18 August 2011

The Latest Driscoll Debacle

Have you been keeping up with the latest Mark Driscoll controversy? If not, below is my Cliff's Notes version with links. Hopefully this will catch you up and, more importantly, sound another much-needed warning as to the danger of following Mark Driscoll too closely.

  • First, Mark Driscoll posted this video of a talk he delivered earlier this year at his Resurgence conference wherein he makes the claim that cessationism is worldly. With this and other comments he makes in his speech, he is essentially declaring that men like John MacArthur are worldly deists. We can't be sure, but Driscoll may have posted this in response to John MacArthur's recent series about the Young, Restless and Reformed movement on the Grace to You blog (if you haven't been following this series, I highly suggest you take a few minutes to read through MacArthur's well-intentioned warnings). The timing certainly was interesting.
  • Since this conversation was continuing and heating up in the blogosphere, Johnson responded again with a very important, eye-opening post which demonstrates how dangerous and disconcerting Driscoll's preposterous claims that he receives lewd, inappropriate visions from God really are.
There are a number of issues to be taken with Driscoll's claims. First, he is claiming extra-biblical, personal revelation. Second, these visions that are supposedly given to him by the Holy Spirit, are of other people's sinful, disgusting, crude acts. I find it absolutely incredible that we are supposed to believe that the Holy Spirit, who is Himself our pure and undefiled God, would place such wicked sin before the eyes of any Christian. Thirdly, Driscoll encourages his audiences to cultivate this same gift of visions if they think they have it. Fourthly, Driscoll is calling this "gift" a "gift of discernment." Sorry, Mark, but this is anything but discernment! Biblical discernment is being able to distinguish truth from error and real truth from half-truth. Biblical discernment is knowing when to cry, "WOLF!" What this debate has demonstrated is the incredible need for Christians to be discerning of what their leaders are teaching, whoever that leader happens to be. If the Bereans examined and tested the teachings of Paul against Scripture, then surely we ought to do the same!


  1. Good post. I have been waffling on Driscoll for some time; but, barring full and honest repentance, I am officially done with him.

  2. I definitely agree that Biblical discernment is required in knowing when to cry "wolf!". And with Biblical discernment, I will absolutely disagree with your claim that Mark Driscoll is a wolf.

    This sort of difference in opinion amongst Driscoll & MacArthur is hardly grounds for either to be considered heretical. MacArthur believes that Driscoll is, among other things, irreverant & brash. And he definitely has reason to believe such. But to say that MacArthur's warnings about the reformed charismastic movement are well-intentioned without saying the same of Driscoll's warnings about reformed cessationist teaching is simply not fair.

    Both MacArthur & Driscoll are tremendous men of God. Neither of them are blameless, as they are both human and they are both teachers, and will be judged accordingly (James 3:1-2)

    Again, I aplaud your effort to expose false teaching. But on this cry of wolf, I simply disagree.


  3. Thanks for your comment, Rojan. I did go back and alter my final thought in the article away from a sweeping accusation, even though I am not entirely sure that it was premature. In the interest of presenting facts over opinion, I felt it necessary to make that change. A wolf in the pulpit, however, is not always going to preach outright heresy. If he is mixing dangerous doctrines in with the truth, then that makes him a wolf, at least in my opinion. Personally, Mark Driscoll is one of the last preachers I would direct a fellow believer to learn from, which is quite sad since I have heard him preach some good Gospel messages.



  5. We have been warned about Mark Driscoll before. Those who warned us took alot of angry heat from those who love Mark Driscoll. they were told they were too harsh, too grumpy, etc.

    Now this has happened. Some of us, who agreed with the earlier warnings are frankly not surprised that MD has sunk to this. We believed the warnings and knew from scripture that it wasn't going to get better, especially because ungodliness is like gangrene. Some Christians do not believe their bibles. The Bible clearly tells us over and over again that there WILL be false teachers. There will be wolves among the sheep. There will be, not there might be. The OT has warnings, Jesus warned us, Paul warned us, Peter warns us, Jude warns us. Still some Christians, ignorant of scripture or stubborn (or really unsaved?) refuse to believe it. They refuse to listen to the warnings. They shoot the messenger instead of thinking biblically and critically. We have a love of men/teachers in our midst. This mindset is really getting in the way of some becoming mature, discerning Christians. The darkness is growing, folks. We desperately need to believe the word of God and use it as a standard by which we judge Christian teachings and teachers. If you are reading this and have never studied your bible and found the warnings about false teachers, please, please do so. God help us.

  6. I'm wary about any and all of the popular mega-church pastors and teachers names in this vocation. All of them should be avoided. Listen instead to your own humble pastors and elders while testing what they are teaching by the teachings of the Scriptures. And please, please, don't bring any of their popular lines into your local churches and foist their names as authorities upon your congregation. Don't think for a moment that these charlatans are immune to the potential for the root of all evil to be a major and continuing consideration in the message and methods of their ministries. That applies to all Christian radio/TV in general. (1 Timothy 6:10)


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