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Who Can Mark Driscoll Worship?

I really shouldn’t have expected anything distinctively sane from a magazine called ‘Relevant‘.  That was a huge mistake, and one that I can assure my faithful readership I will never make again.  The magazine as a whole is committed to pedantically insisting that Christians can, pretty much be cool too, if they just try hard enough.  Personally, I find this idea completely insane.  Out of all the people I’ve ever met I have yet to meet someone who is clearly a Christian who is able to fill out all the aspects of coolness that are demanded by our culture.  But I digress.  My point in all this was merely that I should have expected something as stupid, insipid, and sophomoric as this from Relevant Magazine.

In a multiple-person interview that originally ran in early 2007, Relevant Magazine asked seven questions to various evangelical church leaders about what the most important challenges to the evangelical churches in a America are at this time in history.  The answers vary from the utterly boring, to the sadly uniformed, to the sort of ok, to the downright ridiculous.  Mark Driscoll’s answers however, were in a class of their own.  In response to the question “What do you see as the greatest challenge for young Christians in the next 10 years?” he responded:

There is a strong drift toward the hard theological left. Some emergent types [want] to recast Jesus as a limp-wrist hippie in a dress with a lot of product in His hair, who drank decaf and made pithy Zen statements about life while shopping for the perfect pair of shoes. In Revelation, Jesus is a pride fighter with a tattoo down His leg, a sword in His hand and the commitment to make someone bleed. That is a guy I can worship. I cannot worship the hippie, diaper, halo Christ because I cannot worship a guy I can beat up. I fear some are becoming more cultural than Christian, and without a big Jesus who has authority and hates sin as revealed in the Bible, we will have less and less Christians, and more and more confused, spiritually self-righteous blogger critics of Christianity. [Italics added]

I am of course most interested in Driscoll’s comment that he is unable to worship someone he can beat up.  Strangely enough this would seem that he is unable to worship Jesus.  As John Howard Yoder pointed out in reflection on John 1, the proclamation that the Word became flesh “does not simply mean that God became tangible.  It means he became weak, undignified, vulnerable.  The power behind the creation came among us in such a way that we can hurt him.”  The whole reality of Jesus is as one who makes himself vulnerable, who puts himself at the mercy of the forces of sin and death that we have unleashed upon the world.  Driscoll is almost certainly right, he could indeed beat up Jesus, and if he saw him, I’m afraid he probably would!

The real Jesus, the Jesus who makes himself vulnerable, thereby revealing the nature and reality of God from all eternity as love is not nearly exciting enough for Driscoll.  His Jesus is a kaleidoscopic amalgamation of Chuck Norris, Bruce Willis, and a cadre of mixed martial-arts welterweight champions.  If Jesus is not an ass-kicking man’s man who changes his own oil, wins bar fights, and ropes cattle, he certainly is not worthy of Driscoll’s worship.

What is ultimately so revealing about this whole statement is not so much that is shows clearly that Mark Driscoll is insanely insecure about his own male identity – though it certainly shows that with sublime clarity.  What is revealing about this quote is how it shows the bombastically western notion of masculinity that defines large swaths of evangelicalism.  For Driscoll anything less than the assertion that God himself is a gun-slinging son of a bitch makes one into a wuss who deserves nothing more than ridicule.  Driscoll lives in a world of binary oppositions.  You either have to be a cage fighter ready to beat the shit out of anyone who so much as glances at your girlfriend, or you are a pot-smoking hipster pinko who does nothing but surf the net on a Mac all day and drink organic microbrews.

It’s a wonderfully simple world of black and white simplicity that Driscoll lives in.  And what makes it really great is that he gets to live at the very tip top of this world’s power structure (maybe just below his Jesus character, pictured to the left).  He is the last of the true Christians.  In a world of effeminate losers toting Derrida around in their beer-stained man purses, Driscoll is standing in the gap, fighting for truth, justice, and of course, the American way.  It’s a world where everything is stark, everything is simple and God is remade comfortably in Mark Driscoll’s masculine image.  Wallowing in his self-aggrandizement, Driscoll makes certain to let everyone know that he is one of the 25 most powerful people in Seattle according to Seattle Magazine (as advertised on the site for Driscoll’s new book).  Just about everything he says or does seems like a plea: “Goddammit, I’m a man!  Am too!”

What makes the world of Mark Driscoll so fascinating is not just that it insane (which it is), or that is so obviously the product of western culture rather than the Bible or the Christian tradition (which is clear).  What is interesting about it is how utterly obvious it is that this world is a complete fabrication.  I cannot imagine anyone looking for a moment at the stuff that Mark Driscoll spouts and not immediately realizing that this guy is obviously freaked out by the world and is doing everything that he can to construct an alternative reality for himself and other like-minded people to live in.  In Mark Driscoll’s world Jesus actually did come to kick the Romans’ ass (or we wish he had) and he calls us to be iron-pumping, football heroes who slam nerds into lockers and date the hottest girl on the cheerleading squad (without having premarital sex of course).

In other words, Mark Driscoll is Wally Cleaver from Leave it to Beaver. Or, more accuarately, he is Wally after his freshman year of college.  He’s wised up enough to know that he better be able to beat people up, and force his point in order to keep himself above the morass of pagan decadence in this evil world, but hasn’t yet awoken to the fact that his world, which he thinks is divinely ordained, is in fact, a culturally produced schizophrenia.  It is the death throws of a handfull of white western males who are consumed with the terror of the knowledge deep down that they are no longer in control of American culture and history.  And this is precisely why Mark Driscoll is pathetic.  In spite of all his bombast and goofy machismo, he is, in the last analysis a very sad, lonely person.  That’s how you get when you have to construct your whole world.  The very things that could bring him liberation are the very things he sneers at.  Living out of control, embracing vulnerability, allowing oneself to be put into question, these are the very things that he cannot stomach.  They are far too effeminate and girly for a man like him to countenance.  They are marks of the hippie Jesus that Driscoll could never worship.  However they are the very shape of the salvation offered in crucified, murdered Jesus.  Driscoll is rejecting the very things that could set him free in his attempt to make Christianity distinctive.

His loss.

118 Comments

  1. While I think this post is sophomoric in its ad hominem style meant clearly to attack a person in a manner unflattering on one who would desire follow the words of Christ found in John 13:34, 35 or Paul’s urging in Eph. 4:2, I have to agree that it is a silly theology.

    It is not only Driscoll’s to be sure. I remember I was in one church group and they decided to go through Wild at Heart. The opening chapter let me know right away that it was not for me because everything it described a man to be, I was not. The author was flat out saying I was not a man, because there is clearly only one mold all men must fit: cigar smoking, mountain climbing, face bruising, gut toting, testosterone-filled lunacy!

    This machismo attitude has been going around the Evangelical circles for a few years now, and it only gets worse and worse. The worst case I’ve heard was written about here: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/20278737/jesus_made_me_puke/

    But there are also those who wish so much to be famous that they don’t even bother to do their own study and instead make a sermon that could be cliffnotes from the jacket sleeve from Wild at Heart, even using some of the same terms and metaphors. http://www.lifechurch.tv/message-archive/man-2-man/2 (amazing that the top of this page has an image that says “how to be rich”)

    Friday, May 9, 2008 at 5:27 pm | Permalink
  2. Halden wrote:

    Indeed, Steven, Driscoll is not so much a person as he is the embodiment of an idea. And that idea is widespread within evangelicalism indeed.

    Friday, May 9, 2008 at 5:30 pm | Permalink
  3. Christian wrote:

    This is good stuff. I have only ever heard/seen Driscoll on a youtube clip where he talked about this same sort of stuff. Bombast and machismo is exactly what I found.

    Oh, in the second picture of Jesus — the one with the sexy nuns — does Jesus have a beer gut, or is he just pregnant?

    Friday, May 9, 2008 at 5:35 pm | Permalink
  4. Christian wrote:

    Oh, and Halden, I don’t think you’re sophomoric. You may be an effeminate hippie, but you’re certainly not sophomoric.

    Friday, May 9, 2008 at 5:39 pm | Permalink
  5. Hill wrote:

    The Rolling Stone article is pretty hilarious, if somewhat irreverent.

    Friday, May 9, 2008 at 6:03 pm | Permalink
  6. Andrew wrote:

    uh…the only other thing i would add to your otherwise magnificent tirade is ‘Reformission’ is a dumb word and it is the kind of dumb that illicits not receiving an exhaustively conceived tirade against it.
    all it needs to know is it is dumb and drinks too much organic hair product.

    Friday, May 9, 2008 at 6:32 pm | Permalink
  7. Jon wrote:

    If Jesus wants me to be a Cowboy4Christ, does this mean I can return my copy of Yahweh Yoga?

    Friday, May 9, 2008 at 7:41 pm | Permalink
  8. IndieFaith wrote:

    This type of gendered theology birthed this series for myself and was prefaced by my shocking introduction to GodMen. As the refrain of one of their worship songs, Grow a Pair goes,
    “We’ve been beaten down / Feminized by the culture crowd /
    No more nice guy, timid and ashamed / We’ve had enough, cowboy up /
    In the power of Jesus’ name / Welcome to the battle /
    A million men have got your back / Jump up in the saddle /
    Grab a sword, don’t be scared / Be a man, grow a pair!”

    Friday, May 9, 2008 at 7:47 pm | Permalink
  9. Geoff wrote:

    I think Driscoll himself likes Microbrewed beer.

    Friday, May 9, 2008 at 10:33 pm | Permalink
  10. Rubin wrote:

    I hope you feel better now. Yes, Jesus was vulnerable but at any time he could do whatever he wanted and no, Mark Driscoll nor anyone else could not beat him up unless he allowed it. His choice was to follow the will of his Father and be crucified. You know very little about Mark Driscoll, that is obvious, but I’d say if anyone is insecure, it’s you, to post such vitriole and such ignorance. Your idea that the hippie Jesus was living out of control, embracing vulnerability, allowing himself to be put into question and was effeminate kind of says it all. But I guess if we all embraced those qualities we’d be set free. Naahh.

    Friday, May 9, 2008 at 10:53 pm | Permalink
  11. Christian wrote:

    Rubin,

    “Your idea that the hippie Jesus was living out of control, embracing vulnerability, allowing himself to be put into question and was effeminate kind of says it all.”

    Well, I don’t recall reading where Halden claimed Jesus to be either a hippie or effeminate. However, Jesus did live out of control, did embrace vulnerability, and did allow himself to be put into question (and die!). I think that does say it all. And I think the point is exactly that if we embraced those “qualities” we’d be set free. That is the narrow road that Jesus calls us to follow him down.

    “Naahh” is not an adequate counter argument to the cruciform Christology Halden has outlined.

    Friday, May 9, 2008 at 11:48 pm | Permalink
  12. Not that I’m asking you to stop Halden ‘frustration fest’, but why don’t you collect your scattered responses to evangelicalism and cogently and forcefully articulate them in an article and publish it for all evangelicals to see. Finding the right journal would be key. Who knows maybe evangelicals will form yet another sub-movement and you can be its new leader… I can see it now, inhabitatio Dei t-shirts, conferences and book line.

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 1:06 am | Permalink
  13. Well Geoff, Driscoll would really have to be trying to get it all wrong to strike out on everything. Even thoroughly misguided people get lucky every once in a while.

    Seriously, couldn’t worship a man he could beat up? Has he read his Bible recently?? Perhaps he should really reconsider what “God’s plan” really does mean — I’m going to go with proclaiming and living the kingdom and power through powerlessness.

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 1:21 am | Permalink
  14. BTW, I love it when you say stuff like this, Halden: ‘His Jesus is a kaleidoscopic amalgamation of Chuck Norris, Bruce Willis, and a cadre of mixed martial-arts welterweight champions. If Jesus is not an ass-kicking man’s man who changes his own oil, wins bar fights, and ropes cattle, he certainly is not worthy of Driscoll’s worship.’

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 2:33 am | Permalink
  15. Aaron Landau wrote:

    Hi Halden and others,

    I like the stuff coming out of this blog, but I also appreciate what Mark Driscoll says – in contrast, it seems, to everyone else who has thus far commented. While I share some of your concerns about Driscoll living in all-too-clear binaries about gender, I’m saddened to see him bashed over things he affirms highly.

    What he aims at recapturing in his preaching is a less reductive picture of Christ that considers both his earthly and exalted state. Thus, when Jesus says “No one has taken [My life] away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again,” he is not doing so (obviously) as a weakling but as the Almighty surrendering himself to weakness.

    The uncharitable caricature painted of Driscoll could never preach that the earthly Christ is our example, admit that he cries tears of happiness over his children or proclaim that Christians cannot be cool. Perhaps I am mistaken, but it seems obvious that your post was written without much familiarity with Driscoll’s thought and preaching in general. I’m sure you’ve know of plenty of instances in which people have been criticized unfairly by others interpreting an isolated comment as indicative of their entire theology. In this case, it has been done to extent of assuming that Driscoll denies the highest beauties of the Saviour.

    From your other posts and “What [you] are about,” I doubt you would think that Jesus is pleased with such behavior. Again, perhaps it is I who am mistaken. If that is the case, I look forward to your reply.

    Shalom

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 4:47 am | Permalink
  16. mike d wrote:

    “Driscoll is not so much a person as he is the embodiment of an idea.”

    Thanks for clearing that up for me.

    Relevant is a silly (maybe even stupid) magazine. I don’t like pastors who only own jeans and wear those tight little necklaces (see here). But from the cited quote this critique just goes too far. Its a critique searching for a subject. Its a critique searching for an embodiment to aim at and I guess Mark Discoll will do. After all he is best thought of as not so much a person anyway.

    Driscoll’s language here is over the top; that’s true. But so is yours. I can only here think of your comments and Driscoll’s as overreactions to what are real problems. Jesus meek and mild really doesn’t give justice to Christ’s divinity. Jesus mean and wild really doesn’t take into account the way that divinity was humbly displayed to us in the incarnation, death, and resurrection.

    You and Driscoll by aiming your sights and heightening your angst are a bit more akin than you’d probably like to admit.

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 7:31 am | Permalink
  17. mike d wrote:

    I mean see here

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 7:33 am | Permalink
  18. Hill wrote:

    I’m not going to defend Halden’s charity in this blog post (although I know him to be a charitable person). I think there is room in the world for a good polemic, especially if it is funny, which this one is. Ascerbic rhetoric aside, Halden’s points are actually quite relevant and totally in keeping with the general concerns of his blog and theological project more generally. I don’t think anyone harbors any actual ire towards Mark Driscoll the man, but when one takes up such a public ministry, the nature of critique changes somewhat. I don’t deny that he may be a good, caring man who loves the Lord as far as he knows him, but that doesn’t change the fact that in many ways, his theology is utterly bankrupt. When my theology is utterly bankrupt (and it has been at times in the past) I jeopardize my eternal soul. When one of the 25 most powerful men in Seattle and the shepherd of thousands of souls is preaching a bizarre combination of an upper-middle-class, white, modern, American Jesus with the worst sort of fundamentalist pop-Calvinism, it is a much more serious matter, for “woe to him that leads my little ones astray. better a millstone be tied around his neck and he be cast into the sea.” This is of course is not to suggest that Mark Driscoll is the only one or that he is the most helpful “target” of a critique of this very popular sort of theology. He just happened to become the focal point around which this particular blog post crystallized.

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 8:17 am | Permalink
  19. Rubin wrote:

    Christian,

    Actually, here’s the quote: “The very things that could bring him liberation are the very things he sneers at. Living out of control, embracing vulnerability, allowing oneself to be put into question, these are the very things that he cannot stomach. They are far too effeminate and girly for a man like him to countenance. They are marks of the hippie Jesus that Driscoll could never worship.”

    He says “these” (referring to previous “Living out of control, embracing vulnerability, allowing oneself to be put into question…effeminate…girly”) are the very things that he (Driscoll) cannot stomach. He says “they” are marks of Jesus that Driscoll could never workship.

    Allowing oneself to be vulnerable and characterizing someone as vulnerable are two different things. Jesus was not by nature vulnerable or weak. He chose to be lowered and humiliated. At any moment, Jesus, the king of creation, can “beat you up” so saying Driscoll can beat Jesus up is kind of silly, don’t you think? Did he allow himself to be crucified? Yes. Was he weak then? By no means. And I seriously doubt he was effiminate.

    “Naah” wasn’t a counter argument, just one of the “in the world” idioms for “I think not.” But you knew that and were just trying throw some big words around to discredit me. I’ll try to think of some bigger words next time. Naah.

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 11:01 am | Permalink
  20. Christian wrote:

    Rubin,

    Are seriously interpreting what Halden is saying here as his own assertion that Christ is effeminate, girly, and a hippie? Have you not heard of irony? I think it is quite clear that Halden is using Driscoll’s own reductionistic language — that is, words Driscoll himself uses to describe the qualities that the cruciform Christ embodies — against him. I seriously doubt that Halden thinks Jesus was effeminate, girly or a hippie. In fact, I am certain that he does not.

    Perhaps if Halden had put those terms in quotes the lack of subtlety would have enabled you to understand what he was saying.

    In addition to finding some “bigger words” you might want to become familiar with literary devices. However, you’ll probably just say “Naah,” content to remain within your intellectual poverty.

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 11:59 am | Permalink
  21. R.O. Flyer wrote:

    Yes, Rubin, Jesus was weak. That’s the damn point of the gospel.

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 12:15 pm | Permalink
  22. Rubin wrote:

    Ouch. If this is an example of friendly intelligent Christian dialogue, I guess I’m happy to live in my poverty. Reminds of the Monty Python skit Argument Clinic, except that was humorous. Yes it is, no it isn’t, yes it is, no it isn’t.

    No, at least to me, it wasn’t clear, and yes, I am serious. You can just dismiss me as a moron if it makes you feel better, but I’m not. I’m an average person. If you want to engage, that’s one thing, but to just throw stones…Jesus, by the way, was not average, was not weak. And that, by the way, is an opinion in case you didn’t catch the subtlety. Not sure what I did to cause your vitriole.

    I understand the commenters here have an opinion but it also seems they don’t want to have a dialogue. Or to hear an opposing comment. I thought I posted my reason why it seems Halden implied those things about Christ. If he didn’t, it wasn’t clear. You responded to my opinion by trying to discredit me. So, I ask, do you think Jesus calls us to be weak and impoverished, or does he call us to be strong, yet serve the weak and identify with them, rich, yet generous, empathetic with the poor? Was Jesus weak and without choice, or strong, and choose to lay down his life? Does he call us to follow his example?

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 2:58 pm | Permalink
  23. Halden wrote:

    Christian has explained very correctly what I meant by using Driscoll’s reductionist language. I wasn’t calling Jesus efeminate or girly, I was rather trying to show how Driscoll conflates such things with the things that we do see in Christ (i.e. vunlerability, living out of control, self-emptying, etc.) I thought it was clear. Seems just about everyone else thought it was clear except you, Rubin. Nevertheless, sorry ’bout that if was unclear.

    I’ve never said that Jesus calls us to be weak (depending on how you’re defining that word) or impoverished (again depending on your definition). I do think that Jesus calls us to be vulnerable, to be self-emptying, to be servants, to refrain from grasping for power, to eschew self-assertion, to give up our lives, to give, not out of our abundance, but from our need, to die to ourselves — in short, to be cruciform.

    I also think that Jesus said “Woe to you who are rich.” I don’t think our economic status is morally neutral as long as we have nice attitudes or are charitable people.

    Driscoll (and you, I guess) disagree. You seem to think that Jesus wants us to be rich, happy, self-assured and secure as long as we are nice people who make charitable donations and feel bad for the poor. Personally, I don’t think Jesus died to give middle class sentimentality a pat on the back.

    I also don’t know what on earth it might mean for a rich person to tell a poor one that he empathizes with him. Such notions are ourtrageously superficial. A rich person may feel sorry for the poor, but emphathize with them he cannot, at least not from his social position any more than a slave owner can emphathize with his slaves.

    If you think that Jesus calls us to be powerful and rich and then just “use it for good”, then you have woefully misunderstood the gospel and tailored it to fit the kind of life you want for yourself. Sorry if that’s harsh. I don’t know you, so perhaps (and I hope!) that’s entirely incorrect. But I only have your statements to go on and as they stand they are disturbing and opposed to the gospel.

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 3:16 pm | Permalink
  24. graham wrote:

    This post is spot on, Halden.

    I’ve listened to Driscoll about a dozen times and every single time he’s made some comment about Jesus not being a wimp. He also talked about some other preacher in terms like, “I’m sure he’s a really nice guy. You know, the kind who wears a Lemon sweater and sips Tea.”

    I’d also say that in around half of the talks he mentioned how big his church was.

    The man has issues.

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 4:14 pm | Permalink
  25. Hill wrote:

    This is an absolute must watch:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMcGn9crwIQ&feature=related

    Excuse me while I go work on my truck.

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 4:38 pm | Permalink
  26. Hill wrote:

    Youtube is a veritable treasure trove of information.

    “Masturbation is not a sin, because the bible doesn’t say it is.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbxkQw-FEVw&feature=related

    “If you can find a way to masturbate that doesn’t include lust, it’s not a sin.”

    Perhaps he can take over John Paul II’s mantle as the great modern theologian of the body.

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 4:56 pm | Permalink
  27. helga wrote:

    it seems to me that driscoll is sort of the unofficial “shock messenger” for the neo-reformed camp, including piper, mohler, dever, d.a. carson, etc. he says the stuff they probably agree with behind closed doors, but can’t say themselves because of their positions of power and need to maintain their cred as beyond reproach. nonetheless, their tacit approval becomes clear enough when they criticize the rhetoric and language he uses, but not the content.

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 5:07 pm | Permalink
  28. Bobby Grow wrote:

    Hill,

    that first video is both hilarious and sad at the same time.

    Halden,

    your critique and rhetoric (except for the profanity—don’t you know real men don’t curse ;-) are spot on. The attitude and worse conceptuality exemplified by folks like Driscoll irk me to no end!!!

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 5:21 pm | Permalink
  29. Hill wrote:

    Calvinist theology in the wrong hands is one of the single most frightening things in the world today.

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 5:22 pm | Permalink
  30. Aaron wrote:

    I’m new to this blog, and to this conversation, to which I will have to return soon in the interest of a final paper. However, I wanted to quickly chime in and voice my support for the author’s original post. I am originally from Seattle, where I did college ministry for almost four years. I had to ‘work against Driscollian theology and ministry during the bulk of my time there. One of the things I was most looking forward to in moving was getting away from the Seattle church scene. I guess I want to say from a first-hand perspective that Mark Driscoll’s way, while [possible] paved with good intentions, is not the way preached by Jesus of Nazareth, regardless of whether or not he had any tatoos.
    I used to be very polemical in my approach against MD, but since enrolling in my Master’s program I just haven’t had the time to keep up with his antics, plus it’s exhausting. Anyway, please excuse the lack of theological or intellectual clarity/poignancy in this response, but it was incredibly refreshing to hear/read somebody like Halden who is a normal, young guy like myself yet is able to articulately explain why Driscoll is an embarassment to the Church of Jesus Christ.
    If you don’t mind, I’ll link this blog to my own. Thank you

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 5:36 pm | Permalink
  31. Dave wrote:

    You all need some good preachin’ to heal what ails you!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDxcyqeRc-4

    Some of the neo-reformed guys can be pretty grating. Between the confused projection of gender (and essentially trumpeting a patriarchal society) and poor philosophical understandings of certain French thinkers, polemics such as this are sometimes necessary.

    The real question is, are you going to pee sitting down?

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 10:40 pm | Permalink
  32. Rubin wrote:

    With all due respect, I don’t see how the post aligns with your stated goal of “living with people in shalom.” It’s an attack piece, and while pithy and showing off your theological prowess, isn’t constructive or instructive or peace inspiring. Seriously, I think you guys might have missed the joke about the speck and the log. Do all of you really think this is loving and nurturing of the body of Christ? How is this about living wholly and unreservedly with and for others as one body – Christ’s body?

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 11:41 pm | Permalink
  33. Aaron, I object to the idea that Halden is normal!

    And perhaps you are finally right Rubin, but don’t forget about rocks and glass houses either. However, one should not simply ignore critique, which in and of itself, can be helpful for the party being critiqued. Even though the post does tend towards acerbic (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), the content is right on. Personally, I don’t think manners comes before content, nor should one confuse manners and love.

    Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 11:54 pm | Permalink
  34. Chris G. wrote:

    Rubin,

    Rubin,

    Peace is not something you can “get on top of” so easily. We cannot settle for a minimalist account that says that peace is cordial conversation, or even “agreement.” It seems that on this side of consummation, peace might be quite difficult to stomach… might require sitting in disagreement for long periods of time, committing to the difficult work of putting ourselves and our theology under review. If peace were what I think you have in mind, then even a simple truthtelling would be likely to be sacrificed in the name of “unity.”

    In this time when we ought to be inviting those with differing opinions into dialogue, enacting a sort of peace now as an anticipation of the coming kingdom, the kind of harsh Evangelical-identity line-drawing which names who’s with us and who’s not that is practiced by Mark Driscoll with his magniloquent preaching and Youtube interviews is exactly the kind of conversation-stopping that militates against such peace. So by drawing lines as recklessly as he does he excludes himself from the on-the-ground practices of unity-making and stiff-arms whole portions of the body of Christ.

    Maybe it is this sort of thing that can only be engaged with a sort of prophetic critique reminiscent of Luther or Erasmus, or a Father Gassalasca Jape. I mean, would you dare say that the prophets—those lovers of shalom—were against peace simply because of their critique of hard hearts? If you like Driscoll even a bit, then surely you can’t think that one must only use “nice” speech when talking about the teaching of others.

    Sunday, May 11, 2008 at 11:39 am | Permalink
  35. Roger Flyer wrote:

    Halden said: …I cannot imagine anyone looking for a moment at the stuff that Mark Driscoll spouts and not immediately realizing that this guy is obviously freaked out by the world and is doing everything that he can to construct an alternative reality for himself and other like-minded people to live in…”

    As a recovering ‘evangelical’, I can say with some certainty that there is a tremendous attraction to this ‘alternative reality’, i.e. those who are ‘saved’.

    This is the gist of it. Driscoll scratches where people itch.

    Sunday, May 11, 2008 at 2:03 pm | Permalink
  36. Marvin wrote:

    I will fight Mark Driscoll anywhere, anytime! Rawr!

    Sunday, May 11, 2008 at 5:16 pm | Permalink
  37. Christian wrote:

    Rubin,

    I’m not trying to discredit you, but the vitriol was intended.

    To address your arguments:

    1) Jesus relinquished his power and embraced vulnerability. In fact, his power was made perfect in his weakness. This tells us about the character of God, that he makes himself known through the foolish and weak. It is not just a gesture or posture, it is God’s own character.

    2) There must be room for harsh polemics within the body of Christ. After all, much of what Jesus has to say about those in religious leadership is hard. And when one is distorting our understanding of who God is in his very character, well, they deserve a harsh rebuke. I think something about “white-washed” tombs and “sons of Satan” is in there somewhere. Or you can check out what James has to say on the matter. Either way, it seems odd that you would be defending the machismo of Driscoll by arguing that we should be more nice to one another. Would Driscoll’s all powerful Jesus want us “to all just get along”?

    P.S. I’m glad to know that there are other average persons out there.

    Sunday, May 11, 2008 at 5:21 pm | Permalink
  38. Marvin wrote:

    From a 2004 NY Times article on artistic images of Jesus:

    As Stephen Prothero recounts in his insightful and entertaining new book, “American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), one of a number of recent cultural histories about the peculiarly American version of Jesus, Christian leaders in the early 20th century were positively obsessed with counteracting the image of a Christ of “womanly sweetness,” as one pastor described popular representations, or, as another put it, a “namby-pamby effeminate” Jesus.

    In 1940 an obscure Chicago ad man and evangelical Christian, Warner Sallman, was inspired to paint a portrait of Jesus by an art teacher who exhorted him to depict a “virile, manly Christ” who “faced Calvary in triumph.” The result was Sallman’s famous “Head of Christ,” which was distributed to World War II soldiers and eventually became the most popular Jesus representation ever, with more than 500 million copies in circulation.

    In this sense, Mr. Gibson’s “Passion” can be seen as another round in a more than century-old battle to assure Americans that Jesus was a manly savior, and that real men could be good Christians. Mr. Gibson’s Jesus is a kind of “triumphant action hero,” in Mr. Humphries-Brooks’s words, who can represent a tough-minded America for tough times.

    Christians have always responded to powerful images as much as they have to the written word. Yet the “true” face of Jesus is in fact a blank canvas, or a palimpsest that each generation rewrites as a way to define what its faith means.

    Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/21/arts/21JESU.html?pagewanted=2&ei=5007&en=4d732275d553f498&ex=1392786000&partner=USERLAND

    So if it’s any comfort, Mark Driscoll is nothing new.

    Sunday, May 11, 2008 at 5:56 pm | Permalink
  39. Hill wrote:

    Glad to see the good Father Jape’s name come up. That was a brilliant blog.

    Sunday, May 11, 2008 at 8:34 pm | Permalink
  40. Rubin wrote:

    Well, from the tone here I’m not sure it would be a pleasant experience meeting many of you. But you don’t seem to care about that. No, we don’t have to all “just get along” but the self-righteous, self-congratulatory, echo found here is kind of childish in my view. Kind of like high school when we could all feel good about ourselves by gossiping about the geek\freak\wimp in the third row. But you all seem to enjoy each other’s company. If I were a non-Christian reading this I’d be turned off.

    Monday, May 12, 2008 at 5:51 am | Permalink
  41. As an example of how permeated this ideology is within the evangelical mind, I offer up the lyrics of a song my hard-rock band “Disciple” found playing on the Christian radio:

    I’m not afraid of loving my enemies
    Turning the other cheek
    Blessing those that would curse me
    I honestly want peace with you
    But when you come against my country
    When you come against my family
    You try to destroy my people
    I can’t just stand by
    There’s no way that I can stand by
    This time, I will not stand by
    I am coming, and if I come, then pain is coming with me
    I’m coming, and pain will be with me

    - Disciple – Game On

    Monday, May 12, 2008 at 8:54 am | Permalink
  42. Hill wrote:

    Thank you Steven for making me incredibly depressed this morning. We are so screwed.

    Monday, May 12, 2008 at 9:02 am | Permalink
  43. Halden wrote:

    Rubin, I’m sorry you’re not having the kind of experience you’d like here. I thought I gave you a well-reasoned reply, attempting to address the things you were raising. Since then all you’ve done is complain about the whole conversation rather than address the issues people bring up. It would seem to me that even if everyone here is just a jerk, you, the reasoned and articulate average Christian guy would still want to try to persuade, or at least articulate a coherent point of view for the sake of others who might be reading.

    Personally, I do not in the least believe that harsh critique and strong words for people are incompatible with the gospel and with seeking the unity of the people of God in Christ. In fact I think the gospel often demands such words. You may disagree but I believe that Mark Driscoll is leading the body of Christ astray; I believe he is teaching a false gospel (which isn’t to say its 100% wrong, only that it is perveted in key ways and leads people astray). As such, just being nice, or sweeping things under the rug for the sake of everyone feeling good about themselves would not be the Christian thing to do. I don’t just go around the internet looking for someone to rail at. Mark Driscoll’s preaching and theology have impacted many people in horrible ways including my immediate family. I wrote what I wrote because I think what he is about betrays the cross of Christ. If that’s what I think I should speak strongly. I’m more than happy to have a debate about whether or not I’m right in my assesments, but I don’t think that whining about the tone of the discussion is warranted or helpful. The tone it what it is because I take this subject matter seriously.

    Monday, May 12, 2008 at 9:13 am | Permalink
  44. Christian wrote:

    Rubin,

    You may want to engage with folks on a blog that is not about theology. Perhaps there are some good Christian self-help blogs that would be more up your alley.

    I hope you find that happy community of friendly Christian dialogue you seek, and that way you’ll feel more comfortable to engaging in discussion rather than simply throwing names around.

    Keep up the search; I’m sure that you’ll find what you’re looking for.

    Cheers, Mate!

    Monday, May 12, 2008 at 9:24 am | Permalink
  45. WTM wrote:

    Halden,

    I’m sorry that I came to this discussion late, but I wanted to add my two cents. :-)

    How Driscoll expresses himself is often quite unfortunate, at least from my perspective, but I have to say that I resonate (to a certain degree) with his point here. I don’t want to comment on his security or lack there of in his masculinity, and I certainly don’t want to encourage similar reflections on my own, but I must say this: I kind of agree.

    The picture of God and Jesus that I get from the scriptural witness is not one of a ‘limp-wrist-ed pansy,’ as Driscoll might say or perhaps has said. Of course, neither do I envisage a celestial Chuck Norris.

    In any case, I think Hunsinger is onto something in that he talks about God’s way of dealing with sin as “divine ju-jitsu.” Those of you who know something about martial arts know that ju-jitsu is a ‘soft’ technique that uses the opponent’s force against him/her through throws and locks, etc. Of course, any martial art is just that – a martial art, a way of doing combat. And I don’t think one can deny that the picture of God and Jesus is often combative and aggressive, even while non-violent. Even non-violent resistance can’t be called “passive” in an ultimate sense. It is aimed at doing damage to the enemy, be it political damage or some other non-physical sort.

    All of this is to say that I think there is a middle path that ought to be walked here, and I think Hunsinger is honed in on it.

    Monday, May 12, 2008 at 2:46 pm | Permalink
  46. Hill wrote:

    I second WTM’s remarks. What is so disturbing isn’t that MD utterly fails to understand the problems he’s trying to address, it’s that he answers them them in equally absurd terms. I think we still have to cling to the biblical description of God even if it is in some kind of creative tension with other things we know to be true.

    Monday, May 12, 2008 at 4:23 pm | Permalink
  47. Halden wrote:

    Travis, the point from my perspective is that for Driscoll, anything deviating from his notion of masculinity is to be equated with being limp-wristed, etc. That’s what I find troubling.

    I think I like Hunsinger’s comments, but as one who has spent over a quarter of my life acively involved in the martial arts, I’m not sure that ju-jitsu really describes what we see in Christ. But we do certainly need to find ways to express how the non-violence of Christ does not entail utter inactivity or passivity.

    Monday, May 12, 2008 at 5:39 pm | Permalink
  48. Samuel wrote:

    Halden,

    While I won’t argue with your speculations about Driscoll’s identity issues, I find a more charitable reading of his rhetoric is near to hand: contemporary, popular Christianity presents an extremely inaccurate and one-sided portrait of Jesus, and I present version X to specifically counter this portrait (culled from Scripture).

    Perhaps, as you and others suggest, he perpetrates the same error. However, I think it is undeniable that much contemporary theology does not like to address some of the biblical imagery of God (generally) and Jesus (specifically – e.g., in John’s Revelation). Jesus is portrayed in martial terms, he is portrayed as a judge who will destroy his enemies, and, while it is perfectly understandable for a classic liberal to simply deny such imagery, people who claim to be orthodox do not have such recourse. (I’m not sure what WTM’s means by “non-violent,” so I’m not sure if I agree with such a description or not).

    Either you ignore such imagery and its doctrinal bases and implications, or you incorporate into your theology, despite the tensions it will create and the hostility it will engender. Many so-called orthodox believers opt for the former option (following a venerable liberal tradition minus the consistency of simply denying Scripture’s authority), and those are the people I take Driscoll to be mocking and denouncing.

    Monday, May 12, 2008 at 6:29 pm | Permalink
  49. LRH wrote:

    “Do all of you really think this is loving and nurturing of the body of Christ? How is this about living wholly and unreservedly with and for others as one body – Christ’s body?”

    Now, perhaps I am mistaken, but I would think that one who argues that Jesus was neither passive nor weak would understand that the peace of Christ does not mean the absence of conflict, nor the turning of a blind eye. On the contrary, Jesus and the prophets repeatedly ruffled the feathers of those who held power over others.

    Now (lest this go straight to your head, Halden) my intention is not to draw some sort of sweeping comparison of Halden’s blog and and the words of the prophets, but I do think that we are called to be prophetic voices in our generation–to speak out against injustice and oppression and to advocate on behalf of those imprisoned physically, spiritually and psychologically. The misogynist discourse espoused by Mr. Driscoll perpetuates the minimization and dehumanization of our sisters in Christ.

    So, Rubin, I agree with you that we must promote “loving and nurturing of the body of Christ . . . [and] living wholly and unreservedly with and for others as one body – Christ’s body.” However, to not speak out against this continued marginalization of God’s children is to deny and reject half of that same body. Living wholly with and for others means walking beside them, seeing the world through their eyes and advocating for the full humanity of each child of God.

    Monday, May 12, 2008 at 10:17 pm | Permalink
  50. Rubin wrote:

    Halden, thanks for your thoughtful reply. I understand more clearly now what’s behind your tone. I’m still not sure that such an acerbic style is really productive in getting your point across. Perhaps you’re simply writing to your audience here who mostly agree with you anyways. And perhaps that’s enough for you. But to really communicate and persuade with reasoned logic, I do think a kinder tone is a better approach ala Paul and Silas.

    Monday, May 12, 2008 at 11:03 pm | Permalink
  51. Samuel,

    Driscoll seems to through the word “liberal” around without having any knowledge of what liberalism actually is in theology. And if you’re leaning on him for a definition, you’ll be as equally impoverished. He uses it as a rhetorical tool to marginalize anyone questioning such an opinion – a tactic to lump a great variety of people into one category that many do not fit into. Its pretty cheap and plays on fear, but, as politics shows, it works for an uninformed audience.

    Realizing that the church, nor Jesus when he was on the earth previously, are not to, or did not act like the Jesus of the parousia, is not ignoring the parousia and nor is it “liberal.” Rather, this theology is focusing on the Christian call, which is not talked about in terms of conquering, but power in weakness. Quite simply, we are not the ones to open the scroll in Revelation, so we better not act like we are that person of the future. Eschatologically, we do have a hope and this drives change, but even then, it is not the church, and specifically the martyrs, who actually do anything in Revelation. Quite simply, the church is the body of the crucified and resurrected Christ. None of this is “liberal” and in fact, conservatives and liberals alike could widely agree with it. This I know first hand.

    Monday, May 12, 2008 at 11:22 pm | Permalink
  52. Hill wrote:

    Damned liberals.

    Monday, May 12, 2008 at 11:44 pm | Permalink
  53. Arni wrote:

    I think Mark Driscoll has half a point in speaking against hippie Jesus, but he cancels it out by offering jock Jesus as a solution. He doesn’t seem to be aware that both Jesuses are cultural products, neither of which are faithful to the real Jesus. Mark seems to like rhetoric (something you, Halden, seem to like as well), which is fine as such. The problems start when rhetoric takes over and we forget the real point we were trying to make. I often find myself making that mistake and it seems to me to be a mistake that a preacher might be prone to make. Mark makes this mistake again and again and you have to ask yourself whether he makes it on purpose. Shocked reactions can be addictive. Maybe Mark keeps insisting that Jesus is a jock because it produces reactions like these and keeps him in the headlines.

    Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at 10:16 am | Permalink
  54. Samuel wrote:

    d. w. horstkoetter,

    Sorry to taking so long to respond.

    The word “liberal” is a slippery term, and my use of it is loose but historically accurate, I believe. I use it to describe any variety of theological traditions which would be in some ways indebted or similar to 19/20 German theology, starting primarily with Schleiermacher (naturally there are antecedents in the Enlightenment), and stretching through influential figures like Ritschl, Harnack, Bultmann, Tillich, et al. A liberal would deny classic and central doctrines of Christianity, like the divine inspiration and authority of Scripture, the Trinity, Chalcedonian Christology, etc, and would root authority in something other than God’s self-revelation in Scripture (and, arguably, tradition and the Church).

    My point was that even nominally orthodox Christians are subject to the immense cultural pressures to not offend current sensibilities, so any presentation of Christ which incorporates the Scriptural imagery and teaching pertaining to judgment, punishment, “violence,” and other related themes will be very unpopular and likely attacked, even by fellow “orthodox” Christians, who are currently emphasizing themes more palatable to current sensibilities (e.g. social justice, non-violence, liberation/freedom, etc.).

    Cordially,

    Samuel

    Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at 7:17 pm | Permalink
  55. Lolcano wrote:

    Driscoll is a closet homo.

    Friday, May 23, 2008 at 12:12 am | Permalink
  56. Amy2 wrote:

    Jesus wasn’t weak. He was obedient. That’s why he didn’t call down 10,000 angels (who could easily have whipped Mark Driscoll).

    Jesus the man was a temporary state. god the Son is eternal. THAT’s the one I worship.

    BTW, if a magazine has to TELL you it’s “relevant” by it’s name, it probably isn’t.

    Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 5:57 pm | Permalink
  57. Amy2,

    You may want to take a little look into the doctrines of resurrection and ascension and determine whether you still think the incarnation was temporary…

    Monday, May 26, 2008 at 8:48 am | Permalink
  58. willyrobertson wrote:

    you can read my response to this article at:
    http://willyrobertson.wordpress.com/2008/05/29/in-defence-of-driscoll/

    Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 3:21 am | Permalink
  59. Correction, “Disciple” is not “my” band. Typo.

    Wednesday, June 4, 2008 at 11:16 am | Permalink
  60. Ryan wrote:

    I think that Mark was using hyperbole. You took it literally and wrote tirade against somethig I don’t think Mark would even try to defend in a literal sense. Watch a series of his sermons and you will find he is a fairly balanced preacher who frequently goes over the top to make a point. Don’t get caught up in the details, hear the theme of what his is talking about. Mark supports a Jesus who stands up for his beliefs (clearing the temple) while also submitting to the Father’s will. What makes Christ perfect is that he can be a manly man and a humble servant!

    Its time for Christians to stop ripping into eachother and start spending time telling their friends, coworkers, and neighbors about Jesus (his eternal love and his eternal judgment).

    Friday, June 20, 2008 at 12:11 pm | Permalink
  61. Thats whats wrong with Driscol — who defines manly man? Other than the notion that killing lots of other people would disqualify you for building the temple. God rejects David on this account.

    The point is Ryan, Driscol uses gender concepts that are of his own making, or this current social climate’s making. This is no small detail — the hypostatic union and/or Chalcedonian creed (depending if you’re spirit or logos) wasn’t a manly man and God, it was human and divine in one. To harp on manly men is unnecessarily exclusive, if not patriarchal. This manly Jesus isn’t necessarily the Jesus I know, because I reject your definition of manly as both unnecessary and unbiblical. Now that is something definitely worth discussing and not glossing over.

    Monday, June 23, 2008 at 6:50 pm | Permalink
  62. B-rad wrote:

    This whole post seems to be a complete waste of time and I am sad that I got sucked into reading the back and forth insults, japes, and comments disguised as theological dialogue that did nothing to foster healthy discussion/relationships.

    I have listened to Driscoll as much as I have listened to Rob Bell and find them both making mistakes in their theology and speech as do I. To assume that they have any more power than I do over the people I am in relationship with is simply to shift the blame of my disobedience onto them because they are public figures. I have made just as many mistakes in my theology and speech as they have. And obviously so have most of you.

    When you want to begin real change, stop blogging about pastors you hate and disagree with and go plant/serve a church in a city you have a heart for. Once you are there and in relationship with those people seeing the immediate needs of the community and understanding the problems with your church, then you can begin to claim the role of “Luther”.

    I am sure that Luther would have seen the vanity (emptiness) of this “ministry”. Good luck serving the poor, the widowed, and the immigrants through this blog. I’m sure they are reading every word.

    Thursday, July 3, 2008 at 8:40 am | Permalink
  63. Halden wrote:

    Umm, B-rad, frankly you don’t know shit about me but you seem to think that, after reading this post you know quite a lot. You could,however know a bit more than you do if you took time to read about me in the pages I’ve provided on this blog that give information about who I am and how I live. I have lived in intentional community for the last 6 years, rooted in a local community which I serve on a daily basis. We are active in the sanctuary movement for illegal immigrants that have been displaced in our area, have widows in our midst, and do what we can to serve the poor in any way that we encounter them in our life together.

    What do you do?

    By all means shoot your mouth off if you want. But it doesn’t speak well of you if you just go around doing so without even bothering to check very easily accessible information about person in question that might put your assertions into question.

    Thursday, July 3, 2008 at 9:01 am | Permalink
  64. B-rad wrote:

    Halden,

    I did my research. Great work in the city.

    Poor work on the website.

    The work in the city still doesn’t make you righteous and neither does this website. Christ does.

    I do what I do and that won’t get make me righteous either. Christ does.

    So it looks like we’re both saved by the same eternal God. You’re probably even more pissed about that, but I’m thankful that even though we disagree, Christ is doing a great work in your life and in the lives of the people you know as well in my life and the lives of the people I know.

    Thursday, July 3, 2008 at 9:15 am | Permalink
  65. Halden wrote:

    I didn’t say a word about my actions saving me. Don’t be stupid just to try to avoid getting caught when you say something without checking. You came in spouting your mouth of with self-righteous “suggestions” about what I should do regarding where I live, minister, etc. Clearly you had not read anything about me or you would have known the answers to those questions. You are being disingenuous just to cover your own ass. Come on, man.

    Contrary to what you wish to believe I am quite thankful to be saved by grace. I am acutely aware of my own sinfulness and deep brokenness. However I don’t think that means we shouldn’t critique heresy and false gospels where they are found. Mark Driscoll is the shepherd of a large church and, in my view he is leading his flock significantly astray. I have experienced his “ministry” first hand through its effect on members of my immediate family. I find what he is doing despicable and destructive and I think it needs to be attacked for the sake of the gospel and the people he is hurting. I don’t just go around looking for people to critique. I’ve read Driscoll’s books, listened to his sermons, and been among people impacted by his work. That’s why I wrote what I wrote and I stand by it.

    Thursday, July 3, 2008 at 9:26 am | Permalink
  66. B-rad wrote:

    What you say about me is true and worse. I am self-righteous and disingenuous and say most things just to seek approval. I am usually a poor shepherd of the people around me and I do try to avoid getting caught when I mis-speak just to cover my own ass. It is worse. I am a recovering sex-addict, I treat my friends with disrespect so that I can reap the benefits and I am usually caught lying to defend my wrong actions, even to my wife. It is much worse than you think and I apologize for wronging you when I don’t even know you.

    I am also sorry for your suffering through the ministry of Driscoll’s church.

    Thursday, July 3, 2008 at 10:30 am | Permalink
  67. Halden wrote:

    No worries, mate.

    Thursday, July 3, 2008 at 10:36 am | Permalink
  68. Jason Winton wrote:

    B-rad,

    I’m not sure you agree with Halden’s post (which is not really the point of my comment anyways), but I definitely see that you understand and put into practice the image of Jesus that Halden has put forth (i.e., one who is out-of-control and has embraced vulnerability). Thanks for accepting his critique and for responding to it with humility. That’s more than inspiring for someone like me who hates to admit when I’m wrong about something. It should be easier to be good, don’t you think?

    Bottom line, one of the best things in life is to walk alongside Jesus in his Way (opposing the Powers, with all its conveniences), but the strength to do so (with integrity) sometimes leaves me wondering–What’s a brotha to do?

    Friday, July 4, 2008 at 1:00 am | Permalink
  69. Nathan Smith wrote:

    Once you are there and in relationship with those people seeing the immediate needs of the community and understanding the problems with your church, then you can begin to claim the role of “Luther”.

    I am sure that Luther would have seen the vanity (emptiness) of this “ministry”.
    I would just like to bring up the irony of invoking Luther in this discussion. He is the paragon of the Christian polemicist. Nobody was nastier in rhetoric than Luther. That is all. :-)

    Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 3:31 pm | Permalink
  70. cavman wrote:

    I you listen to some of Mark’s other sermons, you will see that he’s looking at this from the viewpoint of the exaltation of Christ. He affirms the Incarnation, but Jesus is now exalted. We must hold on to both of these truths such that while Jesus identifies with us, and suffered for us, he now is glorified and rules in power. The images in Revelation are frightening to his enemies, and comforting to his people, precisely because no one can defeat him. Personally I’m glad we have the incarnate Jesus who has been exalted to defend his people.

    Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 1:01 pm | Permalink
  71. Sam C wrote:

    Hi Halden, someone has borrowed your words over here: http://www.sydneyanglicans.net/forums/viewthread/3519/P0/

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 4:35 pm | Permalink
  72. Toni wrote:

    I stumbled upon this while trying to find a devotional BY MARK DRISCOLL…wow, can you believe it? I must be one of those brain washed petty american Christians because I want to learn something from Mark Driscoll. I think the problem here is jealousy. Jealousy will always turn to bitterness. Obviously just at the mention of his name, you people are willing to slander him! Do you honestly think your punny Jesus would back this blog up? Are you kidding me??? He would be embarrassed that His disciples were out making a mockery of His name. No wonder the unsaved have such trouble becoming a “Christian” when they stumble upon junk like this! Why don’t you pick out the positive things about Mark Driscoll and post them on here? And by the way…Mark Driscoll is talking about Jesus as He is now. He gets that Jesus came as a man and didn’t have supernatural strength on earth. He gets that…but the Jesus that is seated at the right hand of the Father? You better believe that no one can beat Him up. Come on guys, instead of bashing Mark’s ministry, why don’t you look into your hearts and see if there is any bitterness towards him.

    Friday, August 29, 2008 at 7:53 am | Permalink
  73. Nic wrote:

    This blog is the biggest load of crap I’ve read in years. I read it so that I could try to understand the thought patterns of idiots and I’m sorry to admit that I failed. It’s just too hard. I’m not going to use big words I don’t understand to assert my point like some bloggers I’ve read seem to do, but I will say that Jesus Christ currently sits at the right hand of God, waiting to enact judgement upon all who do not have faith in Him for the forgiveness of sins, and re-establishment of relationship with the Father. I’m pretty sure no-one could beat him up without getting their arse kicked. God bless, I pray you can come to the same faith in the grace of jesus alone for salvation. Shalom

    Thursday, September 4, 2008 at 4:01 am | Permalink
  74. David Spring wrote:

    No, Toni. And I’m sorry, Nic that your parents didn’t love you enough to teach you big words.
    The fact is Mark Driscoll is running a virgin sex cult and I am living proof.
    I live in Seattle (Ballard section actually) and attended the original Mars Hill regularly as well as was dating to the point of engagement a beautiful, intelligent, truth seeking (virgin – which turns me off actually as she was 33 – what the hell is wrong with her and why is there so much emphasis on bloody, painful, awkward sex on the wedding night for Christian men?) woman from Kirkland who belonged to one of Mark’s Acts29 churches. Near the time I was to officially ask her parents permission for her hand she freaked out. So I took her to James Noriega, a pastor from Mars Hill and mentor / counselor of mine for about a year. He immediately fell for her (he is married) and stole her from me because I did not make enough money to deserve a beautiful virgin of their church. NO SHIT! The betrayals continued all the way to me being banned from all Acts29 and UGM property because I “ask questions that undermine their authority” (James’ words).
    These people are sick.
    These people are a cult.
    I would love nothing more than to debate Mark openly in front of his entire congregation any time any where and tear him a new one so he can finally poop out that potato chip up his ass he clearly doesn’t want to break.
    Listen again to his sermons and count the number of times he discusses virgin sex and tithing.
    Then get back to me.
    david.spring@gmail.com

    Tuesday, September 9, 2008 at 1:37 pm | Permalink
  75. mark driscoll supporter wrote:

    David Spring….from your wording it is obvious why they stole her from you….you don’t deserve her….wash your mouth.. and then talk.

    As for the rest in here….Mark is one of the ONLY few christian advocates around who speaks the truth and takes the hits no matter how unpopular it us….some of you are wrong…Mark is not talking about how big his church is ….because His church is not that big…it’s really small comparesd to all the big churches out there….if anything he boasts just as Paul boasted in all his epistles…….EVEN IF 2 members joined…he won’t exhaggerate and say 2000.
    He talks about virgin sex a lot because people like you can’t keep your penis in control…So calm down and try to be half the man that he is

    Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at 2:12 pm | Permalink
  76. Hill wrote:

    Going to get some popcorn… be right back.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at 2:25 pm | Permalink
  77. Bring some twizzlers while you’re at it Hill.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at 2:35 pm | Permalink
  78. N. Dan Smith wrote:

    “I’m pretty sure no-one could beat him up without getting their arse kicked. God bless . . . Shalom”

    Irony, that.

    At any rate, I would like to propose a corollary to Godwin’s law for theoblogs: As a Christian blog discussion grows longer, the probability of someone questioning the author’s salvation approaches one.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at 5:45 pm | Permalink
  79. David Spring wrote:

    mark driscoll supporter – You know not of what you speak.
    She herself gave me a card not 2 weeks earlier from the start of all those events citing me as a (her words) “gift from God to her”. Seeing as how I have devoted my life to understanding and getting to know Jesus / God to the point of near death on many occasions as well as losing most of my friends and family for the cause I would have to question your criteria for “deserving her”.
    Was I not wealthy enough in your eyes?
    Was I not righteous enough in your eyes?
    How do you know what I do with my penis?
    Wash YOUR mouth, sir. You speak boldly from the hip without even the courage to print your name. How about you come over and tell me your point of view to my face?
    Mark is a coward and seeks to establish a community of cowards like you who speak of righteousness yet have never gone out on the limbs the rest of us have to discern the truth in a truly Christ-like manner.
    Besides, in this world no one and nothing gives a crap about what you think you or anyone else deserves. I bet you aren’t even legal age for me to put a stiff hand to your neck.
    Grow up and invest yourself in risky and frightening pursuits of truth before you ever comment on me again.

    Thursday, September 11, 2008 at 12:52 am | Permalink
  80. David Spring wrote:

    http://www.differhonestly.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=487&p=4497
    This was written quite some time ago yet applies not only to the specific preacher it was written about but to all preachers such as Mark and his cohorts.
    Also check out chapter 8 of part 2 of Neil Postman’s book “Amusing Ourselves to Death”.
    If we don’t start collectively following the advice of 1John 2:27 soon these crazy evangelists will lead us all straight to Hell down the road of good yet uninformed and narrow minded intentions.

    Thursday, September 11, 2008 at 6:59 pm | Permalink
  81. Kyle M wrote:

    For those who rant on about Mark, I suggest you show up at one of his sermons. It’s easy to dig at someone that you don’t know.

    Here is a challenge for you. Come to church service on Sunday and see for yourself. Are you strong enough in your own version of faith?

    Friday, September 19, 2008 at 1:16 pm | Permalink
  82. Kyle, you seemed to have forgotten that videos of his sermons are online. However, if his sermons in the church do not employ the drug induced animations for “the peasant princess” it would be easier to persuade me to go.

    Friday, September 19, 2008 at 1:35 pm | Permalink
  83. David Spring wrote:

    Kyle,
    I not only rant from personal experience with Mark and his church, I rant from a personal wrong he, himself, as well as several of his elders and the elders of UGM inflicted upon me and never apologized for or did anything to rectify.
    He is, as I have previously stated, a coward who is too chicken to even confront me in his own church, in front of his own congregation because he knows what will happen.
    If you would like I’d be glad to share my story, the emails involved between all parties, and any other info you need to have a fair and unbiased opinion of the damage his organization does to Christians who truly live the message on a daily basis.
    david.spring@gmail.com
    Peace be with you.

    Saturday, September 20, 2008 at 9:04 pm | Permalink
  84. Joshua wrote:

    Let me express my heart in writing this first off to deal with any reply’s related to that. i am a born again believer and thing it is not only sad but unsettling and upsetting when people who would claim to be the same give the God they claim to serve the sad status of a human soul. When God really is just that GOD, COMPLETELY HOLY NEEDED NOTHING INCLUDING YOUR WORSHIP AND FELLOWSHIP TO BE CONTENT AND COMPLETE IN EVERY WAY! GOD IS HOLY HOLY HOLY!!! and any thought otherwise is a lie and disgrace deserving destruction which according to the bible has been given for less than that many times before.
    Now on to what i am writing about there is a big difference between a Jesus like the one in the picture with the nuns behind it and the Jesus who is weak and fable like a babe who’s only response to an attack is to cry and fill its diaper.
    Or as you put it
    “Living out of control, embracing vulnerability, allowing oneself to be put into question”.
    Let me brake this down for you.
    For starters you said out of control….
    WHAT?!?!? THE SON OF GOD. JESUS CHRIST NOT BEING IN TOTAL CONTROL! you must be joking here right? the Son of the One who hold not only the world but everything in the universe in PERFECT control Who controls the destinies of man just as easily as every supernatural force, the Son of that God being out of control. No my friend on the contrary Jesus like his Father was in TOTAL control every moment of His time here on Earth. Jesus willing lay down His life and that’s what makes it so glorious.

    “Embracing vulnerability”
    By this I do hope that you are saying gave Himself to the people who were seeking His life. Not oh i can’t do anything anyway so I’m just going to embrace that because that’s who i am. because if you’re saying that my friend you missed the part where Jesus rebuked Peter saying “put away your sword, or do you not know that I could call down legions of angles and heavenly host in my defense.” Jesus who almost laughing at those who came to seek His life… “Why do you come at me with all these men when i was with you in the temple every day.” as if to say it matters not how many men you have their power is nothing compared to mine. I did not fear you then and I don’t now but I willingly give myself to you to be killed by my choice. don’t be confused my friend Jesus did only as His father did and His father time and again destroyed host of men and nations without an effort. Jesus was not weak in any way but made the choice to die, made the choice to be beaten and crucified, made the choice to carry the cross when a normal human would be holding to life by stands so easy to brake one more lash could rip it away.

    “Allowing oneself to be put into question”
    It is more accurate to say putting oneself willing in to question. Seeing and knowing exactly what they wanted to do to Him. Jesus said yes that is what I chose I go toward that with all that I am because that is what will pay the price for the sin of Halden, and the sin of Joshua, the sin of Kyle, and the sin of David, the sin of Hill and the sin of (enter your name hear) It was a CHOICE Jesus WILLINGLY CHOSE, with total joy and rejoicing, to give each of us the OPPORTUNITY for salvation.
    That is the Jesus i hope Mark Driscoll is talking about the one who in COMPLETE CONTROL, CHOSE TO LAY DOWN HIMSELF, TO DIE just to give the chance, the choice of salvation and relationship with Him and His heavenly Father to each person on this earth for all time. Not a weak Jesus who could do nothing about it and not a Jesus who runs around with nuns that shamefully expose their nudity to the world. No my friend a Jesus who when thinking about the people He loved decided to die in such a way that no one could say that death is not enough to pay for the sins of this person or that. A death Horrific enough to cover sin, and make way for redemption and salvation. When Jesus Himself needed nether redemption, salvation, or the forgiveness of sin. When He who would gain nothing because there was nothing that He needed in free will gave His life as payment for sin. That is the God that I serve and that you weather you realize it or not, serve if you have made the choice to accept His as Lord and Savor.

    Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at 12:46 pm | Permalink
  85. David Spring wrote:

    Joshua, you make my work so easy for me.
    I find it interesting and typical of “parrot Christians” (those who lack originality in their own thoughts concerning God) to define Jesus in one breath and curse those who define Him differently in another. For you to say “God has no need of us” paints Him out to be sociopathic. For you to say “Jesus was not vulnerable” paints Him out to be a control freak / power mongerer. And further more to say “He is in total control of EVERYTHING” means we have no free will – which is the greatest gift God gave us short of sending His son to help us learn to how to use it.
    Jesus asks us to embrace vulnerability with axioms such as, “Forgive and forget” and, “Turn the other cheek.”
    Jesus did not choose to die for us. Jesus chose to begrudgingly follow His Father’s orders as was evidenced by him sweating blood the night before due to being so stressed out about it (and even begging God for some other way to get out of it).
    If Jesus was not as vulnerable and scared and weak as the rest of us then His sacrifice and advice is meaningless.
    Lastly I find it odd you say, “That is the Jesus i hope Mark Driscoll is talking about…” Does this mean you have never even been to Mars Hill or heard several of Mark’s sermons to even have an opinion on this matter?
    You are the very kind of Christian that gives Christ a bad name. Presumptuous, uninformed, self-righteous, unoriginal, and an atrocious affront to all Jesus stood for.
    Good day, sir.

    Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at 3:30 pm | Permalink
  86. Joshua Cookingham wrote:

    “For you to say “God has no need of us” paints Him out to be sociopathic.”

    Well, God doesn’t really have NEED of us. However, He WANTS us. I think that makes it a little more clear :)

    “He is in total control of EVERYTHING” means we have no free will”

    Um, no. It means He is in control of everything the Bible says “A man plans his way, but the Lord directs His steps.” (I’m paraphrasing) The point is not that we have no free will, but that God directs and guides us because He is all powerful.

    “Jesus did not choose to die for us.”

    Whoa….That’s new to me….:) Yes, He went through Hell (literally), but He wasn’t a namby pamby wuss begging to get out of His death. “Not my will, but Yours be done.” What a powerful testament to the trust He had in His Father.

    “If Jesus was not as vulnerable and scared and weak as the rest of us then His sacrifice and advice is meaningless.”

    True, but also, if Jesus did not conquer death and triumph over evil, then He wouldn’t be God’s Son. You have to keep both aspects of His character in mind.

    Jesus came in humility and God has exalted Him as the Name above all Names. Talk about power!

    Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at 6:43 pm | Permalink
  87. David Spring wrote:

    [Joshua]:
    [“For you to say “God has no need of us” paints Him out to be sociopathic.”
    Well, God doesn’t really have NEED of us. However, He WANTS us. I think that makes it a little more clear :)]

    my response:
    So now God has “wants”? Isn’t that a human quality of the soul? Our souls desire. Our souls make plans. Otherwise the sins we commit could not harm them. I thought you were against assigning and limiting God to human qualities.

    [“He is in total control of EVERYTHING” means we have no free will”
    Um, no. It means He is in control of everything the Bible says “A man plans his way, but the Lord directs His steps.” (I’m paraphrasing) The point is not that we have no free will, but that God directs and guides us because He is all powerful.]

    All you have done there is create a conceptual mobius strip. What you are now implying is that I get to choose my path in life but God gets to choose where I go. That’s like when I joined the military and they said, “You can go anywhere with us” and then promptly controlled everything I did for the next four years. Nice try.

    [“Jesus did not choose to die for us.”
    Whoa….That’s new to me….:) Yes, He went through Hell (literally), but He wasn’t a namby pamby wuss begging to get out of His death. “Not my will, but Yours be done.” What a powerful testament to the trust He had in His Father.]

    In other words you are actually proving my previous point about free will being stripped of us by God while also using the Bible to state direct evidence it was not, in fact, Jesus’ own will to die. (knock knock… is this thing on?)

    [“If Jesus was not as vulnerable and scared and weak as the rest of us then His sacrifice and advice is meaningless.”
    True, but also, if Jesus did not conquer death and triumph over evil, then He wouldn’t be God’s Son. You have to keep both aspects of His character in mind.]

    Who says He did either? All we know was his body was gone when his friends came to grieve, four guys wrote second hand accounts of reported ghost sightings ranging from 50 to 200 years after the fact, and some guy who hated Christians made up a great story to join them and then completely corrupted the church with more laws and lots of money laundering (going against the advice of both Jesus’ Rock and own brother) and now people who go to places like Mars Hill worship the ass-kicking, womanizing, wealthy preacher instead of God.

    [Jesus came in humility and God has exalted Him as the Name above all Names. Talk about power!]

    Jesus did not ever say that. Talk about slander and libel.

    Wednesday, September 24, 2008 at 6:43 am | Permalink
  88. Cameron wrote:

    Joshua’s responses are more Biblically founded and a better interpretation of what God’s Word says, overall. You must read Scripture in context and with an open heart, not coming at it with biased human suppositions and opinions(2 Timothy 4:3). What we have to say matters nothing and we must allow his Word to speak to us as it plainly will(Hebrews 4:12). Let us not use the Bible to argue points that are insignificant when compared to the weight of sin in this lost and dying world. The Word of God is everlasting(Matthew 24:35), piercing to the heart of man(Hebrews 4:12), and to be used to equip the Christ-seeking man for good works(2 Timothy 3:16,17). For these reasons, seek after it as the treasure it is, love it, desire to understand the whole of it, and use it to love those in this world who don’t know Christ through sharing the gospel and maintaining your brotherly love for those who do know Christ.
    As to the last line of your post, David:
    Philippians 2:5-11 says, “5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

    The fact that humility, meekness, and love can be paired with power and authority seems paradoxical but, as Joshua rightly stated and as the Bible clearly says in Isaiah 55:9, God’s ways are higher than ours and his thoughts higher than our thoughts.
    Might I submit to you that the fact that Christ came in humility to die for the sin of mankind can only invoke worship from our hearts once realized. That gives him the name above all names and authority at which every knee WILL bow and every tongue WILL confess(on Earth now or before the throne in heaven one day) that Jesus Christ, the humble and meek servant of mankind, is and will eternally be Lord of all. Even now, he is in heaven interceding and giving grace to this sinful world that some might be saved(2 Peter 3:9). That is love, humility, and GRACE from a mighty God in heaven for a lowly people on earth. Read how Christ is described in Colossians 1:15-20 and in Hebrews 1. These are remarkable passages that most accurately define Christ and his being before, during, and after the creation of the world. The Bible will speak for itself. It is alive, complete, and searches our hearts to reveal truth to us and in us. I pray that it does so for you and I am open to any responses from anyone. Thank you for your time in reading this.

    Thursday, September 25, 2008 at 10:48 pm | Permalink
  89. maxlifewa wrote:

    Neither the ‘hippie Jesus’ nor the ‘uber-macho’ Jesus is biblical. He was direct and forceful when needed, and kind & gentle in other situations when needed.

    As Christian men, our challenge is to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Macho posturing has no place in that. Jesus made it clear, and the apostles modeled this as well, that true masculinity means putting others first and being the servant of all. There’s nothing passive or wimpy about that; it takes more strength and humility than simply strutting around like a rooster.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to put on a cardigan sweater and sip a cup of tea…..

    Saturday, September 27, 2008 at 10:02 am | Permalink
  90. Joshua Cookingham wrote:

    Both Max and Cameron have provided good insight(Cameron has quoted more Scripture than I ever could…Nice one Cameron!)

    David to answer your assertions:

    “So now God has “wants”? Isn’t that a human quality of the soul? Our souls desire. Our souls make plans. Otherwise the sins we commit could not harm them. I thought you were against assigning and limiting God to human qualities.”

    I am against limiting God to human qualities. But you seem to forget, we are made in the image of God. God so LOVED the world, because He WANTS us to be with Him. He does not NEED us in that sense, if anything, that’s more attributing human qualities to God(God has needs? isn’t that a human trait…lol!)

    “What you are now implying is that I get to choose my path in life but God gets to choose where I go”

    Not really. When Joseph was sold into slavery, he eventually ended up as a 2nd in all of Egypt. He said what his brothers intended for harm, God used for good. What I was trying to convey was the sense of God being in control no matter the circumstance.

    “In other words you are actually proving my previous point about free will being stripped of us by God while also using the Bible to state direct evidence it was not, in fact, Jesus’ own will to die.”

    er…no. Jesus surrendered to the Father’s will. He made a choice…That’s free will. He Himself said, “Don’t you know that I could summon a legion of Angels to come and save Me, but how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled?” His mission was to save the world by doing the will of the Father. At any point He could have chose to stop, but He didn’t….FREE WILL.

    “Who says He did either?”

    Um….the Gospels….and the rest of the New Testament…yeah…

    “All we know was his body was gone when his friends came to grieve, four guys wrote second hand accounts of reported ghost sightings ranging from 50 to 200 years after the fact,”

    Um, two of those four guys were His apostles, and their accounts were the main source of info of Jesus’s life….so….your point?

    “and some guy who hated Christians made up a great story to join them and then completely corrupted the church with more laws and lots of money laundering (going against the advice of both Jesus’ Rock and own brother”

    Are you talking about Paul? Hmmm, according to Scripture, he was actually trying to get rid of the useless laws, and James agreed with him!

    “Jesus did not ever say that. Talk about slander and libel”

    I never said Jesus said that. It was Paul who said that. :)

    God bless!

    Saturday, September 27, 2008 at 5:07 pm | Permalink
  91. David Spring wrote:

    Oh my friends of the last 20 or so posts, how easily we have strayed from the original point yet, strangely proved it as well.
    The entire point of this particular blog is that Mark Driscoll and those like him cannot possibly worship the Jesus of the Bible, and those who have so passionately attempted to respond otherwise have only proven how far away from that goal they are as well.
    When examining a story for it’s credibility one must be very careful to look for consistency within the story as well as evidence to support the story from other outside sources. One cannot use the very book in question as proof of it’s own accuracy (although in an attempt to cater to the close mindedness of many here I will commit that crime despite myself).
    As well, none of you ever actually quoted Jesus (although my last point means even those quotes are suspect anyway) except Cameron on Sep. 25th and even that was an incorrect quote most likely born of Driscollian interpretation – (Jesus actually said, “…My words will never die..” not, “The Word of God is everlasting.”). Subtle yet potent in it’s misdirection.
    And despite their futility in effectiveness, there have been many other quotations of other NT authors who claimed to have known someone who knew Jesus, or in a couple cases have claimed to know Jesus themselves yet without identifiable proof (Sorry, Joshua, but none of the first four books of the NT were written by the men whose names they bear. And that is common knowledge amongst ALL Christians.)
    So in the spirit of Jesus’ love of consistency in the search for truth (again, assuming some degree of accuracy as to the accounts of Him), like any good court of reasoning, let’s identify and stick with the clearly identifiable facts.

    Toni, on Aug. 29th clearly did not get the point and asked several silly questions before finally discrediting himself by stating, “He [Mark Driscoll] gets that Jesus came as a man and didn’t have supernatural strength on earth.” There are so many problems with this I don’t feel I should even have to mention them.

    Then someone named Nic on Sep. 4th decided he was smarter than the rest of us (despite admitting to not knowing “big words” or even understanding the nature of the debate) and embarrassed himself as well in the name of Jesus.

    I then stupidly sobered up and wrongly assumed on Sep. 9th that offering a REAL and PROVABLE story involving the top brass at MH might help these folks gain a little perspective. Instead I was JUDGED and HURT by comments on Sep. 10th from some anonymous turd named “mark driscoll supporter” who knows nothing of me, my ex, our situation involving an adulterous elder of MH, or the fact that Mark’s church is one of the largest and fastest growing in the U.S. and is even know internationally. He, along with Toni and Nic have since then showed their true commitment to Mark’s ideal of being “ballsy for Christ” by promptly never writing anything again, thereby proving they can make a good decision after all…

    Shortly afterward, on the same day, several clearly intelligent and interesting fence-sitters made some true and amusing comments which made me hungry and I had to go get a sandwich and some more beer before returning in the dead of night to reply. After calling one of the aforementioned little’uns out I settled in to reading some classic Christian commentary and then came back the following afternoon to admonish all those reading and writing these posts of the importance of education and thought outside of what they hear in church on Sunday. I also broke my own rule about using the Bible as a reference to Christian reason and mentioned a Bible verse (1John 2:27) in the vain attempt to end this hurtful nuttiness once and for all. But to no avail.

    On Sep. 19th another MH supporter showed their ignorance of technology and reason and was promptly countered by the very skillful and articulate d.w. horstkoetter. I could not help but to once again offer to give a real-world, evidence-laden example of what the author of this original blog is trying to convey. And once again was avoided – presumably out of fear of open-minded investigation on the part of “truth seeking Christians”.

    Sep. 23rd someone named Joshua, clearly intelligent, yet not so original, made a long and passionate, yet totally inconsistent case which was in turn opened up and refuted back and forth a couple of times before Cameron, on Sep. 25th mentioned something that actually supported me (although I think he was trying to support Joshua). He wrote, “You must read the Scripture in context and with an open heart, not coming at it with biased human suppositions and opinions(2 Timothy 4:3).”
    Ironically that is exactly the essence of what the author of this blog, as well as I, am trying to say Mark is doing and taking to non-Christian extremes to manipulate for his own financial gain! Those who continue using “popular evangelical interpretation” of the scriptures to counter our open minded and non-popular allegations are doing the same as well and placing themselves on the same shelf as Mark.
    Then on Sep. 27th another even minded fence sitter decided to elucidate us as to his current wardrobe and choice of beverage before a submission by Joshua unleashed a whole new slew of biblical cacophony. Purporting “WANTS” are not a human quality just like “NEED”, trying to use an phantasmagorical story of the Old Testament – out of context – to explain away the obvious contradiction in thought concerning the supposed “free will” he cathects onto Jesus during the tribulation of execution, quoting Jesus out of context for the same aforementioned reason, trying to convince us at least two of the books of the NT were written directly by the apostles themselves despite ALL evidence against it, and then topping off that ice-cream dessert by supporting my assertion that Paul is the one attributed with defining Jesus’ message and not Jesus Himself.

    So what does all this mean?

    Against my better judgment, as well as personal ethics, I will commit the very same crime I accuse my detractors of.

    1John 2:27 – “The annointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you.”

    Matthew 5:39 – “But I say unto you that you resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

    Luke 10:25 – And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (26) He said unto him, “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” (27) And he answering said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” (28) And he said unto him, “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” (29) But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (30) And Jesus answering said, “A certain [man] went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded [him], and departed, leaving [him] half dead. (31) And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. (32) And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked [on him], and passed by on the other side. (33) But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion [on him]. (34)And went to [him], and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. (35) And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave [them] to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. (36) Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves?” (37) And he said, “He that shewed mercy on him.” Then said Jesus unto him, “Go, and do thou likewise.”

    John 11:2 It was [that] Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.

    Fact: Jesus had very little if in fact nothing to say about retaining one’s virginity and was openly accepting of feminine affections as well as supported women’s sovereignty, rights, and ideas against traditional belief.
    Fact: Paul was so uptight about women he could barely stand their appearance let alone to be touched by one as well as insisting non-virgins were dirty whores and totally unacceptable.
    Fact: Mark Driscoll stated in a publicly accessible interview (YouTube) interview that the only way his church could survive was to attract young, untouched, totally submissive virgins which would in turn attract 18 – 35yo males who could provide the most money to expand his church.
    Fact: The pastors at UGM who befriended me (until their elders told them not to) all admitted 30-something year old virgins were most likely screwed up in the head.

    Fact: Jesus never said anything disparaging about drinking or drugs (Mark 7:14-23), homosexuality, or wanting lots of money.
    Fact: Paul said a lot of bad things about the first three but never about money, which he kept a VERY keen eye on and punished other churches for not managing properly and even allowed the death of two parishioners for lying about their means (Acts 5).
    Fact: Mark Driscoll HATES gays, drugs, liberals (mind you I personally am a non-partisan, gun-toting, meat-eating, conservative from Louisiana), and drunks, yet never fails to mention tithing and money management as often as possible.

    Fact: Jesus’ first concern was unconditional love and the disdain for the legislation of morality.
    Fact: Paul sought to isolate those who were not worthy of “The Way” and actually enforce the laws of morality.
    Fact: Mark Driscoll is a hard-right, Republican who would legislate morality and make sin punishable by law if given half the chance.

    Preachers like Mark worship Paul out of insecurity and fear and lack of personal relationship with the true Jesus.
    The followers of preachers like Mark worship the preachers, not Jesus, for the same reasons.

    To worship Jesus is to abandon ALL hate, ALL agenda, ALL presupposition, and embrace consistent, open-minded research of the world around you without attachment or belief in any “truth” which may be gleaned from several thousand year old, non-contemporarily relevant, Bedouin poetry or the agendas of those who would seek to regress us back to those ideas.

    Monday, September 29, 2008 at 6:45 pm | Permalink
  92. Joshua Cookingham wrote:

    “Sorry, Joshua, but none of the first four books of the NT were written by the men whose names they bear. And that is common knowledge amongst ALL Christians.)”

    Says who? You? Bart Ehrman? Please, most of the Christians around the world(including most Biblical scholars) agree that the Gospels were indeed written by the men who wrote their names at the top of the page :)!

    “Sep. 23rd someone named Joshua, clearly intelligent, yet not so original, made a long and passionate, yet totally inconsistent case which was in turn opened up and refuted back and forth a couple of times”

    Well, thanks for the compliment! But to be fair, you didn’t really refute me. you made a few assumptions and a few good points, but all were off the mark.

    ” Purporting “WANTS” are not a human quality just like “NEED”,”

    You miss my point. You said I was assigning human qualities to God, when in fact you were doing the same thing by suggesting that God NEEDS us. that was my point.

    “phantasmagorical story of the Old Testament – out of context to explain away the obvious contradiction in thought concerning the supposed “free will ”

    “All Scripture is inspired by God.” And What contradiction? We make choices, that doesn’t spare us the consequences. Nor does it prevent God from taking what is bad and using it for good(Hint: Jesus’s death and Ressurection also fall into this category….)

    “he cathects onto Jesus during the tribulation of execution, quoting Jesus out of context for the same aforementioned reason”

    How am I quoting Him out of context? He Himself said He could have gotten out of dying! He CHOSE not to!

    “trying to convince us at least two of the books of the NT were written directly by the apostles themselves despite ALL evidence against it,”

    I am not trying to ‘convince’ anyone. Facts are facts. There is no evidence to support the belief that the apostles didn’t write the Gospels! Even the Jesus Seminar believes that for the most part!

    “and then topping off that ice-cream dessert by supporting my assertion that Paul is the one attributed with defining Jesus’ message and not Jesus Himself.”

    Jesus also said the Pharisees would see Him sitting at the Right Hand of God(Special powerful position) and coming in the clouds of Heaven(I.E. Glory and Power). Pretty close to what Paul said huh?

    “Fact: Jesus had very little if in fact nothing to say about retaining one’s virginity and was openly accepting of feminine affections as well as supported women’s sovereignty, rights, and ideas against traditional belief.”

    For the most part(Although I think you missed a few verses about not looking lustfully at a women…). However, Jesus was a traditional Jew, He observed their laws, and He Himself said e came to fulfill the Law, not destroy it.

    “Fact: Paul was so uptight about women he could barely stand their appearance let alone to be touched by one as well as insisting non-virgins were dirty whores and totally unacceptable.”

    AND…..Where did you get this from? Have you even read Corinthians?

    “Fact: Paul said a lot of bad things about the first three but never about money, which he kept a VERY keen eye on and punished other churches for not managing properly and even allowed the death of two parishioners for lying about their means (Acts 5).”

    Dude…..PAUL WASN’T EVEN A CHRISTIAN AT THIS POINT!!!!! He didn’t convert until Acts 9!!!!
    (sorry….little rants are fun!)

    “Fact: Jesus’ first concern was unconditional love and the disdain for the legislation of morality.
    Fact: Paul sought to isolate those who were not worthy of “The Way” and actually enforce the laws of morality.”

    Jesus said “I have come to do the will of the Father.” That was His mission. Not disdain for legislative morality. I’m a conservative too, and I don’t buy that libertarian garbage.

    Paul said “I have become all things to all people, that I might win them for Christ.” He always spoke to people in a way they understood. He wanted to save as many as possible. Honestly do you even read His letters?

    “To worship Jesus is to abandon ALL hate, ALL agenda, ALL presupposition,”

    True…YAY! we agree on something!

    “..and embrace consistent, open-minded research of the world around you without attachment or belief in any “truth” which may be gleaned from several thousand year old, non-contemporarily relevant, Bedouin poetry or the agendas of those who would seek to regress us back to those ideas.”

    Oooohhh…..not true. That is not what Jesus said. He said, “Believe in the Son of Man and you will be saved.” And considering He also said He was the ‘Truth’, if you have no attachment to ‘Truth’, you aren’t attached to Jesus….

    In closing, I don’t know what happened to you at Mark’s church, but I do know that Jesus also said “If you do not forgive others, you will not be forgiven.” Matthew 6:15

    David, don’t let your heart be bitter, allow God to wash that away. He wants to.

    If I offended at al please forgive me,

    God bless!

    Monday, September 29, 2008 at 10:00 pm | Permalink
  93. Joshua Cookingham wrote:

    Also, I’m not the same guy as the first Joshua….Just to let you know!

    Monday, September 29, 2008 at 10:01 pm | Permalink
  94. David Rudel wrote:

    I must admit not to have read through all the comments here. Given that there are 100+ at this point, I trust others will not judge me too harshly in this.

    While I would not endorse Driscoll’s language, it does appear that his wording [and hence the implied meaning] is being twisted here. Furthermore, regardless of any the above, the personal comments seem out of line.

    I do not follow Driscoll, so it is perfectly possible that he means exactly what you are casting him as saying…but all he really said was that the version of Jesus being presented is not consistent with Scripture, nor is it one that demands our worship in the way Christ does.

    He describes Jesus the way he does not to show that exhausts Jesus’ attributes but rather to show that the version of Jesus he is concerned as being over-represented is not a full picture either.

    For example, imagine you heard someone suggesting a form of simplistic neo-Sabellianism, suggesting Jesus=the Father.

    How might you respond to show the error? You might point out places where Jesus clearly shows Himself to be below the Father [John 14:28], show places where the Father exhibits characteristics Jesus does not [Mark 13:32], illustrate places where others misunderstood Jesus’ claims about His relationship with the Father [10:30-36], or indicate that Jesus in general praying to the Father makes little since if Jesus=Father.

    Now, would that mean that your response exhausts your beliefs about Jesus? No. You were not representing a complete picture of Jesus so much as pointing out aspects of Jesus shown in the Bible that would make the Jesus=The Father idea untenable [even if it is simpler for us to get our heads around.]

    Perhaps that is Driscoll’s point here. Not to hold up an entire picture of Jesus but to relate aspects of Christ that would not allow one to hold to a “soft” version of Jesus without accepting the rough edges.

    In the end, my guess is that Mark sees a real danger in people clasping a version of Jesus that they find more palatable and holding that version tight, not being able, even after “believing” of seeing that there are aspects of Jesus that are not at all meek.

    Sunday, October 5, 2008 at 5:04 pm | Permalink
  95. David Spring wrote:

    I just have to make this my last message and hope somehow someone more articulate comes along to do a better job than I… My heart can’t take too much more of this.
    Joshua 1 or Joshua 2 or whichever Joshua may be reading this as well as anyone else who worships Mark Driscoll, y’all have all missed the point entirely.
    1. No. The first four gospels that we all read were written by men who translated them from other translations which were translated from other translations, ad nauseum…
    2. As usual oranges and apples were mixed – Jesus referred to his ability to be saved by a host of angels while being tempted in the desert and not while begging his Daddy to come up with some other way to “save” us.
    3. Paul was very concerned about money and furthering the “church” – Jesus was not so concerned about money and could give a shit less about any church. He just wanted to spread his MESSAGE. Mark Driscoll, like Paul, is more concerned about image, money, church planting, and bashing liberals then he is about spreading a message of all inclusive love-sans-judgment.
    Which leads me to the ultimate point I have been trying to make all along… The Bible is not the ultimate source of wisdom, knowledge and truth. It is a collection of stories about how no one ever really gets to know the “truth” and how some guy came along trying to point out how we should be more focused on each others happiness and our surroundings than on any metaphysical, unknowable truth. Then this guy gets deified, misquoted, and ultimately mythologized (is that even a word?) until his whole message gets lost in an unbelievable, literally in-credible, twisted war of legalism and interpretation between myriad churches who are all run by egomaniacal, greedy men of average intelligence with no discernible talent other than bilking old ladies and socially unsuccessful young people out of their hard earned money with the promise of something no one can actually guarantee.
    And the only “proof” any of you can offer up in their defense are quotes from these very guys who claim to be interpreting the Bible better than any one else. And the Bible is the very book in question in the first place.
    Ironically, if we don’t take the Bible literally then churches become pretty much meaningless, and if we do take it literally – including and especially Jesus’ words – than churches are still pretty much a waste of time and money.
    Lastly, even though I will most likely never return to this site it doesn’t matter because it’s not me you have to answer to. It’s the God that created you to think for yourselves and not follow any other man. The God who probably finds you very boring if you go to a church like Mars Hill.
    Goodbye.
    David
    david.spring@gmail.com

    Sunday, October 5, 2008 at 9:21 pm | Permalink
  96. Joshua Cookingham wrote:

    I’m sorry your heart is troubling you David. If I offended you at all, please forgive me.

    Know that God loves you and wants you. Regardless of what you think or feel. I understand you’ve been hurt, but God wants to take that away from you. He wants you to be free.

    God bless!

    Sunday, October 5, 2008 at 10:06 pm | Permalink
  97. Joshua Cookingham wrote:

    The only other issue I have with this article is this: Relevant Magazine may try to be too relevant at some points, but at least their hearts are sincere towards God and their love for people is geniune. They are not trying to make Christianity ‘cool’, any more than Paul was in his sermon on Mars Hill to the Greeks.

    They are trying to speak to culture in a way that culture can understand.

    That’s all…God bless!

    Sunday, October 5, 2008 at 10:09 pm | Permalink
  98. Twitch wrote:

    Perhaps this video will be of interest to some of those on this post.

    Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at 7:03 am | Permalink
  99. David wrote:

    I knew I should have stayed away but my curiosity got the best of me. And now I’m just in shambles.
    Joshua, why do you think my comments were all about you? You couldn’t offend me if you tried. My comments were about everyone who thinks like you (and most of them are narcissistic as well just like their leaders a.k.a. Mark D.).
    Typically people who need religion are missing something in their lives and that vacuum most often is the void of self esteem, self worth, or self “meaning”. But in all three the word “self” is present. People who are constantly looking outward have no vacuum in their lives because we don’t need validation or guidance to find substance.
    And then that video! ARGH!!!! Where does Mark get his “statistics”? Statistically speaking – married, Christian, stay at home moms are the most likely to get bored and disillusioned and cheat on their husbands. This is not my opinion. This is documented fact from many research projects done over the last 50 years. Just Google it…
    Secondly, I know MANY people who were raised by stay at home dads and they turned out highly successful as well as their parents marriages.
    And did anyone else notice the body language (oppressive hand on her knee at all times, her hair covering her confused and vapid stare as she recited Mark’s obviously coached words…)?
    Too much to say. I really need to stay away from these discussion boards because they just make me ill….
    Sorry.

    Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at 9:00 am | Permalink
  100. David wrote:

    Three things that video from two posts ago taught me about Mark Driscoll.
    1. If his wife died (God forbid) he would have to marry another “woman unit” to raise the kids because he can’t do it. This reflects not only Mark’s ineptitude to do anything other than bully people into his viewpoints but his views on women as well.
    2. If a woman making $100,000 dollars a year marries a man making only $20,000 a year and they have kids, Mark’s God would command that the family suffer in poverty rather than live with more means because the man’s ego and “role” is more important than his families comfort and financial security.
    3. Mark has decided that we are stupid and evil if we disagree with his personal take on the Bible. His hero complex and huge ego will simply not permit him to evolve with the rest of us and stop obsessing over legalistic BS.
    If you are a woman, a man making less than your spouse, a man who is able to raise his own children, and/or not into Kung Fu Jesus – then Mark Driscoll thinks you are stupid, evil, and in danger of Hell.
    Wow.

    Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at 9:53 am | Permalink
  101. Claire wrote:

    Has anyone read this Driscoll classic?

    “Without blushing, Paul is simply stating that when it comes to leading in the church, women are unfit because they are more gullible and easier to deceive than men. While many irate women have disagreed with his assessment through the years, it does appear from this that such women who fail to trust his instruction and follow his teaching are much like their mother Eve and are well-intended but ill-informed. . . Before you get all emotional like a woman in hearing this, please consider the content of the women’s magazines at your local grocery store that encourages liberated women in our day to watch porno with their boyfriends, master oral sex for men who have no intention of marrying them, pay for their own dates in the name of equality, spend an average of three-fourths of their childbearing years having sex but trying not to get pregnant, and abort 1/3 of all babies – and ask yourself if it doesn’t look like the Serpent is still trolling the garden and that the daughters of Eve aren’t gullible in pronouncing progress, liberation, and equality”

    Hmmm. So, what do magazines like Playboy, Hustler and Bodacious Ta-Ta’s say about their readership?

    Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at 11:49 am | Permalink
  102. aande28 wrote:

    I’ve been following this post off and on for awhile, just reading all of the passionate discussion from people, most of whom speak from their hearts, which is good in regards to discussion, but bad in regards to the quality of the statements being made, i.e. claims of biblical scholarship, etc.

    I am from Seattle where I let college ministry at a small community church. I am a Jesuit-educated historical theology student, now at Princeton Seminary preparing in the M.Div program, preparing for minstry and teaching at the graduate level. I say this only to point out something that will be comforting to those who disagree with MD and probably meaningless to those who follow him: He is not a scholar, theologian or thinker to be taken seriously in any bona fide circles of church scholarship. This is not a matter of opinion. He (I won’t say his name because he likes to crawl the net looking for hits like that) is a successful motivator and pastor, and a popular author and commentator. He is NOT a theologian or scholar. Nothing he says can be construed as such.
    For a long time he was “self-ordained” and not under the care of any ministry or church administration. His theological education and training consists of a Master of Arts from Western Seminary, a member of the Conservative Baptist Association. It was just recently accredited through ATS and can hardly be considered a scholarly instiution. He has never published nor otherwise released a comprehensive summary of his theological beliefs and conviction. These are not meant to belittle him, as there has been enough of that already. These are the facts.
    As I said, many of us take this information and conclude that MD is nobody from whom to learn about the higher truths of the Divine. Other people pay no heed to such information, opting instead to rely on MD’s skills as a speaker and pastor.
    As I said, I did college ministry in Seattle for three years. For those of you who demand that people go see for themselves, go hear for themselves, I am compliant in that regard. Not only have I done so, I have repeatedly sought to meet with MD and have been turned away, as have many of his own flock. I cannot tell you how many people have been burned and hurt by the venom he has spit from the pulpit, cloaked as “authentic preaching” and “straight talking.” Once again, for many of you, this is not important, as it only affirms your convictions that some people are weak Christians and/or cannot handle the “tough truths” that MD preaches. But for those people whom he has hurt, it does matter.
    I am very thankful that since having begun serious study of the Bible, languages, history and theology, I have yet to encounter a scholar or teacher who could care any les for MD, if they have even heard of him! That is comfort to me. It tells me that he will one day fade into the background along with others like him who appeared for a time to test the saints, and then faded into history. I think that process has already begun as a quick Google search has shown: MD- 227,000 hits… Lauren Conrad from The HIlls T.V. show- 6,650,000.

    Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at 3:06 pm | Permalink
  103. Joshua Cookingham wrote:

    David, I thought you were done here…..oh well,

    “Joshua, why do you think my comments were all about you? You couldn’t offend me if you tried. My comments were about everyone who thinks like you (and most of them are narcissistic as well just like their leaders a.k.a. Mark D.).”

    um…..I didn’t think your comments were all about me. I always like to make sure I don’t offend anyone as texting is not the same as face to face conversation :).
    Glad I didn’t offend though…

    And what do you mean by everyone who thinks like me?

    “Typically people who need religion are missing something in their lives and that vacuum most often is the void of self esteem, self worth, or self “meaning”. But in all three the word “self” is present.”

    Um…I don’t….so there.

    Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at 7:50 pm | Permalink
  104. David wrote:

    Joshua C. – you have once again proven you think my comments were all about you. There was at least two other Joshua’s who commented along with you and my comments could have just as well been directed at either one. And just because you say you don’t fill a vacuum with religion does not make it so. Most Driscollians would say the same in some lame attempt to justify their decision to follow a religion that makes no sense vs. following their own hearts.
    The only way to convince me of something is with proof and reason. The same stuff Jesus demanded of his own contemporaries. (Sort of like saying, “The Bible is true and literal because some other guys said it was and it says it is too…”) I have some ocean front property in S. Dakota that a friend of mine will swear is a good deal if you want it…..

    aande28 – Do you have an email address I could write to at or should I just give mine as I have several times during this long and tumultuous discourse? No one else here seems willing to put themselves on the line and make themselves vulnerable to discuss the truth any further than what they get away with hiding behind their screen names.
    david.spring@gmail.com
    You are clearly a voice of reason and as a fellow who nearly joined the Jesuit order back in the 90′s I have many questions for you if you have the time.

    Claire – I feel your pain. It shocks me how many talented women I know who gave up their dreams and live some other guys sad life because they gave in to Mark’s crazy delusions and misogynistic pseudo-theology. Ironically, my fiancee, a member of a satellite ACTS29 church, was stolen from me by one of Mark’s current elders (James Noriega – a married man) because I didn’t make enough money, was not TOTALLY adherent to their doctrine, and actually mentioned the possibility of being a stay at home dad because she made so much more than I in a similar profession to my own.

    Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at 9:20 pm | Permalink
  105. Joshua Cookingham wrote:

    “Joshua C. – you have once again proven you think my comments were all about you. There was at least two other Joshua’s who commented along with you and my comments could have just as well been directed at either one.”

    1. I am the only one who has been commenting recently as of late
    2. There are 2 Joshua’s(me and one other who hasn’t commented for a while) that kinda narrows that down
    3. I know you are referring to me because you said “You couldn’t offend me if you tried.” The other Joshua was not concerned about that, I was.

    I do not think your comments are “All about me”. If I did I would respond to them in their entirety.

    “And just because you say you don’t fill a vacuum with religion does not make it so.”

    So…Are you calling me a liar? Just wondering.

    “The only way to convince me of something is with proof and reason. The same stuff Jesus demanded of his own contemporaries.”

    He did no such thing. He asked men to follow Him, He couldn’t care less about proof that people had for their arguments, since He already had all truth.

    “(Sort of like saying, “The Bible is true and literal because some other guys said it was and it says it is too…”) ”

    Which I have not said. Most scholars believe in the Bible’s credibility, that’s a fact.

    God bless!

    Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 7:05 am | Permalink
  106. David wrote:

    “Joshua C. – you have once again proven you think my comments were all about you. There was at least two other Joshua’s who commented along with you and my comments could have just as well been directed at either one.”

    1. I am the only one who has been commenting recently as of late
    2. There are 2 Joshua’s(me and one other who hasn’t commented for a while) that kinda narrows that down
    3. I know you are referring to me because you said “You couldn’t offend me if you tried.” The other Joshua was not concerned about that, I was.

    — I still count three but oh well…. it matters not.

    I do not think your comments are “All about me”. If I did I would respond to them in their entirety.

    — “All about you” in the colloquial sense. I apparently am having a discussion with a literalist not in possession of a functioning figurative speech filter (which makes sense seeing as how you interpret the Bible the same way).

    “And just because you say you don’t fill a vacuum with religion does not make it so.”

    So…Are you calling me a liar? Just wondering.

    — I would never accuse someone of outright lying so much as being deluded and inconsistent to the point of not being a credible self witness.

    “The only way to convince me of something is with proof and reason. The same stuff Jesus demanded of his own contemporaries.”

    He did no such thing. He asked men to follow Him, He couldn’t care less about proof that people had for their arguments, since He already had all truth.

    — Sorry man but I gotta call you out on this one. Mark 7:14-28 is one of several great examples where Jesus not only asked people to reason while he explained a simple concept to them which was counter intuitive to their existing laws, but he actually called them “dull” when they didn’t get it the first time because they were too wrapped up in their hard-boiled beliefs to follow His reasoning. The use of the figure of Caesar on the Roman coin precluding the whole “render unto Caesar what is his, render unto God what is His” thing was also an instance where Jesus demanded people abandon their beliefs through reason. Too many more to list but if you read your Bible like a story and not a “magic book of truth” it all makes far more sense.

    “(Sort of like saying, “The Bible is true and literal because some other guys said it was and it says it is too…”) ”

    Which I have not said. Most scholars believe in the Bible’s credibility, that’s a fact.

    — Most “biblical scholars” believe the Bibles credibility as some sort of truth device. Most scholar scholars believe it is a fairly accurate source of early Hebrew land and family records, poetry, moralistic yet allegorical stories, as well as evidence of church corruption existing from the time of Paul to nowadays. You love those baskets of mixed fruit, my friend.

    God bless!

    — And you as well.

    Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 4:58 pm | Permalink
  107. Joshua Cookingham wrote:

    “All about you” in the colloquial sense. I apparently am having a discussion with a literalist not in possession of a functioning figurative speech filter”

    Because you haven’t been engaging in figurative speech. You accused me of thinking the comments were ‘all about me’, when you were directly answering my claims, not the other Joshua’s.

    “which makes sense seeing as how you interpret the Bible the same way).”

    Sez who? For the most part, the verse I have quoted have been literal verses, not figurative. If you want, we can go into the themes of Revelation(of which I attribute more symbolism and figurative prose) and then you can judge how I interpret Scripture.

    “I would never accuse someone of outright lying so much as being deluded and inconsistent to the point of not being a credible self witness.”

    So I’m deluded….nice…

    “Mark 7:14-28 is one of several great examples where Jesus not only asked people to reason while he explained a simple concept to them which was counter intuitive to their existing laws, but he actually called them “dull” when they didn’t get it the first time because they were too wrapped up in their hard-boiled beliefs to follow His reasoning.”

    Yes, but this is also asking them to believe His words over the Pharisees. What do you say about verses like “Believe in The Son of Man and You will be saved.” Or “….that whosoever BELIEVES in Him will not perish…” etc…Belief is central to the Christian faith.

    “The use of the figure of Caesar on the Roman coin precluding the whole “render unto Caesar what is his, render unto God what is His” thing was also an instance where Jesus demanded people abandon their beliefs through reason.”

    How so? And actually the meaning of this verse is debated in the Christian community.

    “Too many more to list but if you read your Bible like a story and not a “magic book of truth” it all makes far more sense.”

    You should read Luke 10:21, that might blow your mind. I do not read the Bible like a ‘magic book of Truth.” It IS the truth, pure and simple, otherwise you have no basis on anything Jesus said.

    “Most scholar scholars believe it is a fairly accurate source of early Hebrew land and family records, poetry, moralistic yet allegorical stories, as well as evidence of church corruption existing from the time of Paul to nowadays.”

    Again, Bart Erhman is the only one who fits that criteria. Even most of the Jesus Seminar(extremely liberal and biased against the Bible) Believes that Jesus was God’s son, they just don’t see Him as being the exclusive way to salvation.

    “You love those baskets of mixed fruit, my friend.”

    I like Strawberies!!!!!

    “And you as well.”

    Thanks! ….You too……TAG! you’re it!

    Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 7:37 pm | Permalink
  108. R.O. Flyer wrote:

    Oh God, please please stop…now.

    Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 8:10 pm | Permalink
  109. Joshua Cookingham wrote:

    Yeah I probably should…

    Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 10:18 pm | Permalink
  110. David wrote:

    Don’t stop now…. It’s just getting to the point…

    “All about you” in the colloquial sense. I apparently am having a discussion with a literalist not in possession of a functioning figurative speech filter”

    Because you haven’t been engaging in figurative speech. You accused me of thinking the comments were ‘all about me’, when you were directly answering my claims, not the other Joshua’s.

    — I specifically addressed any “Joshua’s as well as anyone else who might be reading” in the post being referenced….. not just you… but your assertion that I was “directly addressing [your] claims” just proves my point even further….

    “which makes sense seeing as how you interpret the Bible the same way).”

    Sez who? For the most part, the verse I have quoted have been literal verses, not figurative. If you want, we can go into the themes of Revelation(of which I attribute more symbolism and figurative prose) and then you can judge how I interpret Scripture.

    — Sez you! You’re the one clinging to scripture as the “ultimate truth”. I’m the one saying it should be taken with a shaker of salt…

    “I would never accuse someone of outright lying so much as being deluded and inconsistent to the point of not being a credible self witness.”

    So I’m deluded….nice…

    — Sorry, friend. Not a mean dig, just an observation.

    “Mark 7:14-28 is one of several great examples where Jesus not only asked people to reason while he explained a simple concept to them which was counter intuitive to their existing laws, but he actually called them “dull” when they didn’t get it the first time because they were too wrapped up in their hard-boiled beliefs to follow His reasoning.”

    Yes, but this is also asking them to believe His words over the Pharisees.

    — Who upheld the same ancient law Mark D. loves to reference and would have us devolve back to if he could…

    What do you say about verses like “Believe in The Son of Man and You will be saved.” Or “….that whosoever BELIEVES in Him will not perish…” etc…Belief is central to the Christian faith.

    — Do you believe in Mark Driscoll? If a fireman were saving you from a burning building, would you believe in his training and abilities? If I told you Mark and/or the fireman were really God would you believe me? Read those last three questions a few times and I hope you get my meaning…

    “The use of the figure of Caesar on the Roman coin precluding the whole “render unto Caesar what is his, render unto God what is His” thing was also an instance where Jesus demanded people abandon their beliefs through reason.”

    How so? And actually the meaning of this verse is debated in the Christian community.

    — The very community in question…. Again you are referencing the condemned killers statement of innocence as proof of his innocence….

    “Too many more to list but if you read your Bible like a story and not a “magic book of truth” it all makes far more sense.”

    You should read Luke 10:21, that might blow your mind. I do not read the Bible like a ‘magic book of Truth.” It IS the truth, pure and simple, otherwise you have no basis on anything Jesus said.

    — Actually that verse refers to how convoluted adults reasoning can become when tempered by religion and law…. nothing mind blowing… just basic fact that Disney, Pixar, Tool, and other artists have stated throughout the centuries….

    “Most scholar scholars believe it is a fairly accurate source of early Hebrew land and family records, poetry, moralistic yet allegorical stories, as well as evidence of church corruption existing from the time of Paul to nowadays.”

    Again, Bart Erhman is the only one who fits that criteria.

    — We need to talk in person so I can dump the hundreds of pounds of varied literature on you to prove this Bart guy is NOT the only one… You really need to explore resources outside of your church or related sites…..

    Even most of the Jesus Seminar

    — Fuck the Jesus Seminar. Those guys are fags.

    (extremely liberal and biased against the Bible) Believes that Jesus was God’s son, they just don’t see Him as being the exclusive way to salvation.

    — “He” isn’t. His WAY is. Whatever happened to the way? Oh, yeah…. Paul.

    “You love those baskets of mixed fruit, my friend.”

    I like Strawberies!!!!!

    — I moved up here from a strawberry farm in Louisiana. Beautiful place. Highly recommended. Big, big berrys! I agree. Probably the best of natures sweet fruits!

    “And you as well.”

    Thanks! ….You too……TAG! you’re it!

    — You got my email address and any time you would like to meet and discuss in person, I’m game. I promise the only time I get loud is if I get excited like that goofy professor from “Back to the Future”…. Otherwise I am laid back, open to criticism, and totally calm. Just don’t be pissed at me if you leave the scene an agnostic with Christian questions…..

    As for R.O. Flyer – join in or shut up.

    Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 10:53 pm | Permalink
  111. Joshua Cookingham wrote:

    “but your assertion that I was “directly addressing [your] claims” just proves my point even further….”

    You were directly addressing my claims, I responded. I don’t get where you’re going with this.

    “Sez you! You’re the one clinging to scripture as the “ultimate truth”. I’m the one saying it should be taken with a shaker of salt…”

    Then why don’t you apply the same line of reasoning to Jesus’s words? You’ve quoted Him so much and so favorably, yet every quote came from the Bible. So why are you so hostile to the rest of it?

    “Sorry, friend. Not a mean dig, just an observation.”

    Yes yes, much in the same way that Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens make ‘observations’…..and by observations I mean non reasonable judgements….

    “Who upheld the same ancient law Mark D. loves to reference and would have us devolve back to if he could…”

    sigh….you missed my point. Jesus was still saying that they should BELIEVE His words and not those of the Pharisees. It’s not just about simple rationality.

    “The very community in question…. Again you are referencing the condemned killers statement of innocence as proof of his innocence….”

    Er…no. apparently it’s only Driscoll who has been called into question in this instance. Besides, even people who aren’t christian could debate this verse back and forth till the cows come home….

    “Do you believe in Mark Driscoll? If a fireman were saving you from a burning building, would you believe in his training and abilities? If I told you Mark and/or the fireman were really God would you believe me? Read those last three questions a few times and I hope you get my meaning…”

    1. No, because Mark is not God…The Bible that has the Jesus quotes you love says so.
    2. I would trust the fireman. The Bible that has the Jesus quotes you love tells me to respect authority…
    3. No I would not believe you…The Bible that has the Jesus quotes you love doesn’t say so….see where I’m going with THIS?

    As to believing because the Bible says so, plenty of evidence exists to verify the truth of Scriptures. I do not believe just because I was brainwashed by my Church thank yo very much.

    “Actually that verse refers to how convoluted adults reasoning can become when tempered by religion and law…. nothing mind blowing… just basic fact that Disney, Pixar, Tool, and other artists have stated throughout the centuries….”

    Sigh….Then what about having “Faith like a child.” As Jesus said? You clearly miss the intent of these verses. Yes, mindless religion blinds men, but that’s why Christianity is a RELATIONSHIP based on FAITH….

    “We need to talk in person so I can dump the hundreds of pounds of varied literature on you to prove this Bart guy is NOT the only one… You really need to explore resources outside of your church or related sites…..”

    I have. I truly feel Bart is the only skeptic who has actually come up with a few good points. A lot of the other ones I looked up aren’t trustworthy…

    “Fuck the Jesus Seminar. Those guys are fags.”

    0_O? ooookkkkkaaaaayyyy…..

    “He” isn’t. His WAY is. Whatever happened to the way? Oh, yeah…. Paul.”

    I am going to repeat this verse one more time…and by then I hope you get it memorized….”I am the WAY, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except through ME.” John 14:6 Jesus is the way. Not his teachings, not logic, not religion. Jesus is the WAY.

    “I moved up here from a strawberry farm in Louisiana. Beautiful place. Highly recommended. Big, big berrys! I agree. Probably the best of natures sweet fruits!’

    Hmmm….sounds nice! :)

    “Just don’t be pissed at me if you leave the scene an agnostic with Christian questions…..”

    Nah, I’m good. Thanks.

    Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 11:21 pm | Permalink
  112. David wrote:

    “Do you believe in Mark Driscoll? If a fireman were saving you from a burning building, would you believe in his training and abilities? If I told you Mark and/or the fireman were really God would you believe me? Read those last three questions a few times and I hope you get my meaning…”

    1. No, because Mark is not God…The Bible that has the Jesus quotes you love says so.

    — If you do not believe in Mark then why do you defend him so? My point here is that even the word “believe” can have different connotations. Verses like “I am the way, the truth, the light, etc…” have many connotations and have been translated so many different times they should not be taken literally. I have quoted the Bible’s version of Jesus’ words because there are no other sources of them – which in and of itself is something to consider. But I think there is one thing we can agree on – this discussion has gotten way out of hand and after reviewing my comments I realize I should have stayed away like I told myself to in the first place.
    If your version of Jesus makes you happy then run with it. I would beg in closing that you realize it is not the only one and just maybe, may be incorrect.
    Peace.

    Friday, October 10, 2008 at 6:29 am | Permalink
  113. Joshua Cookingham wrote:

    “If you do not believe in Mark then why do you defend him so?”

    You’ll notice I haven’t really been defending him all that much. Mostly I’ve been defending the Bible….

    “Verses like “I am the way, the truth, the light, etc…” have many connotations and have been translated so many different times they should not be taken literally.”

    Well, that’s your opinion. :)

    “But I think there is one thing we can agree on – this discussion has gotten way out of hand”

    Yeah, sorry bout that….

    “If your version of Jesus makes you happy then run with it. I would beg in closing that you realize it is not the only one and just maybe, may be incorrect.”

    Right back at ya! :P

    Thanks for the discussion, God bless.

    Friday, October 10, 2008 at 7:55 am | Permalink
  114. Meghan wrote:

    The authors claim (quoted below) that Mark could beat up Jesus is not based on understanding at all. Jesus came from omnipotent God, all powerful, all knowing, etc, to human form. Even the strongest, most powerful human becomes, in comparison, a weakling. So was Jesus weak? No, but He was fully human. Compared to Jesus in His full Heavenly glory, any human is weak.

    ~Meghan

    In response to:
    “I am of course most interested in Driscoll’s comment that he is unable to worship someone he can beat up. Strangely enough this would seem that he is unable to worship Jesus. As John Howard Yoder pointed out in reflection on John 1, the proclamation that the Word became flesh “does not simply mean that God became tangible. It means he became weak, undignified, vulnerable. “

    Saturday, October 11, 2008 at 1:12 pm | Permalink
  115. jbratcher wrote:

    Indeed, Jesus incarnate was weak, in that he humbled himself to our level. The Jesus in Revelation however, in His eschatological fulfillment will return with legions of Angels. Seems badass to me!

    Sunday, October 12, 2008 at 5:38 pm | Permalink
  116. Matthieu Duquette wrote:

    Maybe you should watch some of the sermons from http://www.Marshillchurch.org, you might learn something. Taking a couple blurbs from a magazine and defining someone from that context is just as stupid as your summations about Mark Driscoll, Mark understands what it meant when God became flesh and was thereby vulnerable to all human suffering and temptation. What you do not understand is that Jesus still lives and reigns in Heaven today, not as a poor, homeless man but as the King of Kings who’s judgment will fall upon the earth at the second coming, That is what Christians should see Jesus as, not a helpless homeless man that said a few inspiring one-liners and then died as a misunderstood free love hippie.

    Monday, October 20, 2008 at 1:58 pm | Permalink
  117. Roger Flyer wrote:

    Wow! Looks this thing died a loooooongggggggg painful death. Halden, thanks for your forbearance.

    Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 6:07 pm | Permalink
  118. Hill wrote:

    Indeed, this was a thread for the ages.

    Wednesday, November 26, 2008 at 12:25 am | Permalink

16 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Mark Driscoll Deserves Better… - ArtKauffman.com on Sunday, May 11, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    [...] had totally forgotten about this until Halden recently tackled the statement straight up. I’m not going to join the noise surrounding Driscoll, because [...]

  2. pride fighter jesus? « davidleong.info on Monday, May 12, 2008 at 12:41 am

    [...] there are way too many to track), but this one was just too interesting to pass up.  titled who can mark driscoll worship?, it’s a harsh diatribe against driscoll’s oft-critiqued gender theology as it applies [...]

  3. muscular christianity re-visited « a few words on Monday, May 12, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    [...] 12, 2008 Several friends, both real and virtual, have offered posts lately on the muscular Christianity of Mark Driscoll, head pastor of [...]

  4. [...] Who Would Mark Driscoll Worship? – Now, I’ve been known to write the occasional blog post on Mark’s theology and speaking, (*cough* *cough* *cough*) but this is probably one of the better reads I’ve seen in a while from someone wanting to critique Mark’s theology and writing. That being said, now I’ve moved entirely over to this blog I’m going to hopefully refrain from mentioning Driscoll again on this blog for as long as I live, I only mention it now because it’s just oh so nicely put… (ht to Ben for linking the post) [...]

  5. the lion is the lamb « Crypto-theology on Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 1:09 am

    [...] is the lamb Although I didn’t care for the rhetoric of the post, I was saddened to read here about the Christian pastor who loves “authoritative” Jesus but has no time for [...]

  6. My Jesus Can Beat-up Your Jesus « My Diaspora on Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    [...] 15, 2008 by Christian In an attempt to further the conversation on Halden’s blog about Mark Driscoll’s testosterone filled version of Jesus, I offer this harrowing quote that [...]

  7. in defence of Driscoll « Willy Robertson on Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 3:19 am

    [...] I had the misfortune recently to read an article posted on the Inhabitatio Dei site entitled “Who can Mark Driscoll worship?”, which for a lack [...]

  8. [...] The various and varied claims made of Jesus, whether they parallel ideas from Jewish messianism or the imperial cult or mystery religions, mean something very different when they are applied to someone who willingly suffered crucifixion. Maybe we miss the point by embracing a politically subversive Jesus but hold in reserve an ass-kicking apocalyptic Jesus who can beat up Mark Driscoll. [...]

  9. peregrinatio » Abgrenzungen on Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 7:48 am

    [...] zweiten Fall liegt die Sache anders, aber seit ich kürzlich diesen Post auf inhabitatio dei gelesen habe, frage ich mich, ob auch für Anhänger einer weitherzigen [...]

  10. Wittenburg Door on Mark Driscoll on Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at 1:36 am

    [...] you read that, then read Halden’s post called, “Who Can Driscoll Worship?” where he looks at Driscoll through the eyes of astute theological criticism. This caught my [...]

  11. [...] goes on to say, After you read that, then read Halden’s post called, “Who Can Driscoll Worship?” where he looks at Driscoll through the eyes of astute theological criticismThis caught my attention [...]

  12. A (Wo?)Man After My Own Heart on Saturday, July 26, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    [...] came across this excellent post a while back, and now this one from which I offer just a few poignant lines. The reason the church [...]

  13. [...] can I say I really enjoyed the fights. I do not translate this directly into a popular masculine spirituality. How do I justify or understand this expression? To be honest I am not sure. I actually find these [...]

  14. [...] When a friend emailed to ask my thoughts on Mark Driscoll’s “theology” I groaned. My natural inclination is try and give a vibrant answer. But, I couldn’t help wondering if my progression of posts, twelve to eighteen months ago, encapsulated all I had to say on the subject (especially here and here). However, some calendar management while checking future events in Hong Kong threw up a delicious contrast that explains my feelings on the question of mission and kicking people in the head (our friend Driscoll is rather fond of aggressive metaphors)). [...]

  15. Halden’s Law at Fewer Broken Pieces on Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    [...] I will call it Halden’s law – not because he coined it, but because he is often the victim of it. [...]

  16. [...] can I say I really enjoyed the fights. I do not translate this directly into a popular masculine spirituality. How do I justify or understand this expression? To be honest I am not sure. I actually find these [...]

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