Mark Driscoll and the Reformed-Emergent smackdown, pt. 2

Yesterday, I posted some thoughts on Mark Driscoll’s speech at last month’s Convergent Conference. Plenty of others were blogging about this long before I was. To see what they’re saying about the speech, go here.

Whether or not you agree with Mark, he’s a significant voice in the church, and it’s worth listening to his presentation (if you have time—it’s about 80 minutes long). Click here to download the podcast.

Here’s my second major takeaway from his speechification (go here for part 1)…

2. The danger of being against being known for what you’re against

Mark’s speech began with a few moments of impossible-not-to-admire introspection. Telling his story with refreshing humility, he described a time in his life when he was too “jealous, proud, self-righteous, and mean spirited.” I wish more of us could be this transparent.

Mark went on to say, as he began his critique of the emerging church, “It’s really hard for me. I don’t want to be the man who’s known by what he’s against.”

The next 40 minutes—precisely half of his speech—were spent criticizing three people: Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, and Rob Bell. In the case of one of these individuals, Mark openly questioned his devotion to God and called his theological method “frightening.” The word heresy was used in close proximity to these names.

I’ve met these three people before. Shared a meal with a couple of them. One was my teaching pastor for more than three years. I may not agree with every single thing they say, but I have a great deal of admiration for these guys.

Of the three, only one has responded to Mark’s speech. None have gone on the counterattack. And none of them have questioned Mark’s devotion to God.

Maybe, if we want learn how avoid being known for what we’re against, we should look to those on the receiving end of Mark’s criticism.

Tomorrow, part 3: the dangers of guilt by association and selective quotation.

2 thoughts on “Mark Driscoll and the Reformed-Emergent smackdown, pt. 2

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