Mark Driscoll and the Regulative Principle

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John Carpenter

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi,

I'm fairly well acquainted both with Mark Driscoll and some of the attacks on him, especially by that leveled by Phil Johnson. I've had the displeasure of briefly engaging personally with Phil Johnson about his accusations, suffering similar abuse as he pours out on Driscoll. I hope that such attacks have been discouraged here. I did take a look at one of the previous threads about Driscoll. I believe a couple of the comments here have made sweeping and unsubstantiated and uncharitable characterizations.

I was responding to the specific accusation made above that Driscoll is "dangerous." I believe that is groundless.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I was responding to the specific accusation made above that Driscoll is "dangerous." I believe that is groundless.

From the point of view of confessional, conservative reformed theology and practice, which is quite strong on this board, Mark Driscoll IS dangerous. It is not an accusation. It is a fact. His views on doctrine, worship, government, and discipline are contrary to historic reformed views. If you choose to take the same ground which he has assumed you are sure to meet with the same opposition on this board. Should you choose to become a combatant in these areas, since experience proves that participation and refereeing are not well managed by the same person, it would be best if you left the judgment calls to others.
 

John Carpenter

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi Matthew,

I'm conservative, Reformed and know the theology and practice of the Reformed movement pretty well and know something about Mark Driscoll. I've seen no evidence that Driscoll is "dangerous" and you haven't produced any. His views on doctrine are sound, as far as I know (I haven't read all of his "Doctrine" book but the parts I did read I thought were good.). His views on worship are fine. I assume you mean polity (church government) and I know of no problems with his polity or his use of discipline or how they are "contrary to historic reformed views". He may not be as mature on polity as is Mark Dever (or as mature as him generally) but I'm not aware of anything about him that would be considered diametrically opposed to Reformed, Biblical convictions. I'd be interested if you could substantiate any of that. I'm relatively confident that you cannot.
 

John Carpenter

Puritan Board Freshman
I've read that review (which was somewhat hysterical) and read Driscoll's "Real Marriage" book and attended his seminar by the same title. While I don't believe in all of his interpretations -- especially his infamously overly literal interpretation of a verse he says suggests oral sex -- I believe his teachings on marriage are Biblical and helpful. I'd recommend it to anyone.

I note that generally those who warn about Driscoll cites second-hand information, makes sweeping condemnation -- e.g. "dangerous" -- but aren't able to produce verifiable, primary sources showing any real problems.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I'm conservative, Reformed and know the theology and practice of the Reformed movement pretty well and know something about Mark Driscoll. I've seen not evidence that Driscoll is "dangerous" and you haven't produced any. His views on doctrine are sound, as far as I know (I haven't read all of his "Doctrine" book but the parts I did read I thought were good.). His views on worship are fine. I assume you mean polity (such government) and I know of no problems with his polity or his use of discipline or how they are "contrary to historic reformed views". I'd be interested if you could substantiate any of that. I'm relatively confident that you cannot.

I am only trying to help you, as a newcomer, to get a better idea of the nature of the board. I still think you would do better if you settled in and saw how the board worked. Your confidence, or lack thereof, in my abilities is of no concern to me.
 

davenporter

Puritan Board Freshman
His view on worship is fine if deafening rock concerts qualify as worship. Let's cater to 20s and 30s because who needs old people in church anyway? I live in Seattle so you may want to reconsider your suggestion that I have no firsthand experience with Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill. Many of my friends are attending/members there.

But Driscoll is (As far as I know) a brother in Christ and God did use his teaching to get me interested in the Bible, so I will defend him from overcriticism. Usually that's the problem on the PB, so I find it surprising that it is so hard to see that there is *anything* dangerous about him.

Plenty of evidence has been cited; you just reject it. I suppose it is time to bow out now and just hope that no one who is too uncritical hears your endorsement of Driscoll.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Moderators have closed several threads as they deal with a situation (moderators will reopen these on Monday) but I wanted to address the opening post of this thread as it sort of strayed into the tall grass. Announcements are a circumstance and not a part of worship, ignoring the additional fact that announcements far as my experience goes happen before the formal worship service has begun. For a brief overview of the regulative principle see my intro to substantial critiques of the views of Profs. Frame and Gore that appeared in the 2005 issue of The Confessional Presbyterian journal (see the journal issue itself for the lengthy critiques themselves; the journal is available at the link).

What is the Regulative Principle of Worship. An Introduction to “A Critical Survey of the Worship Views of John M. Frame and R. J. Gore,” By Frank J. Smith, Ph.D., D.D. and David C. Lachman, Ph.D.

So, I listened to his sermon on the Regulative principle found here :Regulative Principle | Mars Hill Church . Unfortunately this only served to confuse me. Driscoll claims to be reformed, but I thought part of being reformed was acceptance of the regulative principle. Also, what about things like announcements? I assume that they would fall under things that we can infer from Scripture, but what in the Bible would illustrate that?

Thanks
 

Matthew Willard Lankford

Puritan Board Freshman
I believe Mark Driscoll is unfit to be a pastor and that's why I don't commend his teaching to others. He violates the RPW and the Second Commandment and has been sinful in other ways. (note: if you search for some information on Driscoll, it likely that you will come across an image that purports to be Christ; however, I have linked to the general website, where the information can be easily found, where this is the case)

Driscoll purports of having visions from God, which include explicit visions of his congregants committing adultery (see the video on Phil Johnson's blog post Pornographic Divination: Pyromaniacs: Pornographic Divination)

Earlier the point was made: Driscoll demeans the character of Christ in his books and sermons with his language, dress, and behavior. E.g. Driscoll's irreverence and disobedience to Christ by using purported images of the Lord on his t-shirts (search Defending. Contending. | Defending truth and contending for the Faith while carrying the Light of the Gospel into a world shrouded in darkness., and see the website http://www.driscollcontroversy.com/ ... FYI, Driscoll's Twitter page once had a wallpaper crowded with such idols... And another violation of the Second Commandment is that Driscoll believes he can use "creative license" to portray Christ's death in a video. (See this news story from the Christian Post: Mars Hill Recaptures Bloody Murder of Christ for Good Friday). Also see various quotes from Drisoll's writings: Various Quotes from Mark Driscoll, http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/driscoll_michels.pdf

Driscoll believes it is permissible for a husband and wife to practice sodomy with each other (he doesn't call the practice sodomy) See: a critique of his book Real Marriage (which was discussed on the board earlier this year): http://www.dennyburk.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/8-Lambert.pdf, My Review of Mark Driscoll

Driscoll uses foul and harsh language (for documentation, see Phil Johnson's Sermon Sound Doctrine; Sound Words Sound Doctrine; Sound Words (Phil Johnson) - YouTube and John MacArthur's The Rape of Solomon's Song http://media.sermonaudio.com/mediapdf/417091244255.pdf), Local News | Pastor's apology defuses demonstration at church | Seattle Times Newspaper,
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/11/magazine/11punk-t.html?_r=0

Another point that was made: Driscoll builds up those who lead people astray with modalism, prosperity gospel, and seeker-sensitive nonsense (See these regarding ER 2: http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=4964 and No Compromise video: http://vimeo.com/47844054, and on his friendship with Rick Warren: http://apprising.org/2012/09/12/the-resurgence-reminds-us-of-the-piper-warren-embrace/, http://apprising.org/2012/08/25/new-calvinist-mark-driscoll-hangout-with-seeker-driven-rick-warren/)

Another point that was made: Driscoll has been very uncharitable in his lordship authoritarian rule over his flock (see: http://joyfulexiles.com/)

Driscoll's apparent Amyraldianism (note the link the website contains to a blog post on the Pyromaniacs blog has an image of Driscoll's book, which a purported face of Christ on it) Mark Driscoll – An Amyraldian? (Four Point Calvinism) « 5 Pt. Salt

This website reviews much of this information with some additional sources: The Reformed Sheep: Mark Driscoll False Teacher, False Prophet, Updated List

Where is the repentance?
 
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