I bet you’ve been there before. One week everyone loves you, the next week your in the dog house with everyone. If you know that feeling you can image being Mark Driscoll, only in his case, it’s like on steriods. Not long ago Driscoll was the darling of the conservative evangelical church, he is part of the Gospel Coalition, preaching passages that most pastors avoid, yelled at men to get their act together in homes and starting being the leaders God called them to be… good stuff! He seemed to be on everyone’s A+. Other pastors talking about him, copying him, promoting his books (and reading them and copying them in their messages), and having him speak at their conferences. Then… WHAM! Next thing you know, the new cool trend is to discount him. To question his teachings (this week his beliefs about the Trinity, last week his male leadership views, a few weeks ago about his mysticism), his newest book has not gotten glowing reviews from most christian leaders (Even the Gospel Coalition review is luke-warm and Tim Challies won’t recommend it). In the last two weeks I have read two respected christian leads say that Driscoll wouldn’t qualify to be Elders in their churches.
So to be clear… Pastor Mark was really in, now he seems to be really out.
Ok, it could be that he has really changed his teachings or methodology.
But I don’t buy it…
I think he is a to a large-degree, a victim of his own success (and maybe the thin-skin, he seems to have of late).
Imagine writing all that he has written (books, blogs, and articles – not to mention preached), do you think that given the spectrum of things he has commentated on, that he has, at some time, in some way, said something that pretty much anyone and everyone would disagree with? Or believe that he said something at onetime or another poorly? Or that has been take out of context? At some point because of exposure (or over-exposure) we would all offend someone on some subject.
The other suspicion I have is that he may of fall to is the popular to: “hate the front-runner” syndrome. Think about it, in sports, people love to hate the Yankees, or the Patriots – for no other reason that they have been so good. It’s the whole anti-esptablishment thing most of us play at some point… We think it is cool to be different so we buck the current trend, just to pretend to be an “individual” and not part of the crowd.
I’d love for the chorus of “bad Mark… bad” recent writers to talk about his ministry in a more balanced tone. Sure there are thing worth critiquing in his ministry (and everyone else too) but not at the expense of praising what he has done so well in last few years.
So beware of your press clippings, you are never as good as your best days or as bad as your worst.
What do you think?
1. What do you love about Pastor Marks ministry?
2. Any healthy critiques of his teachings from what you have heard?
3. His book has not been very well received by most christian leaders (I think it’s OK overall, but not anywhere near the quality of Tim Keller’s book on Marriage), but it is selling like hot-cakes (no – actually it’s selling better than hot-cakes)! So why do christians and non-christians alike seem to careless about – so called experts, and buy his latest book anyway (Real-Marriage)?
3 &1/2. Related Question: The same thing happened with Rob Bell’s last book “Love Wins”, pastors everywhere warned people about the lousy theology in it (many called it heretical), but christians and non-chrisians went bonkers buying it too? Whats up with that?