ere are four items that have been rattling around in my head for a few days. None of them is worth a complete blogpost, but it's time to empty my brain's recycle bin, so here you are:
- Revisiting the Driscoll issue. The notion that I have utterly anathematized Mark Driscoll has apparently entered into the canonical lore of the blogosphere. The iMonk did an entire podcast exegeting a comment posted in our meta by Steve Camp. I had written, "The comparison between Driscoll's style and Luther's is not far-fetched." Camp demurred, saying (among other things) that Driscoll is the mirror image of Sam Kinnison and nothing at all like Martin Luther. According to Camp, "Driscoll is just not that important and certainly shouldn't be taken seriously."
So the iMonk intimates that Camp actually speaks for the PyroManiacs. See, Camp has the courageand we don'tto say what we really think. Thus the iMonk reckons that if you really want to know where TeamPyro collectively stand on issues, you should ignore what we say in our posts and look for the most extreme and outrageous comments by other people in our meta. Presumably, we plant people with more guts and more candor than we possess, and we let them spell out our real position. Sometimes, as in this case, we disguise what is really happening by having the ghost-commenters appear to disagree with something we have previously written.
It shouldn't be necessary to answer that sort of bosh, and we ignore as much of it as we canbut there are evidently people who still take the iMonk seriously. The mythology has taken on a life of its own: I have written Driscoll off completely; I have called for his excommunication, I have labeled him a heretic, and whatnot. Listen around the blogosphere and ignore what I have actually written, and you are likely to get the impression that I've done just about everything to Driscoll short of accusing him of using the crystal meth Ted Haggard threw away.
Let's be clear about this: In my entire life, I have made exactly two significant statements about Mark Driscoll's ministry: 1) I appreciate his courageous defense of the authority of Scripture, penal substitution, and other key doctrines that are unpopular in the arena where he ministers; and 2) I don't appreciate his predilection for employing (especially in the pulpit) lowbrow scatalogy and other explicit language not usually deemed fitting for general audiences.
That's it. I have no hidden motive and no long-term agenda with regard to Driscoll.
I made one complaint about Driscoll's language, and a chorus of squeals arosealmost as if I had called for Driscoll to be stoned. Yet some of the squealers are the very same people whose only complaint about my every criticism of the "Emerging Church," postmodernism, and the evangelical fringe is that I'm "simplistic."
My reasons for deploring Driscoll's language were specific, and I explained myself dispassionately: Driscoll spoke flippantly of aspects of Christ's humanity in a way that he would deem impolite if someone spoke publicly of the church secretary that way. That argument went totally unanswered in all the hue and cry that went up. People who were wholly unconcerned about whether Driscoll had shown due reverence to Christ were certain that I had shown insufficient respect to Driscolland they were outraged.
That should tell you something. The problem is not that Driscoll's critics have been unreasonable, but that his admirers will tolerate no serious criticism of him whatsoever.
- And another thing. . . While we're talking about mythology invented by the iMonk and his friends, let's make another thing clear: No one around here ever suggested it's "wicked" to change one's mind or theological perspective. What I said is that people who are prone to undergo regular seismic worldview-level paradigm-shifts every other year or so prolly shouldn't fancy themselves fit teachers or be chronically argumentative until they have stood firm in an opinion for at least five years or thereabouts.
- Half a million. Earlier this evening we hosted our 500,000th visitor. At the rate we accumulate hits, I estimate it will be 6-8 months before we hit a million. We could do what Doug TenNapel did, and close our blog down as soon as we hit a million. I'd get a big piece of my life back. There are lots of other advantages in that plan that appeal to me. I'm actually going to think about it. In the meantime . . .
- New car decals. We've got some brand-new "Pyromaniacs" decals. These are high-quality colorfast vinyl die-cut decals, not cheapo bumper stickers. In keeping with the blog's non-profit, non-commercial status (pace Frank Turk), I'll send one of these free and no strings attached to anyone who sends me a stamped, self-addressed envelope. I promise not to add your name and address to any mailing list (I won't even write it down anywhere).
Only one condition: You must supply a stamped envelope big enough to hold the decal without folding. The decals are 4.75"x4.75"about the size of a standard CD-ROM. Don't send me stamps or loose change and expect me to hunt up an envelope or stamps for you. I don't have time for that.
On the same day I receive your SASE, I'll send back only the decal and a letter of authenticity. (Actually, I'm kidding about the letter; you'll get nothing from me but the decal.) A 39-cent 1st-class stamp will be sufficient for domestic postage. If you live in Canada, you'll have to put 63 cents' worth of US postage on the envelope. If you're in the UK, meet me at the Men of Kent Conference in December and I'll bring whatever decals may be left by then. If you live in Australia or elsewhere, you're on your own.
Supplies are limited, and it's all on a first-come, first-served basis. The decals are worth about $3 each. So this is a real deal. If you want to contribute to the cost of future printings, feel free, and we'll use any donations exclusively for that purpose. But we're not soliciting donations, and donations are not tax-deductible.
There are two styles of decals. We're offering one per person. Request the style you want, and we'll do our best to send you the one you prefer. Don't request autographs. Tim Challies auctioned an autographed decal on eBay last year, and in order to drive up the price for Tim's preferred charity, I promised the buyer I would never autograph another one. I have no clue why a collector would be interested in these. But I can safely say many more people "collect" them than display them. Last year I made 100 decals. This year I made 100 each of two styles. The limited number is driven by cost considerations, but they are, technically, "limited editions."
For reasons I am not going to spell out, style 1 is probably the more collectible of these two. When supplies run out, that one will never again be reprinted in its current format.
Send your requests to:
The Spurgeon Archive
28001 Harrison Parkway
Valencia, CA 91355-4190