08 February 2012

The Eddie Haskell of Pastoral Trouble-Making

by Frank Turk

Before we get full-on blog here today, my friends Steve Hays and Jason Engwer are waging the war against popular old-school atheism.  By that I mean they are actually engaging the old-school atheists and basically beating them down in a manner suitable to the means presented by the lot of them.  I mention it because Steve and Jason have written a response to the latest tome from the John Loftus school of inbred atheism, and it's called The End of Infidelity.  The e-book is available at this link, and I commend it to you if you care at all about atheist apologetics.

Note to Steve and Jason & the rest of the Triabloguers: The reason I say "old school atheists" above is that the hard-core post-modernist bent has set in, and the old rationalist, materialist, neo-positivist atheism is, frankly, running on empty.  Nobody wants all that philosophical baggage any more these days, and the next generation of atheists will be in the same vein as a young fellow named Chris Stedman, who is on staff at the (now get this) Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University.  He's the face of nice atheism, and has a book coming out called (F)a(i)theist.  In 10 years, John Loftus will be a homeless person muttering to himself about his self-published archive that banished Theism into the outer darkness of people he wouldn't associate with anyway, but Stedman and his lite version of interfaith collegiality between unbelief and belief will be alive and well among those who think superficial "nice" is the most important virtue.  Let's find a way to preach the Gospel to that, and stay ahead of the curve.



OK -- so you're all over the Elephant Room 2 fiasco, right? There's nothing left to say, it's been said, and we need to just move on.  Carson and Keller have offered the penultimate careful evaluation (the ultimate to take place behind closed doors with no chance that anyone will see how this gets resolved), James MacDonald has stopped posting videos extolling his own humility (at least through the moment at which I am typing this), and we're done.

Um, no.

Mark Driscoll has, with his usual panache, escaped all scrutiny.  He's the Eddie Haskell of pastoral trouble-making, usually getting someone else on the hook for his own impishness, and getting away with most of it because he's really such a nice boy according to Mrs. Cleaver.  And this is a very troubling issue as his tribe of manly men for Jesus (the Acts29 network) are not usually this quiet -- unless Pastor Driscoll has put his foot in it (again).


Now, what I am very excited about is that not everyone has let what he has done here go unnoticed.  To their credit, Carson and Keller said this much in their pronouncement from Mount Caritas:
Here is where the distinction becomes interesting. Neither the terminology of "manifestations" preferred by Oneness Pentecostals and other modalists nor the terminology of "persons" supported by historic creeds is directly used in Scripture. Where does it come from? It comes from thinkers two or three centuries after the New Testament was written who were doing their best to summarize large tracks of biblical themes and texts in faithful, accurate summaries, even if the terminology was not directly dependent on the terminology of a specific verse or two. History has shown, for the reasons briefly set forth in our first pairing, that the terminology of "manifestations" was soundly trounced and declared heretical: it simply could not be squared with what the Bible says. The "persons" terminology prevailed (along with words like "subsistence") not because it derived directly from usage in the biblical documents themselves, but because it could be shown that this terminology did a great job of summarizing what the Bible actually says.
And then again:
To attempt theological interpretation without reference to such developments is part and parcel of Biblicism One; to attempt theological interpretation that is self-consciously aware of such developments and takes them into account is part and parcel of Biblicism Two. We hasten to add that both Biblicism One and Biblicism Two insist that final authority rests with the Bible. All the theological syntheses are in principle revisible. Yet the best of these creeds and confessions have been grounded in such widespread study, discussion, debate, and testing against Scripture that to ignore them tends to cut oneself off from the entire history of Christian confessionalism. The Bible remains theoretically authoritative (Biblicism One), but in fact it is being manipulated and pummeled by private interpretations cut off from the common heritage of all Christians.
Statements with which I whole-heartedly agree -- but which Pastor Driscoll has tacitly denied in his interaction with Jakes (and has openly denied as demonstrated here).  So on the one hand, the clever person can see the distancing of TGC from Driscoll's new friendship and new alliance with a man TGC does not hold in such high esteem, and at the same time we can also see the basis for a rebuke for what has happened.

But what's going on with Acts29?  Not a statement?  Not a mention?  Not a notice that they have seen it and therefore rebuke the twittering pajamahadijn for making such a big thing of this?

Listen y'all: this is a big thing.  Driscoll himself has rebuked Osteen-ism from his own pulpit, and wants you rubes to man up and shoot the wolves.  But here he is with the only other fellow in the English-speaking world who has the scope of influence of Osteen and the self-same lousy Gospel and theology, and the same worn out lines which Christianity Today can't recognize from 2000 even tough they printed them, and he's shaking hands with this fellow in a way which even Keller and Carson find dubious.

See: I get it when you guys are offended that Phil or John MacArthur wag a finger at you and yours -- because it feels like your father wagging his finger at you for forgetting to fill up the car when you just drove home from saving all the orphans from a house fire.  You guys see yourselves reaching a generation for Christ, and the (from your perspective) indignation over holiness (which looks, from your perspective, a little stilted) seems to be unwarranted parental umbrage.  So if they tell you that you ought to say something about Mark or to Mark, they can just go mind their own business.  You're busy with something else, like ministry.

But you have to ask yourselves: is it right that the President of your Church Planting Network (they called those "conventions" back when your pappy was a deacon; they called them "associations" in the 1980's) can embrace a guy that the rest of you know is not someone you would bring into the fold?  You know you wouldn't let Jakes preach from your pulpit - shouldn't you at least ask what is now expected from you and your tribe after Mark gave him the Big Hug and the "welcome to the Family" speech?

Apparently all the right people are on the bus ...

The Gospel Coalition has made it very clear about where they stand on this.  I am grateful for what they have said, even if it's too little, too late.  But you guys are silent?

Well, maybe that's how it goes.  Maybe there's a bro-code I don't know because I'm not a bro, and you guys can accept that Mark Driscoll can lead you into associations with people you know will be harmful to your local church's theological and missional well-being with no consequences because he's "fruitful" and "humble". Lumpy never ratted out Eddie, after all.

But let's be honest: that's showing something which, in the final account, we might be able to call "fellowship" or "perseverance" or some such Bible word that puts a good face on it. But that's not being a leader by any means.  That's not showing leadership.  And in the end, you're supposed to be pastors and not merely a hipster mutual appreciation society.


UPDATED: Wow. As I was writing this post, it turns out Acts29 was making an announcement which shows they are "excited about the future of Acts 29". You can read the whole thing here, but as it turns out Pastor Mark's performance at the Elephant Room will not only have no effect on his status inside A29: he actually is going back to being the leader of the pack. (cue motorcycle music)

And before things go completely south from that announcement, let's remember that when those guys are using the terms "Prophet," "Priest," and "King," they are using Bible terms to identify organizational functions, not theocratic anointings.  That Driscoll is now the leader of their "Prophet board" does not mean anything more than he's the leader of their board of directors.  That they feel like they have to call themselves a "Prophet board" rather than "board of directors" is funny enough; let's not escalate the hilarity by trying to figure out which visions Driscoll will see now ...

ANOTHER UPDATE: Oh brother.  Apparently James MacDonald is now repeating his side of the story -- with some addenda (like the private repudiation of the Prosperity Gospel Jakes made to him).  The round up of that activity is best found here.










75 comments:

Tom Chantry said...

"Hipster mutual appreciation society" is every bit as good as "the age of simpering, smirking twits."

Turning into an awfully good week here at TeamPyro - for bloggers and commenters alike.

DJP said...

"...the same worn out lines which Christianity Today can't recognize from 2000 even tough they printed them"

Worth the price of admission all by itsownself.

Robert said...

You guys see yourselves reaching a generation for Christ, and the (from your perspective) indignation over holiness (which looks, from your perspective, a little stilted) seems to be unwarranted parental umbrage.

I wonder how people with this mindset handle Paul writing the following to Timothy:

"Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, 'The Lord knows those who are His,' and, 'Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from all wickedness.' Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart." (2 Timothy 2:19-22)

As for Driscoll and this whole mess with Jakes, Paul also tells Timothy not to have anything to do with men who hold to a form of godliness, but deny its power (2 Timothy 3:5). I'd say that anybody who ascribes to the prosperity gospel does just this. Especially when you read that these men go into homes and "captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." (v.6-7)

I'm sorry, but when the choice is between Scripture or man, the decision should be clear which to follow. It isn't "easy" to do what is right, but we were never told that life would be easy. We were told that Jesus brought a sword and that we need to share in His sufferings.

stratagem said...

Great expository analysis of the situation, Frank. Thanks.

I'm 52 years old and I can't remember Leave It to Beaver except as the occasional re-run. I'm impressed that you do!

Scott Shaffer said...

What Acts 29 needs is Lumpy Rutherford, not Eddie Haskell.

Fred Butler said...

Eddie Haskell's wife led my kids AWANA table at our church.

One of those odd occurrences a person experiences living in LA.

Robert said...

Wow...that update is quite telling. I don't know about you, but my Prophet, Priest, and King are all Jesus Christ and I don't need any "board" to tell me about that. I have a Bible that defines all of those terms well enough. Talk about Clintoning-down words. Do they just aim to shock people?

DJP said...

Oh, Robert FTW for appropriate use of "Clintoning down"!

Mary Elizabeth Tyler said...

Prophet, priest and king board...this gets weirder by the minute. SAD!

Ken said...

Just to let you know of a spelling error: Jason Engwer's name at beginning of article:

Jason Engwer

not

Jason Engwar


Good analysis of Driscoll - he has a lot of explaining to do with his marriage book; dreams and visions stuff (I see things), and dirty/ "cool" talk; and this type of Eddie Haskel behavior.

Jules LaPierre said...

Jules whispers..."Leaky canoneers."

Frank Turk said...

So Noted on Jason's name. I've known him for more than a decade and I swear I never spell his name right.

Frank Turk said...

Ken:

you know, when a blogger says something in public which is reprehensible, he gets called out for his dumb remarks and is expected to retract or apologize. That's true for Challies, JT, Ken Silva, Chris Rosebrough, me -- anybody you might be reading regularly. And in that crowd, you have a track record which is not consistent across the board, but by and large corrections are made to scale with the original error. It's an unwritten rule, but the expectation is that you'll use the journalistic standard for retractions and corrections: you issue the correction in full, with full disclosure, and in a way that it can be seen by the same readers who saw the error.

It seems to me that this standard does not exist for pastors -- especially those who are now covered by the code word "fruitful" and "humble". They can make private contrition for public errors and it be just fine. Nice work. All the people you damaged with your lack of good judgment? They are voyeurs if they want to know what they should not believe.

And that is ugly.

Ken said...

Perhaps there will soon be another coronation - at Mars Hill.

lee n. field said...

"prophet board"? Really? Sounds very charasmatic-y.

donsands said...

"Eddie Haskell's wife led my kids AWANA table at our church."-Fred

Nice.

It's a difficult thing to keep up an image. Some, can do it well and it's second nature.

I always think there's more going on insdie of Mark, as bold as he can be with his teachings.

I suppose we all have to deal with our flesh to some degree.

But this whole TD thing is crazy.

Our Lord has been sovereignly working His will, and as Jesus said: "There's nothing that is hidden that won't be uncovered."

Thanks for another well done post.

I just thought of a new title for a Sit-Com: "Leave it to Centurion".

Sonja said...

Mark Driscoll hasn't escaped all scrutiny, I recently resigned my membership from Mars Hill. Maybe he "saw" it coming.

Shawn Carpenter said...

"Farewell, Acts29."

Ken said...

Frank,
Was that directed at me? I think you have me confused with a different "Ken". I agreed with your assessment of Driscoll.

You wrote:
And in that crowd, you have a track record which is not consistent across the board, but by and large corrections are made to scale with the original error. It's an unwritten rule, but the expectation is that you'll use the journalistic standard for retractions and corrections: you issue the correction in full, with full disclosure, and in a way that it can be seen by the same readers who saw the error."

Are you speaking generally, "you" meaning "someone" or is there something specific I have written wrong?

Maybe I am just mis-understanding your point there.

Frank Turk said...

Ken -- I wasn't clear, and wasn't accusing you of anything.

Sorry for any offense.

Frank Turk said...

"Farewell Acts29"?

Let's not go completely crazy. A29 has plenty of room and resources to right the path here. However, I think it's right to remind them that they need to. We call other Christians to repent in the same way we need a call to repentance. People who get offended by that are just embarrassed by the fact that their repentance now has to be an adult-sized repentance and not a bedside baby prayer.

Robert said...

Ken,

I think Frank was referring to your comments about Driscoll and just adding to what you said. Driscoll is too "fruitful" and "humble" to be called to account for this. I mean he is too busy doing things like ministry to deal with these kinds of accusations.

wv: alice...like alice in wonderland. Driscoll could be the mad hatter, I guess.

Ken said...

Thanks Frank.
I appreciate all the work all three of you put into this blog - meaty and challenging and thoughtful.

Ken said...

Driscoll's attitude at being questioned and criticized actually gives off an air of pride, not humility.

I have only seen small five minute clips of Driscoll on You Tube, etc., (when called out by you guys or someone else)- he is not someone I have followed closely -

I appreciate him when he teaches the Bible correctly and that he reaches out to many kinds of non-Christians and young people, but he cannot use that as an excuse to get a pass on those problem areas - the marriage book, dirty and inappropriate details, dreams and visions of sexual sins, and now this and the ER2 - he fed the questions to Jakes and did not challenge him much.

Shawn Carpenter said...

Excuse my snark. Not appropriate. I apologize.

Plenty of faithful preaches in Acts29.

Solameanie said...

If I can add some fun to the fray, I don't know if this is Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz) weighing in on all of this in a "read between the lines" manner, but he is now wondering if churches should be led by scholars and teachers. Anti-intellectualism, anyone, if not anti-being rooted and grounded in God's Word and being able to lovingly refute those who contradict.

As for the ongoing ER2 epic fail, I am beginning to think that, no matter how well-meaning the founders of any "group" are, there will always be a mole in the group that surfaces eventually. In this particular case, the mole was already there burrowing.

Frank Turk said...

Like Ministry, Baby: Like Ministry.

Deb W. said...

Great article Frank! I usually read, but don't comment often. Good stuff!

stratagem said...

Celebrities don't publicly apologize or repent very often. Well, maybe they do if they say something about race or sexual orientation or something reallyimportant.

These guys are celebs, not just pastors! LEAVE... MARKEY... ALONE!

DJP said...

OK, the time has come. Ready? Here it comes...






"Fruitfulness" means never having to say you're sorry.

Darlene said...

Robert:

You said, "We were told that Jesus brought a sword and that we need to share in his sufferings."

As far as swords go, Jesus told one of the disciples to put his sword back in its place. What righteous person would not have wanted to defend Christ at that hour, especially the manly men? Perhaps they thought to defend the honor of God. Yet this kind of courage often reveals itself as self-congratulatory piety. I knew such Christians once, who considered themselves to be fighting for God, turning street witnessing into some idea of old testament war, where the ungodly had to be thrust through with the sword of the gospel. The rejection of their gospel presentation was met with a smug belief that they were suffering for Christ. The fruit of such thinking was arrogance, among other things.

What of this Driscoll fellow? Won't his deeds reveal his true nature? The sins of some men are conspicuous, pointing to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. So also good deeds are conspicuous, and even when they are not, they cannot remain hidden. It seems that giving him attention is the very thing he thrives on. He seems to enjoy controversy and being recognized as the bad boy. Why feed into that?

There is life and reality outside this elephant room. Of course, this is not my battle, not being a Calvinist and such. But I have seen such conflict within my church tradition, and few are called to be St. Athanasius or Maximus the Confessor. Do I mean to say we are not to be faithful servants and multiply the talents Christ has given us? By no means. But often we can be distracted from the very work Christ has for us because we believe ourselves to be called to do something else. As someone wisely commented on this blog recently, "No longer are we concerned with protecting our local flock, but we are now more concerned about gathering a national flock that we will never see, never talk directly to, never see when they fall, but they will buy our books, hit our blog, listen to our radio show, and come to our conference." How often are we Christians distracted from ministering to others, distracted from prayer, loving the down-trodden, visiting those in prison and in hospital, clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, etc. because of some fiasco in Christendom that begs for our attention?

Let the evildoers go on being evil and the holy still be holy. And let the few who are St. Athanasius and St. Nicholas and St. Maximus fight the battles of the heretics. In the meantime, the fields are white with harvest.

stratagem said...

Dan - thanks for sharing that link - despite the fact that I felt nauseous after reading the TDJakes celebrity lovefest! Ugh!

stratagem said...

I guess nobody had better say anything more about TDJ - after all, he WAS on the cover of Time magazine!

Robert said...

Darlene,

When Jesus said He brought a sword, He meant that there would be divisions between people instead of peace. The division is caused by people either being followers of Christ or unbelievers. that doesn't mean that we have nothing to do with unbelievers and don't evangelize...it just means that we don't capitulate to those who have heretical beliefs just for the sake of peace. And that is what has happened with Jakes here.

And to share in His sufferings can be manifested in many ways. What I am speaking of is suffering for the sake of defending the truth against false teachers. And we should definitely feel the need to address the actions of a man with as much influence as Driscoll. How did Paul handle Peter slipping back into his old tendencies? How did he handle the attacks on him from some of the churches he established? He dealt with them publicly and in a straight-forward fashion. Which is what people have been trying to do with Driscoll for a long time...only he doesn't really seem to listen all that well in some areas.

Deb W. said...

One thing I'd like to add is that my experience of working with many young professionals (20 somethings straight from grad school), there is very little concern for "the right thing." This generation is almost entirely motivated by social connections and social relationships. Trying to appeal to authority of any sort (Biblical, doctrinal, legal, etc.) means very little to them, because they feel their special role in history is to fix whatever the old, dead white guys messed up (or especially anything backed by the older women in society).

Of course Christian young people are perhaps not nearly as given over to this mindset, but it's there for them. A guy like Mark Driscoll is going to trump Johnnie Mac any day, not because of adherence to a given standard, or lack thereof. But because of the "social club" networking mentality. It is more wrong to challenge one of their best guys over something serious than to go after someone outside the circle for a secondary or tertiary issue.

I see this kind of thinking ALL of the time. From my seat in the bleachers, it looks like relationships and loyalty are thicker than Truth for the young guys out there, unfortunately.

Tom Chantry said...

There!

Now nobody better say nothin' more 'bout me, neither!

DJP said...

ROFL

"Your argument is invalid."

stratagem said...

Tom
Wow. I am henceforth living in the shadow of your total awesomeness!

wv: lenin

Eric said...

Darlene,

And yet...here you are: reading the blog, reading the comments, and commenting. How are people to understand that disconnect?

Frank Turk said...

Why is Frazier Crane on the cover of Time magazine?

yankeegospelgirl said...

For a long time, I wanted to like Mark, and I did like Mark. I thought he could be funny, engaging and biblically really spot-on when he wanted to be. You should find and watch his indictment of the _Twilight_ series. Honestly, it's screamingly funny and I couldn't agree more with him.

But now that I've seen and read up on his problem areas, I realize they really engulf pretty much everything else. They're not just "minor issues," they're huge and glaring and dangerous. I will no longer promote or recommend him to people.

Essentially, I find it humorous when liberals criticize Driscoll because they hate him for all the reasons I used to kinda like him. I look at the "God hates you" video and I'm totally going "Preach it." But it's that kind of thing that gets the "Jesus needs new PR" crowd's knickers in a knot. They're missing the forest for the trees big-time.

Now, moving on to more general ER2 comments... I'm thorougly disgusted with how Voddie Baucham has been treated in all this, and I think his treatment encapsulates the true fruit of what MacDonald has done. Ironically, it's incredibly divisive and poisonous, which you'd never know from the over-loud "KUM BA YA MY LORD" coming from Jimmy Mac and friends' direction. Gather round the fire kids, and pay no attention to that heretic behind the curtain.

Tom Chantry said...

@ Frank,

I thought about just using the Errol Flynn picture, but nobody would have gotten it.

donsands said...

"Now nobody better say nothin' more 'bout me, neither!"

I'm as silent as the grave.

You know, I never noticed that small hand upon your lapel before. Nice.

Mark | hereiblog said...

It's not difficult to find some of Jakes' recent preaching to discern whether or not he is teaching word-faith.

Brad Williams said...

I would have gotten it, Tom!

DJP said...

Brad, if you ever develop in print the connection you made between leaky Canoneering and criticism of MacD's actions, please be sure to let me know.

Marla said...

Frank, great post.

DJP: regarding fruitfulness; "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard" ~ Said by Ryan ONeil to Barbra Streisand (What's UP Doc?)

DJP said...

Ah, yes.

The classics.

(c;

Tom Chantry said...

You know, I never noticed that small hand upon your lapel before. Nice.

Yeah, well, now you know. I've never had a good head shot taken - not once. Had to crop a family pic.

Frank was so disgusted with my headshots that he turned me into Errol Flynn. Guess we know why I'm not a celebrity pastor.

Still better be nobody sayin' nothin' about me.

Robert said...

Yeah, well, now you know. I've never had a good head shot taken - not once. Had to crop a family pic.

And all this time I thought that was a sly smirk on your face and a shrunken hand on your lapel...I guess I've had you wrong all this time.

Lane Chaplin said...

Usual scene from the Steve Wilkos show:

Convict: "Yeah, I know he was breakin' tha law, but he my boy. I gots ta stand by him."

Same mentality, different context.

stratagem said...

Did someone say anything about a loose Canon?

Solameanie said...

Tom, I wouldn't worry about Errol Flynn, headshots or anything else. I do not photograph well, looking like a cross between the Pillsbury Dough Boy, Phil Collins and Alfred Hitchcock.

I find it easier just to use the classic foggy goodbye scene from Casablanca. It conveys my mind more than any photograph possibly could.

donsands said...

"...a cross between the Pillsbury Dough Boy, Phil Collins and Alfred Hitchcock."

Phil Collins is pretty cool.

Stephen said...

Mark, his most recent mini-series was "The Power of a Thought." Unless his thesis was, "God's thoughts and words brought the universe into existence, and your thoughts will utterly condemn you," I'm pretty sure I know what direction that will go and even Challies took care of that one a while back.

Strong Tower said...

Sisters Of Ashford's Mount Caritas Have A Secret Catholic Church Cracks Down On Women It Says Are Fake Nuns - Hartford Courant.

I can't believe you said that!

jmb said...

From Driscoll's post on Acts 29:

"We will always live in the tension of pursuing both theological precision and missional conversion. If I’m honest, I fear we may drift more toward precision than conversion, and I want us to excel at both. We want to make a difference and not just a point."

So:

1. He sees theological precision and missional conversion as essentially mutually exclusive, yet he wants to excel at both? So one side will excel more than the other side?

2. The side he FEARS is theological precision. That seems to be an honest statement. So he evidently wants missional conversion to excel more.

3. "We want to make a difference and not just a point." How can you make a difference without making points? Lets have more Christians who don't really know what they believe?

What is this man talking about?

WV: essess. Should be an "o" in the middle if coming from Acts 29.

Tom Chantry said...

He sees theological precision and missional conversion as essentially mutually exclusive, yet he wants to excel at both? So one side will excel more than the other side?

Sounds strangely like the Fruitfulness vs. Fidelity conflict, doesn't it?

Sir Aaron said...

This gets a little frustrating.

What exactly does theological precision mean? And at what point is theological precision important to missional conversion? After all, there must be some facts that we must know precisely in order to have true conversion, right?

Vocabulary is important but we all make errors and have incorrectly used words we thought were synonyms.

But this is not that. This is where a guy uses words to intentionally obfuscate his real theology. He knows the language, he knows the terms, and he knows the theology. He simply uses words that are close enough in the thesaurus to keep Christians from throwing him out on his behind.

So either the doctrine of the Trinity is not a fundamental, essential doctrine of Christianity or these guys simply don't understand that Oneness Pentacostals routinely camouflage their language to conceal their true beliefs.

trogdor said...

Riffing off of Aaron's comment, one of the most amazing things about this is the failure to treat Oneness as a cult. If you substitute "Jehovah's Witness" for "Oneness Pentecostal", even novice Christians would be on guard for word-twisting obfuscation.

But for whatever reason, Oneness folk are treated as if they've just got a little funky view here and there, and not as people who preach a different gospel based on a heretical view of God. Maybe it's because they're not so constantly in your face and annoying - prior to this, my last direct encounter with it was more than five years ago, and I've never had the local Oneness people knock on my door on a Saturday morning. So they get treated as a weird cousin, while everyone knows the JWs are the enemy at the gates.

I can even understand if this invitation went out and they just didn't know much about Jakes or Oneness, because as others have attested, he's not someone you cross paths with much. But with 3-4 months to prepare, and with constant assurances that "Driscoll's good, he'll really nail Jakes to the wall" - you'll have to forgive me if I expected something a little less inexcusable.

Jim Pemberton said...

"let's not escalate the hilarity by trying to figure out which visions Driscoll will see now ..."

I don't have to figure out at least one vision Driscoll had: He saw a modalist dupe a "manly man".

Thomas Louw said...
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Thomas Louw said...
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Thomas Louw said...

After all the mudslinging I wonder what the outcome will be.
Driscoll has succeeded yet again in tarnishing the Young and Restless and Reformed guy’s image.
TD Jakes has come out shining like a gold coin.

James Mac has not lost any traction and ploughs ahead.
And we stand with our faces in our hands, tool boxes open and wondering how are we going to fix this one.

The “experts” was called in, they were warned the gaskets going to blow but, the hood was slammed shut (ignore it maybe it will go away)

Now the head is cracked, pistons blown but, all is fine don’t open the hood again it will work itself out over time, look we still moving.

Yes, stupid we going downhill!!

I used the term “stupid” very carefully. It in no way reflects anyone’s cognitive abilities but, their lack of observations skills.

Robert said...

Just to add on to what jmb, Aaron, and trogdor have already said about this from Driscoll:

"We will always live in the tension of pursuing both theological precision and missional conversion. If I’m honest, I fear we may drift more toward precision than conversion, and I want us to excel at both. We want to make a difference and not just a point."

How can you have missional conversion without theological precision? I mean, how do you know that what you are converting somebody into is actual belief in the God of the Bible and what He says about our condition? If you are not theologically rpecise, you might just be saving them into another system of false belief.

It is like saying that if I am a math teacher and I worry about getting the students to solve problems correctly instead of getting students interested in math, that I am doing it wrong. Well, if I am just making students feel good about doing math, regardless of the results (whether they solve problems correctly or not) what will the results be? Now, if I take the time to show them all of the ways that math works to bring structure to the world and how they can actually work with it, then they might learn to appreciate and apply it in their lives.

I know the analogy falls short, but it's just what popped into my mind.

jmb said...

I think that if you go to a Mars Hill Church and say that you're fond of Jesus (in that order of importance), Driscoll will consider you a Christian.

Sir Aaron said...

@Trogdor:

You and I have hit on a major problem in my estimation. Christians today just don't seem to understand which doctrines are essential and non-negotiable and those over which we can disagree and still remain brothers in Christ.

And it doesn't help that Oneness believers couch their language to intimate that they believe in the trinity while secretly crossing their fingers behind their backs.

Chris Poe said...

Good thoughts, Frank. I thought the part about wagging a finger was spot on and worth the price of admission.

As I noted earlier, I have little doubt that a good number of the men who joined the Acts 29 Network did not do so with the intention of throwing in their lot with the ultra-pragmatic megachurch trend of the 2010's. At least one pastor has already left that network over ER II. Additionally, at least one church has left the Harvest association (James McDonald's group) over it as well. Let's hope more of that happens in the unfortunate event of a continuation of this trend toward a pragmatic atheological megachurch mentality on the part of the leaders of those networks as evidenced by their recent association with leaders like Noble, Furtick and now Jakes.

Chris Poe said...

jmb posted: "I think that if you go to a Mars Hill Church and say that you're fond of Jesus (in that order of importance), Driscoll will consider you a Christian."

I have no experience there, but I thought that Driscoll's reference to Anne Rice as a new or baby Christian following her pronouncement that she was leaving the RCC (and never to my knowledge having made a credible profession of faith in the Biblical gospel) was quite telling. That scant attention was paid to it sadly suggests that evangelicalism (even among the "Gospel Centered") may be no better off now than 15-20 years ago. That's why MacArthur's "Ashamed of the Gospel" is as relevant today as it was when first published.

yankeegospelgirl said...

I remember the first time I heard that Phillips Craig & Dean were probably modalists. Come to think of it, I believe they used the same "manifestations" wriggle in their supposedly clarifying "open letter" to the fans. It's sad, because really they made great music in the 90s, and I can't think of any of their songs that are doctrinally bad. Will I get in trouble with anyone here if I say that I still have their stuff on my ipod? :D

Sir Aaron said...

@yankeegospelgirl:

I only recently heard they were modalists as well. Until now, I knew of them...only in that I knew the names of the artists who sang the songs. I didn't know anything beyond their names. I've enjoyed their music as well and have had to deal with the same issue you bring up.

donsands said...

"Will I get in trouble with anyone here if I say that I still have their stuff on my ipod?"ygg

Oh yeah, you're in deep trouble.

You know, I have told my local radio station a hundred times about these phonies, and it just doesn't matter. The truth isn't that important. Not as important as so many others things going on.
But, of course no one says it like that. They simply respond by saying, "Oh, Philips Craig, & Dean?" Really. Wow. I'll try to remember that."

Robert said...

Yankeegospilgirl, Aaron, and Don,

You may all know this, but they've been approached about this and privately said they believe in the Trinity. But then when they were asked by the same person to sign an open letter declaring this and that they denied modalism (in much more defined terms, I am sure), they did not respond...this happened three times. The person called and their representatives said that they were not going to sign any such letter.

For the life of me, I can't remember who it was that did this, but I heard it on Wretched TV from Todd Friel. Maybe somebody else knows who it was?

Robert said...

I can't help but to be reminded of what i am reading in Andrew Bonar's commentary on Leviticus and our need to avoid sinfulness. Back then they had the dreaded unclean status that people had to live with until they were cleansed. If only we had such accountability these days throughout the Church. At least some quarters of the Church reflect this attitude, though, and I am thankful for that.

Sir Aaron said...

@Don:

I've thought about writing my local radio station as well.

@Robert: I simply don't know what to make of that. I really haven't had time to think this through. I'd love to see a blog post and meta on this specific topic though.