You can read the text of Driscoll's 8/23/09 sermon here. If I get this right, you have to pay Schuller $15 to own the sermon. So, read it.
Given that it was transcribed by such a massive organization, the amount of misspellings and typos are surprising. But what about the content?
I'll be brief. I know that someone who is "out for Driscoll" could carp over this and that. It isn't the sermon I think I'd preach, offered the same pulpit.
But HSAT, honestly — Driscoll preached Christ. It is not bad at all. Driscoll did not go off on himself, waste time making himself look cute and edgy and "bad-boy." He simply preached Christ: preached Him as God, preached His atoning death and resurrection, preached His exclusivity. It was Jesus, from start to finish.
Driscoll even talked about our sin, and our need for forgiveness. I imagine Driscoll will be faulted for his "God needs to" riff, but I think it is pretty clear that he means "we need God to." I'll leave catching people at bad syllables and conjunctions to the Pharisees. It's a standard no mortal could meet.
And Driscoll's message would have been adorned were he a person of greater overall credibility, unburdened by baggage of his own persistent creation. But he preached Christ from that apostate pulpit, and I rejoice in that (Philippians 1:18). Now let's pray all the more that Driscoll's life adorn the Gospel (v. 27), by his dealing with those shaming issues.
Given where he's preaching, I didn't love Driscoll's closing prayer, which includes a petition that his hearers "be as people with joy and purpose and passion and pleasure and enthusiasm and hope and joy that never ends." But once again, in context, this is prayed for people who have (as he prays) embraced the real Jesus in living faith.
It's a good sermon.
So what do I think I would have preached, sitting here in the safety of my relative anonymity, in a universe where the likelihood of that invitation is far less than the likelihood that Obama will do a 180 and move America back towards its best founding values?
I have a bit of a history with Schuller. Robert Schuller said he learned "possibility thinking" from Norman Vincent Peale, promoter of "positive thinking." Norman Vincent Peale said he learned "positive thinking" from Ernest Holmes. Ernest Holmes founded the non-Christian mind-science cult from which the Lord saved me.
As a Christ-hating non-Christian, I sometimes heard Schuller. He was kind of like us, but mentioned Jesus more than we did. After my conversion, I thought "Now I can get more out of Schuller!" I tuned in... and bleeagh! It was like a mouth full of dead hay. It was awful. This was what I'd just been saved from.
Schuller effectively denies sin, denies the exclusivity of Christ, is at best a functional universalist, and is well out of the pale of Biblical orthodoxy.
So, in preaching Christ's exclusivity, Driscoll did hammer at Schuller's rotten foundation. In preaching Jesus as He is, rather than how He can help you get what you want, he also brought another critical truth to bear.
I think, if I had only one sermon, I'd have preached God's holiness and our sin, and the unsurmountable crisis that poses; and I'd have preached Jesus as God's only way — and our only hope — of dealing with that crisis.
If I had two, I might have done that and what Driscoll did.
Because what Driscoll did preach was good, and nothing's gained by denying it.
UPDATE: the photographer who snapped the top image is Ronald Hodgman. He has other pictures of the event here.