…in case you were wondering.

Battle Of The Blank Stare
December 29, 2006, 1:03 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Relevant Magazine asked seven Christian leaders this question.

“What do you see as the greatest challenge for young Christians in the next ten years?”

Mars Hill, Seattle, pastor, Mark Driscoll comments, “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 like 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.”

Asked the same question, Mars Hill, Grandville, pastor, Rob Bell comments,“The unbelievable amassing of wealth and consumer goods that we have at out fingertips in American culture. Our greatest challenge will be to learn how to move this into blessings for others, or we will continue to be more selfish and indifferent to the cries of the world. These insane amounts of goods that are at our service are not doing good things to our souls.”

The reason these two answers jumped out at me was simply the fact that they were so different. I’m curious everyone’s thoughts on both answers. Also, what is your answer to that same question?


14 Comments so far
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Love both of these guys. Yes, the contrast is very interesting, but they (also interesting they their churches are named the same) are two men who are both clearly gifted.

What’s this mean? I wonder too…


Comment by MTR

I don’t often agree with much of what Rob Bell says, most of the time I fall into the same theology and thoughts as Mark Driscoll. In this case I completely agree with Mark. The focus needs to be on Jesus, a complete picture of Jesus. Rob Bell follows a “red letter” theology where the words of Jesus trump everything else in the Bible. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16).

Comment by ccanuck

i agree with rob bell a bit more than mark driscoll. i don’t know if it is because rob makes a bit of a definable, sane, point, and mark goes off on a weird rant about beating up christ, (who i believe WAS beaten up and crucified, but who could worship a guy like that?).
i think getting an acurate view of christ and who he was is very important, but i also believe the only way to do that is to “follow a red letter theology.” if we are not basing our view of christ on what the scriptures say, (what he said and did) then were are we getting our info?
i think that if we spent more timr teaching what the scriptures say about who christ was, and less time getting caught up on what crazy liberal patchouli stinkers think christ SHOULD BE, then this would not be as big of an issue for christian youth. not what christ isn’t, but what he is.

Comment by jimmy pop

You get your information from the whole Bible, not just the words Christ spoke while he was in human form here on earth. Jesus has always existed, he and the father are one. The whole of scripture must be applied, gospels don’t trump epistles, all is equal. The point is that Jesus is so much more than just what’s in the gospels and to truly understand the message you must understand the complete story as laid out in scripture.

Comment by Ryan

i wasn’t trying to say the only the gospels are important, although that is what “red letter theology” is i guess. i agreee entirely with everything you said ryan. i am just pointing out that given the option of teaching who christ was from what the bible says, or getting hung up on what the pop, liberal culture says christ is, i will choose the bible. and also that if more churches taught the bible, and put aside what the world teaches of our savior then i think we would have a lot more healthy churches.

Comment by jimmy pop

What is Driscoll’s point?

What is the “greatest challenge”?

Why is it that whenever Mark Driscoll’s name is mentioned, an immediate defense follows?

I have my own thoughts on this, as well as two more quotes from Driscoll I would like to share… but I want to hear from a few others first.

Comment by Brody Harper

“I can’t worship a Christ that I could beat up”????

Mark’s formula: Liberal or Moderate= wuss. Maybe lay of the Carmen records for a while. We get it. Your a tough guy. Fine, you couldn’t beat up Jesus. But maybe your mom could beat up Jesus’s mom. Does that count? Also, the whole statement here seems to paint anyone who doesn’t see Jesus in the same light as Jesse “the Body” Ventura is a Homo. – ‘Limp wrist’ ‘product in hair'(strange, it may be the light but his hair sure seems shiny) ‘shoe shopping’…

Come on. Go ahead and say it.

Jesus certainly wasn’t a wimp but he was no Hell’s Angel or Conan the Barbarian either. If memory serves me, Jesus was willingly beat up pretty bad, then emerged to conquer death. So he could have blown everything apart… Is that why you worship Him? Because he can beat everybody up? Because he is tougher than you?

I also disagree about the swing to the left. I think if he means there is a swing back to the middle from the right, then I agree. So I guess you could say that is a swing to the left. I agree with the last sentence. Tolerance is not the same thing as Right. That is a HUGE trend. Jesus loved, but wasn’t tolerant of sin.

I think Rob Bell is right on.

Comment by Seth Ward

It seems to me, based on the scriptures, that Jesus was/is both a “wuss” and a warrior. That’s the paradox we have to grapple with. Sometimes He made statements like, “turn the other cheek” and “love your enemies,” and sometimes He said, “I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword.” He is the Lion of Judah AND the Lamb Who was slain. Maybe the patchouli guys and the right-wingers are both partially correct; maybe they’re just focusing too much on one aspect of Christ’s character. What do you guys think?

Comment by Jordan

To strip away the reactionary tone of Droscoll’s reply, he worries over the “feminization” of Christianity. This stance seems to assume that “feminine” has no part in Jehovah (hint: read the creation account of man and woman). Perhaps, deep down, he worries more about men and the masculine aspect of God being marginalized in the near future?

Bell, though, could be argued to speak from guilt and self-loathing in his reply. Is he not, after all, also a part of the culture he decries?

I think that both speak truth (at least, some truth). Painting a picture of Jesus or Jehovah that casts Him in only the light we wish to see and live by is deadly (and I mean spiritually deadly). Turning a deaf ear to the cry of our “neighbor” (as Jesus described), especially while seeking our own ends, is equally deadly. Both are problems that the next generation faces. Both are problems that have been faced for the last couple of millenia. I think we are really not producing new problems, just reemphasizing old ones.

The one I tend to emphasize is the pittiful knowledge of scripture that most professors of Christ have.

Comment by euphrony

Fuck Mark Driscoll’s unimportant opinions.

951 897 4927

Comment by Anonymous

Dang it, I had this 5 paragraph thing typed, and I accidentally closed the window.

That said, paraphrased it would be this…

Mark must have read the story of Jesus and the moneychangers, and discounted the entire balance of the gospels.

The entire point of the new testament is that Christ, though all powerful, chose not to use his power, but to excercise his meekness and his humility.

Christ is not Clint Eastwood. Christ is Ghandi.

I fail to find evidence, in my studies, of Christ as the bully or as the intimidator. Christ is funny, shockingly intellegent and chose to difuse situations with his wit and tact instead of picking fights and looking for trouble.

Apparently, Mark wants George W. Jesus. There are times for that, but the Bible doesn’t support evidence of that Christ.

Even in Revelation, Christ is still the meek and humble savior. He only flexes his muscles when he has to, he doesn’t go around looking for excuses to do so.

Thats a human thing to do. Christ is more than human. He understands that when you have the biggest guns, you don’t have to prove it.

Christ doesn’t have to compensate by acting like a badass.

Thats want to marvel in God’s compassion, not revel in his butt kicking.

PS. sorry for the f-bomb.

PSPS – he still didn’t answer the question.

Comment by Anonymous

Driscoll obviously struggles with the acceptance of the more “artistic/creative/sensitive/ect” male. Here are two more questions he was asked, and Driscoll’s answers:

What trends in church and worship styles do you see? Are they positive or negative?

MD: “I’ll be happy when we have more than prom songs to Jesus sung by some effeminate guy on an acoustic guitar offered as mainstream worship music. Right now most worship music is still coming from the top down through such things as Christian radio and record labels. But the trend today in a lot of churches is writing your own music to reflect your culture and community, and I pray this trend of music from the bottom up continues.

What is a negative tendency of this generation as it relates to the faith?

MD: This generation can be a whiny bunch of idealists getting together in small groups to complain about mega-churches and the religious right rather than doing something.

I don’t want this to turn into a Driscoll bashing-fest, as to avoid pissing off friends that I have who work closely with him. However, where is this guy coming from? What is his appeal to the thousands of people that seemingly, worship him? I have yet to hear something from him that I can respect.

Thoughts on these two questions?

Comment by Brody Harper


Well, actually I will hear something in there that I agree with but it is laden with slanderous, homophobic, “mr. I’m a Christian but a tough guy” remarks. I agree that small groups can just get around a gripe about big church, but is that not what he is doing in griping about the small groups. There doesn’t seem to be much room for grace in his rhetoric. Then again, I need to read more to make such judgments.

Comment by Seth Ward

Brody, in the past I’ve listened on-line to Driscoll’s sermons on, for instance, Genesis, as a kind of audio commentary. I read other commentaries, study the history and language etc on my own, and then figure out what it is the text is saying and how to best teach it.

I say all that to say this positive thing about Mark. As a teacher, he’s excellent. He rarely, in my far less educated opinion, misses an important point of a passage he’s teaching. He does sometimes – ok, often – turn a sermon into an opportunity to attack a pet enemy of the moment of his, but when he sticks to the point of the passage, no one is clearer.

He’s an excellent teacher and even when he drifts from the topic at hand, he’s still easily learned from.

What Mark is not so good at – what so many charismatic entertainers are not so good at – is diplomacy.

Great teacher. Bad spokesperson for my faith and his own – erecting again and again far too may uneccessary boundaries to belief. It’s hard enough to beliefe God was born to a virgin and walked on water without stripping Him of compassion and mercy too.

Christ, like God, is paradoxical. I have a hard time believeing anyone who says He’s all kick ass with no time for tears in the garden or wine making at a wedding celebration. He’s a lion AND a lamb.

Comment by shaun groves

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