do think that its important for people to say “hold up.” On top of it I think the idea of dividing the new and old, Of saying we are not those guys, is divisive and not productive.
Anyone who reads what I write, or knows me, knows that I appreciate Mark Driscoll, and his ministry. I am very pleased with how the God has used his ministry. I have found his teaching very good on many issues.
Here is what bothers me. On the topic of baptism he is inconsistent. Here is why I say this.Driscoll is one of the founders of The Acts 29 Network, and is on their board. IN their documents they say “How a local church performs them is open-handed (we have Presbyterians and Baptists in the Acts 29 Network”
I was happy to hear that they apparently admitted that Christians are divided on the issue, but when I recently read a section from Vintage Church. “We simply cannot believe that justification and regeneration are by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone can hold this understanding of baptism…”
More than his disagreement, I am bother by the tone of the latter quote, and to be honest it seems to be a contradiction to the notion that baptism is an open handed issue in Acts 29.
Here is why I am really disappointed in Drsicoll’s take: In many of the things that I have read from Driscoll I have found that he is gifted at communicating a unique, and yet critical and insightful perspective on theological issues. He is well read and cites from authors across the ages. Yet when it comes to Baptism, he cites several reformed voices including the Westminster Confession of Faith, but chooses to avoid interacting with them. Additionally unlike the majority of his writing he seems to be simply restating a modernist, perspective from a very narrow historical sector. Its especially unfortunate that Driscoll is so dogmatic on one sacrament while at the same time is fairly unspecific when it comes to the other, simply stating that he “stands more in the Reformed Tradition”.
I understand that Presbyterians are in the minority, but it bothers me that with one statement Discoll can, at least by association, admit and accept differences on the issue of Baptism, while with a another statement, condemn, and disassociate himself with many great men, including Tim Keller, Harvie Conn, and others.
This is not an attack on Driscoll, and I hope it is not a rant. I felt that it was necessary to voice my disagreement with a person that I often recommend, in a respectful way.
Tags: Christianity, Contextualization, Culture, Funny, Mark Driscoll, Marshill, Messy Christianity
No Comments Yet
Ok so though Ive known about the article for about a week, I just getting around to reading the article about the driscoll in the NYT. Im not sure
Here is one very interesting quote from the article:
Human beings are totally corrupted by original sin and predestined for heaven or hell, no matter their earthly conduct. We all deserve eternal damnation, but God, in his inscrutable mercy, has granted the grace of salvation to an elect few.
But I thought to myself–did they just say that in the New York Times?!?
The article makes me proud and a bit sad.
Tags: Christianity, Church Planting, Mark Driscoll, Marshill, missional, Preaching, Seminary
No Comments Yet
Mark Driscoll recently traveled to England to speak about the importance of church planting. The lectures can be found here.
At one point Mark, a brother whom I greatly respect, talked about when a “number one” Pastor should step down. His argument, there are some guys who are really, as he puts it, “number two” guys who are in number one positions. He argues that these guys need to step down. According to Mark, pastors who struggle with sermons, who shrug off vision and “architecting”, and whose churches are stagnant are probably number two guys in the number one slot.
Mark advises that they need to step down, and let a real number one step up. It seems like he is arguing that Preaching and vision are things that a number one does, while shepherding and counseling are for the number two.
Let me share what I disagree with, before I move on to what I agree with.
First, Mark often speaks about the problem of simply pulling your church’s structure for culture. In fact he has gone to great pains to show how he is a two office guy, Elders and Deacons. These statements hurt that part of his witness. This idea seems to come more from the corporate world than the New Testament. Putting a value judgment on guys as being primary or secondary is wrong. Its wrong when Presbyterians devalue ruling elders, and its wrong when Mark devalues these number two guys, and it divides the office of elder.
In addition I think its unhealthy to score different aspects of the ministry of an elder. Here is the problem and this might sound mean. Mark has forgotten where these guys are coming from. He points out in Confessions of a Reformission Rev. that most churches are less than 200, which means that most churches only have one guy on staff. Which means that the specialization that Mark is talking about is entirely unknown to most of the guys he is talking to at church planting conferences. Regardless of if these small churches are healthy or not, I think that Doug Swagerty is right when he says that a church is not a fault for being small. In a larger church, with multiple full-time elders (ie. Pastors) it is understandable that different men need to specialize. I think Mark might be setting up for church planters the idea that 2000 plus people should be the norm for a church, when factually this is not the case.
I understand that he was not trying to devalue these specialized pastors who don’t preach, but I think he explained his idea in the wrong way. I also understand that this is a blog, one that very few people read. My critique is probably not going to change the way that Mark talks about this stuff, though it would be nice if it did. I think Mark has to realize that many Pastors are going to be both ones and twos, most of my seminary professors showed the ability to cast vision, to teach, to prophetically call people to follow Christ. At the same time these men, can along side of their students, they encouraged and counseled them. It is not as easy as saying your a one and your a two. I would argue that the majority of good pastors are going to be a mix of both.
Instead of simply speaking of number one preachers and number two counselors, I think Mark should have gone to Scripture to argue for the diversity of gifts on a pastoral team, something that I agree with. As I was listening to his lecture, I immediately went to Acts 11. In Acts 11, Barnabas, is working in the church Antioch, he is preaching, teach, and shepherding this new church. The Spirit is using Barnabas and the result is an explosion in the growth of the church. Barnabas, though he is a gifted speaker, realizes that Paul’s teaching would build up the church so he seeks out Paul, and asks him to join the ministry in Antioch. It seems fair to say that Paul and Barnabas, though sharing many skills, each brought their own talents to the table. From what we gather later in Acts, Paul seems to headline much of the speaking, while even Barnabas’s name reveals his counseling gifts.
I think Mark could, and should say, that if you are a Barnabas, and you see that you need someone else to come and minister with you, you need to find that Paul. Even if it means that visibly your place in the church will decrease.
I don’t think that Mark should presuppose that all churches will reach a point where all their staff can specialize, but I do think that in in the western church, there has been a culture of solo. Even the Presbyterian system, which is still being refined by God’s word, has for too long seen the Teaching Elder as alone in his ministry. In the New Testament, men ministering alone was the exception not the rule. In part, I think what Mark was getting at is the importance of realizing the need to be connected to other men in ministry. This commitment to connection must be valued even if it means that, like Barnabas, one pastor’s role might become less visible.
The challenge is to not setup success as our functional savior. A pastor’s desire must be to see people come to love Jesus, and each other, and not to be know for seeing people come to love Jesus and each other.
Tags: Acts 29, Church Planting, Contextualization, Culture, Mark Driscoll, Marshill, Preaching
No Comments Yet
Is Mark Driscoll right?
Do men care about church?
Should men care about church?
Do we, as the church, target the audience before us which statistically is more female( I’ve heard 60%)?
Do we find ways to make sure that men know that Jesus was a man, the ultimate man, a man, that every girl should want to marry, and every guy should want to be?
Are Driscoll and his buddies right when they say that the church has preached an effeminate Jesus?
Is Mark right when he says: “Jesus did not have Elton John or the Spice girls on his iPod, The View on his Tivo, or a lemon-yellow Volkswagen beetle in his garage. No Jesus was not the kind of person, who, if walking by you on the street, would require you to look for an Adam’s apple to determine the gender.”
Is Anthony Bradley correct in stating the church’s inability to fulfill the mission of God when he says: “Pastor Teletubby, offering a pink-dressed Jesus, is not capable of leading a church into the gloriously dangerous sufferings of Gospel-driven local mission advancing the Kingdom of God ‘wherever the curse is found.’”?
A few years ago, Driscoll had some trouble on the Out of Ur blog over at christianitytoday.com. So I decided to see if the blog was still running. When I loaded the site it apeared to be fully operational, and guess who I saw at the top of the site? None other than John Tesh. Yes, your heard me right John Tesh. At the top of the site was a banner add for John Tesh’s Blog. No Joke. Here is the actual banner that was on the site?
As guy I have to say that just seeing John Tesh at the top of the site made me think: “These guys have nothing to say to me.” And I’m a Christian! I would bet that most people would be much more comfortable with John Tesh running their church than they would be with Mark Driscoll.
Mark is offensive, he is sometimes a bit imprecise but he is right when it comes to men. As a man I can confirm that men need to be told to step up; to stop pounding six packs of IC Light and playing Halo 3, while they surf for porn, and starting living like all of life is under the good reign of King Jesus, and that one day he is going to return and check our time cards.
“The Key to church growth is kick a guy in the middle as hard as you can.” – Mark Driscoll, from Preaching the Mission.
On March 2nd Mark Driscoll preached the last sermon in his Ask Anything series.
After listening to the sermon and reading the blog post found here, I decided to send the church a message, via their Mission and Vision blog. I’ve posted the whole message below. If you’ve listen to or read the post on voxpop and agree or disagree I’d love to hear some feedback on what I said.
I know this comment is worth as much as one of those 90′s camel bucks, but I was disappointed in lasts week sermon. I felt that you didn’t give most regulative principle guys much credit.
I’ve been listening to Pastor Driscoll for the last three years. In fact at one point the only thing stopping us from moving out to Seattle just so we could join Marshill was my wife’s work contract.
I guess you could say I’m a red light guy so here is my beef: I found the sermon slightly confusing.
The heart of the Regulative Principle is not what you can or can’t do, but the reality, and uniqueness of corporate worship.
If something unique happens when we come together as a body, then maybe it can have a different set of guidelines for how we should behave. If God says there is such a thing as corporate worship which is different than private or other types of worship, why can’t they be different. But if there no Biblical ground for a Corporate Gathering aren’t you just following a cultural norm? Maybe corporate worship is the same category as pews are?
I’ve read 4 out of the 6 resources mentioned above and found them very helpful.[Found on the blog]
If the hangup is with nature of worship, could it be that there a regulative principle that governs corporate gatherings? Even if you want to say that those gatherings are more for edification.[From Carson's Worship by the Book]
Pastor Mark’s sentiment that Marshill pretty much follows the regulative principle in the way they do things, but keeps the normative card in their pocket, just sounded like a cop out. Why spend time examining what the Scripture prescribes in worship when you say all you are supposed to do is make sure that you aren’t breaking any of God’s commandments.
One last thing to note. I grew up in the Reformed Presbyterian denomination, which still only sings Psalms unaccompanied. I agreed with you that they are wrong. But, I think it was a mistake to say they are just your run of the mill Presbyterians. That denomination is smaller than Marshill, and in fact Pastor Mark’s sermon was probably the widest exposure the Accapella Psalm argument has received in a few decades. If we are profiling micro-norities, maybe there should be a sermon on the Polygamist-arson-cult as well?
The PCA holds to the regulative principle.
Why not spend more time wrestling with how guys like Tim Keller hold to it. And how Acts 29 churches like Liberti can hold to it.
This is probably the third sermon in the 120ish Ive listen to that I’ve been unhappy with. Im kind of wondering who will even read this. Whoever you are please know that I love Marshill, because you guys love Jesus, and I fairly confident are loved by Jesus. I love to talk more with someone at MH who might have some insight or correction for me. You guys are like Paul seeking the expansion of Grace to more and more people all for the Glory of God.
In Christ your Bro,
City Reformed Church
One of the things that I mosted notices when I came to City Reformed was that it was really messy work. One of the biggest sins Christians fall into is thinking that people need to “clean up” their lives before they start coming to church, this tends to create very tidy very safe spaces, where people can come once they have fixed some of their bigger problems.
Driscoll has a great video talking about the messy nature of the church. This is Driscoll humbly saying why they do what they do – check it out.
This was done for the Desiring God conference in 2006.
Last Sunday Marshill started their new fall series in the book of Philippians.
Here is my relationship to Marshill, I love Jesus and they love Jesus.
I would consider myself a diaspora Marshiller, but I am not a member of the church. I have been reading Driscoll and listening to his sermons for 2 years now, since I came across his article in Criswell’s Theological Journal. When I hear people are moving to Seattle I tell them to check out Marshill. If I meet someone from Seattle I ask them if they go to Marshill. In fact for a time last year we were seriously considering moving to Seattle just to go to Marshill, God had different plans.
Well I am excited about this new series, i though Nehemiah got a bit off tract toward the end.
Here are some things I noticed in the first sermon:
- New Technology in the Service.
- Driscoll played a video of Olsteen and then corrects what he said about health and wealth. Bravo!
- Mark is back to wrestling with the text. Which is my favorite part. I guess some people do better with Epistles than they do with narratives.
All this to say: if you have never read or listened to Mark Driscoll check him out. You can read about his ministry in a recent article put together by Christianity Today.
If you don’t necessarily like churches or Christians. Still check out Marshill. Its not your regular church, and they are not your regular stuffy Christians, they enjoy tattoos, tobacco and even beer, because they say its all made by God to be enjoyed by people.
Driscoll talks about punching bloggers in the Throat. He encourages anyone who wants to be a pastor to study comedians, such as Chris Rock. Marshill has a band called “team strike force”.
Here is the link to the last sermon.
Check out this link to see a series of photos chronicling the divide between the rich and the poor around the world.
Robbie has an interesting post about visiting a Zen Buddhist Center in Pittsburgh.
There have been a great set of posts over at set ‘n’ service about evangelism.