Thursday, January 26, 2012

What we need to apologize for?

Right about the same time I was pondering Thomas Merton’s gracious message to unbelievers, I ran across a blog post about Mark Driscoll’s recent interview with Justin Brierley on a blog called Cognitive Discopants
The interview turned into a my church is bigger than your church because there is strong male leadership…namely….”me” (Mark Driscoll)  Your church (Brierley’s) is a wussy church because there are no strong male leaders. Your church is pastored by a….WOMEN….who just happens to be Brierley’s wife.  In fact, according to Driscoll, there really aren’t any strong young leaders in all of England who are preaching the true gospel. 
And the true gospel?  Well, of course the true gospel is a belief in penal substitution and a literal hell with eternal, conscious torment.  Otherwise….you are wishing for a God who is a mom….who embraces everyone. 
Driscoll: Do you believe in a conscious literal eternal torment of hell?
Brierley: What has that got to do with the issue of women in leadership, if you don’t mind me asking?
Driscoll: It does. It depends on your view of God. Is God like a mom who just embraces everyone? Or is he like a father who also protects, and defends, and disciplines? If you won’t answer the question, I think I know the answer.
There is so much offensive in this quote…where do I start?  How about with another quote?  Not from this interview but from a sermon series at his church…Mars Hill.  From Jesus Took Our Wrath (Propitiation)
You have been told that God is a loving, gracious, merciful, kind, compassionate, wonderful, and good sky fairy who runs a day care in the sky and has a bucket of suckers for everyone because we're all good people. That is a lie... God looks down and says 'I hate you, you are my enemy, and I will crush you,' and we say that is deserved, right and just, and then God says 'Because of Jesus I will love you and forgive you.' This is a miracle.
I could (should?) stop here…but here’s another
There is a strong drift toward the hard theological left. Some emergent types [want] to recast Jesus as a limp-wrist hippie in a dress with a lot of product in his hair, who drank decaf and made pithy Zen statements about life while shopping for the perfect pair of shoes. In Revelation, Jesus is a pride fighter with a tattoo down his leg, a sword in his hand and the commitment to make someone bleed. That is a guy I can worship. I cannot worship the hippie, diaper, halo Christ because I cannot worship a guy I can beat up. I fear some are becoming more cultural than Christian, and without a big Jesus who has authority and hates sin as revealed in the Bible, we will have less and less Christians, and more and more confused, spiritually self-righteous blogger critics of Christianity. Mark Driscoll, Relevant Magazine, 2007
The above quote is well known and oft repeated.  While I was  looking for the original source…when and where it actually came out of the “horse’s mouth”….. I came across a post on Justin Scott’s blog that had not only the source of the quote but also an interesting post about being a “chick-ified” Christian man.  Well worth a visit to read the post from last July. I added his blog to my Google Reader feed. 
Yes, indeed…penal substitution….eternal conscious torment…..two of the more heinous doctrines associated with Christianity held up as benchmarks of the faith.
Check out the whole Driscoll /Brierley interview HERE.  And check out Driscoll’s response to some of the backlash HERE.

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