Mark Driscoll Has Some 'Splaining To Do

A story about megachurch multi-site projects at Christianity Today contains an arresting quotation from the Mars Hill corporation. Driscoll’s church is planning to plant a church in Portland, Oregon and the justification runs as follows:

The city of Portland is known for many things, but the gospel of Jesus is nowhere on the list.

Let’s see, when I think of Seattle, does the gospel come to mind? Not really. All I can think of are corporations — Starbucks, the McDonalds of coffee, Red Hook beer, now part of one of the consolidated breweries, and Microsoft, the company responsible for inserting bullet points whenever I hit the indent key while using MS Word. I used to think of the Supersonics but that was before the National Basketball Association caved to the greed of one of its franchise owners.

All in all, the gospel is not one of the associations I make with Seattle. Maybe Mark Driscoll should turn Seattle into the Jerusalem of the Pacific Rim before setting up shop in Portland (where even congregations with ties to Tim Keller exist).

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83 thoughts on “Mark Driscoll Has Some 'Splaining To Do

  1. I would have assumed that the plan to beam in services from Mars Hill Seattle via video would have been more worthy of comment.

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  2. Mark was proudly beaming and enthusing this past weekend about 1500 telecast services…via Twitter. Have been pondering the sectarian impulse on Mark’s side and why he thinks he’s so special. Here’s my persistent musing since the weekend, to wit: (1) “I, Mark Driscoll, have better music.” (E.g. loud bands for 45 minutes of mantras). (2) “I, Mark Driscoll, preach and connect better to the younger crowd than these demure, Confessional, thoughtful and deliberative types.” (3) “I, Mark Driscoll, am far better than what is on offer in the nation.” (4) “Given the above, I, Mark Driscoll, must telecast my benefits far and wide.”

    Anyone, help? I’ve not followed Mark closely other than a few video clips here and there.

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  3. Darryl:

    It might be helpful “to add” a share function to this important blogsite, e.g. Twitter, Facebook, etc. This would facilitate publication of your posts.

    I will copy the URL and post to both, Twitter and FB.

    Philip

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  4. Interesting, when I think of Driscoll and his church a lot of things come to mind, but the Gospel of Jesus sure ain’t one of them.

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  5. In the Day of Judgment you can all take your stand alongside the accuser of the brethren and present your list of complaints and accusations against Mr. Driscoll to Jesus.

    I prefer to uphold those who seek to spread the fame of Jesus before the throne of grace. I am sure Jesus Christ is able to use even those of us who are weak and imperfect. I am sure Mr. Driscoll falls far short of perfection, but I think his Master is still able to prune him and make him fruitful.

    Romans 14:4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

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  6. Boyd,

    In case your new here.
    We are not criticizing Mark Driscoll [the man], we are criticizing the methodologies in these Emerging, Missional, Acts29, Gospel Coalition, Seeker Driven folks [hope I used the hippest term here] use and the harm it does on the church at large.

    While it’s commendable that Driscoll wants to reach Portland with the Gospel, instead of the training men to for ministry and starting a mission church and letting these men preach the gospel, gather sheep and know & feed these sheep. These cult of personality mega church ranchers answer isn’t the Biblical Model, we see from the Apostle Paul. These Celebrity Preachers answer is always more ME. See the video of Driscoll, MacDonald and Mark Dever on the Gospel Coalition on Multi Site Churches.

    I’ve been critic of Driscoll and his methodologies for a long time. I believe that Mark is genuine in wanting to reach to people, but Mark let pragmatism, and teachings of Peter Drucker through his involvement with Leadership Network warp his methodologies and hermeneutics. Much like the Seeker Driven movement that proceeded him everything is based on results. It’s all fad driven and shallow.

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  7. Mr. Jahnke:

    1. The “piety exemption clause” as invoked does not rule out musings, meditation and analysis. Invoke it on someone else.

    2. The analysis and musings must continue, thank you.

    Philip

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  8. whats the deal? when is longing for Jesus’s name to be famous in a city bad? Driscoll is seeking to train up men for ministry and start mission churches, you just can’t say he isn’t. there is 400 A29 churches, in our city philadelphia there are 7 churches that didn’t exist 10 years ago. i know several guys who go to retrain (retrain.org) which is training.

    as an elder of a confessional church, i have met and interviewed for membership many folks who were saved by the preaching of Driscoll, Chandler and etc.. i really don’t understand the charge of it being faddish and shallow.

    the a29 movement is a lot of things, and like every movement its has its wierdness, and driscoll is a odd guy. so was luther, so was CT Studd, Calvin, Spurgeon whoever.. They are sinners, but instead of feeling good about pointing that out, shouldn’t our reaction be, to long to be more fruitful ourselves?

    you know if video sites are good or not is a different question, but if you don’t want your city to be known for the gospel, you need to really examine yourself.

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  9. Joe, then why not first make your own city known for the gospel before taking on another one? Do fathers start rearing children in other families when their own kids need help?

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  10. Darryl ~ did Paul make sure that the churches he planted were mature and without significant problems before he preached elsewhere and planted elsewhere? We know he didn’t from the Biblical record. Paul rejoiced that the Gospel was preached even when it was preached from impure and selfish motives. His desire was that the Word should spread. And he came alongside those who were spreading it, and prayed FOR them rather than critique their methods and find fault with their motives. You folks do not know Mr. Driscoll’s heart but here you sit in judgment on his motives, hurling accusations of pride and self-exaltation.

    @Joe Coker ~ “Have been pondering the sectarian impulse on Mark’s side and why he thinks he’s so special” Sounds like a criticism of the man to me. The other Joe’s remarks (at 8:23 pm) are insightful and answer your concerns, I think.

    @ The Viking ~ The “piety exemption clause” is the Word of God. Listen to it. Again and again until you hear it.

    Romans 14:4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

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  11. Joe,

    If Driscoll trained all these men, why need the to beam his imagine at all the multi-sites?

    Seriously, are you call reTrain proper training for ministry?

    From reTrain site

    Disciple: Bill Clem [August 8-12]
    Preaching & Teaching: Kent Hughes, David Helm, Justin Holcomb, Scott Thomas, Dave Bruskas [Sept 8-10]
    Biblical Theology 1: Old Testament: Richard Pratt [Oct 7-8]
    Biblical Theology 2: New Testament: Reggie Kidd [Nov 11-12]
    Biblical Theology 3: Languages: Logos Bible Software [Online]
    Community & Counseling: Brad House, Mike Wilkerson, Paul Tripp [Jan 9-13]
    Missional Leader 1: Wayne Grudem, Elliot Grudem [Feb 10-11]
    Missional Leader 2: Matt Chandler [Mar 23-24]
    Missional Leader 3: Darrin Patrick, Mark Driscoll [April 13-14]
    Culminating Project [June 5-7]
    Coaching [Through-out]

    Series of three days seminars, wow deep stuff
    The Biblical Languages course is a how use Logos.

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  12. Boyd,

    I’m sure some people may not like him as a person. I find him rather boisterous and offensive. I find the Jesus he champions to be more in line with a macho tough guy Jesus. He has his strengths, and you are right to point out that he is no more sinful than any of us. The point of this, as has been said a few times already, is primarily against his methodology (and if you want to continue to argue the contrary then you’ll never be persuaded). You cite Paul as an example as he went to plant churches in other locations before the former church was fully matured but it seems like you are overlooking an obvious difference between Paul and Driscoll (aside from the whole, you know, Apostle thing). Paul actually LEFT the church in the hands of faithful men to lead the church and went to help start or develop different churches. Thankfully in the age of the Apostles it was not possible to spread your own church across cities.

    This is the point. Yes, Seattle needs churches preaching the gospel. If Driscoll can be used to bring God’s sheep into the fold, then great (though I hope they mature past the “Jesus isn’t hip and effeminate like you, hes tough and macho like me” mentality sooner than later). Why are multi site churches necessary. You can have connected churches that fellowship together, or have fraternal relations, but why is it necessary for YOUR church to be bigger, to have more people, *to collect more tithes and offerings*, to have multiple sites, *to make your name great in the city*. Why can’t you have 5 solid, nameless pastors of 5 biblically grounded churches. Why do you need 5 buildings where you can watch a broadcast sermon from the same guy? Are people going to the church for God, or for Driscoll. When I was in Seattle a number of years ago, I went for Driscoll. I have realized since then that we are drenched in sinful celebrity mentality. THAT is the point. No need to point out I have personal issues with Driscoll as well as methodological. I know I do.

    Anyway, I don’t know you, and I’m sure you have the best intentions. I just do not think we’re going to be seeing eye to eye on the details (or many of the regular posters on this blog for that matter).

    John

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  13. Why does a city need to be known for the gospel? That seems more like a Constantinian premise than a Pauline one.

    So, Boyd, if you want to appeal to Paul and what we know from the biblical record, granted that he didn’t stay put. But in addition to John Knox’s point that he left established churches in the hands of capable elders, I don’t see any record of his motivation being to make cities known for the gospel. Isn’t that kind of motivation a road that leads to Rome, as in religious celebrity? Have you ever contemplated the fact that Vatican City has its own zip code? Yeow.

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  14. @joe cooker never, its not proper training for ministry if you mean it replaces an mdiv, nor is an mdiv proper training for ministry. i have met many folks straight out of that ‘training’ with little that helps them be with the dying, or pastor someone self-destructing their lives in sexual sin or how to plant churches. it is training however with a specific goal, and i have seen that the acts 29 group it has weakness, and i think you and others are touching on some of them (Driscoll sometimes seems he believes his own hype, he’s over boisterous), but the one i don’t get is to say that more than any other group (influenced no doubt by Driscoll) it does not plant churches or train men. that is just crazy. while perhaps some denominations will make sure each pastor has some of the same commentaries on their shelves down to the same preference of what tools they use to work with greek, i have also seen the commonality end there.

    i have seen an incredible amount of training within the a29 movement, and a huge desire to serve together, send people and resources and provide coaching. a29 is a movement, with a common mission that networks together to provide training, coaching, resources, funds, assessment ect… it doesn’t replace a denomination nor in it of itself able to ordain men for gospel ministry, and just about every church i know is apart of another denomination such as SBC or PCA.

    @Darryl this is pretty serious claim, do you think that mars hill members are immature, and unfed? for membership each person goes through their doctrine series. which i have to say is more in depth than any OPC, or other churches with the most ‘reformed credentials’ membership classes, they are closer to the vows made by elders. again, i have personally experienced meeting with people who are the fruit of this churches ministry in particular, and while i agree there is a lot to be said on what i wouldn’t do and don’t like, one thing that i think is unfair is to say driscoll, and mars hill doesn’t train men. and if you granted that many mars hill members have tools to not be nearsighted to blindness, to see the gospel, to look into it, to be instructed in the faith once delivered, than what would be the opposition of a church with 10,000 coming each week coming to hear the gospel in one city to create an opportunity for more people to hear in portland?

    as the political and cultural realities have always been a plane on which the holy spirit moves and works, as well as technological advances, how do we use the internet, video, and other technologies to make more disciples in more places? just as the protestants used the printing press to spread the word of God? did people, and are people abusing it now? are there problems, yes.. also opportunities.

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  15. @Zrim is it possible to assume he may not be talking about roman like seize for power, into the hands of men that use Jesus for their own agenda and be singing, praying and longing along with a massive artery in the body of scripture that echo prayers and psalms like this

    “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
    I will sing praises to you among the nations.
    For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the clouds.
    Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
    Let your glory be over all the earth!” Psalm 57:9-11

    “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven” Matthew 6:9-10

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  16. @john knox

    i’m just trying to move the conversation away from, how driscoll and his church, fails at their stated mission which is “to make disciples and plant churches”. there is a benefit in looking at method, and there is a benefit in having clarity on our own thoughts in how we approach the word of God. (i don’t like the way they do baptism on many levels, i don’t like the way they approach culture often or the extent to which they proscribe things as law which are not clear in the word for example)

    you have some points that probably are valid. i would want to throw into it though, that taking to its consistent extreme your point would give no space for great leaders. i’m glad whitefield started to published his journals in his 20’s and didn’t think that he should of just stayed in one town.

    i think there could of just been a lot better entry points into a conversation about driscoll and even if it was a critical one, there is a lot of better things to highlight and dialogue about than, ‘he said portland isn’t famous for the gospel, and he wants to start a site there!” and than assert that he and his church are not literate and established yet, and shouldn’t be expanding.

    your point of why it has to be driscoll’s church starts to get into a more helpful discussion. and if i hadn’t been personally aware of how he has also helped build and develop ways for many other men and churches to be established throughout the country and beyond i think the accusation would have more merit.

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  17. I’m new to this blog. I’m a member at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mpls, although my sensibilities are more Presbyterian where piety is concerned.

    I also wonder about this idea where a city needs to be known for it’s devotion to Jesus. The Kingdom is not of this world and it’s always been a remnant. This country has never been, and never will be, a “city on a hill” as John Witherspoon envisioned.

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  18. Gary, it seems you have a dog in this fight. What are your thoughts on multi-site seeing BBC does this? And what’s with Sat night services?

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  19. In defense of Seattle brewing it does have Pike Brewing Co., a true locally owned and operated gem. Their Extra Stout is particularly stellar and the Kilt Lifter is worth a try. Like the OPC…hard to find but worth seeking out.

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  20. joe, it isn’t at all clear to me how any of that biblical text translates into making an earthly city known for its eternal witness. But I think it involves what sort of hermeneutic one is using, and if one using some form or another of a temporal hermeneutic then probably it makes sense to take captive a city for the gospel; if the gospel is purely spiritual then I would think all such concern goes by the boards.

    But my point about Rome wasn’t to suggest a seize of power so much as a quest for religious celebrity. Both are functions of a theology of glory. You know, like how the Pope drapes himself out a Vatican window for adoring crowds in a city “known for the gospel.” Is Driscoll’s hologram be the evangelical version of that?

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  21. Boyd, the post’s point was simple. Mars Hill says Portland is not known for the gospel? Would Mars Hill say that Seattle is? Why do you think you know my motives? I am pointing out a gap between MH rhetoric and reality. I believe Paul did the same about Corinth.

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  22. @ Joe

    Why not actually fulfill that mission and plant churches. Why expand his church? You said that my point taken to an extreme would stifle “great leaders”? The only leader I’m worried about stifling is the one leader who would be most glorified by the anonymity of his “giants” on this earth, namely Jesus Christ.

    Look, I’m not saying that if you have a name, you’re all of the sudden proud. And I don’t even think that being a celebrity pastor is something you can help if your name has grown in it’s familiarity with the broader church. It becomes a much greater burden though to point to Christ and try and move yourself out of the light.

    I also don’t have a problem with a person not being stationary, I have a problem with a person trying to have their cake and eat it too. If you’re committed to minister in a city (which honestly seems so weird, shouldn’t a pastors focus be on his flock and not the city their building is in?), then by all means help other people spread the gospel, but don’t try and conquer larger and larger portions of the globe. Theological Imperialism is no good.

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  23. Mr. Jahnke:

    1. You say: “@ The Viking ~ The`“piety exemption clause’ is the Word of God. Listen to it. Again and again until you hear it.”

    2. Again, invoking the clause to exempt one from inquiry, analysis, and proper review may work in your quarters, but not mine. Invoking that clause to sit on a higher perch of issuing an obiter dictum does not work. As to Bible reading, Mum taught me to read the Bible at age 5 including “the big words” which she explained. Been reading it dozens of times since…literally dozens of times since…and not just in English either. So, invoke the clause as you wish, it shall have no force in my realm.

    3. The legitimate and fair and balanced musings must continue.

    4. One further question is suggested. Why hasn’t Mr. Driscoll, or A29 for that matter, affiliated or associated with a Biblically mature, sound, Confessional, and catechetizing Church? A fair inference is that they think such Churches are unacceptable or defective somehow. What’s the “essence” of this sectarian approach? My instinct is the charismaticism, individualism, and ecclesiology, to wit, no controls by a Presbytery? Another question as well. Is not the Rev. Mr. Tim Keller providing multi-site services? For the sake of the discussion, am not advocating against or for multi-site telecasting per se. For example, this scribe enjoys weekly the webcasting services from St. John’s College, Cambridge. But it is not the Church either where the ministry of the Word and Sacrament, love of the brethren, and mutual aid can be offered either. The musings continue.

    5. Glad to see the give and take here. It can be done thoughtfully and without defensiveness.

    Philip

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  24. @Joe Coker. My question will follow your quote. You said above and I quote:

    “Seriously, are you call reTrain proper training for ministry?

    From reTrain site

    Disciple: Bill Clem [August 8-12]
    Preaching & Teaching: Kent Hughes, David Helm, Justin Holcomb, Scott Thomas, Dave Bruskas [Sept 8-10]
    Biblical Theology 1: Old Testament: Richard Pratt [Oct 7-8]
    Biblical Theology 2: New Testament: Reggie Kidd [Nov 11-12]
    Biblical Theology 3: Languages: Logos Bible Software [Online]
    Community & Counseling: Brad House, Mike Wilkerson, Paul Tripp [Jan 9-13]
    Missional Leader 1: Wayne Grudem, Elliot Grudem [Feb 10-11]
    Missional Leader 2: Matt Chandler [Mar 23-24]
    Missional Leader 3: Darrin Patrick, Mark Driscoll [April 13-14]
    Culminating Project [June 5-7]
    Coaching [Through-out]

    Series of three days seminars, wow deep stuff
    The Biblical Languages course is a how use Logos”

    @Joe Coker, is this a training schedule by the MH group? I just am not familiar with their “methods” or “substance” of instruction.

    A tangential, but important, question arises here from my background. Where’s the catechetization of covenant youth? Or, for me, as a Calvinistic Anglican, good old fashioned liturgy with its several wise ends, to wit:

    •to secure regular acknowledgement from the church that sinner are saved only in Christ;

    •to express the congregation’s adherence to the catholic faith in the use of the historic creeds;

    •to express the need of the congregation to hear the Bible in both Testaments read systematically, giving a special place to the Psalms as articulating biblical piety;

    •to provide for prayer which is carefully crafted theologically and which reflects international, national as well as local needs.

    Liturgy is not used for art’s sake (that is, aesthetically), but for truth’s sake (that is, theologically), in order to retain the Bible, the catholic creeds and the reformed confessions at the centre of the church’s faith and witness.

    And it uses liturgy for the sake of the laity, to protect the congregation from the whims of the minister and to provide for the voice of the congregation to be heard articulating the faith, and not just the voice of the preacher.

    One more tangential question, is the Driscoll-type worship service 45-minutes of CCM? Followed by a sermon by Mark?

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  25. @Darryl:

    You said above and I quote:

    “Joe, judging by Driscoll’s antics I wonder if he is mature and well fed.”

    Can you amplify or suggest resources here?

    Or, for others, can you amplify?

    Again, for judicious, deliberative, even compassionate, and cautious review.

    Philip

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  26. A few asides.

    1. Attempting to review the “online Saddlebag” Bible studies with Twitterized responses.

    2. Also, participated in a Webcast of Jamal Bryant’s “Empowerment Tabernacle,” Baltimore, MD. Did so yesterday. While the webcast is on-going, a Twitter sidebar records live interactions. Some bizarre stuff there, but a bit humourous to see the significant ignorance…repeat, significant ignorance…being shared.

    3. Imagine a federal court held by webcast, that is, with the Judge ruling online, with defense and prosecution putting the arguments online, with Tweets from the witnesses the Judge, jury and attorneys. I have a friend in town. USMC COL, JAGC (ret.). He sat on the bench for 5 years. Tried numerous homocide cases. Experienced and about 75 years old. We talked about “online courses,” including the concept of “online adjudication.” Will raise this concept with the Judge at lunch next week. His preliminary response last week at lunch, “I want to look into the eyes of everyone in the courtroom.” The idea of an online trial beggars imagination.

    4. On the deathbed, I shall want the godly Rector to read the Prayer Book prayers, Bible readings, and, perhaps, sing a hymn or Psalm.

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  27. “One more tangential question, is the Driscoll-type worship service 45-minutes of CCM? Followed by a sermon by Mark?”

    I don’t know if it’s true now – but for some time the bulk of the worship was after the sermon, comprised mainly of hymns – sometimes with modern tunes – and was accompanied by CCM style bands – with an alternative rock vibe.

    It used to be possible to download some of the Mars Hill music from their website.

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  28. Viking, The: I’ve only seem some videos of Driscoll. I don’t know how anyone would describe his manner as grown up, and I’m not sure I’d go to him with a theological or pastoral question. Hence my remark.

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  29. @Zrim and others, i’m arguing not for a Israel type representation through the church being a potential in various cities. I am suggesting that is being read into Driscoll. That by saying portland is not know for the gospel, he means that there is little gospel witness, and that there are many folks who will possibly go through all of life without any real means to run into the gospel. unlike say the bible belt. this doesn’t speak to the authenticity of the christianity in certain areas in the south, however access to the word of God, and access to a basic understanding of the gospel is available in some places more than others.

    could we get some specific objects to the things Driscoll has done, so far he’s said portland is not know for the gospel and so he wants to provide an opportunity for folks to hear it. everyone has their tradition they find precious, but isn’t this a problem? the atomization of the evangelical church into ‘catholic, reformed, missional ect.. camps. While trying to tie into something larger they actually create something far smaller.

    i don’t want to obliterate doctrinal differences or take away your prayer book, or your confession or your desire to have church be done a particular way. I want to just say, can we deal with it on the level of evangelical conviction. do people in portland, and everywhere have a going to hell problem? if they do, i have yet to see anything posted in this thread that effectively arguing that Driscoll or Mars Hill is not pointing people to the power of God for salvation, the gospel. Nor do I see what for any other reason they have something to be ashamed of by saying that portland needs the gospel and that they are establishing a site their. It is also true that Driscoll has been incredibly influential in the planting of many churches and the shaping of many men. It seems incredible to deny this. Now what that influence is, and particularities and the fruit of it could be discussed and i would even be apart of agreeing that there is some bad and weird fruit coming out, i just don’t see the point being made here at all.

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  30. @Joe[not me] that’s what internships are for, a chance for Men to get hands experience before they gather a flock of their own. No series of three day seminars can properly prepare a man for ministry. Seminary = Education & internships = ministry experience

    Being a former Lay Minister at what once was the flagship church of SBC, 5-10 years ago, I would have been other side of this issue. But, now in my OPC church, he seeing and hearing the Biblical knowledge that my Pastor & Elders have. If I had do over now, I think I would trade my 12 years of ministry experience for a Theological Education from WS-Cal.

    Yes, I actually know my Pastor & Elders, which is something the majority of Mega-Church and satellite worshipers can’t say. Which is my biggest problem with the Mega-Church & Multi-site models.

    @Donald – sorta of, reTrain , is sub Ministry of Acts29, it is their means of training & indoctrinating men for this Missional movement of theirs. reTrain is their means of training men to plant churches.

    Joe [not me] was using these three day seminars as an answer to me saying “instead of the training men to for ministry and starting a mission church and letting these men preach the gospel, gather sheep and know & feed these sheep” about the Mars Hill – Portland site. Joe[not me] fired back that Acts29 has reTrain to equip men. Sorry, I wasn’t clearer. I promise I will not longer use my iPhone to write comments here

    In my opinion, reTrain looks like a hipper and revamped version of Saddleback/Willow Creek/Leadership Network’s Church Transitions seminars with a different focus. CT taught Pastors and would be Pastors how to transform their churches to the Seeker/Purpose Driven model. reTrain takes that same kind of pragmatism uses it plant churches.

    Yes, Driscoll’s service [at least main campus] would be CCM/Praise Music followed by a message… Not sure of the Praise Music to Message minute break down. But, it possible and likely some of Driscoll’s multi-sites may use other types of worship styles as well, like Warren & Saddleback does. Most critiques of the worship services at Mars Hill, I’ve read, have been people visiting the main campus, where Driscoll is in person and not of one of Multi-sites.

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  31. So, joe, what you seem to be saying is that the people of Portland need the gospel. That’s fine, but don’t you think that is a different motivation from Portland needs to be known for the gospel?

    Still, one of the questions that remain for me is why Portland, OR and not Pentwater, MI (where one could make the same case that there is little “gospel presence”)? It’s not to take anything away from Portland. Rather, it’s to suggest that it could be Portland because Portland is already on the map with big name coffee, beer and processors whereas Pentwater simply has a main street. Could it be that the reach for Portland has at least as much to do with lining oneself up with earthly stardom as it does with bringing the gospel to an under-represented piece of earth? I’d be less skeptical if I actually knew of one of these celebrity pastors going somewhere nobody has ever really heard of and lends zero possibility of beefing up his image.

    You admit that there are problems with Driscoll-o-sity, but I can’t help but wonder if you’re missing one aspect which is hidden in plain sight: celebrity religion.

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  32. 1. Thanks for the answers on CCM-music, somewhat as expected. I just had a terrible experience in a local hothouse…106 minutes of anguish, noise, and other documentable, undisciplined and “unregulated” deficiencies. However, this is not an imputation of that experience to Mark’s outfit, but it is an observation that raises questions worth raising.

    2.Darryl, will review video clips of Mark for any probitive value.

    3. There’s also a larger question pending: Montanism.

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  33. 1. Driscoll at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pK65Jfny70Y

    2. Subject: Trinity.

    3. I can see that this scribe has many youtubes to sort through–deliberatively.

    4. As one not ensconsed in Revivalist religion, these “styles” are odd.

    5. As one who has sat through the annual sermons on “Trinity Sunday” and seen the Pastors make a good effort at it (especially this year), I didn’t see the Confessional anchor. No reference to the Nicene, Constantinopolitan or Chalcedonian Creeds. Or the Reformation ones. No attempt to point to the Shorter or Larger Catechism. Or the Athanasian Creed. This is what I mean by “unanchored” and somewhat “rootless.” Did his service or do any of his services recite the Apostles or Nicene Creed? Ever? While Mark complains of Christians running off into modalism (??) for lack of training, one wonders what his training has been. This is a legitimate question.

    6. The desire is to be fair, balanced, and compassionate. But the “I’m pious exception clause” does not mean we leave the brains at the door either.

    7. Mark’s young, enthusiastic, and, certainly, appears to be well-meaning. More work to be done. Again, very odd to me. Again, why hasn’t he affiliated with other mature confessional churches? What’s the impulse here? That is still pending along with other legitimate questions.

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  34. let me clarify.. the retrain is not the whole story of the training fostered in the a29 movement. my point is that there is a culture of high expectations of the men assessed, their theological convictions and their gifting. the training is not exclusively through retrain though, on the other hand it is not a sunday school retreat, its credits transfer to covenant, reformed, western and phoenix seminary. i was speaking of a culture of resourcing, working together, coaching of younger church planters by older ones, and high expectations.

    we had 33 shootings in philly last weekend, i pray that we would be known for the gospel not shootings. i believe i can say that without be accused of adopted an over -realized escatology, because it is my longing that God’s riegn would be known.. and my prayer that his kingdom come, still believing it is yet to come in its complete fullness in a day to come.

    i want the gospel to be getting out in pentwater mi, and small towns all over. its actually a huge missional issue that is overlooked, not just by acts 29. how to reach towns, that are shrinking. i met a guy from a coal mining town in pa with no gospel preaching church. he was led to the Lord by a neighbor who moved away, and had no way of finding a place to be discipled for years until he went to penn state university. this a huge problem because lots of young guys are being swept up into the idea of going to the city, (however this was not a problem not that long ago, when many evangelicals would never step foot in ” bablyon and ninevah. and there along with the middle class was an exodus from the cities, and now as the middle class heads back into the city so is the church, this is of course a really simplistic analysis.) that church planting models are finically based on achieving sustainability within a few years. ie denominations aren’t dreaming how one is going to plant a church in a shrinking mobile home community of the highway, or small towns in the middle of nowhere. this is a part where perhaps the use of technology as the methodist innovated circuit riders in the past needs to be used. many towns just can’t pay a guy. certainly not a guy with tens of thousands of dollars in debt from seminary.

    however, it is also a reality that driscoll may know that who he is reaching and those in portland may be geographically far, but culturally similar. i have no problem with this. different apostles worked with different peoples as well.

    Like

  35. let me clarify.. the retrain is not the whole story of the training fostered in the a29 movement. my point is that there is a culture of high expectations of the men assessed, their theological convictions and their gifting. the training is not exclusively through retrain though, on the other hand it is not a sunday school retreat, its credits transfer to covenant, reformed, western and phoenix seminary. i was speaking of a culture of resourcing, working together, coaching of younger church planters by older ones, and high expectations.

    we had 33 shootings in philly last weekend, i pray that we would be known for the gospel not shootings. i believe i can say that without be accused of adopted an over -realized escatology, because it is my longing that God’s riegn would be known.. and my prayer that his kingdom come, still believing it is yet to come in its complete fullness in a day to come.

    i want the gospel to be getting out in pentwater mi, and small towns all over. its actually a huge missional issue that is overlooked, not just by acts 29. how to reach towns, that are shrinking. i met a guy from a coal mining town in pa with no gospel preaching church. he was led to the Lord by a neighbor who moved away, and had no way of finding a place to be discipled for years until he went to penn state university. this a huge problem because lots of young guys are being swept up into the idea of going to the city, (however this was not a problem not that long ago, when many evangelicals would never step foot in ” bablyon and ninevah. and there along with the middle class was an exodus from the cities, and now as the middle class heads back into the city so is the church, this is of course a really simplistic analysis.) that church planting models are finically based on achieving sustainability within a few years. ie denominations aren’t dreaming how one is going to plant a church in a shrinking mobile home community of the highway, or small towns in the middle of nowhere. this is a part where perhaps the use of technology as the methodist innovated circuit riders in the past needs to be used. many towns just can’t pay a guy. certainly not a guy with tens of thousands of dollars in debt from seminary.

    however, it is also a reality that driscoll may know that who he is reaching and those in portland may be geographically far, but culturally similar. i have no problem with this. different apostles worked with different peoples as well. i think sometimes our models of government come more from a 400 year reaction to the oppressive hierarchy of families that claimed absolute sovereignty, rather than straight from biblical principle and its functional authority, that we than try to apply in the best way we can in our context.

    Like

  36. Some Resurgence-type rap. Darryl, you’ll enjoy this.

    Some other resources, going from Driscoll to other related sources:

    http://www.credomag.com/2/post/2011/06/reformed-rap-shai-linne.html

    After watching several Driscoll videos, there’s a socio-economic dimension to this as well.

    As a retired officer, Mark reminds me of a Gunnery Sergeant or Staff Sergeant, not a senior officer. There are differences. Some things Mark said were commendable, but a big much, a bit incautious, and not rooted in a wider bibliography. Populist. Folksy. I could see his appeal to some folks without roots.

    The work goes on. Gonna do a little rap now along with Evening Prayer, 1662 BCP. Holy moly, hot jacamole!

    Like

  37. Joe, here’s an objection. Has Driscoll actually consulted with any of the churches that already exist in Portland? Would he even dare persuade his fans to go to one of those congregations? Or is it more likely that he can have a “church” in Portland but not have to move there, thus following the corporate model of Starbucks? At least with Keller, what happens in NY stays in NY (minus all the emulation that goes on elsewhere).

    Like

  38. while you’re at it, do you have any idea why the likes of Piper and Carson would hitch up their wagons with Driscoll?

    As someone who cut his Calvinist teeth with Piper and Driscoll, I would like to venture a guess: Since Piper and Carson are not Reformed, there are revivalist/new measure tendencies that still course through their veins. They see Driscoll and his love for sinners to be saved. They see his (c)alvinism (4.5). They see the rapid growth of his church (God must be at work blessing). And they swallow it hook line and sinker. Viola.

    Like

  39. 1. DJ, I think you’re onto something with your response.

    2. Two assumptions appear to be in view. (a) Numbers mean success. No doubt, Mark was twittering and enthusing about 1500 telecasted sites over the past weekend. SBCers do the same thing according to one high-level SBC friend of the past, to wit: “We like to count notches on our belts by way of salvation experiences and baptisms.” The same with Pat Robertson. I wrote Pat back in 1983ish, asking him why I never heard of St. Paul’s central theme of justification by faith alone on his 700 Club. Eegads, he sent a nasty note back, saying, (in essence but close), “Look, you’ll always be fishing in your small pond. 700 Club gets into 18 million homes every day.” That’s quite close to the letter. It was bumptious boasting and the question then, like now, was never answered. (b) A certain level of “excitement or enthusiasm” is the necessary pre-requisite for validity. I heard Mr. Piper a while back. He was asked about why a certain professor was not invited to one of his conferences. Mr. Piper stated that the professor was spot-on in his research, but “was dry.” What, pray tell, did that mean? Whatever the level of enthusiasm, an ability to move an audience and an ability to enthuse and excite others appeared as the pre-requisite. This may explain CCM and Mark’s rougher edges. There also may be a business element to this–popularity, book sales, numbers. Don’t laugh, I heard one very, very well known Reformed organization, from a backstage fellow in the organization, that this operates as well. My roots go back to that group in the early 70s when the PCA was not even in existence yet, let alone some “Neo-Calvinism” group, but I digress.

    3. As to Darryl’s specific point, Piper and Carson hitching their wagons to Driscoll…that’s still an open question.

    4. Darryl did raise one specific earlier, to wit: (in essence) “Did Mr. Driscoll consult with local churches in the areas of his new telecasting?” If not, why not? If he did, what were the grounds of his moving forward? This goes to my earlier point about the nature of sectarianism.

    5. I continue to review the available video-clips on Mark. He says some good things. He can be “harsher” than any on this forum, assuredly. He really took on Joel Osteen, for example, quite commendably. Some might be bothered by the “machissimo” effect. As an old Marine, perhaps for a battle field, but not for divine worship. In another clip, he went after–in a folksy and visual way with a video clip of on-campus interviews–the relativistic thinking on religion on campuses. The reviews will continue.

    6. Notably, the absence of Confessions, Creeds, and liturgy, but perhaps that occurs in the worship section…I have my doubts. These, in my estimation, should be alluded to frequently, that is, as an instrument of training and public confession. But, would that be “too dry” for Mr. Piper? Too covenantal? Too sacramental? Too confining? Too deadening? Also, the lack of Biblical reading, e.g. a chapter from the OT, NT, and the singing of Psalms?

    7. Another thought, also. Does Mr. Piper envision himself as the Grand Shepherd, a functional Archbishop if you will, of the broader evangelical movement? With influence, does he seem himself as the Director of this new breed of Neo-Calvinists? He seemed to be making that effort in a recent interview with Mr. Rick Warren.

    8. Glad for some attempt to understand this emerging phenomenon, again, thoughtfully and with prudent principles of measured Christian Churchmanship.

    Like

  40. @Darryl

    the answer is i don’t know if they contacted other churches in Portland before setting up a site, do you? unless you know, its hard to bring up this as an issue.

    also, keller is of course helping church plants outside of NYC
    http://redeemercitytocity.com/inside-the-movement/networks.jsp

    not only that notice the first article, about not having a “one size fits all’ approach to reaching a particular city, i think it goes into some of the issues being brought up in this thread.

    and yes.. when people discover the ruins of philly 3000 years from now, and unearth our baseball stadium, it will say i guess something about our identity here 🙂

    Like

  41. Joe, it wasn’t hard at all to bring this up as an issue. Whenever any church plants a congregation somewhere, they should see what else is going on. The PCA has lots of plants in Portland. The PCA church planters are hip. Why doesn’t Driscoll recognize their efforts, or give them counsel on how to do a better job? In church we call this ecumenicity. Starbucks and McD’s call it market research.

    As I said about Keller, there is plenty of emulation in the Redeemer City to City network — I’m still waiting for city to town, or city to country (i.e. rural). But Keller will not — the last I heard — allow his ministry to extend beyond his physical presence. That means he won’t do videos.

    Like

  42. To the interlocutors and thinkers here:

    Just in off Tweeter-ville, to wit:

    (From Mark Driscoll) Meeting with a local pastor today. The unity among churches around Seattle is real.
    6 minutes agovia HootSuiteFavoriteRetweetReply
    replies ?

    bradfordparker@PastorMark just recently moved to West Seattle to plant a new church, would love to meet for coffee sometime.
    4 minutes ago

    MatMaynardMat Maynard@PastorMark Boomin’!
    4 minutes ago
    —————–
    I should like to meet this man, Mark.

    Like

  43. @DJ, thanks for the youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkaeAkJO0w8
    Just finished listening to it.

    Like I said, sounds like a Gunnery Sergeant chewing his troops. It has commendable points.

    But, pray tell, would he not be much, much better to outline, develop and present the points as “confessed” under the fifth commandment per the Westminster Larger Catechism? I once wrote a “command philosophy paper” for a COL who asked his officers to do such. The WLC was the backdrop that was the governing thesis.

    @Darryl, an interesting, excellent, and important question, to wit: PCA plants?

    This post has raised good questions worth kneading. Thanks for hosting this, Darryl. Thanks to all for the thinking. It’s what we do as redeemed and justified sinners…think.

    Like

  44. Catch this one, where Mark Driscoll feels it his duty “to cut down” Christians. When Mark pulls the sword, he ought not be surprised when others, under their 6th commandment duties, defend themselves.

    Interesting.

    Like

  45. 1. Notice, at the outse of this videot, the issue of “excitement,” a required presumption or assumption observed earlier. I raised this in connection with Mr. Piper…wherein a professor, due to being “dry,” was excluded from Mr. Piper’s conference.

    2. Again,as to Mark, where is the Confession here?

    3. What is Mark talking about? “Jesus has been hi-jacked…religious people…love rules..” What? Holy, self-righteous, judgmental he tells us. The beloved WLC? Or even Luther’s little catechism? The role of law? “Jesus is opposed to religion.” “It results in pride.” A whole raft of definitional issues are raised as Mark pressing forwardly.

    4. This specific youtube comes from Syndey, Australia, home to a 5-point Calvinist Archbishop of Australian, Phillip Jensen, a thoughtful and doctored Bishop. Where’s the interaction with these godly, Bible-preaching Australian Anglicans? I suspect there are godly Presbyterians in Australia as well. Or, Moore Theological College? This question goes to the one raised earlier…sectarianism. Why is Mark so special?

    5. I’d like to meet Mark. I notice in the research a photo of Mark with Jim Packer, Regent. JIP wears a collar. Mark is in short, golf shirt and tennis shoes, true to form–which is an aside.

    Like

  46. Actually, that first video brings to mind one of my bugbears. From listening to him, you would assume that only the men in his congregation suffer from the noetic effects of sin – the Song of Songs series was particularly stark.

    [and most sydney anglicans are 4-pointers].

    Like

  47. Chris:

    1. The research continues. He does “rant.” Had to turn him off earlier this afternoon.

    2. A helpful review in a Nightline interview, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oyHtsU5z9U

    “Sex and Jesus” appears to be thematic for Mark?

    3. Yes, disagreeably aware of the Sydney Anglicans on this point. Regrettable, given that King James 1 supported Dordrectian conclusions, including Canterbury at the time. That must be recovered. A mistake.

    4. In 2009, a half-dozen satellite sites in Seattle. Coffee shops, wifi-connectivity, and theatre contexts for telecasts. Hmm, last weekend, Mark twittered with enthusiasm about 1500 telecast sites.

    5. A larger discussion which Darryl is better equipped to address, to wit, the 20th century. I tell the four children this. 110 years ago, in Canada, there was no radio, TV, internet, FB, telecasts, cars, or telephones. Farm folks. Anglican Churchmanship was all there was. The Industrial Revolution and the 20th century. Now, we get telecasted worship services. A lot of changes in 110 years. This much: the Bible, BCP and WCF are still safe and regulative documents.

    Like

  48. Joe Corker:

    1. As a result of Darryl’s post, making tours into the wider connections that are arising in this American Baptist world–Mark Dever, Ed Stultz (an eyebrow raiser), Piper, Mohler, Warren, Hybels, Driscoll, the Gospel Coalition, Lane Chaplin, Frank Turf, and others. Quite a world. Working the Driscoll/Stetzer story.

    2. As to Mark, he has moments of harshess–as you noted–that makes this place look like it’s full of cocoa puffs (and it’s not). Yes, he took Osteen to the woodhouse. No one ought complain that there has been harsh criticism here.

    3. Stetzer’s another interesting SBC creature. It’s the “numbers” game for him. That seems to be a similarity amongst all of them, although Dever argues that theology should shape the ministry and language. If culture is affected, OK, but that’s a byproduct he argues. Interesting interviews between Stetzer and Dever. Stetzer, like Warren, is all over the theological map. Warren and Driscoll have given attaboys to Stetzer, but that’s another story.

    4. Also, finding out that the PCA is CCM-oriented in places. Just watched the 39th General Conventions of the PCA. The music was just aweful. “All Hail the Power” to four singers, guitar, drums and some fella on a keyboard. It was painful. It took some self-discipline to sit through it. I thought, perhaps if CCM-driven, why isn’t Mark attempting to work with that in WA?

    Like

  49. Darryl:

    1. While the thread has gone quiet, the research continues. Following the C.J. Mahaney flap that leads to Ligon Duncan, T4G, Al Mohler, John Piper, Mark Driscol and others.

    2. Never close this website and blog down, unlike the Rev. Dr. R. Scott Clark, who, most egregiously, dumped his commendable website Heidelblog that was of great help to us in the hinterlands. I chastised him then, but that’s over. Just stay up and operational.

    3. As to hitching wagons, there is a sociological dimension here—a celeb culture, hero worship, money, books, conferences, speaking engagements, notoriety, etc.

    4. I’ve told my jurisdiction, as that austere Bishop of Liverpool would have approved, John Charles Ryle. Read the Bible regularly and systematically. Pray with the old Prayer Book (which for JCR was the 1662 BCP). Be catechetized and stick to the old paths, e.g. the Reformed Confessions. If one is faithful here, one will “sense” the divagations of the “enthusiasts.” The moderns haven’t added a whit to these salutary documents.

    5. Simple folk, like myself, were schooled on them and we get it. We ain’t givin’ it up either.

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  50. Viking, The, I hope to keep the blog up as long as the better half’s mood tolerates it. Thankfully, she almost never reads it.

    Of course, you are correct about celebrity culture. The problem is that when your name goes outside personal associations — which happens even if your write a poor-selling book — you become known in a way different from the way that family and friends and neighbors know you. And that is, it seems to me, what is so pernicious about celebrity culture for people who are called to minister God’s word. Celebrity can only botch such ministry.

    Like

  51. Mr Viking – regarding Mahaney/Mohler: seems like money talks… documented proof in SBTS journals that CJ has personally donated over $100,000 to Southern Seminary. If CJ is so repentant, as he did before his home church Sunday night, why won’t he call his friends and tell them to knock it off, that he has sinned and has to face his come-upins?

    I am glad that Dr. Hart made me wrestle with my T4g, TGC loving ways earlier this year. It has lead to a confessional Presbyterian church just in time for me to miss the huge infighting over CJ that I am hearing about in my former SGM church.

    Like

  52. Oh, and Dr. Hart, I understand if you decide to delete these comments. Still, thanks for challenging T4G and TGC

    Like

  53. DJ (any relation to CJ?): thanks for the link. Although the connection between CJ’s authoritarian tendencies and the politics of the Calvinist wing of the SBC is a bit of a stretch, it’s an interesting and disturbing article. I had forgotten that Mahaney was part of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. Yikes!

    Like

  54. Yikes indeed. And the fiasco continues. Dave Harvey just wrote that the new SGM Board has this to say:

    4. That C.J. Mahaney is a qualified minister of the gospel and this board approves his pastoral and teaching ministry in Sovereign Grace and the wider body of Christ.

    5. That Sovereign Grace Ministries will engage a process of evaluation regarding C.J. Mahaney’s fitness for ministry.

    Is that doublespeak, or what?? As Brad recently told me regarding this, ecclesiology matters.

    Like

  55. DJ,

    I believe C.J. Mahaney & SGM gave a large sum of money to the SBC in 2009 or 2010. I believe this was during the time when Mohler, Akin and Company were promoting their Great Commission Resurgence. Many at that year’s Convention were worried about Acts29 and SGM in roads into the SBC. Unfortunately, they were a small, but vocal minority. Al criticized these men in his “The President’s Forum on the Future of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2009” message a few months later.

    I hadn’t heard about the SBTS endowment too

    Like

  56. Got here from MereOrthodoxy. As a 70-something, I glory in 20-somethings who think and write as they do. Especially appreciate DGHart’s comment about celebrity a danger even to not-quite-so famous folks. This thread is fascinating. However, by the end I was barely able to keep up with the SGM, SBTS, TG4, TGC, etc. This from a pastor who has spent a lifetime in the C&MA. Still pastoring (PTL) as an assistant. I live in the environs of Carl McIntire’s once-upon-a-time home base. As a young pastor in 1964, he was somewhat of a thorn in my side. LOL (See how hip I am?)

    Like

  57. DG wrote: “The PCA has lots of plants in Portland. The PCA church planters are hip. Why doesn’t Driscoll recognize their efforts, or give them counsel on how to do a better job?”

    If by “lots” you mean one, then yes, the PCA has “lots” of plants in Portland. Sorry our existence is such a burden to you. Your OPC comrades here in PDX don’t seem to have a problem with us – unless they say different things to different people. But that would be be there problem…

    I’m hip? Thanks – I guess (It’s like my grandmother saying I’m handsome – expected, but not credible.) But truth be told I’m 41 and sometimes my hip aches. I don’t know if that counts. I don’t blog about localism or name check Wendell Berry, so maybe I’m just ordinary.

    Like

  58. Pat, why so defensive. I was speaking a word on behalf of the PCA churches in Portland. Plus, you may not be hip but the black-and-white photos at your church website are.

    The point was that the OPC would not be on Driscoll’s radar, but the PCA would be thanks to the 60-year old hipness of Pastor Keller, whom Driscoll knows personally.

    Like

  59. Not defensive, just doing a little clean up.

    Nothing says “hip” like B&W pics of little kids on an easter egg hunt…you have gone starchy…er.

    The PCA wouldn’t be on Mars Hill’s radar, anymore than the half-dozen or so Acts 29 type churches in Portland were on it, including one with over 2K folks in it. I don’t have a problem with MH coming to Portland, as much as the posturing they brought with them that “now someone is finally doing something for Jesus in Portland.” Of course, Reformed churches can carry on in the same way about being Reformed, or more Reformed, too.

    Like

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