In the article he raises this point:
“For some of my friends its all or nothing with the theologians they like. There’s a tick list – a writer needs to tick the boxes on a number of issues in order to have anything to contribute to a conversation.”
I think it’s a fair point. When I studied for my BA in Youth work with Applied Theology, there was a clear split between those who preferred Rob Bell or Mark Driscoll. As if somehow by liking one you automatically had to hate the other. It became very tribal.
People like to be part of a tribe and its very easy to have a tribal mentality. When someone attacks what you makes you ‘you’, it is in your best interest to fight it. You want to defend your beliefs as you feel its a personal attack against your identity.
For me though, I think its a little different. I can happily listen to those that I disagree with- to a point. I imagine its the same for most people. We all have buttons or ‘no go areas’. There are convictions that we hold that cannot be pushed and its not always necessarily to do with theology.
For instance I will have nothing to do with Mark Driscoll or Martin Luther. I will not read what they’ve written or take any time to listen to their views.
Because they both, in my opinion (and it is just an opinion) have a very abusive view of women. Martin Luther once said, “women are the gateway to hell”. Driscoll famously has said, and i paraphrase here, that since the husband is the head of the household, if he wants anal sex, he gets anal sex.
Those are worldviews that those men hold that I cannot get around and its not simply a case of removing those remarks when I come to look at them. I cannot come to a text of Driscolls or Luthers and ignore what they’ve said. Those remarks infect everything that they have to say. It is behind everything that they have to say.
Krish suggests that he can learn from any flawed person and I commend him for that. But I cannot do that.
Let’s imagine Hitler wrote some great literature. I could not sit down and read any of it without thinking “this man had over 6 million people killed”. I cannot just conclude that he’s a flawed human and get past his actions. They are what makes him. It is part of who he is.
Now I’m not comparing the actions of Driscoll or Luther to Hitler. But…if we believe, as many say, that all sin is the same and that sin by its definition is anything that causes a breakdown in relationship with either ourselves, others or God then maybe its perfectly acceptable to do so.
So, over to you. Does any of this make sense? Do you think this is helpful or is there some way of getting past your convictions in order to learn from people like this?
I try not to pull other christians down. Especially online. I don’t think its helpful.I don’t think it’s “christian”.
So, this post is not about attacking mark driscoll. There are enough places you can go online if you want to do that.
What I do want to attack his understanding of the notion of love. Or at least offer an alternative view.
The video above is from a sermon he gave on Sunday morning.
Let me first say that I agree with some of the concepts he is saying. He is right that we often cherry pick attributes of God, the ones we like, and drop the ones we don’t agree with. I know that God is loving and God is just. That’s not where I think Driscoll has messed up.
It’s his understanding of the following verse that, i believe, is incorrect.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:7-12
I do not think, in this verse, John is saying “god is loving”. John is not telling us about one of Gods attributes. He is stating something more profound. he is saying that God is love.
The essence of God…is love. At God’s very core; God’s DNA is love.
So every attribute of God whether it be justice, mercy, wrath etc comes out of a place of love. Love is the lens for every attribute of God. Love is the lens that every decision comes from.
That’s why I am deeply concerned with what Driscoll is portraying here. He is painting an image of a God that does not have love at its core.
And i think that leads to all sorts of trouble.
Thanks to Zack Hunt for the heads up on this. Check out his blog for other inconsistencies in Driscolls’ talk.