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Thank You, Mark Driscoll

Less than one year ago I wrote my most popular post of all time. The post that asks the age-old question, “Who can Mark Driscoll Worship?” It sits at 134 comments (which a couple months ago I finally felt I had to close–all horses must be pronounced dead eventually) and nearly 10,000 views. In some sense, I feel like Mark did me a solid on this one. My rather acerbic critique of him has catapulted me into the best blog stats I have ever known. Since the day of its publication, I don’t know that my post on him has ever not been in my top five for the day. If you Google the guy’s name, my post comes up about fourth or fifth, for goodness sake.

Anyways, Driscoll is still at his shenanigans in Seattle, much to the detriment of the body of Christ (seriously, that’s what I believe, folks). Here’s a snippet from a recent article that was done on him and his church in the New York Times:

Nowhere is the connection between Driscoll’s hypermasculinity and his Calvinist theology clearer than in his refusal to tolerate opposition at Mars Hill. The Reformed tradition’s resistance to compromise and emphasis on the purity of the worshipping community has always contained the seeds of authoritarianism: John Calvin had heretics burned at the stake and made a man who casually criticized him at a dinner party march through the streets of Geneva, kneeling at every intersection to beg forgiveness. Mars Hill is not 16th-century Geneva, but Driscoll has little patience for dissent. In 2007, two elders protested a plan to reorganize the church that, according to critics, consolidated power in the hands of Driscoll and his closest aides. Driscoll told the congregation that he asked advice on how to handle stubborn subordinates from a “mixed martial artist and Ultimate Fighter, good guy” who attends Mars Hill. “His answer was brilliant,” Driscoll reported. “He said, ‘I break their nose.’ ” When one of the renegade elders refused to repent, the church leadership ordered members to shun him. One member complained on an online message board and instantly found his membership privileges suspended. “They are sinning through questioning,” Driscoll preached.

Now, as my friend and fellow conspirator, Adam has rightly noted, the author here is pretty naive, and simply wrong about some facts in regard to John Calvin. However, regardless of her shoddy Calvin exegesis, the stuff that is coming out of Driscoll’s mouth these days just gets more and more comedic. It’s like he’s becoming his own walking caricature nowadays. It’s literally a “sin” in his mind for the elders in his own church to question his agenda(s)? Wowie. This is the epitome of of the worst possible instantiation of Protestantism. Here we literally have someone setting himself up as his own pope–and an ultramontaine pope at that!

Could Mark Driscoll become the first pope to ever fight in the gladiatorial games of our current coliseums? Time alone will tell I suppose. I for one welcome the constant increase in Driscoll’s antics. The more insane he becomes, hopefully the more he will lose his influence and the horrible damage he has done to so many people, especially families and women will be lessened. But I suppose I owe him my thanks for boosting my blog stats. Hopefully this post gets no hits. That would be a good sign.


  1. saint egregious wrote:

    A friend of mine who’s a little shy asked me to post this for him:

    “Mark Driscoll is really hot. In an ‘I-swear-to-God-I’m-totally-totally-carnivorously-ass-slapping-beer-drinking-sports-watching-heterosexual-I’ll-sleep-with-my-wife-hell,-I’ll-sleep-with-your-wife-just-to-prove-it’ kind of a way.

    Can you get him to take his shirt off for us, Halden? Pretty please with sugar on it? I gotta believe his church is just swarming with ‘straight’ men dying to get a piece of that boy’s sweet potato pie. I mean, just look at the hip and hand action in that picture! Mmm mmm good.”

    Personally, I think he’s gross, but then again, I’m straight as an arrow, so what do I know.

    Friday, February 27, 2009 at 12:57 pm | Permalink
  2. Chris Donato wrote:

    Are you kidding? Sheeple love bombastic arrogance in their shepherds.

    Friday, February 27, 2009 at 2:19 pm | Permalink
  3. Halden wrote:

    It’s the only hope I have left, man! With God all things are possible.

    Friday, February 27, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Permalink
  4. Colin wrote:

    I wonder if you are trying to boost stats again? ;)

    Friday, February 27, 2009 at 2:36 pm | Permalink
  5. Halden wrote:

    Speak not of my fleshly temptations!!

    Friday, February 27, 2009 at 2:39 pm | Permalink
  6. parishioner wrote:

    Well, some of us are helping, in a way. I find my way to your site by googling Driscoll, then clicking on your blog post on him.

    Why? Because your post ought to be in the top five posts about him, and I’m happy to help keep it there. Enquiring minds ought to think more about his abusive nonsense. For years now he’s considered it a sin to question him, and he’s treated people accordingly. It’s only recently that it’s been getting public attention.

    Friday, February 27, 2009 at 3:17 pm | Permalink
  7. Colin wrote:

    I guess I just wonder what is so different about him when compared with many other evangelical megachurch pastors except maybe his soft-reformed theology. I guess what I mean is, why bother?

    Friday, February 27, 2009 at 5:21 pm | Permalink
  8. Dan wrote:

    He’s turning to Tyler Durden, Mars Hill Church is like Project Mayhem for confused Calvinists.

    Friday, February 27, 2009 at 11:18 pm | Permalink
  9. bobby grow wrote:


    you’re a black-belt ;-), I understand Mark attends Western, just down the road from you . . . why don’t you go show him a thing or two? You might impress him . . . “shoot” he might go use what you “show him” (after he recovers of course) on one of his “elders” ;-).

    Btw, I couldn’t agree with your assessment of Driscoll more . . . and it saddens me.

    Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 12:02 am | Permalink
  10. N. Dan Smith wrote:

    I will re-post “Halden’s law” here:

    As a Christian blog discussion grows longer, the probability of someone questioning the author’s salvation approaches one.

    I wonder how many posts it will take this time. :-)

    Maybe we should arrange for a Halden-Driscoll debate sometime.

    Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 12:59 am | Permalink
  11. G.O.B. wrote:

    Dan +1

    Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 3:54 am | Permalink
  12. N. Dan Smith wrote:

    Last night I went down the rabbit hole following some links from the previous Driscoll post. I found the “GodMen” blog, and a rather, uh, interesting comment:

    “I hope you enjoy your church and all those flowers, because I and my family will serve a God of power, not some wuss. Grow a pair and get mad I think our faith needs some men to turn some freaking, ‘do in memory of me’ tables over and fight not only for our temples that have become a den of women, but for there own lives.”


    Apparently the Lord’s table is analogous to the money changers in the temple courtyard?

    Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 10:29 am | Permalink
  13. james wrote:

    I know next to nothing about Driscoll, but the effeminacy of the church is a pressing problem. Male interest/attendance is low because of the emotional appeals, love songs to Jesus, the caring God, focus on inner dispositions, etc. People like Driscoll and Promisekeepers of yesteryear are reacting to this predictably. They are crude but tapping into a lost element of religion. Men prefer ‘mission’ talk gravitating to active expressions of faith like Habitat for Humanity (HfH often replaces church, it sure beats ‘sharing’ at a group study). I think this is less culturally constructed or Western, as you say, than biological. And the problem is widespread beyond religion. What to do with these animal spirits?

    This goes some way to explaining the appeal of the Emergent movement. It is mostly an appeal to college educated men looking to channel their masculinity into culturally acceptable forms. A Christianity about something more than the suppression of sexual desire. It gives you something to ‘do’ rather than sit around and feel. You learn to fulfill appetties for cigars and microbrews, high culture. It stresses service and mission, an ethical God who desires a confrontational (read ‘manly’) pacifism, strike all vulnerability language.

    Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 11:31 am | Permalink
  14. parishioner wrote:

    James . . .

    If I have to hear yet another person blabber about “the effeminacy of the church,” and how this relates to low male church attendance . . .

    Low church attendance by males is a world-wide phenomenon, and it has been for a long, long time. This is not something unique to our culture, and is not going to be solved by Driscoll or any other macho dude coming up with ways to suitably “masculinize” the U.S. church experience. (Btw, his definition of what constitutes “masculinity” and “masculinizing” is as gross a caricature as your caricatured generalizations about what constitutes the feminine.)

    For the record, I have a uterus, and I can tell you that the things you list as “feminine” that are “causing” a lack of male interest/attendance are not feminine.

    “Emotional appeals”–How are these “feminine”? Be careful how you answer. Just labeling them so is insulting. Emotional appeals as I assume you to mean them are manipulative and inappropriate, and I gently said so to the male Pastor who made them incessantly at the church where I was on a temporary oversight committee. He loves emotional appeals, as do many men. They are not feminine, they are manipulative. And no, James, those words are not synonyms.

    “Love songs to Jesus”–I’m going to be generous and claim ignorance here. Who are you called to love with all your heart, mind, and soul? Who are you called to follow to the dividing of your family? Who is your eternal spouse? Who is the Bridegroom? Who are you called to sing new songs to? If the song is schmaltzy doggerel, then reject it on those grounds. But think hard and search the Scriptures like the Bereans before you reject expressing love to Jesus through song just because you’re male.

    “The Caring God”–Righto, as opposed to “the uncaring God”? Maybe I just don’t get out much. You men really sit around thinking, “Now, if only God were portrayed as an uncompassionate sadist–that would be a God I could worship”? You’ve read the Gospels, right? An uncaring God is a masculine God for masculine men? Hello?

    “Focus on inner dispositions”–you mean, like, when the Bible says “take every thought captive”? Or when Jesus says, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”? Or when he says, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander?” Jesus was, shall we say, extremely focused on our inner dispositions, and fully male.

    “Tapping into a lost element of religion”? What does this even mean? Driscoll’s tapping into something for sure, but it’s the impetus for an intervention, not an aspect of religion.

    “Men prefer . . .” Really? You presume to speak for all men about a preference for building homes than for “sharing” (I’m assuming your quotation marks connote distaste and femininity) at a group study? All of us are called to works as active expressions of faith, and to the degree that we fail we are answerable, not “feminine.”

    If you are looking to “channel your masculinity” rather than just be yourself for God, that’s a problem. If you’re looking to “cultural norms,” that’s yet another problem, since your citizenship is in heaven and its culture trumps your earthly one. Driscoll embraces the worst ersatz masculinity our culture has to offer, baptizes it and calls it his own.

    Your second paragraph contains just as many serious problems, but I’ve run out of space. It seems clear the original definition of “Christianity” you were presented with is false, and the one you’ve since been sold is equally false.

    Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 5:50 pm | Permalink
  15. parishioner wrote:

    Out of curiosity, James, was your question about “animal spirits” a reference to New Warriors? If you’ve been involved with that group, that would explain a lot.

    Not many have heard of them, but they’re doing the kind of secular harm to men that the likes of Driscoll are doing in the church, but with more obvious occultic influence . . .

    Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 6:04 pm | Permalink
  16. james wrote:


    your tone is emasculating.

    Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 7:58 pm | Permalink
  17. manysyllables wrote:


    only if you’re insecure about your masculinity :)

    Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 1:06 am | Permalink
  18. leadryl wrote:

    Well, isn’t this cheery? Flame wars on Christian sites? Un-heard-of!

    James is not the only one with his concerns. Regardless of what “truly” is “masculine” and “feminine”, the average Australian male (and, I assume, American) has these attributes well categorised and gravitates to one and not to the other. This is an issue that needs to be considered and remarked upon without being attacked for it.

    There does seem to be an emphasis in many churches of the Jesus who preached peace and called to the little children, and a de-emphasis of the Jesus who over-turned tables, made whips, deliberately upset the authorities and will judge the living and the dead on the coming day of God’s wrath. Whether one is “feminine” rather than “masculine” may be beside the point.

    I’ve only heard Mark Driscoll speak once (sharing the stage with Don Carson), and he commented on Australian culture and church culture with remarkable acuity – pointing out a number of our cultural blind spots in such a way that has left us reconsidering many things. None of them had to do with “masculinising” the church, so I’m not exactly sure what he is doing that is “over masculine”.

    What is this great damage of which you speak?

    Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 3:49 am | Permalink
  19. parishioner wrote:


    I’m assuming your question about damage is directed toward me, and also the comment about “attacking.”

    I can’t answer the question about “great damage” since I don’t know what you’re referring to–are you asking about the harm I said that New Warriors are causing, or are you asking about the harm I said that the likes of Driscoll are causing? If you’re asking about harm done by Driscoll, Halden has already taken a lot of time to answer that on this and his other posts pertaining to Driscoll. He’s better spoken and better educated than I, and I agree with his position–since this is his blog, I refer you to him. Take a gander at his other Driscoll posts if you haven’t already. (If you want to know more about Driscoll’s desire to “masculinize” the church and what he thinks that means, there are plenty of online videos and articles.)

    I carefully read through my comment toward James several times before submitting, and I still do not believe it is one of attack. If he believes my comment emasculating, it begs the question of what we should label his comment–FGMing?

    Misogyny when cloaked as “masculinity” is particularly wicked. The disrespect, dislike, and derision of females has nothing to do with masculinity, just as misandry has nothing to do with femininity. It is grievous that Driscoll and his supporters do not recognize that, and in fact perpetuate it.

    When “chick” and “chickified” are deprecatory terms, when the wrong emphasis in church is labeled a “female” emphasis, when the Lord is blasphemously misrepresented and the misrepresentation is labeled “feminine,” then you need to sit up and take notice and find the nearest exit. It is NOT the case that female=insulting/wrong/stupid/weak/inferior/blasphemous.

    Men are more than able to define themselves in Christ without taking a bully’s position toward their sisters.

    Just one of the problems that has come from the “masculinity movement” and the popularity of books like those of the Eldredges’ is what I’ve come to think of as the “genderization of sin.” It is detrimental to both men and women to claim that certain acts of the sinful nature are essential to the definitions of masculinity or femininity. It is enabling and insulting to all, and pays no attention to Jesus as the Lord in whose footsteps we should be following, our culture be damned. I mean that last bit literally.

    Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 11:40 am | Permalink
  20. parishioner wrote:

    Oops. I shouldn’t have said, “our culture be damned.” I should have said, “Our culture be redeemed.” I suppose that means the appropriate parts will be damned, but it has a much nicer ring . . .

    Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 11:45 am | Permalink
  21. leadryl wrote:


    When what people refer to as “masculinising” the church is basically misogyny, then I agree with you. However, aside from inappropriate categorising of certain features as “feminine” and “masculine”, there is still a problem in many churches. The “gentler” aspects like love and singing have over-ridden the “stronger” aspects like boldness and task-focus (my terms for my categories are not by any means perfect, but I hope you can get my drift).

    Christ revealed some very rough edges in his ministry as well as some very soft ones. Emphasising frequently over-looked attributes is not the same as denigrating others. And seeking to engage with men who relate better to some attributes than others is not the same as denigrating women.

    I’ve never heard any preacher say that female=insulting/wrong/stupid/weak/inferior/blasphemous. However, describing Jesus as only gentle and meek (regardless of gender definitions) is definitely blasphemous.

    My hope is to discuss the commonly over-looked attributes without being bogged down into gender politics.

    Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 11:17 pm | Permalink
  22. parishioner wrote:


    Yes, I certainly get your drift and basically agree with you. What I can’t figure out is whether you’re willfully ignoring the things Driscoll says, or if you’ve made no effort to find out what they are.

    “Emphasizing frequently over-looked attributes is not the same as denigrating others.” Except for when it is. I share your longing for a discussion of what is inappropriate and over-looked without those very things being labeled as “feminine,” or being snidely referred to in pejorative terms relating to women. It is Driscoll who has done this repeatedly. It is unfair to say that critique of his shenanigans constitutes “gender politics,” while ignoring the fact that it was his decision to critique the church in terms of gender. He denigrates that which he deems “feminine,” and exalts that which he deems “masculine.”

    Have you not wondered what Halden and his friend Adam are referring to when they talk about “Driscoll’s assholery?”
    It goes beyond gender stereotypes, but that’s a serious part of it.

    The reason James felt free to label things which are inappropriate (or that he personally dislikes) in the church as “feminine” is because he’s heard it repeatedly from Driscoll and his ilk. Is your only exposure to Driscoll the once your heard him speak in Australia?

    Please read the rest of Halden’s posts on Driscoll and listen to Driscoll online. Until you do, you’ll just continue to say “I’ve never heard . . .” and mistake your lack for Driscoll’s innocence.

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 10:00 am | Permalink
  23. N. Dan Smith wrote:

    It’s funny, laugh:

    Monday, March 2, 2009 at 10:41 pm | Permalink
  24. Ted S. wrote:

    It really is not funny.
    In fact, it’s really sad:


    Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 3:54 am | Permalink
  25. roger flyer wrote:

    It’s called ‘control’.

    Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 7:47 am | Permalink
  26. parishioner wrote:

    I’m trying, N. Dan, I really am, but my ribs hurt too much from sobbing to muster a guffaw.

    Actually, Halden can tell you that I’ve engaged in far too much satirical humor where Driscoll is concerned. I think I finally got it out of my system . . .

    Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 9:59 am | Permalink
  27. musingmonkey wrote:

    Thanks for the thoughts Halden.

    I recently read an interesting and rather unexpected post on Driscoll by Dr. Richard Beck, an experimental psychologist who writes at Experimental Theology. It’s worth a look if you have the time.

    Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. Pope Driscoll « City of God on Friday, February 27, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    [...] tags: Fight Club, Inhabitatio Dei, Mark Driscoll, Project Mayhem, Tyler Durden by Dan Apparently you can’t question him if you want to be part of his church: “It’s like he’s becoming his own walking caricature [...]

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