Mark Driscoll

Posted on October 15, 2012 by

Why do I, an Arminian, listen to Mark Driscoll, a Calvinist, preach?

Good Bible preaching consists of many different specialties.  Just as the body of Christ has different members with different strengths, so does the pastorate.    My church, an Arminian church, specializes in serious Bible study.   My pastor spends most of his time teaching, and some of his time exhorting  – very appropriate, for our congregation.   He’s a good pastor, we have a good church, and it’s growing.

My denomination also has very intense theoreticians, like Chuck Missler, within its ranks.  Should you want to discuss the effect of the dimensionality of existence and the nature of time and eternity – you pull up a study or three by Dr. Missler.

But sometimes I miss the old time religion.  No one yells at me at my church.  I was raised Baptist, and I like a good solid sermon of exhortation.  That’s what Mark Driscoll delivers, in spades.  Exhortation.

I go to church to be taught, to worship, and to fellowship.  I listen to Missler to philosophize.  I listen to Driscoll because he takes the Word of God and uses it to get people moving.   Do I agree with Mr. Driscoll?  Not always.   After all, we have radically different ideas about pre-destination vs. election, among other things.

Driscoll preaches straight from the Bible.  Chapter by chapter, he takes the Word of God and explains it, and he calls his listeners not merely to intellectual agreement, but to action.   I’ve been confronted by his words and had to take a long hard look at myself in the mirror.  That’s the point of a sermon of exhortation.    I don’t want to walk out of church feeling smug, like I have it all together.  I want something to work on.  I want something to think about.  I want something to aspire to.

I understand that Mark Driscoll is somewhat controversial.   He has certain drums that he beats over and over, and he can take his enthusiasms to excess.  I do not, however, expect to find perfection in a mortal.  Each person in the Body of Christ inhabits a particular niche.  I check everything against the Scriptures, and they are my highest authority – not any man.

What Mark Driscoll gives – in addition to exhortation – is unapologetic manliness.  And he preaches primarily to men.   He’s trying to get more young men to come to church, and is himself the stereotype of a young man in Scripture… full of strength and passion.   He brings Jesus into every sermon, exhorts his congregation to get moving, and doesn’t step back from controversy.   This is exactly what the church of today needs – more unapologetic Christians willing to stand up for basic Christian doctrine.

Although I myself hold the pre-tribulation viewpoint, and believe that it will come soon – because Mr. Driscoll does not, he has the ability to exhort his congregants to take a multi-generational approach to life and their relationship with Christ.  This is radically counter cultural, and badly needed.  Even if the Master is to return soon, should we not be found with our hands to the wheel?

In short, I agree with Mr.  Driscoll in most things, and I find his voice a needed voice in the larger body of Christ.  My theological disagreements are small, and unimportant in the larger view, where each of us is needed desperately to be salt and light in these dark days.

Posted in: Religion