Thursday, 16 October 2014

Some things I have learnt from Mark Driscoll

So Driscoll has stepped down from his position as lead pastor of Mars Hill. This will have some people sad and others will be overjoyed. If there is one thing Driscoll did, it was polarized people.

I started listening to Driscoll around the time he spoke at the 2006 Desiring God National Conference. From then on I listened to a bunch of sermon series that he gave including 12 talks on Christ on the Cross (one of the best series on this topic), John, 1 Corinthians, 9 Misconceptions, Philippians and Song of Songs. (None of these seem to be online anymore - I still have them somewhere on my PC). I must admit, after his series on Song of Songs, I went off him - but I think for the period that I was listening to him, was good for me.

Anyway, this post isn't a defense of Driscoll, nor it is once of those "discernment blogs" that point out all the short comings of celebrity pastors. I have never set foot in Mars Hill and I have only see Mark live at Engage 2008. Instead, my goal is to list (just a few) things that Mark has taught me from across the other side of the world.

"Perspicuity of scripture" - While this is quite an unclear word, it means that the scriptures are clear (like perspex). You don't need a degree in theology to understand the Bible, you just need to be able to read.

"Christians don't get what they want [in regards to salvation]" - Everyone has rejected God, all have turned away. God overrules and saves people, bringing them to Himself, while they were still dead in their sins and God's enemies.

"Open handed issues and close handed issues" - While some may disagree how Driscoll handled the Trinity with T.D Jakes, I think Driscoll set up some good categories on what should be defended and held onto with closed hands and what issues, like style of worship, we are to hold with open hands.

"The same sun that melts the ice, hardens the clay" - I think this is a puritan quote, but I heard it from Driscoll. The preaching of the Bible can have quite different effects on people's hearts.

"Jesus should be at the top of your Church's org chart" - Despite what people think about how Driscoll lead his church, this is a good point. Having Jesus at the top of a Church's organisational chart lets people know that its His Church, not the lead pastor. It helps people know who should really be in charge.

"Men are like trucks, they go straighter with a load" - Driscoll was good at kicking 20-somethings up the pants. He was big on Biblical manhood, which related to responsibility. Men need to take responsibility for their actions and their families actions. Something I need to be reminded of often.

When I hear the word "incarnate" I always think of "chilli con carne" and how that means "chill in meat". Jesus was God in meat, or God in flesh.

"Charasmatic with a seat belt on" - Piper, Grudem and Driscoll are the only guys holding me back from being a cessationist, even then I might move there soon...

When dealing with condemning homosexuals Driscoll would at the same time equally condemn the heterosexual couple who are not married and sleeping together. In the church we may elevate our condemnation of gays far above our condemnation of straights within the church.

Christians are the only real rebels. The world is telling you to watch this, have sex, enjoy and express yourself however your want; and yet somehow this is meant to be rebellious. Try living a holy life under Jesus. That is true rebellion.

"Jesus swung a hammer" - Sometimes we may think of a soft domesticated Jesus with long hair. We forget that he was a tradie.

Expiation and propitiation. There are debates over how to translate ἱλασμός. Is it "propitiation" (ESV, HCSB), "Atonement Sacrifice" (NIV, NRSV) or "expiation" (NRV)? While I think it is propitiation, Driscoll was quick to remind evangelicals that we shouldn't forget about the doctrine of expiation, especially when dealing with people who were victims of sin done to them.

...this is getting long. Are there any things the Driscoll has taught you, or "Discollisms" that you can remember?


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