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Archive for the ‘Mark Driscoll’ Category

This video says it all.  No additional commentary needed.

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Real Marriage Driscoll

This is a helpful book though I do have some concern.

The Good

I appreciated Mark Driscoll and his wife Grace writing this book together.  I appreciated their openness and their honesty, with Mark Driscoll’s description of a tired pastor going all out as something I can identify with.  I thought this work was unique among many Christian books on marriage in that devote a whole chapter towards the subject of spouses being friends, and what that look like biblically.  I appreciated Mark and Grace writing this book in such a way to apply it to our lives Biblical truths.  Mark makes a good point that when a man is married, his wife now becomes the standard of beauty, and the beauty changes along with his wife.  The book discusses all kinds of marriage problem and addresses them even the issue of dealing with past abuse and sexual sins.  I appreciated the book memorable alliterations: Repentance involves confession, contrition and change; Sex is not a God, nor is it Gross, but a Gift from God; Communication problems being driven by contempt, complaint and criticisms, etc.  The book also took a stand for heterosexual marriage as Biblically defined.

Constructive Criticisms

Mark Driscoll is controversial when it comes to the topic of sex.  I suppose some of the concerns people have for Driscoll’s teaching on sex is the same I have with Driscoll’s book.  For starters, I think he allegorizes a bit too much Song of Solomon in the Bible; and I’m not saying this as a Victorian Era Prude but because of my commitment to the Bible and being hermeneutically conscious.  I don’t see some of the sexual acts he describe to be found in some of the passages from Song of Solomon because I see Song of Solomon to be a beautiful book between lovers that capture that love in appropriate veil languages; moreover, if you study again carefully Song of Solomon you might be surprised to see how few the instances are when it describe physical contact.  The most disturbing part of the book for me is the supposed vision Mark received from God of his wife committing a sexual sin before they were married.  I know Driscoll has described visions of seeing other women engage in sexual sins of those he’s counseling, and I don’t know if it’s part of the nature of God biblically for him to give a pornographic sexually explicit vision.  While marriage is more than taking care of the kids, I also think that’s a real part of marriage; and if kids come about from sex, I think it would have been wonderful if Driscoll could have talked about raising children.

Conclusion

I have a hard time wondering if I can recommend this book: on the one hand there’s some really Godly counsel especially with marriage issues and problems but on the other hand, you don’t want it to be stumbling nor is Driscoll’s exposition of Song of Solomon biblical at the hermeneutical level.  Perhaps I must give it an appropriate rating of BG—Biblical Guidance needed, readers’ discretion is advised.

(The book is available on Amazon by clicking HERE)

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Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

In light of yesterday’s entry concerning Driscoll, Song of Solomon and the Scotland sermon in perspective, I thought it was good to address a comment on another blog which states,

I totally agree with you on the need for a biblical theology of sex. It hurts young people and it hurts intimacy in marriage when fundamentalists treat sex as a dirty thing not to be talked about and liberals treat it as a thing of personal conviction without consequence.

Just for therecord, John MacArthur would not fall into the category of fundamentalists talked about, since he made it clear in the beginning of his post on Song of Solomon and Mark Driscoll,

I would be the last to suggest that preachers should totally avoid the topic of sex. Scripture has quite a lot to say about the subject…But the language Scripture employs when dealing with the physical relationship between husband and wife is always careful—often plain, sometimes poetic, usually delicate, frequently muted by euphemisms, and never fully explicit

For this evening’s blog post, it’s important to not just be negatively refuting something but offer something that is positive to address the topic.  I find Doug Wilson’s book to be quite edifying, in the content and the manner he presented the subject.

This book is a breath of fresh air. One of Doug Wilson’s gift is the ability that God has given him to craft his writing in a witty and interesting way. Combine that with the biblical principles Wilson presents, the book proves to be an edifying read, one that is hard to put down. Though it is short in length, it is pack not only with biblical insight but also God-given wisdom of a married couple who has been there, and APPLIED that. A highlight in the book is the theme of the biblical role of husband and wife. It should leave readers with the impression that a good marriage would be hard work, and one that is centered on God according to the blueprint that God has given in His Word. Definitely a recommended resource for couples who are courting and even newly wed. Read it with your partner. I praise God that in His Sovereignty, my Pastor assigned this as a reading in our church’s couple’s meeting!

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I have been very cautious with the entire Mark Driscoll thing.  It’s exploded within Christian blogosphere, especially recently with the report in public light of Driscoll’s graphic Scotland messages.

I have prayed for Mark Driscoll since this whole event has been picking up and was sad to read of the Scotland message Driscoll gave.

I hope that given the time lapse (though it is short), cooler heads would avail and my entry would be read without knee-jerk emotionally driven comments that go back and forth where there is more heat than light.

From seeing the comments all over the blogosphere in defense of Driscoll, some of the defense offered by his supporters makes me worry, since some of these defenses make excuses for Mark Driscoll’s conduct or give him immunity from being critiqued on the basis that he is a Pastor (or Elder).  Or worst, the defense of Driscoll then goes on the offense, questioning the motive of those who raise the concern of Mark Dricsoll’s behavior.

Over at Frank Turk’s blog, a commentator name makes this good observation.

Forgive me for jumping in, but given that I’ve just been having some helpful conversations with my husband about the role of church discipline in the body, I couldn’t help think this:

Let’s remove the pastor element for a minute. Let’s suppose that Mark is just a regular guy at his church. He’s a member, There is a sufficient fruit in his life to lead everyone to believe he’s regenerate. He just happens to have a pretty loud speaking voice, and he’s really popular.

And another member of the church overhears him making just one of the remarks he’s made while he’s out in the parking lot after Sunday service. So the man that overhears him takes him out to lunch and mentions that he heard it and uses Scripture to lovingly show him the “delta” between what God says and what he says.

And Mark says “yeah, I have a problem with my mouth. I’m working on that.”

And his friend accepts that as repentance and so they both go home.

Fast forward to the very next week, and the same stuff happens. In fact, this time, he’s louder and it’s worse – more varied, there are parts and procedures described, all with the requisite laughter from his buddies.

So his friend does the same thing. Takes him to lunch, but this time, after exhorting him with Scripture says “Brother, not only is this sin, but now you’re pulling your friends into it and causing them to sin. You’re really crusing for the millstone necklace treatment if you keep it up!”

And this time, Mark doesn’t really say anything, other than “wow, you’re really a good guy and I respect you a lot.”

And he keeps doing it. Week, after week, after week.

What reason would this friend not have to immediately go to the elders of their church, and if the elders are the ones who take him out to lunch, and the same thing happens, to not then follow up with full church discipline?

Now imagine Mark’s not just any guy at the church. He’s the guy, charged by God to lead all the others guys in imitating him as he imitates Christ.

Regular guy in sin pattern that demonstrates an increasing, not decreasing, trajectory = discipline

But pastor in sin pattern that demonstrates an increasing, not decreasing, trajectory – no discpline needed, just prayer and love???

Huh?

I think her point is a powerful one, and leaves me convicted.  Being a young man myself who desire to enter the ministry, the concern that John MacArthur and others bring is very relevant.  Holiness is very important in the lives of the minister, even young minister.  Which is why I prayed for Driscoll, and as a result of it, pray for myself and my sanctification too.

I’m sure there are Driscoll supporters that has gone through what one supporter felt, which he articulated so honestly.  I share this, because I think what he has to say in his open honesty is the attitude and dilemma Driscoll supporters should be expressing, not some of the things I have seen the last few weeks:

I hate this whole situation. It just frustrates me and breaks my heart. Because I love MD. As a teacher of Scripture and a proponent of the Gospel, he’s challenged me in so many ways. I wish I had an ounce of the passion he does.

But there’s no denying his greatest flaws are clouding and compromising his work. There’s just no getting around it. And this strikes me twice as hard, because I share these same weaknesses and wrestle with these same issues. As his sin is being here publicly dissected, I find myself naked and feeling shame.

When JMac started his four-part callout of Driscoll’s sin (deny if you will, brothers, but this is what it is), I was defensive and irritated. Now I’m just sad. Because there’s no Biblical answer i can give except, Dr. Mac is right. Phil is right (and gracious, was his sermon good). All the same, it makes me sad for my brother Mark and for myself.

“Blameless” is something I fear I’ll never be, Cent. And it stinks on toast, because I feel God’s call into ministry, and I’m afraid I’ll always disqualify myself.

I think I’m about done reading about all of this. Any more would just be wallowing. I do sincerely want to thank you all for your comments and exhortation. Count me as one person who’s really been given pause, and has been called to greater repentance for it.

I’m praying for Mark, because I love him, and I am eager to see him grow in Spirit and power so that he can continue to advance the Kingdom. I don’t think all of you share that feeling, but for those of you who do, I urge you to continue to speak boldly about this issue, but to love boldly also.

That’s enough of my thoughts for now.  I pray that this would be constructive rather than tearing down.

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