Thursday, August 04, 2011

Hey world! Did you get the memo? This is what Mark Driscoll says you believe!

Mark Driscoll defines really-really affirming the sufficiency of Scripture, and unwillingness to dumb-down the gifts by made-up redefinitions, as "worldliness."

So that means, if one is to take Driscoll seriously, this is what the world believes:
The sixty-six books of the Protestant canon, in their original writings, comprise the verbally inspired, inerrant Word of God.

The thirty-nine books known as the Hebrew Old Testament are God-breathed, products of the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, and thus free from error in all that they affirm (cf. Deuteronomy 18:18, 19; Psalms 19:7, 8; 119:89, 142, 151, 160; Matthew 5:17-19; John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21).

Similarly, the twenty-seven books known as the Greek New Testament are the eternally abiding words of Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:35), and are thus the words of God (John 7:16; 12:49). The Holy Spirit enabled the writers both to recall what the Lord said (John 14:26), and to continue to receive His revelation (John 16: 12-15). As a result, the writings of the New Testament are the commandment of the Lord (1 Corinthians 14:37), are Scripture (2 Peter 3:15, 16), and are God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16).

For this reason, the sinner finds the way of salvation through Scripture (Romans 10:17; 2 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 2: 1-3). The believer is made fruitful (Psalm 1:2, 3) and successful in the will of God (Joshua 1:8), warned and kept from sin (Psalms 19:11; 119:9,11), made holy (John 17:17), given wisdom (Psalm 9:7) and freeing knowledge of the truth (John 8: 31, 32), taught the fear of God (Psalm 119:38), counseled (Psalm 119:24), taught, reproved, corrected, and disciplined in the way righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16) by Scripture. Scripture is, in short, the fully adequate revelation of the person, ways, and will of God.
Wow. Did you know they believed that, Christian? Did you know that you believed that, non-Christian (worldling)? Thus spake the oracle of Washington Seattle, with much chest-thumping and finger-pointing.

Perhaps his manuscript had a marginal note, "Case moribund, ratchet up accusations here"?


Tom Chantry said...

You know, Dan, it's funny, because I wouldn't have thought so, but the other day I was talking with my atheist, flesh-gratifying neighbor, and you know what he said to me?

"The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience, although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and his will which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times and in divers manners to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church; and afterward for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan, and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which maketh the Holy Scriptures to be most necessary, those former ways of God's revealing his will unto his people being now ceased."

Weird, no?

DJP said...

Wow, Tom.

This just opens up an entirely new chapter in evangelism and apologetics!

Robert said...


That picture gives me the idea that Driscoll is merely following his hero, M-I-C-K-E-Y...M-O-U-S-E.


What is really funny (not ha-ha, but curious) is that many "atheists/materialists" reject what they know to be the truth and make sense because they don't want to follow God's standards. At least they are being honest about their motivation.

Gregg Metcalf said...

I got the memo! I couldn't believe how cleverly dishonest and deceptive he was in making such a preposterous and foundationless propostion. I am responding to his lunacy myself in three posts.

DJP said...

Gregg, I sincerely appreciate your not using my meta for a "Nice blog! Come see mine!" ad - but readers can't go over to yours unless you make your profile visible to the public.

Just a blogger-to-blogger tip.

Gregg Metcalf said...

You are welcome, I certainly was not shooting for that. I know your thoughts on that plus it just isn't cool. Since you mentioned, first, I didn't know I wasn't "public" and second, how do I do that?

DJP said...

Well, now you are. Fixed by magic. Happens a lot in IT.

Aaron said...

@Robert: Ok, no need to bring Mickey Mouse into it. He was minding his own business.

Unknown said...

Changed by grace and Fixed by magic. What a truly amazing blog at such an unbelievably low price.

...And just look at that shine!

Thanks Dan

Does this mean there needs to be an asterisk and disclaimer for the 'gifted'?
Oh boy. This is the beginning of one of those Barry Bonds arguments I bet.

RT said...

". . . if one is to take Driscoll seriously . . ." Ah, modus ponendo ponens, but unfortunately I cannot -- take Driscoll seriously that is. I mean, really, "reasoning" from Descarte via Hume to Cessationism? What laughable fatuity! Scarcely worth the energy to refute - and to think a whole five minutes of my time wasted reading such twaddle -

threegirldad said...

Do I dare?


Yes, I believe I do.

"It is the final sign of imbecility in a people that it calls cats dogs and describes the sun as the moon—and is very particular about the preciseness of these pseudonyms. To be wrong, and to be carefully wrong: that is the definition of decadence."
--G.K. Chesterton, A Miscellany of Men

Kyle said...

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
(Gal 6:1-3)

P.D. Nelson said...

Dan as a fellow Washingtonian albeit an eastern one, I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't paint the state with such a wide brush. I would refer to Mark Driscoll at the most the oracle of Seattle.

DJP said...


Anonymous said...

What is it with this guy?


Anonymous said...

Hoping for an early HT and you give me Driscoll?

Blessings again...

Peter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Halcyon said...


You get bonus points for mentioning Chesterton. Check's in the mail. 8^)

Michael Russell and Vicki Fox Productions said...

I read the transcript of Driscoll's talk. As a result, I cannot agree with your assessment. Me thinks you and Turk and a few others are listening to Driscoll with overly critical ears or institutionalized biases.

Driscoll does wander a bit and spends a little too much time proposing that modern cessationist positions are a result of modernist philosophical beliefs corrupting many theologians, especially those of certain Reformed positions.

When I distill the fluff, examples, and history lessons, what I find remains is the following:

(1) He believes the cessationist camp, which he defines as those who reject any miracles after the Apostles, is wrong because this camp forgets the working of the Holy Spirit.

(2) He believes the continualist camp, such as the faith healers, which he defines as those who carry forward the Apostolic gifts, is wrong because this camp forgets the limited purpose of the Apostolic gifts and puts too much emphasis on the Holy Spirit.

(3) What he is calling for is the proper balance between these two camps.

(4) The charge against the Reformed camp is that they put too much emphasis on preaching and the word, and forget about the fact it is the Holy Spirit who actually converts using the Word. The Word itself does not convert. Miracles did not stop with the Apostles. The working of the Holy Spirit did not stop.

(5) The charge against the charismatic camp is that they put too much emphasis on the Holy Spirit and forget about doctrine and the Word. While the Holy Spirit saves, He does so through the preaching of the Word.

(6) Therefore, while both camps have part of the truth, they really need to have a balance of the Holy Spirit and the Word. He is going to get his preaching staff to work on this balance and not be biased in one way or the other.

trogdor said...

Are you saying he equated the working of miracles with the work of the Holy Spirit? Because if they're not identical (and they're not), his whole argument against the cessationist camp is false.

1) We deny the working of miracles since the apostles. We wholeheartedly affirm the working of the Holy Spirit in every way scripture says He works. Name so much as one cessationist who denies the work of the Holy Spirit! This point is nonsense, unless Holy Spirit = the sign gifts. Since that's obviously false, it's nonsense.

2) The problem isn't that they put too much emphasis on the Holy Spirit, whatever that means. It's that they want the Spirit to put on a show instead of trusting in the work that He actually does.

3) What is the balance between "does" and "does not"? "Sometimes does" still equals "does". Either they've ceased, or they continue. There is no halfway point here.

4) They "forget about the fact it is the Holy Spirit who actually converts using the Word" - completely untrue.

"Miracles did not stop with the Apostles. The working of the Holy Spirit did not stop." Yes they did, and no it didn't, respectively. Again, there's no conflict here, unless you assume the two statements are identical.

5) Hard to disagree there, aside from the qualifications of point 2.

6) Eh, whatever. Again, find the balance between the sufficiency of scripture and the desire for additional revelation. We only want extra-biblical revelation sometimes?

Michael Russell and Vicki Fox Productions said...

My original reply is a little sloppy since I wrote it quickly. This gives me a chance to clarify some of that sloppiness.

My goal was not to be an interpreter or defender of Driscoll, but to illustrate a problem that occurs when people micro-analyze and critique by picking on certain keywords and phrases instead of listening to the whole presentation. For example, I noticed many critics reacted to Driscoll's first mention of cessationist, started using their own definitions, compared what he said to their definitions, and were quiet when deep into his speech he finally cleared up his definition.

I instead challenge everyone to re-read the transcript and try to discern his definitions and Evangelical jargon.

This will be my last comment on this matter, since my argument is with the way people are parsing a speech; using approaches they would not like applied to their own material.

Now, to your points.

No, I do not think Driscoll was equating working of miracles with the work of the Holy Spirit. But, I think he was arguing that for some reason the "hard cessationists" want to deny that the Holy Spirit continues to work miracles. Because of the context of church planting, my impression is that Driscoll believes there are "miracles" associated with missionary efforts and church planting. The type of miracles that the Spirit uses to make an impression when a missionary enters a new field.

1) He was not saying cessationists deny the work of the Holy Spirit, just they deny that the Holy Spirit can work miracles as part of the spreading of God's Word. Personally, I have difficulty with the complete cessation of miracles position because the prophecy in Revelation and other end-times prophecy describe miracles; case in point, the two witnesses in Jerusalem.

2) Sorry, that was my shorthand. I meant to say what you said, that his complaint was against the "show" and trusting in those miracles as evidence of the Holy Spirit working in the believer.

3) Unfortunately, Driscoll did not describe it as such, but I saw the distinction he was making -- the cessationist vs continualist camps is not an either-or situation. It is a false dichotomy. His complaint was against this either-or situation, hence his arguing for a balance. To abbreviate, my interpretation is he sees the emphasis as [1](doctrine, miracles), [2](doctrine, no miracles), [3](no doctrine, miracles), and [4](no doctrine, no miracles). Position [2] is what he calls "hard cessationist". Position [3] is what he lumps under the charismatics. Position [4] wasn't described since that would be non-Christian. Position [1] is what he advocates.

4) Sorry again, that was my shorthand. I was trying to summarize his discussion about how both the preaching of the Word and the work of the Spirit are involved in salvation.

Hmm, now that I re-read this, I wonder if Driscoll is describing the work of the Spirit in salvation as a "miracle" -- whether it is the preparing of the elect to receive the Gospel, the regeneration (born from above, new creation), and more. Is the bringing to eternal life of a spiritually dead sinner any more or less a miracle than bringing to physical life the four day old dead body of Lazarus?

5) ...

6) I think this illustrates why we need to understand the speakers terminology instead of injecting our definitions. We know we should discern the speaker's history, grammar, and context to properly pull out the speaker's intended meaning. I'm not even sure how sufficiency of Scripture entered into the conversation.