Monday, January 30, 2006

Enigmatic Driscoll

I don't want to be one of those guys who wildly take pot shots at everyone, relishing any justification to check off one more evangelical as a validated apostate. So, in order to be fair, I want to point out Mark Driscoll's strong if not [warning] a bit crass stand against Brian McLaren's foolish prancing around biblical teaching on homosexuality. Clearly, not everyone in the broad emerging movement is cut out of the same cloth, even though I don't understand how Driscoll can defend Schuller one moment and condemn McLaren the next, particularly in light of what Schuller has to say about homosexuality.


Dave said...

Okay, I will break the silence on this one simply because I can't resist pointing out the fact that evangelicals and some fundamentalists love to tar and feather fundamentalists for the kind of bickering going on in the comment section of this blog. If this were some other source, I have no doubt that there would have been a line up to express themselves. If a fundamentalist had said what Driscoll did, it would have been avalanche time.

Does any one see the inconsistency in all of this? This kind of in-fighting and bickering is not unique to fundamentalism. During my doctrinal studies I saw it firsthand in a "pillar" evangelical institution and the religious circles around it. This, my friends, is depravity. It is in every human endeavor because we are all depraved. This does not justify it, but it does mean we should aim our criticisms at the right source--individual fallenness.

Okay, I have ranted and I am off to a conference in the northwoods so I am out of touch (in more ways than one!).

Ben said...


Can you clarify what bickering in the comments sections you're talking about? I think you're talking about the Out of Ur blog I linked to, not Paleo, right?

If I understand what you're saying, I agree that partisan bickering is certainly not unique to fundamentalism. It may actually be more characteristic of the blogosphere than any other entity. I believe the tone of some edgy evangelicals is too easily dismissed and even applauded as "just part of who he is" as if it were a winsome personality. And of course I should not exclude my own depravity from that kind of examination.

This blog isn't about tone, though; it's about ideas (I hope)—good ones and bad ones. I can't say with certainty that I've never criticized tone here or never will, but (a) I think the ideas are more important, and (b) if I start criticizing tone, I'll get accused of hypocrisy faster than you can type "asdfjkl;".

Oh, and I haven't read the comments. I don't think I will.

Feel free to rant here anytime.

P.S. A thought just occurred to me. Maybe fundamentalists get tarred and feathered more aggressively because some fundamentalists claim that fundamentalism is the one true expression of Christianity in the world today. That may invite criticism. Perhaps evangelicals are attacked less because no one seriously believes that evangelicalism is an authentic expression of Christianity. Just a theory. That doesn't alleviate the inconsistency, but it might explain it.

ScottyB said...

Have you ever listened to Driscoll preach Ben?

Ben said...


Dave said...

I was away at a conference, hence my delay in replying. My comment was about the comments connected to the blog post you linked, not those here.

Tim said...

Mark ends his post by saying " I would like to thank Dr. Schuller for his kindness to me and congratulate him on his half-century of ministry at the Crystal Cathedral on this, the final week of his tenure as senior pastor. " Well take a look at this Schuller to see the 1/2 century of ministry that Mark Driscoll is actually praising.

“Classic theology has erred in its insistence that theology be ‘God-centered,’ not ‘man-centered.’”
– Robert Schuler, Self-Esteem—The New Reformation, 64.

Schuller reinterprets the doctrines of the Word of God to conform with his self-esteem philosophy. His Christ is a Jesus who provides men with self-esteem. Schuller's gospel is the replacement of negative self concepts with positive ones. To Schuller, sin is merely the lack of self-esteem. To Schuller, the greatest evil is to call men sinners in a biblical fashion and thereby injure their self-esteem. Schuller is a universalist who believes that all people are the children of God. His goal is to help each person understand and enjoy this “fact.”

Schuller says he believes in salvation by grace, but what he actually believes is that salvation is being rescued from poor self-esteem. He says he believes in Hell; but his hell is the loss of self-esteem, not a place of fiery eternal torment. He says he believes in sin; but sin is not willful rebellion against God and His law, but the loss of self-esteem. He says he believes in Jesus Christ; but his positive-only, “Self-Esteem Incarnate” Jesus is not the Jesus of the Bible.

Let us be careful of who we congratulate. Schuller has done nothing but undermine the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I hope that Mark will come to understand that Schuller is not a man to be praised for his faithfulness, but a man who needs to be exposed as a false teacher and called to repent. Let us pray that Mark will have more discernment in the future.