Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Irreverence Not Driscoll's Specialty

Much has been made of Mark Driscoll's particular methods of self expression. Especially on this blog. One of the greatest errors which has arisen from my pointing our that Driscoll is "irreverent" and "edgy" has been the perception that this is what Driscoll is all about. It couldn't be further from the truth. True, these racy comments and jokes which offend Westminster sensibilities definitely stand out from his traditionally reformed doctrinal stances. But I am also here to say that they should not, and my focus on the "irreverent" stuff Driscoll has said definitely detracts from Driscoll's primary message in Vintage Jesus, and that is that Jesus is the Lord of Glory and we must submit our lives to Him.

Taking a break from the discussion about controversial language, I want to share a couple of thoughts from Vintage Jesus which I greatly appreciated.

Sadly, it is too common for churches not to speak of Jesus, which is a tragedy akin to a wife rarely uttering the name of her own husband. In our day when there are inumerable contradictory beliefs about who God is, Christians must be clear that their God is Jesus Christ alone so as to communicate the same central truth that Scripture does. No matter how many verses are used, the Bible has not been rightly understood or proclaimed unless Jesus is the central focus and hero. (Pg. 66)

I think this is a potent way of expressing something grave which is occurring all over (it has been happening for years). I really can't put it better than him, I just wanted to share this little nugget. Here's another referring to our culture's enthusiasm for worship:

[Referring to going to a football game in Seattle] While zoning laws in our city essentially forbid us from building a large church, the football stadium was built at a cost of 450 million dollars... Every ticket for the entire season is expensive yet sold out. Our seats at the game I attended were in what Paul calls the "third heaven" and cost about forty dollars each. In addition, parking, a hog dog, and a beer cost about the same as a year's tuition at a state college. The help of a Sherpa was required to haul it all to the high altitude where the seats were.
People walked many blocks in a driving rain that was so Old Testament that parts of the city were flooded, rivers had spilled over their banks, and mudslides were leading the nightly newscasts. Nonetheless, seemingly every seat in the stadium was filled, and fans stood in the rain for the entire game - not even using the seat they paid for - wearing the team colors and screaming, while music blared through the sound system and half-naked young women provided the eye candy.
In short, I was at a worship service with a congregation that was larger, more devoted, more generous, and more vocal than any church in America.

See? Driscoll's game is not offending people; it's providing helpful insights into our world and teaching solid theology. However, I'll bet there are still some Baptists who think the beer reference was obscene, and I'll bet there are some Puritans who feel his reference to half-naked women is scandalous. A little advice, Mark. Remember what Roosevelt said: "You can please some of the people some of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time." Don't go through your ministry just dying to please the Presbyterians out there, because we can be a very finicky bunch. We'd eat each other alive if Jonathan Edwards told us to.

Oh boy, am I asking for it.

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