The other day I promised to start giving an assessment of some of the things Mark Driscoll said last Monday.
The first two things to say about Mark Driscoll—and the only two things I'm going to say in this post—are that he really is on our team, and that he can pull a crowd. In fact, let's just say the first thing; the second is a self-evident truth.
In what sense on our team? Well, like most Sydney Anglicans, he is a four and a half point Calvinist. He believes in (1)Total Depravity, which means that sin has affected every part of our character and will. He believes in (2) Unconditional election, that God chooses us irrespective of any thing to do with our merit. He sort of believes in (3) Limited atonement, which means that he believes Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, but that not everybody is predestined for eternal life (For more on that last one, see lots of Reformed theological discussions the world over since about 1630). He believes in (4) Irresistible grace—if God chooses you for sonship, you’re chosen; and lastly he believes in the (5) Perseverance of the Saints, which means that if you’re chosen by God, then you stay chosen. A wonderfully comforting doctrine, that last one. I’m paraphrasing what Driscoll himself said in his interview last Monday at St Andrew’s Cathedral.
Not only that, but he falls on the conservative evangelical side of all sorts of important discussions. He believes in penal substitutionary atonement; he believes that men ought to lead women, families, and churches and teach them God’s word. In most of the major contemporary reformed evangelical debates he is not only with us but out in front of us, leading and teaching things we believe to be true and provoking us because on at least some of these things, we keep flinching and pulling back from Biblical standards.
And as for pulling a crowd, 10 000ish Anglicans and friends in the Entertainment Centre counts. Beat it or join it (and don’t compare it unfavourably to some local popular Pentecostal congregations because that is prosperity gospel, not Bible teaching).
The man’s an honest to goodness friend. We should thank God for him and pray that he will stand and not fall.
There's a bit more to say under the headings ‘Mark Driscoll the Criminal Profiler’, and ‘Mark Driscoll the Big Bad Barry Hall’. Not today though.