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Putting all Questions to Rest

If there were any doubt it is gone now. If there was even the slightest question that Mark Driscoll is simply rabid misogynist who’s boarderline psychotic, this quote clears all that up. There really are no words for this kind of mindless stupidity:

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.

Mark Driscoll, Church Leadership: Explaining the Roles of Jesus, Elders, Deacons, and Members at Mars Hill, Mars Hill Theology Series (Seattle, WA: Mars Hill Church, 2004), 43.

As I said, there really are no words. This sort of juvenile and petulant  hatred of women speaks for itself. Driscoll really doesn’t give a shit about the Bible or “what Paul said.” He just is desperate for power and control over women. Its very sad that some people consider this bastard a pastor who has something to contribute to the church. He’s nothing more than a parasite who preys on the weak and opposes the Gospel at every turn. Hopefully more people will grow to see this and the cancer that is Mark Driscoll may go into remission.

Thanks to Rachel for pointing me to this horrible quote.


  1. Derek wrote:

    Unbelievable. When will this guy just go away? I wonder how the women who like his “teaching” justify it in their minds. It’s gotta be kind of culty.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 9:54 am | Permalink
  2. Jeremy wrote:

    I like how conservatives always cite the Garden of Eden as if it’s further proof that their misogynistic beliefs are veracious, rather than wondering if perhaps misogynistic males made up these narratives to further strengthen their patriarchal institutions

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 10:25 am | Permalink
  3. Nathan wrote:

    You can insult Driscoll all you like, but the scripture has to be dealt with. Most people either dismiss it or marginalize it (“cultural”), but I am not sure if either of those is the right path. My particular scandal is that I do not understand Paul’s argument nor appeal to scripture in this passage.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 11:40 am | Permalink
  4. james wrote:

    You justify it in the same way most men(stats bear it out) get their wife to fold most of the laundry and tend to the children’s boo-boos. It seems to intuitively fit human nature as distasteful as it is. Having the Scripture mostly confirm it helps quell the doubts of course. Egalitarianism is not in the genes and therefore takes lifelong mental concentration. Actually one could argue it requires the cult-like reinforcement. I’m using ‘cult’ neutrally here as I’m sure you were as well.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 11:56 am | Permalink
  5. Hannah wrote:

    I guess what is unbelievable to me is that the very same messages that Driscoll is proof that women are incapable of leadership is also contained in the magazines for men such as Maxim or GQ or any other men’s magazine for that matter. That they aren’t in the grocery store is simply a testament to good marketing (since more women do the grocery purchasing than men), not the lack of shallow messages to men in popular media.

    These kinds of generalizations make me sick.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 12:10 pm | Permalink
  6. Bob wrote:

    I yield the floor to Steve Holmes.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 12:14 pm | Permalink
  7. Jeremy wrote:

    You might be having trouble understanding Paul in this passage because he didn’t actually write 1 Timothy. What would your third way be beyond dismissing it or marginalizing it?

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 12:20 pm | Permalink
  8. Halden wrote:

    You’re right, James. Resisting sin “is not in the genes and therefore takes lifelong mental concentration.” Indeed.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 12:23 pm | Permalink
  9. Jeremy wrote:

    Cult-like reinforcement is the conditions to foster egalitarianism? So what are the conditions that help promote patriarchy?

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Permalink
  10. Dean wrote:

    Hannah, that was my initial reaction as well. Driscoll seems to only be aware of one-half of today’s culture, which is a shame in the pastoral sense. Has is ever counseled a man with struggles with pornography, objectification of women (ever seen the SI: Swimsuit Edition or most paparazzi blogs?), addictions to strip clubs, casinos, etc. Driscoll is a fool, and the phrase “watch porno with their boyfriends” is the tell for me. That is about as lame as Adam’s reply about his sin.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 12:43 pm | Permalink
  11. Nathan wrote:

    From a canonical perspective, authorship is irrelevant. That’s just it: I don’t have a third way. :-)

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 1:25 pm | Permalink
  12. dan wrote:

    To read scripture within its own cultural context(s) is not to marginalize it — that’s the ABCs of exegesis. Indeed, to refuse to reckon with the cultural context(s) of scripture is to do violence to the texts… the practice of which, as far as I can tell, requires the reader to have a pretty low view of scripture itself (I mean, I treat any other books I read with more respect than that!).

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 1:31 pm | Permalink
  13. Nathan wrote:

    It’s just that I do not think that 1 Timothy 2 is a particularly good candidate for being culturally relative. He makes an appeal to the creation order, of all things. It seems that his intent is to place his instruction above cultural relativism.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 1:34 pm | Permalink
  14. Halden wrote:

    I don’t know about that, Nathan. Paul does the exact same thing in 1 Cor 11:6-10 regarding the whole head-coverings thing. I don’t think, then, that appeals to the creation story automatically pull us into some culturally-transcendent category.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 1:38 pm | Permalink
  15. Halden wrote:

    In other words, people who don’t think this verse in Timothy requires women to be silent and never in any position of leadership are not in any different position than the vast majority of Christians who don’t require women to grow their hair long or wear a head covering.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Permalink
  16. Nathan wrote:

    I agree that this is the practical result for most moderate Christians. I am just not convinced that it is good hermeneutics. I’m trying to imagine how an appeal to creation could be culturally relative. I suppose it could be purely analogous (as in, “wow, our cultural practice is sorta like the creation order”) and that Paul writing in another context would not use the same scripture.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 1:50 pm | Permalink
  17. Sam C wrote:

    @Halden, I’m not a Driscoll fan and his views on this subject I totally disagree with.

    But I think your words here are totally unjust dude. You’re making sweeping judgements of character based on exegesis.

    You don’t need to agree with Driscoll to see why he ends up at his position. It might chafe and you might hate it. We might think his method and exegesis be seriously wrong. But there is no basis here for you make massive *assumptions* about his motives and what he *really thinks*.

    This, brother, cannot be Christ-like.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 3:04 pm | Permalink
  18. Halden wrote:

    Sam, let me be clear, I’m not basing my assessments merely on an exegetical disagreement, but on a broad pattern of speech and action on his part that I think merits, indeed requires this kind of critique. Check the other posts filed on this blog about him if you like, and you’ll perhaps see what I mean.

    As to the Christlikeness of the matter, I’m going to have to call on Matt 3:7, 12:34, and 23:33 as precedent. Sometimes a whitewashed tomb needs to be called out for what it is.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 3:08 pm | Permalink
  19. kim fabricius wrote:

    I think that one must read I Timothy 2:8ff. in the light of Galatians 3:28, not vice-versa, otherwise the tail is wagging the dog. I say this not only because I Timothy is deutero-Pauline, though it probably is (and I acknowledge that Nathan’s point about the “canonical” should not be cavalierly dismissed), or even because, in contrast to Paul, its author has really reneged on his hermeneutical responsibility of letting the gospel speak afresh to new situations (Richard B. Hays calls this “the greatest difference between I Timothy and the authentic Pauline letters”; and he speaks of a “gain in stability, but a loss in profundity and freedom”), but because, whoever the author, the apocalyptic order takes precedence over the creation order and reconfigures it – and Galatians 3:28 most definitely, explicitly, expresses the apocalyptic order en Christo Iesou.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 3:09 pm | Permalink
  20. Cortney wrote:

    If Mark Driscoll came close to sounding as if he possessed a minuscule amount of intelligence than I think I’d be more offended. His generalizations make speak loudly to his ignorance. I have point out that he only has a voice because the men and women at Mars Hill buying into his bullshit and continue to feed his ego. Don’t get me wrong Halden’s exactly right Marks a parasite and completely offensive but not the only one to blame.
    Here’s a few of my favorite quotes from some very intelligent women. You may even go as far as to call them leaders.

    “Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.” -Janis Joplin

    “A woman reading Playboy feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual.” -Gloria Steinem

    “Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

    “I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.” -Mother Teresa

    PS. Hannah you’re totally right. We all (men and women) buy into lies every day concerning our identity. Where I do agree with Mark (makes me a little sick to my stomach to say that) is that as women in our journey to liberation and equality have let go of what it really means to be respected, loved and free. Thus reflecting what is marketed to us in things like those magazines. I HATE shit like those magazines. Then the struggle deepens as we strive to understand what true freedom looks like in being the beloved daughters of a loving God. The spot light is a bit brighter on us ladies in our society as we grapple with what it means to be liberated as a whole, in our personal lives and particularly our faith.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 4:09 pm | Permalink
  21. Regarding the fact that 1 Timothy 2 roots its “I do not allow a woman to teach” doctrine in the creation narrative…. I had what was, for me, a bit of a brainwave the other Sunday. There’s another teaching in scripture that is rooted in the creation narrative: Exodus 20:8-11. Yet the Sabbath commandment is unique among the Ten Words in its NOT being repeated in the NT. And while our strategies may differ in how we deal with the Sabbath commandment in our lives, surely we can all agree that Moses’ idea of how to “Keep the Sabbath holy” is bound to his culture, time, and place, and is not for us today.

    I’d really love feedback on this mini argument from analogy.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 4:47 pm | Permalink
  22. I probably should have put my comment in this spot. See below. :)

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 4:48 pm | Permalink
  23. james wrote:

    natural selection I’m guessing

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 8:47 pm | Permalink
  24. Jeremy wrote:

    That’s a good point. I totally forgot that anthropology has demonstrated that societies have always been organized around family structures of heterosexual monogamous relationships with the male being the head of the house. Jackass.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 9:33 pm | Permalink
  25. Nathan Smith wrote:

    More than culture, time, and place, I would say that the Sabbath is bound to the Mosaic law. I am, however, intrigued by your analogy. My question is still the rhetorical force of appeals to creation. My intuition tells me that the creation story tells about humanity in its core nature, before culture is taken into account. So it seems odd to me that Paul would use this pre-cultural reference to invoke a relative cultural difference. Your mileage may vary.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 11:26 pm | Permalink
  26. Nathan Smith wrote:

    Thanks for the insight.

    By the way, your last sentence was somewhat Pauline in its length and complexity. Well done, thou good and faithful servant.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 11:29 pm | Permalink
  27. roger flyer wrote:

    Galatians 3:28 it is–If we have been properly ‘apocalyptically’ oriented. (Which most of us commenters are…)

    As for the unitiated into the apocalyptical ‘cult’…? Do we throw them to the dogs?

    Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 5:29 am | Permalink
  28. dan wrote:

    In what way are the creation story or any other appeals to creation “pre-cultural”?

    Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 1:35 pm | Permalink
  29. Charis wrote:


    I take 1 Timothy as canonical and Pauline, but I don’t accept the view that Paul (or God) intends to deny women spiritual authority based on their being created female. You might find this article by Professor Kroeger of interest ANCIENT HERESIES AND A STRANGE GREEK VERB Here is a clip from the article:

    But what can the term authentein imply in 1 Timothy 2:12? In his Commentary on I Timothy 5.6, St. John? Chrysostom uses autheritia to denote “sexual license.” If the word in this context refers to sexual behavior, it puts a quite different interpretation on the entire passage. For instance, if we were to translate the passage, “I forbid a woman to teach or discuss higher algebra with a man,” we would understand the prohibition to be directed against instruction in mathematics. Suppose it read, “I forbid a woman to teach or talk Japanese with a man.” Then we infer that the injunction applies to the teaching of language. “I forbid a woman to teach or dangle a man from a high wire” would presuppose that the instructor was an aerialist. “I forbid a woman to teach or engage in fertility practices with a man” would imply that the woman should not involve a man in the heretical kind of Christianity which taught licentious behavior as one of its doctrines. Such a female heretic did indeed “teach to fornicate” in the Thyatiran church mentioned in Revelation 2:20 (cf. 2:14f.; Num. 25:3; 31:15f.). Too often we underestimate the seriousness of this problem for the New Testament church. A passage in 2 Peter expresses concern not only for those drawn into this error but also for the illegitimate children which it produced…

    It is evident that a similar heresy is current at Ephesus, where these false teachers “led captive silly women laden with sins” (2 Tim. 3:6f.).

    Licentious doctrines continued to vex the church for several centuries, to the dismay of the church fathers. Clement of Alexandria wrote a detailed refutation of the various groups who endorsed fornication as accepted Christian behavior. He complained of those who had turned love-feasts into sex orgies, of those who taught women to “give to every man that asketh of thee,” and of those who found in physical intercourse a “mystical communion.” He branded one such lewd group authentai (the plural of authentes).

    Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 1:43 pm | Permalink
  30. rasselas wrote:

    good stuff – but hasn’t this canard been embedded in “conservative” evangelicalism for a very long time? (my own story testifies) And isn’t Driscoll just parroting & re-packaging the same old yarn to the next generation?

    btw really enjoy your blog

    Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 9:41 am | Permalink
  31. Joe Bumbulis wrote:

    I think the unfortunate reality is that Driscoll is merely the voice of a reality behind many churches (of course not all). While most churches wouldn’t say this as explicitly as Driscoll, there are many who speak this implicitly by not allowing women real authoritative roles in their institutions, churches, pulpits, etc.

    That being said, Driscoll worships a strange perverted god who works oppression and not liberation. That’s a weird understanding for people who take the Bible so seriously. Maybe we should focus on all the stories about God working to liberate the oppressed, set the captive free, etc…you know that Kingdom of God, Jesus stuff.

    Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 10:09 am | Permalink
  32. Yes, as Dan suggests I think, if we think Moses’ story or Abraham’s story is cultural then I don’t see how we would justify seeing Genesis 1-3 as pre-cultural.
    No matter what brand of “literalist” or “non-literalist” one is when reading the Creation narratives, lots of cultural understanding is involved in exegesis of those narratives, surely.

    Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 12:09 pm | Permalink
  33. dan wrote:

    Not only that, but there is a lot of cultural understanding involved in the very narration (and redaction) of those stories.

    Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 8:05 pm | Permalink
  34. Somewhat dumbfounded that a quote from a 5 year old book that was referenced on a 2 year old blog post is getting such a rabid reaction.

    Anyone interested in hearing Pastor Mark talk about the counsel he’s received from other godly men, please listen to this

    Friday, September 25, 2009 at 11:21 am | Permalink
  35. Nathan wrote:

    You need to put yourself into the shoes of Paul’s audience, not those of a bible critic or scholar. What is the rhetorical force of an argument from creation?

    Friday, September 25, 2009 at 12:03 pm | Permalink
  36. dan wrote:

    So are you saying that the rhetorical force of an argument made in Paul’s day should have the same rhetorical force today?

    Friday, September 25, 2009 at 5:35 pm | Permalink
  37. Theophilus wrote:

    Regardless of whether you can find culture in Genesis 1-3 or not, it is written as if it is universal/pre-cultural, rather than cultural, in a way that the stories of Abraham and Moses simply are not. Genesis 1-3 purports to be explanatory for all of humanity, in contrast to the Law, which describes an ideal given specifically to the Jews.

    It’s also worth noting that (pseudo?) Paul’s epistles are not the only NT documents to use the creation narrative as a kind of “meta-Law”. Jesus’ teachings on divorce in Matthew and Mark explicitly use the Genesis 1 creation account to justify a hardline position on divorce, for example. Dismissing the appeal to the creation narratives places one outside the logic of the NT writers.

    Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 2:23 pm | Permalink
  38. dan wrote:

    And is it a good, bad, or neutral thing to be ‘outside the logic of the NT writers’?

    Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 7:40 pm | Permalink
  39. Theophilus wrote:

    I deliberately didn’t make that judgment in my post; many of the commenters here would answer that differently. Personally, I think it’s a bad thing. I see the implications of the other position to form informed interlocutors, certainly, but not fellow believers.

    Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 8:16 pm | Permalink
  40. Scott wrote:

    Imaginatively putting myself in Paul’s audiences’ position is very good for exegesis and interpretation … to draw out the *meaning* of a text, if you will.

    But when we’re seeking the *significance* of a text, or its *application* to our own context, when we’re doing sys theo or ethics, we have to be able to recognize the distance between ourselves and Paul’s audience, right?

    I don’t mean to quibble here with the idea that Paul is telling his original audience that he doesn’t allow women to teach. Nor do I quibble with the idea that Moses is telling his audience in the narrative to cease from all labor on the seventh day of the week. I’m quibbling over what each of those commands means for us.

    And so getting outside the heads of the NT writers & original first century audiences is necessary.

    Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 10:37 am | Permalink
  41. WenatcheeTheHatchet wrote:

    Chris, you would think any number of scholars wouldn’t get so wound up over some quote from N. T. Wright about justification written some fifteen years ago but … so it goes. If you’re somewhat dumbfounded that a 5 year old book referred to on a 2 year old blog post gets a rabid reaction then you just need to remind yourself how blogging and writing on religion gets. :)

    I’m confident Driscoll restated his views on women as not suitable for being elders in Vintage Church, published in 2008. That is why there’s no reason to be dumbfounded that Halden and others still find that view as objectionable now as when Driscoll articulated his position as he did 5 years ago. Changing the style of expression doesn’t change the substance and the substance is what folks disagree with.

    As for the link to a link to a Driscoll sermon talking about how Piper and Mahaney took him (Driscoll) to task for failing to adequately teach about the love of Christ for His people … you don’t seriously think that constitutes a rebuttal to those who consider Driscoll a misogynist, do you? You might hope you’re putting out a fire but this link to a link comes off more like unintentionally dumping three gallons of gasoline on to the fire. And in case you didn’t notice that “Why John Piper is dangerous” entry, saying that Driscoll is okay because Piper is speaking into his life might not be convincing to a lot of people who read this blog. :)

    Monday, October 12, 2009 at 4:17 am | Permalink
  42. WenatcheeTheHatchet wrote:

    Chris, linking to a sample of a sermon in which Driscoll says Piper is speaking into his life probably just adds gasoline to the fire. You DID notice a “Why John Piper is Dangerous” entry at this blog, didn’t you? :)

    Monday, October 12, 2009 at 4:19 am | Permalink
  43. Marvin wrote:

    I’m too tired to blog tonight, so would you please post something about this?

    Halden, the world wants to know, “Does Mark Driscoll wear khakis?”

    Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

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