Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Response to Mark Driscoll's Preposterous Proposition, Part I

Many of you are well aware of the Puritans propensity and fondness of long or lengthy titles for their books, sermons, or papers. If I were to follow suit with those good and godly men, my title might be My Response to Mark Driscoll’s Preposterous and Unfounded Proposition that Cessationism leads to worldliness.

Before I begin my response allow me make two statements if I may. First, I am not a real fan of Mark Driscoll, Together for the Gospel, C. J. Mahaney and the Sovereign Grace Ministries, Acts 29, Young, Restless, and Reformed, New Calvinism, the Resurgence, and things like that. However, having said that, allow me to say that I have found some good things, some great blessings, and some useful or beneficial teachings in each of these ministries and from these men. Based on their profession they are my brothers in Christ.

Second, allow me to say however, even though I do not necessarily find these ministries to be necessarily theologically sound or something that I want to be a part of, I do believe that they may serve a place in the overall plan and purpose of God for His church. By this I mean that I adopt the stance that Jesus took when John came to Jesus and informed him that there were some who were casting out demons in Jesus’ name and that he (John) had even tried to stop them because they weren’t in the same “camp” as Jesus and his disciples. What did Jesus say to John? Jesus said:

“Do not stop him, for one who is not against you is for you.” (Luke 9:49-50, ESV)

So, I do not think that these men or ministries necessarily need to be stopped because I am not in their camp. Obviously there is a place for them if they are preaching the gospel accurately.

It was the Apostle Paul who said that “Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love knowing that I am put here for the defenses of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of rivalry, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.” (Philippians 1:15-18, ESV) (Emphasis mine)

I am not saying any of these men or organizations preach Christ out of rivalry, pretense, or to afflict anyone. I am not accusing them of not loving the Lord, nor am I judging their motives. That is for Christ and not me. My point is that Paul rejoiced that Christ was preached. I rejoice for and with these men that Christ is preached. Please do not misunderstand or misquote me.

Third, Driscoll does believe that in “his movement” there needs to room for criticism and division. He also stated that in addition to their theology there will be an opportunity for humility. He readily admitted he shared his preposterous proposition with a bit of "fear and trepidation." So, Mark, here is some criticism.

Driscoll gave this address and made this preposterous and unfounded remark at The Resurgence Conference in Orlando, FL, July 25, 2011. I hope to be fair, humble as well, and scripturally accurate as I form this response over the next two or three days.

Driscoll makes some excellent points, such as, we should not have a “reactionary theology.” In other words we should develop theology from biblical convictions rather than just reacting to something. He also stated that a major part of reformed theology boils down to the order of salvation. It is very important to understand that regeneration proceeds repentance and faith. It is regeneration that allows or enables repentance and faith. I do rejoice in the biblically accurate portions of his address.

Allow me to state his proposition and then in my next post I will begin responding to it and showing it to be both preposterous and foundationless. Driscoll is very clever and has put together a very convincing and clever presentation. However, Driscoll, in this address is very dangerous. He needs to be exposed as being dangerous and inaccurate, at least in this presentation.

Driscoll stated that cessationism is worldliness. Next time, Lord willing, in part two, we will pick up from here and demonstrate the preposterousness, the in validness, and the danger of his proposition. 

Join us on Theological Thursdays as I will continue to offer theological truths by unlocking the meaning of various words, terms, and definitions through the posting of the attributes of God, word studies, and events from church history. As both a pastor and theologian I am passionate about the accurate teaching of biblical doctrine.


Trisha said...

Love that title of your response. :)

Great job in making clear what you are NOT saying. Looking forward to reading your additional posts.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I agree with above blogger a good title, and what a fantastic read, it took a while but got there in the end.


Michelle said...

I'm really interested in reading your response as this is something that intrigues me. I had NO idea that Mark Driscoll was in any way charismatic. (And please let me know if I'm interpreting "cessation" wrong.) I watched a clip awhile back from a man who was "reformed and charismatic." I thought it interesting as I have tried to determine the validity of the "gifts" and how they are playing out today. I want to read Johnny Mac's Charismatic Chaos but haven't yet...too busy cleaning little noses and rears! ;) I said...look forward to reading part deux.

Petra said...

I really appreciate how you've set the tone. Looking forward to the rest!

Mike said...

It's Mahaney, not the Irish version, McHaney ;-)

What is not sound in the theology of T4G participants? Because it may be an idea with which one disagrees does not make the idea unsound. That's precisely why these men have gathered together...because they all come from differing persuasions about peripheral issues, yet remain steadfast in the core of the gospel.

I've put myself under their teaching for years due to their very sound theology. Men like Mohler, Mahaney, Lig Duncan, and Mark Dever set the bar very high for today's largely empty preaching, I think.

Mike said...

However, I'm interested in what you have to say.

Michael Wright said...

I'll be looking forward to Part 2, while I did read Frank Turk's response to this, and I think Driscoll really pushed the line the wrong way here, I think your opinion on the matter, at least from what I gathered of the setup, is going to quite intriguing.

Mike said...

Gregg, btw, do you happen to have the link to the audio? I'd like to listen before reading your commentary please.

Patience said...

I also like that you have stated where you sit in a clear way. It is good to be able to see the beginnings of a godly rebuke. I find it very hard to be able to correct people without having plank-in-eye syndrome. I appreciate your civility whilst maintaining a biblical standard. Thank you for being a good example.