Thoughts on Kingdom, Church, and Grace from an American living in Hong Kong

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Mark Driscoll on ABC Nightline

ABC Nightline just did a news report on Mark Driscoll and his church "Mars Hill" in Seattle. The report had that sensationalist edge to it trying to create a "buzz" or a controversial slant. I think its comical that today in America if you believe in the Bible, you believe that Jesus came to save us from our sins, that there is a heaven to attain and a hell to miss, essentially if you believe in what C.S. Lewis would describe as Mere Christianity then you are radical.

I personally agree with most of Mark Driscoll's theology. Usually if I wince, its in the way he says something rather than the right or wrong on what he actually said. I can picture him in 10 years saying alot of, "Yeah, I could have said that better...but I was young."

But I do have a lot of affinity with him. Like me, he was on the Emergent Church train, saw where it was heading, and quickly got off. He is preaching Biblical Christianity in a city (Seattle) where it would be very easy to take a wishy washy position on a number of crucial Christian issues.

He also goes against the flow in being a role model for manhood. There is a feminization which is gripping our culture. Masculinity is practically portrayed as something to be cured of. Heck, even Bill Maher bemoans America's feminization. Driscoll preaches a responsibility of men to be men and lead their homes, families, and churches. This is a message that is usually ignored even in conservative evangelical churches.

So, yes Mark Driscoll uses words like "dude" and that make me cringe. But he also preaches a strong Biblical worldview and is unashamed while doing it. he's a baseball fan which makes him OK in my book!


Andrew said...

Wow... couldn't disagree more on this one. Not sure which bible he is reading to develop his biblical Christianity... must be the Robert Conrad translation.

I don't wish bad on the guy, but when anybody spends as much time as he does ripping on other people, saying you have to follow his model, is abrasive because he thinks its funny or makes him macho.... I just keep waiting for the other shoe to fall.... I smell a Swaggert coming on. Those who squawk loudest (I remember similar in a certain Zion teacher) seem to lay some huge eggs eventually.

Bob said...

You are right on the money with your summary. Driscoll is as sound as they come in his theology and he makes no apologies for it. At times he's a little rough around the edges, but I can deal with that. I love his teaching for his uncompromising biblical world view and his passion for reaching the lost.

Anonymous said...


If Calvinism=Sound

Some of us might consider that unsound :)

I'm with Andrew on this one. No shock, I know.

Strip away all the peripheral issues and Driscoll is just another ranting Fundamentalist. His methodology is no different than what I saw in Independent Baptist Churches.

The Driscoll's of this world are not the answer to feminization. I doubt I have many feminine bones in my body (though I do like feminines) :) and if what Driscoll is preaching about manhood is what it means to be a man.......(think me Tarzan, you Jane)

He reminds me of a guy who never got out of Jr High School, mentally, emotionally, sexually.


Steve H. said...

Andy: I actually like Robert Conrad... and I suppose he could pull a Swaggart but I don't see any similarity between him and a "certain Zion teacher". I also don't see him "ripping" people that much but when he does its usually Emergents so I can see where that would affect you. Besides, you rip evangelicals pretty good...the "rips" tear both ways.

Bob: Thanks, a passion for reaching the lost is a rare thing especially in Seattle.

Bruce: I left the Calvinism debate a long time ago :)
I would agree on some of the emotional or maturity aspects of your argument. I admited that (if he does mature a bit more over the next 10 years) he may regret some of the "ways" he said things. But at the end of the day Jesus was a "ranting fundamentalist" so he's keeping good company.

Andrew said...

Heh... to be honest, I wasn't even thinking of any rips on emergents... I was thinking of his digs on gays, women who aren't sexy enough for their husbands, Men who are "faries" Muslims, Jews, all the people he would like to hit.... the list can go on.

Sorry, this guy is a bully who only obeys God because his other option (in his view) is going to Hell. The ways of Christ would be of no value to him if he felt God would not punish him. He once said that if God isnt going to punish sin... then he is off to the strip clubs tonight.

Translation: He doesn't believe Jesus is inherently right... just holding all the power... and he is going to be on the right side of that power. I think that is defined as a sycophant. Since he feels threatened by God he does what most bullies do... beat up on somebody else.

I can happily agree that there are plenty of people whom I disagree with theologically that are good men. Driscoll probably causes people to reject Christ as often as he brings someone to his "throw-down" Jesus.

BTW, I like Conrad too, I was just remembering his old battery commercial. Driscoll seems like he is always daring someone to knock theology of his shoulder.

Steve H. said...


You've seen more Driscoll than I have then. I haven't seen him take a stab at all of those groups. I'm not saying he hasn't, but I also know that sometimes to get people's attention in this culture you need to swing the pendulum a little hard to make a point. At the end of it all...I like Driscoll. Is he a bit immature?...sure. Is he a little too "macho"? ...probably. I am guessing some of that changes though as he ages and as his church ages.

I'm struck how youth leaders always appear emotionally stunted to me and then I realize, they're having to deal with emotional immaturity ALL the time. I'm guessing Driscoll has ALOT of immature people in his church and it rubs off on him