I’m not afraid of calling out when people use their spiritual authority to hurt others. Mark Driscoll is one of the more persistent and drastic cases in recent years. I’ve been far from the only one pointing this out. He’s been criticized for teaching that hurts women, gay people and others who are oppressed. He’s been criticized for treating his understanding of what it means to be a Christian as if it is the only valid way. He’s been criticized for blatant plagiarism. He’s been criticized for using ghost-writers while claiming it was him. He’s been criticized for Mars Hill spending $200,000 of church tithes to buy his book onto the New York Times bestseller list. And all of those criticisms are valid and should be pointed out for his own good as well as the good of those who he has hurt and continues to hurt.
Tagged: Mark Driscoll
I’ve discussed elsewhere some of the dangers of dispensationalism. I noticed recently that somebody stumbled across that blog with the search “why is dispensationalism so popular if it is false?” Let me identify a few things which make it an appealing theology, particularly in the late-modernity American context where it was started and continues strong. Even if you do think it is true, it is important to realize what it is that draws us to certain theologies.
It boils down to two themes, in my opinion: retributive justice and dualism. Both are naturally attractive to us and encouraged in the Western world but I would argue are contrary to how God reveals himself to us in Jesus. This may not apply to all forms of dispensationalism in all the exact same ways since dispensationalism can be a fairly broad term, but it definitely applies in the most popular forms.
Yes, American Jesus Madness is a thing. I first stumbled across it near the end of last year’s tournament so I didn’t do a full bracket. I’m still not entirely sure if you’re supposed to vote for who inspires you, who entertains you, or what exactly, so I’m probably going to do some of each. Here’s the breakdown of the first round.
The church is changing. We can debate whether that is a good thing, a bad thing, or most likely in my opinion a neutral thing because of some of each. One of the ways that not only the church but also the world is changing is through our use of technology. For example, during Monday’s Inauguration, Mark Driscoll tweeted comments about President Obama, claiming that the President did not believe the Bible or know God. Understandably, there has been a lot of backlash. This statement by Driscoll is nothing short of playing God, deciding who is and who is not a real Christian.
The more interesting to me are those who backlashed against the backlash. Not all were necessarily fans of Driscoll either. Criticisms of the criticisms usually followed a particular formula. First, they say in broad terms that it is not very Christian to call out other Christians. One obvious response is the irony: you criticize a Christian for criticizing a Christian for criticizing a Christian (well, Obama isn’t a Christian according to the critic). But at a more important level, Jesus clearly called out judgemental religious leaders for the oppression that they were a huge part of. So let’s look at what some of the critics of the critics (people like me) of the critic (Driscoll) have been arguing.
I haven’t done one of these in a few weeks so I had to significantly trim down from the original huge list I have been steadily bookmarking since the last one. Here’s some of what I’ve been reading:
Mark Driscoll recently complained on Twitter about how bloggers don’t do anything meaningful but just sit around and pontificate. I can only assume it is response to a lot of his critics. Aside from the irony that he is a blogger and pontificated his judgement of bloggers through a micro-blogging site, he is flat-out wrong. Rage Against the Minivan gave the best response I saw, including this list of things she has personally been a part of doing through her blog:
We build schools in Haiti.
We fund-raise for birthing centers.
We lobby for children’s rights.
We match waiting kids with adoptive families.
We recruit sponsors for impoverished children.
We fund adoptions of special-needs kids.
. . . and these are just the projects that I’ve personally been involved in. I know a lot of bloggers, and there is no way I could even begin to quantify the kind of “get stuff done” things they are behind. Make no mistake about it, BLOGGERS ARE GETTING THINGS DONE.
This may already be old news for many as it has been circulating for a few days, but Mark Driscoll is again at the centre of controversy. Amidst and in response to many other critiques of Mars Hill popping up recently, a former Elder of Mars Hill Paul and his wife Jonna have shared their story. Here’s how they introduce their website Joyful Exiles:
Those who do not remember the past will have it rewritten for them. Well, not in this case. Not anymore. Four and half years ago, I was fired from Mars Hill Church because I refused to resign under pressure. I was a pastor on staff, an elder, and an officer of the corporation along with a group of other men. I spent months seeking formal reconciliation and years hoping for a better course. I have not spoken about these matters publicly until now. With the mounting stories and “histories” coming out regarding Mars Hill Church, it no longer seems right or beneficial to remain silent.
I was going to write on Mark Driscoll’s recent tirade against British journalist/radio show host Justin Brierley (a host who I very much like). I didn’t because I couldn’t bring myself to listen to the whole thing. I’ve heard Driscoll’s views before, and even more true, I’ve heard his attitude toward women. They are pretty disgusting. I would personally argue that it is possible to hold to a complementarian view and still be somewhat respectful to women. I do think it is implicitly sexist, but I also know many complementarians who try very hard to treat their wives and other women as their equals in value even if they don’t think they’re equals in opportunity. I think it’s wrong, but I at least think their heart is in the right place. I can still mostly respect that, even though I will also argue against it and have done so many times. Driscoll goes far beyond that, though – he has no shame in being explicitly sexist, and he has no shame in telling you that you are a terrible Christian if you aren’t equally explicitly sexist. So ultimately this is the entirety of my rant on Driscoll because he annoys me too much and I genuinely tried but could not force myself to listen to the whole interview.
I got sent this article by Mark Driscoll with the question of what I thought of Christian yoga. My response, tweaked up to be nicer for the general public, is below.
First, some introduction on Driscoll for those who don’t know him. I’m immediately skeptical whenever I am linked to teaching of Mark Driscoll. He tends to be very black-and-white, and that seems to be the case again here. He says he’s not a fundamentalist right in the article, but I suppose it depends how you use the term fundamentalist. His basic style of teaching is yelling “God hates you! you’re a miserable human being! how can you be so selfish?” and then calling it the good news. He also would definitely accept the 5 fundamentals from which the term fundamentalism comes. But with my Driscoll bias out of the way, this time he does say some things I don’t mind and not just some things that make absolutely no sense to me.
Oh Driscoll. At it again. Well, at it most Sundays, but here’s another great clip of Driscoll screaming about the wrath of God: