An Insider’s Perspective on Mark Driscoll and the Song of Songs; Hallelujah

"(I learned) to love Jesus without feeling like we had a thinly veiled homosexual relationship."  Mark Driscoll 

 

 

Corona of Sun-NASA

 

Some of our readers have read comments posted at our site by "Wenatchee the Hatchet." (Now to be referred to s WH). WH spent a number of years at Seattle's Mars Hill Church, the home to controversial pastor, Mark Driscoll. He was a committed member, even becoming an advisor on the Theology Response Team.  I have to admit, I was rather amused by the title of this team. having written about Driscoll at length and I don't even attend his church. I can well imagine that there were a boat load of questions brought to this group. Oh, to be a fly on the wall….

One of Driscoll's most controversial messages has been his spin on the Song of Songs. TWW has discussed this in  the past here.This series is so provocative that, after Driscoll presented it in Scotland, the sermon was removed from the website.  Words have been invented because of Driscoll's approach to this book. "Pornogrification of Scripture " is one that come to mind.

Addendum: 6:20 PM We received this link for an alert reader who is anonymous. We thank him/her for their effort. FYI – here is the transcript of the “Scotland discourse”:( May I add that the word "discourse" is a euphemism for this nonsense.The transcript has some helpful highlights.)

https://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=dg4fc37g_6fjdd38c8&hl=en/

WH no longer attends Mars Hill. Yet his years of faithful attendance and his willingness to give both positive and negative perspectives of Driscoll's legacy, caused us to pursue him to write a post or two. Today, we start by reprinting a post from his blog called Wenatchee the Hatchet here. This gives some background to his four part series on Song of Songs. We plan to present all four parts in two posts in the next week or so.

We thank WH for his willingness to share his thoughts. I am hoping that he will also explain the "seed of Chucky" comment made by Driscoll regarding Genesis 6. I have an idea of what it might mean and I think it would be amusing if I am correct.

 

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I have written a guest series about Mark Driscoll's handling of Song of Songs for the Mara Reid at her blog From Bitter Waters to Sweet. This year when I saw Driscoll saying in a video interview that some pastors are using sex too much I just hit my limit. Three months of Driscoll talking about sex at his own church and then his Scotland discourse is enough, especially since he's displayed the moxy to claim that Ed Young Jr. overdid sex from the pulpit in his interview with Rhoades earlier this year. 

Background of the writer at Mars Hill

I believe there are four related issues in Driscoll's handling of Song of Songs in the last eleven years that speak to weaknesses he has as a biblical scholar, theologian, and as a pastor. I don't say that lightly. After nine years at Mars Hill and having once served on the Theology Response Team I am one of the last people who could say that lightly. I once fielded theological questions on behalf of Driscoll and the other pastors because I was recruited to serve in that ministry.

Positive comments regrading Driscoll's teaching

I do think there are areas where Driscoll does a good job in discussing Scripture. He's done some strong preaching in 1 Corinthians which is ironically where he has been most self-critical. His series (there were a couple of them) on Ecclesiastes were pretty decent. Though I think he failed to make an entirely persuasive case against what he calls the "seed of Chucky" reading of Genesis 6 there were quite a few things in his Genesis series that were good. When his fans don't pick the most scabrous soundbites on his behalf he's done some teaching from Luke that has been very good. So in case you think I'm just ranting about Driscoll without knowing what I'm talking about I've got a decade of the man's sermons jostling in my head. You probably don't. I write what I write in an attempt to provide constructive, informed criticism of weaknesses. My pen name may be Wenatchee the Hatchet but a hatchet job is not the goal.
 

Driscoll and the Puritans approach to Song of Songs

Now permit me (since it's my blog) to explain some things in advance, in case it is necessary. I am not defending an "allegory only" approach to Song of Songs. I believe that even an allegorical reading of Song of Songs must be predicated on the straightforward romantic/erotic/conjugal theme of the text. At the same time I can't help but note that Driscoll reveals that he's trying to have things both ways about the Puritans. He loves to share the same old story about Puritans who excommunicated a man who wasn't having sex with his wife as much as she wanted. But he skips over how the Puritans actually tended to handle Song of Songs, like, Matthew Henry for example. For a preacher like Driscoll who can hold up a Bible and say "It's all about Jesus" his approach to Song of Songs reveals the exception–Song of Songs can't be about Jesus or Jesus is taking Mark Driscoll from behind and he doesn't want to imagine that. Dude, a metaphor is a metaphor. You know Jesus says that in the resurrection no one will be married, not even Jesus. The wedding supper of the lamb is a metaphor, buddy. It's not literally going to occur.

Driscoll's "unique" approach to Song of Songs

Yet if everywhere else in the Bible the conjugal metaphor is used to describe God and His people why reject it only in Song of Songs, even if things get racy? Driscoll's okay with pinning his approach on the fanciful notion that Abishag and Solomon were carving their initials on a tree somewhere and going for the plainest reading of Song of Songs as a celebration of sex. Any innuendo he can find he goes for in Song of Songs.
 

Driscoll's emphasis on the dirty rotten sinner

Having listened to about a decade of Driscoll sermons I believe is is important to stress a potential pastoral implication in Driscoll's rejection of even a typological association of husband and bride with God and His people in Song of Songs. Driscoll, historically, has only really seemed to know how to get revved up in telling God's people their sin put Jesus on the Cross. Yeah, there's all that "Death By Love" stuff but that book was a rehash of material he preached in 2005. In other words it's recycled material from some time ago. "Christus exemplar" was, to be sure, the finest sermon I think I've ever heard Driscoll preach and it's because he got out of his comfort zone.

If the Church is the Bride of Christ the sermon Driscoll knows how to preach best to her is "You're a stupid spoiled whore and your sins put Jesus on the cross so you better repent." Yeah, there's that stuff in the Bible, but Driscoll has famously stunk at the other side, which is that Christ loves you enough to gladly bear the cross and your sins to reconcile you to Himself. If Piper and Mahaney, by Driscoll's account, have said he stinks at expressing the love of God for His people then Driscoll has conceded this point.
 

Sanctified Erotica?

Another point to note here is that some Christians defending Driscoll have said that (and will say) there is a distinction to be made between what is truly pornographic and what is erotica. Driscoll is preaching Song of Songs, which is canonized erotica is firmly on the erotica side of things. "Frank without being crass" as Driscoll puts it.

Well, okay, then, so Driscoll is preaching Song of Songs and the biblical book is not about Jesus and is erotica. So there is now a canonically justified basis for Christians writing erotica, then? There must be since a whole book of erotica made it into the Bible. What, exactly, is the line of demarcation between pornography and erotica? Is erotica okay when it is strictly verbal or written? Erotica is definitely okay for public consumption on feast days in religious observance then. Okay so, uh, let me see if I can work this out, there's this whole genre of Christian literature I've never heard of before called Christian erotica and it's right and good for Christians to enjoy it if they're married.

Can someone explain whether or not there are actually examples of this genre of sanctified erotica outside the Bible? Maybe such stuff exists and this single guy does not really need to know authors, titles, publication dates or ISBN numbers (and, seriously, I don't). I just have this sneaking suspicion that this defense of Driscoll as preaching Song of Songs as sanctified erotica could begin to look curiously like special pleading if a Christian were to read erotica that isn't in the Bible. After all, if the Holy Spirit inspired the Song of Songs as sacred erotica and I have the Holy Spirit dwelling within me then I can read or write sacred erotica, too, right? I mean, not me personally, mind you, because I'm a single guy who's never been on a date and wouldn't know how that stuff works, but other people could write Christian erotica. But what, then, of all those pastors speaking against romance novels and Christian romance novels?
 

More positives

There are plenty of positive things I can say about Driscoll. He's a capable speaker, he's entertaining. He finds ways to make the Bible accessible to people. It's just too bad that he can often be irresponsible, sloganeering, and downright inventive in claiming that what he teaches from the text is actually in the biblical text. Song of Songs is a case where he is particularly enamored of his highly personalized take on a book of the Bible. I think that in the long run his apparent capacity to only address the Bride of Christ as though she were a whore needing to change her ways and not as the Bride Christ loves extravagantly will continue to be a problem in his pastoral work. This is not as simple as proposing that Driscoll is speaking the truth when he says God hates you if you don't believe in Jesus. Big deal, so it goes.

Driscoll's expression of disdain for congregational leadership

Where the rubber meets the road is when Driscoll makes jokes such as " congregational leadership is like asking the inmates to run the asylum." Here he is talking about church members who share the Spirit and who are in Christ. These he has referred to as mentally deficient people in an asylum who should not be allowed to run things. When Driscoll writes about ranked numbering categories for which friends and family are most valuable for fellowship this is where his … unique view of the Bride can shine. I know some of the people Driscoll used to call "good friend" and they haven't seen him in years. They will probably never see him again. Driscoll has often said you must take stock on the people who are wasting your time and cut them loose.

At a purely pragmatic level, yes, such people exist, but in the scope of eternity could not Christ Himself be accused of wasting His time by permitting the universe to exist and calling us "brothers" and "friends"? We cannot give anything to Christ that is of value to Him, we have nothing He needs. Even if we give ourselves what have we given Him that He does not already rightfully posssess? There is a very real level at which Christian friendship means sharing life together with someone even when there is nothing you can gain from it. Driscoll has seemed to choose or reject friendships based on who will help him build his legacy for Jesus. We know that it's his legacy he's concerned about because in his own way he keeps talking about it.

Part of Driscoll's legacy is how his handling of Song of Songs reveals some problems in his theology and his approach to the scriptures and his approach to the Church. In the long run if you can only think of the Bride of Christ as a spotless bride in the future who is still just a stupid, spoiled whore now (because nowhere else in the Bible is the Bride described as already being loved as though she were flawless) it's not surprising you end up with the kind of pastoral approach Driscoll seems to have. It's too bad, though. I guess the more he sticks to NT literature the less likely he is to traffic in this? Only time will tell.

 

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On a more positive note, we leave you with this viral video produced by a small village in Alaska. It is a perfect way to kick off the holiday season.

Hallelujah from all the ends of the earth!

 

 

Lydia's Corner: Ezra 3:1-4:231 Corinthians 2:6-3:4 Psalm 28:1-9Proverbs 20:24-25

Comments

An Insider’s Perspective on Mark Driscoll and the Song of Songs; Hallelujah — 145 Comments

  1. Anon
    That transcript is so unbelievable, i would like our readers to have it front and center. Is there a copyright on that material or that site? Any info would be wonderful. Please don’t feel obligated. I am just grateful for the link; THANK YOU!!!

  2. Dee –

    Thanks for the song. Brightened my Friday evening 🙂

    As for Driscoll – I have no comment at the moment as I’m not spending my evening reading the transcript. I’ve also had enough reviewing of what CJ Mahaney had to say this week at the SGM pastors conference to want to vomit. I need a break from these ever so humble leaders who SERVE us so well!!!

  3. Bridget2,

    Agreed! I read Mahaney’s comeback speech as well. How do SGMers tolerate him? He is so UNLIKE Jesus, whom he continues to call “the Saviour”.

  4. I just skimmed the transcript and I am disgusted. “When it comes to breasts, all men are breast men. Those who say they are not fall into one of two categories: gay men and liars.” “…your breasts are the petting zoo…” “You men need to know this, you single men don’t, but you married men need to know that when a woman is ready for lovemaking, like a flower she blooms.”

    I can think of five men that I know, off the top of my head, Christian and non, that those words would offend. Is he really so insensitive to the struggles and insecurities that men and women face?

  5. Dee – we are mostly adults here, but I personally would not go beyond a link to Driscoll’s Scotland message – and I’d put a disclaimer on that. There is little doubt some reading it will be pulled into sinful lust and fantasy by what is written there. Especially single men. You don’t want that on your conscience.

    Zeta

  6. Zeta
    Then how do people know what is being said. Tom Rich, described in detail the sexual abuse of the child in the Paterno situation. I felt it was necessary that people understand the extent of depravity. We also did that on this blog when we talked about some boys who were molested. So many people think we are talking about a couple of off color jokes when it comes to Driscoll. As you can see, it is far more serious. I am “flicted” as we say here in the South.

    He is running all over the country giving this lecture. A former church, after we wrote about him, cancelled his appearance two years ago. A church member handed out copies of our blog post in which we were explicit.

  7. John MacArthur has written extensively about Driscoll’s careless, blasphemous interpretation of the Song of Solomon in a four-part series entitled ‘The Rape of Solomon’s Song’, found here:

    http://www.gty.org/resources/Articles/A396_The-Rape-of-Solomons-Song-Part-1

    http://www.gty.org/resources/Articles/A397_The-Rape-of-Solomons-Song-Part-2

    http://www.gty.org/resources/Articles/A398_The-Rape-of-Solomons-Song-Part-3

    http://www.gty.org/resources/Articles/A399_The-Rape-of-Solomons-Song-Part-4

    These admonishments are well-worth reading by a veteran pastor and teacher and were written out of love for His Church and in defense of biblical truth. Dr. MacArthur is one of the very few public voices willing to call others (including other Calvinists) out for their false, sinful teachings and practices. Let us learn from his lifetime of wisdom in these posts.

  8. I suppose you can say that he discusses oral sex explicitly and in lurid detail and post the link with a warning that if one is easily enticed by lurid language to avoid reading the text.

    A young man with a good imagination is going to have trouble with what He said. Men are enticed by what they see, and Driscol paints some pretty graphic pictures with his words. The very fact is so callous to the effect of his language on the single men in his audience convicts him of sin.

    ‘Nuff said.

    Zeta

  9. Eagle, I touch on your point 7 in the series that will be going up. It’s 4k words but it can’t be (and couldn’t be) considered comprehensive).

    I’ve approached the subject of Driscoll and SoS from a number of angles in the past and have also written a lot about conservative Protestants and sex.

    http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2011/09/i-managed-to-miss-this-this-year.html

    The above link was what I wrote after I saw a video of Dricoll talking about how too many pastors today talk about sex too much. The world’s biggest pot called a couple of kettles black.

    Because I was at Mars Hill in the early days and have seen a few people age into their thirties and forties without marrying this has prompted me to write about evangelicals and single men. I ended up seeing a number of guys who were once at Mars turn into remarkably bitter guys with resentments against women, resentments against marriage, and resentment all around. It has struck me that unmarried people are disposable in a way that isn’t true for married people or parents and that this is true in the church in ways that may be even more problematic than in secular society.

    http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/search?q=disposable

    Driscoll is, in the long run, a single case study of a way in which conservative Protestants and evangelicals approach marriage and family. Earlier this year I ended up writing thousands of words on the subject. I took into account a debate mentioned on Internet Monk about why evangelical churches won’t hire single men and the contorted interpretations of scripture used to get to that conclusion. All that writing culminated in an essay called “We have the same ethics because we worship the same idols” A link to the tagged essays (some of the few I bothered to topically tag) are below:

    http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/search/label/inspired%20by%20a%20BHT%20discussion

    I never actually imagined people would read my blog so I was very poor at organizing threads of thought and posts over the years.

    Should you go over to Wenatchee The Hatcet and read my blog brace yourself for unabashedly nerdy discussions of monothematic sonata form in chamber music, contrapuntal music for the guitar, and rambles on cartoons along with the Mars Hill or theology stuff. I may get more traffic for Mars Hill related stuff but that’s a mere part of what I ramble about. I hope the above links may help constitute a relatively simplified summary of some of what I’ve written in the past that touches on Mars Hill and Driscoll and Protestantism in America on marriage.

    I know that’s a lot of links but it may help provide some context for why I finally decided to do a guest series on Driscoll and Song of Songs. Plus Mara Reid asked me, there is that. 🙂

  10. A couple of points:

    – Zeta, lots of women have imaginations, too. Don’t pin that all on the guys! (Not that MD’s Scotland “sermon” does anything except make me feel enraged… but that’s another story.)

    – MD is obsessed with s.e.x. He endorses a site called Christian Nymphos that is… well, some of it is just discussion about s.e.x., but there’s one poster whose work is, imo, porn. Just outrightly so. I really do NOT need to see a play-by-play on what she and her husband do in bed. (It squicks me out, as the kids say.)

    MD’s “sermons” on the SoS are all over the place, just as MD’s influence is all over the place. I seriously doubt there are many young men in evangelical churches who are unaware of this – ditto for young women.

    – I don’t think MD would know a simile or metaphor if one hit him right on the head!

  11. btw, my “s.e.x” spelling above is a joke – and a bit like the title of that old Tammy Wynette song “D-i-v-o-r-c-e.”

  12. MacArthur’s objections are so useless he would have been better off having said nothing at all. Driscoll and his fan club will dismiss MacArthur as objecting to style rather than substance. MacArthur can blather on all he wants about Driscoll being obscene but ultimately since he, too, subscribes to the idea that SoS must be primarily about marital love and not really about other stuff he’s ignoring the liturgical idiom within Judaism that has informed how both Jews and Christians have interpreted Song of Songs. Driscoll alludes to SoS being read publicly as part of Passover observance but when you stop for ten seconds to think about that in conjunction with the conjugal metaphor in the Prophets you start wondering if public recitation of SoS is “really” just a public celebration of wifely stripteases and holy blow jobs in Driscoll’s parlance or even “just” about married life as MacArthur might urge us to read. Since I don’t want to rehash the entire series in comments before it goes up I’ll leave that as a teaser for subjects that we may be able to discuss later.

    American evangelicalism has all sorts of problems with it but, fortunately, Christianity is bigger, deeper, and wider than what a bunch of culture-warfaring American political and social activists insist it must be.

  13. And these people are who and what the Southern Baptist are now accepting as OK are now allowing them to “control” and infiltrate the mindsets of theology students and others within the Baptist conventions and at many Seminaries, especially the one in Louisville KY under the control of Al.

    Just shaking my head….

  14. Eagel and others,

    As a dear friend of mine and many on here know says…

    “Follow Christ, Not Man”!

    We have to do this in today’s times. And if you know his story which Wartburg has written about many time, it is very deep and has so much meaning!

    Oh what a saying, oh what truth. These men will have an to answer for their actions one day. We just have to believe this, we really do. I know I do!

  15. Chris
    I have read these. What really concerns me is that most Calvinistas-Piper, Mohler, et al, have totally blown off these complaints. Of yeah, they make some side comment that he could be more discrete but he is still the “it boy of the moment.” This blog is one voice documenting the asinine drivel that finds itself more at home in a bar than in a church.

  16. Zeta
    Thanks. As always you show concern for others and I am grateful. So, had I been present for this talk, i think I would have started to laugh so hard they would have asked me to leave.

  17. Eagle
    Keep convicting us of our hypocrisy. We need to hear it. Could you get me some info on the Romans 13 stuff?

  18. Anonymous 8:14
    Not only do they think it is OK, they love it and endorse it. They are complicit in it. Weirder than weird.

  19. This was actually a Sunday morning sermon??!! As Dee said in a previous post that was linked….were there CHILDREN present? I cannot even imagine sitting through that with my kids, even the grown ones, even the one that is married!! (Should i phone her right now, and inquire as to whether she is doing all this biblical stuff Driscoll teaches about? ) Almost worse than being there with the kids, would be being there with my FATHER IN LAW. I once said “breast pump” in front of him, and he had to leave the room. 🙂

  20. Dee, I am convinced that most ministers need to go back an read things like the Didache and do an extensive study of Thessalonians. Paul never commands that any ministers are to be given a salary (front end pre-giving) but rather there is a commending statement by Paul to compensate them in their service if they are able to do so (this is stated in the letters to Corinthians. If a congregation want to arrange a salary that is there choice to do so but it is never a command. Yet how many laity are indicted for “robbing God.”

  21. It is supposed to be that an elder “must not be young in the faith.” He must have “a good reputation with outsiders.” He must not be “quarrelsome.”

  22. Wenatchee The hatchet,

    Thanks so much for your courage in blowing the whistle on Mark Driscoll. He really gets off on this stuff! He tickles the ears (and other body parts) of so many young guys that its scary! Yes, one day he will have to stand befoe THE ONE who inspired those words in the Song of Songs… Shame on Driscoll for using God to garner a following.

  23. Eagle,
    I really appreciate the descriptions “Christianity by osmosis”
    Very good observation.

  24. I think a more compelling argument against Driscoll scholastic approach (and I use that phrase a bit loosely) comes not from John MacArthur on Song of Songs but from Scott Bailey regarding Driscoll’s even more wildly speculative (and dishonest) appropriation of Targum Neofiti.

    http://scotteriology.wordpress.com/2009/08/25/mark-driscoll-as-scholar-and-exegete/

    MacArthur and Driscoll are basically on the same page as to how Song of Songs ought to be read. MacArthur differs with Driscoll on where to take the images. The Puritans (and others) argued that when once a person rejects a typological reading as a way to read Song of Songs that Driscollisms are where you’re going to end up (which is, somewhat broadly speaking, the warning Matthew Henry had about attempting to fixate on just the plainest reading of the text).

  25. Eagle, i read your 1st comment that starts with “soooooooooooooo….”

    You asked, “1. What is this obsession in fundementalism/Christinaity with sexuality? Why can’t this topic be left alone?”

    I have my own thoughts on this subject. The image of a fundamentalist is one who is very uptight, prude-ish, no fun, by-the-rules, rules-win-over-compassion, no spontanaeity kind of person. It’s very unattractive. Very undesirable.

    Anyone who knows they have this kind of image would want to do their darnedest to reinvent themself.

    Also, it seems that men don’t like church (or so i have read). So, what’s the sterotypical thing that is most important to stereotypical men? Sex, of course.

    So, as I see it, this preoccupation with sex in fundamentalist circles is an effort to prove to themselves & others that “I’m cool, too”; and (2) an effort to entice men back into church.

    #2 also includes all that manliness talk, and church is supposed to be masculine, leadership and authority are inherently masculine….

    What a GIMMICK!! The ultimate gimmick — and all done to reinvent the image of church and God himself. Making a tool out of masculinity and sex to make church and God desirable to men???? How brazenly manipulative.

    I really don’t have words for how obnoxious and jr. high-ish this all is.

  26. I do not care for Mark Driscoll much, and find his reading and sermons of SOS to be as others have pointed out- obscene and pornographic. That is why I love and appreciate the ministries of John MacArthur, Phil Johnson, etc, who have stood up and pointed out as much.

  27. Hey all!

    I’m glad this has been addressed – Mark Driscoll and C J Mahaney’s near-blasphemous approach to the Song of Solomon has bothered me for years. I think C J Mahaney led Driscoll into this view. Mahaney argued for this view of Song of Solomon in his book; “Sex, Romance and the Glory of God”. He mocked the Puritan, historical view of this precious book.

    Driscoll (being Mahaney’s admitted disciple) simply has taken that view another step forward and pornographized it.

    The interesting thing I note is that Mahaney may “mentor” Driscoll, but Mahaney has never trusted Driscoll enough to have him come and preach and any SGM conference. He’s not daft much that Mahaney. Piper of course on the other hand did.

    I’ve shared before that I have had same-sex struggles with my orientation, and I find Driscoll’s macho, hetero, near homophobic preaching on this book so offensive it’s untrue. To suggest that seeing the book of the Song of Solomon in an allegorical fashion is;

    “(I learned) to love Jesus without feeling like we had a thinly veiled homosexual relationship.” Mark Driscoll

    Is just offensive in the EXTREME! It is language you would expect to hear in the playground from homophobic 12 year old boys. Not a preacher of the Gospel.

    I used to go every year to the Brighton conference hosted by Terry Virgo and Newfrontiers in the UK but a few years back, they invited Mark Driscoll to come and preach. I felt so strongly about it that I wrote to Terry (a man I respect hugely) and said that as much as I loved and honoured him, I could not stomach sitting through Mark Driscoll’s homophobic, offensive preaching. Terry was gracious and kind enough to accept my feelings and wish me well. I heard as well that Driscoll was a blessing to Newfrontiers, which is great.

    But to me this preaching is wrong. And it worries me when he has an affect on his fan club – other young preachers around the world.

    And of soap box … !!

  28. I just think too many elders are self appointed and not enough are truly fruitly annointed. The whole system is odd and is in desparate need of reform and I actually graduated from a seminary. And what is odd Dee, that these popular guys of late in the neoconservative movement claim to be fundamental and biblical. If you sincerely want move some one from back from liberal to what you believe to be conservative notions you don’t fire people that don’t fall in line. Take Klouda for example, her husband couldn’t work and was disabled. I don’t see that how she could not stay on staff at SWBTS. A lecturer does not fall into the “mentoring” framework of Paul’s on teaching on men. Also prooftexting is apparently not taught in seminaries at all as well as we see a president of a seminary indict his “poor” seminary collegues as poor for “not tithing.” They may bring Scriptures and know them but let the fruits speak out. Too me Driscoll is a minister who thinks being grity and crass is appealing to get men into church again. Let the fruits speak. To ministers like these, I say this “One can bring Scriptures all day…but your fruits will speak so much more.”

  29. Dan, Driscoll describes studying Song of Songs early in the history of Mars Hill in Confessions of a Reformission Rev (published in 2006). He came to his view of Song of Songs somewhere before late 1999 when he preached a SoS series for the first time, which ended just before I started attending. By Driscoll’s account (which I know some people here won’t want to trust) he was frustrated by the lack of sex he was getting in his marriage and how he and Grace were getting along so he turned to Song of Songs in the hope that that would fix things. Now that’s eisegeis waiting to happen there but this is the kind of personal background on Driscoll’s approach to SoS that someone like MacArthur hasn’t addressed, which is yet another reason his rebuttal is basically useless by focusing on Driscoll’s style rather than look more seriously into the ways in which Driscoll handles the text. If someone was going to correct problems in Driscoll’s approach the time to do that needed to be a decade ago. He’s set in his ways now. Driscoll also preached some content on sex in 2002 that was considered so far out the Mars Hill elders voted to have it pulled and you can’t find it now. As hard as it may be to believe 2008 Peasant Princess was considered by Mars Hill members to be the drastically toned down version. The Scotland sermon is a bit closer to the 2002 period version … but not quite as detailed in some ways so far as I can tell. Since a full transcript isn’t available I can’t be completely sure.

    Driscoll as Mahaney’s “disciple” is probably more pro forma because in 2007-2008 he mentioned Mahaney as someone providing mentoring to him in response to questions about whether or not Driscoll had any outside accountability in the wake of firing Paul Petry and Bent Meyer. There are a lot of us who don’t take seriously that much meaningful outside accountability happens.

  30. Hi Dee and Deb,
    I realize that this more appropriately belongs on the previous thread, but I was so struck by its poignancy that I had to post it for you. This excerpt is from a blog response from John Immel over at Spiritual Tyranny . com; and it puts into great clarity the reason for my utter disagreement with SGM and other Calvanista views on women in the church. It’s why, in the context of the Neo-Reformed movement, I am a stark feminist:

    “So men and women are compelled to live in the worst of all worlds… men who have no responsibility to produce one thought worth accepting, one action worth following and or one trait worth desiring, and women are compelled to live a fraud. They must sit silent and rationally subordinate to a man who they know doesn’t have a brain cell in his head while he makes choices and takes actions that are devoid of sense. But he gets to puff out his chest like he’s the original theologian, taking credit for the doctrinal sufficiency of his family, all the while taking his rational queues from some man sitting in a office.

    So you have rational third class citizens, being “led” by rational second class citizens, who mooch their ideas from doctrinal autocrats who rule the definition of TRUTH by fiat. “

  31. Argo,

    Thanks for sharing that. I like John Immel. When what you have described happens in marriages, I can’t help but think how harmful it is to fulfilling The Great Commission. What unbeliever would find that appealing?

  32. Argo, because I firmly agree with the idea of male headship and female submission, would you say that my wife and I necessarily fall into those categories and caricature that you’ve portrayed?

  33. Dan
    Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I totally reject Driscoll’s extreme macho approach and would not be surprised if Driscoll has a few struggles of his own. You have the courage and strength to admit such and I deeply admire you. You have no idea how many times I have prayed for you. You have suffered much injustice in your life at the hands of an idiotic church who decided to increase your burdens. It is perhaps your story, along with some of the stories of child abuse, which fueled my distrust and disgust of SGM.

    Thank you for commenting-i think of you often and wonder how you are doing!

  34. “Argo, because I firmly agree with the idea of male headship and female submission, would you say that my wife and I necessarily fall into those categories and caricature that you’ve portrayed”

    Where do you see “headship” in the bible? Is there a corresponding “armship”?

  35. If “headship” means “he would be greatest among you must be the servant of all” I see THAT kind of “headship” in the Bible. 😉

  36. Anonymous, I would say it comes in part from this verse “But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.” Paul later on links this to the creative order in verse 8. When I speak of headship, I mean the idea that man is head of the household and head of the family.

    That distracts though from the question I was seeking to be answered- because I believe that, does that mean that my wife and I NECESSARILY fall into those categories or caricatures that were presented? If not why take such a needlessly provoking position?

  37. It “can” mean “source” but not in every case. Context and usage are pretty important. Egalitarians have tried to get kephalos (sic) to mean “source” in certain passages rather than “head” when a more compelling textual case is to go straight to Jesus’ teaching about how authority is to be used. That’s something that can’t be worked around and it is what complementarians should all be agreeing to anyway since Jesus outranks Paul.

  38. Dustin –

    I’m getting on in years, but my mother used to say, “if the shoe fits, wear it. If it doesn’t fit, just let it sit there.”

    So if you are a man who has “no responsibility to produce one thought worth accepting, one action worth following and or one trait worth desiring” then I guess the shoe fits. Otherwise you are free to leave that shoe alone. Your choice.

  39. Anonymous

    Well stated. I believe that Piper must take his extreme position due to his acceptance of patriarchy. A Christian patriarch must be in control at all times, even if he is an abuser. Also, there is great suspicion that is raised when a woman claims her patriarch husband is abusing her. How could he? He is the head and the head doesn’t do these things. This does not compute.

  40. W the Hatchet

    Now let’s see who among the calvinista set is a servant who makes himself the servant?? Hmmmm, I am still thinking……

  41. So similarly, i could say “most people on this board are angry and bitter and despise authority” and then say as you do, that if the shoe fits, wear it, if not leave it alone?

    Would not a more reasonable response be that we don’t slander brothers and sisters in christ with such broad strokes, especially because these are secondary issues?

  42. Dustin

    What in heavens name do you mean by “slander.” That is the current word du jour amongst a group of people who are frustrated that the little guys out here taking issue with their presentation of theology. What, pray tell, have I said that could be construed as slander? BTW, we do know what it is and we are very careful not to do so.There is a well defined legal definition of the word.

    Secondly, you also used the word “bitter.” That is a banned word on this blog. It is overused by authority junkies who want to shut up the little guys from criticizing the vaunted “leaders.”Despise authority” comes close on the heels of bitter. Did you know that these words are so overused that they are boring. Juts because I deeply disagree with some of these guys and their theology does not mean I despise authority. You should see how I sweet talk police who stop me for moving violations.

    There isa good book that might be of help to you in your journey to understand. It is called The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse.We have reviewed it on this site.

  43. WH – your comment that MD “was frustrated by the lack of sex he was getting” (emphasis mine) is revealing. Not sure if you meant to phrase it that way, though…

  44. btw, the remark on MD’s perception that he wasn’t getting enough sex is just… was sex the problem? Or was there something deeper going on in their relationship?

    But instead of preaching about working on problems in marriages – working on them together<. with one's spouse – he instead comes up with all this "lotsa sex will make it better" prescription. (And graphic descriptions of it at that.)

    A friend of mine would categorize this in part as "Doing things and avoiding relationships." And I believe she would be right. (Actually, she *has* writtena bout this, and things like 30 day sex challenges and… see her blog, Stuff Christian Culture Likes.)

    I personally find MD's approach to sex – and his many stupid off-the-cuff remarks about it – juvenile at best. And I cringe inside for his wife and children. (Honestly, I do.)

  45. Yikes! forgot to close a tag after “with one’s spouse” above. Thanks in advance for the fix, Dee!

  46. I’m referring to what Driscoll wrote in Reformission Rev, which was published in 2006 and can be consulted for how Driscoll worded things. He used to say that he and Grace “weren’t coming together as often as we should have.” He once said, somewhat famously, at a mens’ retreat, that if he went without sex for a period of more than three days he’d get “wiggy”. This made the rounds and not all the married guys thought it was very wise for Driscoll to have said that.

  47. W the Hatchet/Dee,

    Thanks ever so much for your kind comments and interesting ones! I found the background on Driscoll very interesting and it certainly made a lot of sense.

    Lack of sex = rather than admit there may be a personal problem, look for a verse in the Bible to back up your experience. Yup.

    And Dee – absolutely!! As you say, my suspicion has been that the macho men who are so homophobic and make such extreme comments, possibly struggle more silently than they would EVER admit!

    Thanks so much again – I always feel the most welcome here of most of the blogs I read, and love you guys so much!

    I am so with your comments on church at the moment. My experience in SGM that I’ve posted about before really has wrecked my faith in church and particularly church leaders. Maybe that’ll change one day but at the moment I’m struggling to see the point! But personally – am doing great!

    Luvs you guys!!

  48. Driscoll has made a point of addressing other problems in marriage besides sex. He has at times used SoS as a lure to discuss sex and then discuss other issues in married life like conflict resolution and communication. It’s important to stress that he has never only preached all sex only sex in these series. That doesn’t mean I agree with his approach but as I put it in the body of the post, I’ve got ten years of Driscoll sermons jostling in my head and many here have not heard all of what Driscoll has said. he’s talked a lot in the past about how there was a particularly miserable stage in his marriage because he didn’t want to lose any arguments so he’d spend a lot of time having won his arguments with Grace but noticing he’d be sleeping on the couch a lot. Has he come off as obsessed with getting as much sex as possible? Absolutely. But he has actually preached sermons from Song of Songs that are not just about the sex part. One of the key themes he ended the 1999 series on SoS with was that a good marriage must never be taken for granted, that an apparently good marriage can still end in disaster.
    To cite a reference to Peasant Princess from the late Internet Monk, here’s a link to what Michael Spenser had to say about Driscoll’s Peasant Princess, albeit buried in a larger context:

    http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/whats-a-conservative-reading-of-song-of-solomon

  49. Hey all
    So, last night I am trying to fall asleep and was chewing on this nonsense of Driscoll and SOS.Has anyone stopped to think about our boy, Solomon, “the oh so wise” king. This guy amassed wives and concubines that makes Joseph Smith’s polygamy look downright prudish.

    If this book is merely meant to be a guide for marital expression for the rest of us schlocks, then what the heck happened? He had this beautiful chick, got exactly what he wanted and proceeded to “acquire” hundreds of wives and concubines. It did not satisfy him.

    If there is no other meaning for this book, it is a dismal vision for marital love. But, if one takes the underlying metaphor, applies to to the King who knows the very hairs on our heads and cares for us deeply, this book rises above the inadequacies of Solomon’s life and brings joy to the reader.

  50. Color
    Maybe because they enjoy the ability to listen to someone pushing the envelope and being able listen to off color humor and call it “Christian teaching.”

  51. WH: frankly, from what I’ve heard of MD’s “teaching” on sex, I’m thinking that he’s a misogynistic jerk. That “Scotland ‘sermon'” really has that vibe. (“Christ commands it!” – I call bullsh*it on that.)

    He tries to make it look as if he’s concerned for women (in the SoS talks), but that’s clearly – imo – not the case.

    What a pompous, self-important, deluded fool he is. (I see that he just posted something on his web site about cage fighting… )

  52. On another topic altogether: I had to call the township cops about an hour ago – there was a herd of 15 or so sheep running around and sampling the tasty parts of the neighbors’ lawns!

    They were awfully but, but obviously escapees, and I was worried that one or more might get hit by a car.

    People will come home, find chomp marks in their bushes and never know who did it… ; )

  53. Late to the party cause home computer is down.

    Concerning Driscoll and his take on SoS, I’m far past the shock and outrage stage. I’m more in the generally disgusted stage.

    The crazy thing is this, any man, woman, or child with a below average IQ, a King James Bible, and a Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance can figure out that “mah haneim” is not an ancient strip tease. If this were so, the angels on Jacob’s ladder would be doing strip teases because this is were the term “mah haneim” comes from. (look it up)

    Yet I can’t tell you how many Driscolites (usually male) I’ve come across that are convinced, strip teases are in the Bible because they take what Driscoll says without ever checking the facts. Why? Because they WANT strip teases to be in the Bible. Driscoll WANTS strip teases to be in the Bible so bad, he has deceived himself and an entire generation of blinded followers.

    And the irony of it all? Driscoll teaches that WOMEN are the more easily deceived gender. He wishes!

  54. Mara – I think MD deliberately finds what he believes are rationales for his own sexual tastes in the Bible. And he’s speaking to guys who grew up with internet porn as a constant, so…

  55. Mara
    Love the easily deceived comment! He says it to take the pressure off of him. If people stopped and thought for more than a millisecond, they would recognize craziness of this guy’s ministry. Just because he gets tattooed people to sit in seat, does not mean they are hearing the Gospel. He is compromising the faith for bums on seats and bucks in plates.

  56. Dee – the thing is, I want Grace Driscoll and her kids to get the hell out of there! He seems (mo) unhinged, and I don’t think they’re safe.

    As for all the claims about Seattle being “unchurched” prior to MD, that’s also a lot of bs. There were plenty of churches out there, and I’m sure there still are – I do know that some refugees from MD’s cult (and yes, I believe it is one) are finding safety elsewhere.

  57. Well, how I ended up in the Mars Hill orbit was my background was Pentecostal. I also ended up being dragged to home churches by my parents for a while in which people spent more time talking about black UN helicopters preparing to take over America than about biblical texts. When you come from THAT kind of Christian background a guy like Driscoll can be very appealing because at least he attempts to base his long rambles on some kind of biblical text and isn’t going on about UN helicopters. I was told about Mars Hill by someone who said that if I liked the arts and if I was theologically conservative but culturally liberal I would feel at home there. And when Driscoll was in his 20s he wasn’t quite so fusty about some things. The older he gets the more he paradoxically resembles a guy llike John MacArthur but not in the way MacArthur fans might want to admit.

    And as someone who knows people who were the earliest members of Mars Hill there has been some consensus that Driscoll was much better in a number of ways some ten years ago when he hadn’t been completely consumed by his own hype from his fanbase. Mike Gunn and Lief Moi were around twelve years ago to take him down a peg or two on at least some issues. But there were still plenty of indications he was a showboater and a bully even then, and though my family and I were there for a while even back in the early days we noticed that Driscoll’s so called “counterculture” was nothing more than the middle American suburban dream recast as edgy and rebellious just for being in Seattle. Except it’s here in Seattle, too.

    But in other respects Mars Hill has become more liberal. A friend and I noted some twelve years ago that one of the pastors was a YEC type who didn’t think there was anything to discuss. Driscoll, it must be said, has made a point of saying Christians shouldn’t get bogged down in assuming old earthers aren’t on the same team. He’s also very much against post-millenialist/theonomistic ideas. He might be a bully on all sorts of issues but he thinks that on the whole the Rushdoony/Gary North school is out to create a theocracy that shouldn’t get made.

  58. He *is* a bully, which is one of the main problems with him.

    As for your background, WH, it makes sense to me that MD’s church would have been much more appealing. But lined up against what I’ll call a more normal religious/church setting, it’s clearly off by quite a few degrees.

  59. Dee,
    While not claiming to be a defender of Mark Driscoll,I know he is well liked by some of my friends.However in the interest of truth etc, I would ask that we verify that the sermon he preached at Destiny Fellowship in Scotland was actually the one you referred to.
    I must confess I have not listened to all of the Audio on this sermon in 2007 and if anyone has,can they please inform us at to the actual point on which he deviates from his sermon to Pastors and refers to SOS.. Now this is a Sunday evening sermon so in your introduction to this topic, you alluded to the fact that it had been taken off the website.. Do you mean off the Destiny website. If so,then how did the transcript of his sermon appear.
    I am enclosing the link to his evening sermon,just in case this was the one,you are referring to.
    I am not commenting on the actual SOS sermon but if we are to discuss this rationally and truthfully,then could we please have some more verification on its authenticity.
    Please accept my apologies if my request is superfluous as I am late into this discussion.
    Thank you
    http://www.destinyedinburgh.com/media/messages/The_Gospel_we_preach_-_a_message_for_leaders.aspx

  60. Addendum

    I noticed after my comment that according to the link above, the sermon was preached in the morning service so I deduced from this,that it was removed from Destiny’s website.
    However,the link does refer later on down the page to the evening service which is slightly different than my link.

    Thanks

  61. Yes, and that I’m at a Presbyterian church now can be taken as evidence that I eventually figured that out. 🙂 When you’re in your twenties and don’t know any better a church proudly reinventing the wheel at every stage of the game is exciting and then when you get some actual church history and biblical study under your belt you begin to realize that reinventing the wheel gets kinda old.

  62. I’m late posting on this thread, but I was pretty much just sick when I read MD’s sermon for several reasons. First, it was a ravaging of a beautiful portion of scripture for what appears to be MD’s own personal intentions, especially when I read the part about, “Christ commanded this . . .” Jesus Christ made no commandment regarding MD’s “interpretation” (which is all this was at best) of these scriptures, and I don’t recall Jesus making any commandments at all during the time that SOS was written. To make a statement like that from a pulpit is a lie. So, is MD purposely misleading people? Does he have a seminary degree?

    Secondly, I think it is very dangerous the way many preachers today are teaching as “biblical” or “Christ commands” regarding issues that are really preferences and practices. New believers, and even some older believers who don’t or have not studied the Word for themselves, easily assume that what they hear on a Sunday morning is the Truth. So, how many people are set free by what they hear MD teach? How many are actually condemned by what they hear on a Sunday morning because they compare themselves with what MD might do or not do? The Bible gives us very few specifics about how we are to conduct our sexual life within the confines of our marriage. Why does MD feel free to tell men and woman what they should do? Why would all marriages need to look the same as his might? Can’t there be many differing expressions of how a man and wife express their love? I think so. I don’t think we need MD to tell us what our sexual experiences should look like.

    Third, DOESN’T MD HAVE SOMETHING BETTER TO PREACH ABOUT. Sorry for yelling, but good grief, why this expounding on one’s sexual preferences in marriage? Why is this so important to someone’s walk with God? Is this something that was so important to Jesus that he spoke to his disciples about it? When I gather together with believers to worship and share in God’s Word this is not what I want to hear, nor is it central to to one’s walk with Jesus.

    Do preachers think about the word they are bringing and how that message will help edify those listening, or advance the Kingdom of God and bring glory to Him? Do they desire to handle God’s Word carefully and respectfully by not adding or taking away from it?

    Just to clarify, I think there is a time and place to talk about and ask questions about the marriage bed, or sexual issues, but not in a Sunday morning sermon. A better place might be a discussion between two couples in counseling, or man with man and woman with woman. This being said, I wouldn’t want MD to counsel me because it appears he would just be bringing me a list of what I should do based on his personal desires – hmm. Sounds pretty legalistic to me.

  63. Shep
    We are always interested in truth.This unfortunate sermon got play everywhere.

    Shep, the fixation commenters here have about the Scotland address withstanding I’m discussing The Peasant Princess, the 1999 SoS sermons and Driscoll’s teaching from SoS and Proverbs in 2002. I mentioned the Scotland sermon in passing and have been discussing Driscoll’s approach to Song of Songs over the last decade. People here at Wartburg are more likely to focus on the Scotland sermon and the sermon that was pulled off mid-broadcast due to concerns about sexual content. I understand how their perspective would be limited to those sermons but that’s not where I’m coming from. I’m coming from the perspective of someone who is taking a more global examination of Driscoll’s approach to Song of Songs over the course of a decade and to having heard Driscoll teach on the subject at mens’ retreats and other church events that many Wartburg readers wouldn’t know about or have been at. There may be a few ex-MH lurkers here but I don’t know if they have identified themselves as such as I’m new to this blog and the conversations here.

  64. Dee,

    Can you direct me to an audio of this sermon please? If as you say this was deleted from the Destiny website and you say it’got play everywhere’, I presume that the transcript you posted was from another site. My ref to truth was only that the post stated that the sermon was preached on Sunday evening at Destiny in Nov 2007. As I posted earlier,this was not the case as the sermon was about Pastors.

  65. Wenatchee,
    Thanks for this ,,I understand where you are coming from but as an ex Pastor, I am double wary about attributing to other Pastors and Fellowships comments and instances like this.
    I have no problem with you or anyone else sharing their dislikes or other matters about Mark Driscoll but by posting as we do and incorrectly attributing the instance,we become guilty of heresay and gossip.
    If we pass something on for whatever motive,let it have some positive aspect in that we are not just peddlers of ‘smut’ whoever and whatever the source.
    Thanks

  66. Shep,

    Sorry, you won’t be able to hear the audio of this sermon because it has been removed from the Resurgence website (see info below). Perhaps you could get in touch with them and ask why the sermon is no longer available.

    We wrote about this in 2009 right after John MacArthur weighed in with his series called The Rape of Solomon’s Song. As I remember it, MacArthur addressed this serious matter after receiving a CD of Driscoll’s message.

    Driscoll removes Scottish Sermon from his website

    “Here we must point out that the content of this sexually explicit sermon has been removed from the Mars Hill website. Mark Driscoll writes:

    “I received two emails from an older pastor whom I respect very much. In love, he brought to my attention a piece of content from me online that some of my critics have picked up on. It was a message I did out of the country a few years back on the more controversial sections of the Song of Songs. To be honest, I was unaware the content had been posted on The Resurgence. Apparently it was from 2007, and the file was posted about a month ago as part of clearing a backlog of content. Thankfully, I got to preach the entirety of the Song of Songs at the end of 2008 and did a better job with the text than I had done previously. Subsequently, I would commend that content if you are interested in studying the Song of Songs. Allegedly, some of my critics were concerned by the older content, and I think there is wisdom in some of their concerns. So we have pulled that content.” “

  67. Shep(Short for shepherd?)

    OK. I am tired and have just spent some times googling. This sermon has been quoted all over the net by a gazillion decent sources. I take it you are saying that there is no audio and therefor all of these sources cannot “prove” that it occurred. If that it the case, why don’t you prove to me why one of the most infamous sermons of our generation is a hoax. Are you trying to convince me that all the stuff with Bott radio didn’t happen as well? (Google docs- the bane of charlatans everywhere).

    Frankly, I am a little tired of accusations of gossip. Whether it is was preached at noon, 7AM or 11PM , Driscoll preached garbage.Or, are you trying to prove that his language is lovely and he is just a dear old soul who is just misunderstood by a bunch of uppity prudes?

  68. Deb,

    Appreciate this reply to my earlier post… It would appear from the article that you refer to that Mark Driscoll was ‘teachable’ in reference to this matter,in that he ‘pulled’ it from his site..

    I’m afraid that I was new to TWW in 2009 and did not see it.
    Thanks again

  69. Shep,

    Here is a brief excerpt from my 2009 post in which I quote John MacArthur:

    “What has John MacArthur so outraged? Dr. MacArthur explains in Part 2 of the installment: “A CD copy of that shocking message, entitled Sex: A Study of the Good Bits of Song of Solomon was recently sent to me by some deeply offended and concerned Christians in the UK. It is the primary reason I’m doing this series.” ”

    In case you’d like to read the post, here it is.

    Smacking Down Mark Driscoll

    I’d also like to direct you to another post I wrote from a very personal viewpoint.

    Driscoll’s Sex Tips and the Tipping Point

  70. Dee,
    Its late and you are misunderstanding me..I am not suggesting anything of the kind about these articles and their content. I am not defending or accusing MD or you. I am a avid reader of your posts.
    I am grateful for what you and Deb post but like anything I have used in my ministry, I like to be certain of my facts. If my pedantic ways offend you,I am sorry.
    Shep incidentally was the name of a dog and is not short for shepherd in this instance.

  71. Shep, I appreciate the concerns. In this context mentioning the Scotland sermon was not helpful because it has sidelined where I was hoping discussion would go. The core of where I differ with Driscoll has to do with the content from the “Let Him Kiss” me intro to Peasant Princess and not the Scotland sermon. I “could” refer to material in the 1999 sermons but since he has basically stuck to the same overall approach to SoS over the last ten years referring to Peasant Princess has sufficed for attribution.

    And I’ve been up front with married friends at Mars Hill that I recused myself from that series because I worried it was going to be a rerun of stuff that I felt was TMI for me. My married friends at MH have been pretty understanding about that concern and respect my decision. I don’t contest that other people have genuinely benefited from the Peasant Princess series but I believe it would have been better kept in the marriage classes and counseling settings (where it largely WAS restricted to from about 2003-2007) instead of brought out as a three month series for the entire denomination/church in 2008.

  72. Shep
    Driscoll appears to play a game of being teachable. Did you see our post on Mark Driscoll seeing rapes in progress? This guy is bizarre and his statements keep going from bad to worse. He is train-wreck waiting to happen. Mark my words, when the wreck occurs, it will be a doozy. I am shocked at the number of people who give him a pass. i bet, deep down inside, there are some supporters who are secretly worried. They should be.

  73. Driscoll, though his critics may not want to believe it, actually HAS toned things down. The 2007 was not quite as racy as the 2002 version of what he taught from the pulpit, let alone in mens’ groups. But I’ve heard enough of how he’s broached the topic to say that while I grant in advance he has toned things down over ten years I still take issue with some basics in his interpretive approach. At least now he states upfront that the Abishag bit is speculation on his part, in contrast to his 1999 series.

  74. Shep,

    “Teachable”? All I can say is that Driscoll is a very slow learner because this scenario of him opening his mouth and inserting his foot has happened over and over again. What’s so scary is the tremendous influence he has over young guys who desperately want to emulate him.

  75. Deb
    “Oh Mr. Driscoll please, pretty please, may I listen to the deleted sermon? Why not? Why is it off your site? It is sooo famous. Surely everyone is upset over nothing. Must be just uppity prudes who don’t read the Bible the way it was intended – with a brewski in one hand and a Mariners game on the tube.”

  76. W
    Any guy who “sees” rapes and molestations in progress is a nut job with a prophet complex. If this is toned down, i am flummoxed. Maybe it’s a Seattle thing?

  77. Deb
    Google Docs-the way to keep the pressure on. BTW, that sermon was one of the most discussed “presentations” in church history. I predict it will go down marking our generation as a bunch of kooks.

  78. Shep

    I dislike it when people throw around words such as “gossip.” This blog makes a terrific effort to document and research our stuff. That is one of the reason I am tired. I am finishing up researching some stuff about child abuse which this blog intends to use in a practical way.

    The problem is for readers who cannot believe that their current “hero pastor” could say or do such things. Then, when we try to provide more documentation, we are accused of spreading “negativity.”

    As for being certain of facts, in this instance, a fast google search would have proven our point that this sermon is extremely well-known although MD would like us to forget about it. This is not a changed man-he just is aging and looks less hip as time goes on.

  79. dee, as tempted as people may be to discuss the visions thing I suggest we set that aside for another discussion. Coming as I do from a Pentecostal/charismatic background and having seen more of the recovered memory/healing of memory ministries fads than I’d like I certainly have things I feel should be said on that subject but for this series perhaps we can just stick to Song of Songs.

  80. Most of the visions stuff, if memory serves, is in connection to a four-part day-long spiritual warfare presentation Driscoll did in early 2008. One of the significant problems in attempting to focus on what is involved in the spiritual warfare presentation is that content preached to leaders inside Mars Hill four years ago is not necessarily the best way to assess what Driscoll may be saying or thinking now. It would take a great deal of study and research simply to verify whether or not Driscoll’s presentation on Spiritual Warfare would fit in any way to even one of the sources he cited as a reference, William Gurnall’s door-stopper sized book The Christian in Full Armour. How many people here own that book? A show of hands? Well, if there’s more than just ME here who actually owns the unabridged Gurnall book we could have a conversation about that and whether Driscoll’s presentation could be defended on the basis of that later.

    Here I suggest that people don’t even take the word of watchbloggers for it. Driscoll has in the case of spiritual warfare topics claimed to refer to Gurnall as a primary source and this means that it’s possible (though not easy or practical!) to go to Gurnall’s published work and start discussing how or if Driscoll’s approach can be defended plausibly on the basis of Gurnall or if Driscoll is just name-dropping a Puritan as an authority so that people will look him up, assume it’s all legit, and just listen to what Driscoll says. I’d say whether or not I’ve reached a conclusion about that but Gurnall is long-winded. There are certain Puritans who couldn’t have been having sex as often as Driscoll says people should have sex because they were writing so much not even N. T. Wright could compete with them.

    Discernment ministries are basically of no value in dealing with visions stuff because they assume a satanic or fleshly origin without attempting to get at the psychological and herd elements of how these kinds of problems develop. For that, frankly, you have to consult a lot of skeptical literature, comments from atheists, and also literature from psychologists. There is virtually no contemporary scholarly work done by NT authors on demonology that I’m aware of except for Susann R. Garrett, who published The Demise of the Devil and The Temptation of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark (both of which I own). Most people who try to refute Driscoll on the subject of spiritual warfare from conservative circles are too ignorant of how much intertestamental literature has informed even the nT documents and attempt to shoehorn everything that “can” be said about Judeo-Christian ideas about diabology into “just” the canon. Honestly, that can’t really be done and that’s part of what I’m trying to put together as a supplement to this current series. Selective literal and allegorical reading isn’t just a problem with Driscoll and it is relevant to the broader subject not only of how Christians read SoS but other types of literature.

  81. WH, I was a charismatic for a long time.

    Let me just suggest right now that Driscoll’s “visions” are, imo, on about the same order as Mike Bickle’s. (Well, Driscoll sees people being sexually assaulted; Mike Bickle sees huge snakes falling from the sky – what’s the diff, really?!)

    A shade less jokingly, I think MD’s so-called “visions” are really quite perverse, and I’m not sure that I need to go to the sources you suggest to have that conviction. (Y’know – whatsoever is true, whatsoever is lovely, etc. … think.) Although you can click here for a series of PDFs of the book in question.

    I must admit that I have tons of trouble with all this extra-Biblical “revelation,” especially when it concerns rape and molestation. (Again, just a LITTLE fixated on sex, isn’t he?!)

  82. The thing is, every culture has its folklore about devils and demons – and imo, there is a great deal of folklore in what often passes for a “Christian” understanding of these topics. (cf. a series of sermons I heard preached by quite a number of different people over my several decades in charismatic circles.)

    The evangelical church as a whole is still pretty far removed from the “charismaniac” understanding(s) of Satan, spiritual warfare and the like. I think it would be better if people remained ignorant of that junk, too.

  83. Ironically, numo, I just wrapped up the last part of the series (I think) and it deals with Driscoll’s selective approach to typological readings about Jesus vs the devil. It also touches on an interpretive conundrum that can be brought up for both Driscoll and MacArthur, actually.

  84. W
    Sorry, W. But there was a question as to whether Driscoll was getting better. That video is living proof of continued weirdness. Hence, our readers should be careful to listen to you.

  85. W

    Since you asked us not to ring this up, I won’t but I have some serious questions about Driscoll in this area. When visions track his perverse interest in all things SOS, one must question both his pysche and his theology. See, I didn’t mention ******

  86. Numo
    There is absolutely no question that this man is stuck on weirdness. There is a real problem here and no amount of theologizing will overcome what most normal people see and of what someone like myself (abnormal but with some nursing experience) is convinced. Whenever anything weird happens in a church, people go hog wild trying to find Bible verses to defend the weirdness of the pastor. Instead, they should ask themselves, “If someone was talking this way outside of the church, would you want to hang around them or would you think they were sick or perverted?” Frankly, if someone talked like this at work, he would be reported.

  87. RE: visions, weird visions, “charismaniana”:

    I know we’re trying to steer clear of the precipice to explore this topic more here & now — so forgive this my 2 cents:

    Whenever a person has been “hurt” (betrayed, violated, humiliated, verbally offended, & anything on the spectrums of rejection and disappointment), we tend to readjust our boundaries through a newfound awareness of what amounted to danger.

    This can be a reasonable & healthy respect for “fire”, so to speak.

    But I’ve observed (certainly in myself) a tendency to overreact — to keep pushing our readjusted boundaries farther than is necessary or reasonable. Something approaching a wholesale rejection of the whole thing/person/format/organization/etc.

    I think of my aunt — who eroded my self=esteem as a child by constantly comparing me to her superior daughters. My struggle now is not to assume that her every action and motivation has some mean intent behind it. Because in actual fact, she is a good, dedent, & kind person who (whether or not I can completely accept it in my heart of hearts) does love me.

    With things associated with “charismatic”, surely there have been excesses, the exercise of bad judgement, not tempering things in a wise way given the situation. But I am picking up on an overreaction against things that have been labled “charismatic” — something approaching a wholesale rejection of these things.

    Although I understand it, as I see it, it can’t be a reasonable approach. And to me, the wonderful commenters here in the TWW community are deep and wise and intelligent, in favor of what is reasonable.

  88. elastigirl – well, I used the word “charismaniac” for a good reason. 😉

    As for *not* talking about MD’s “visions,” fixation on sex et. al. – sorry, but that’s a lot like “Hey, just don’t look at that giant African bull elephant in the corner over there, OK? He’s not going to do anything… just pretend he isn’t there and we’ll be fine!”

    WH, I don’t mean to be unkind, but there are a LOT of “somethings” about MD that make me extremely edgy and I don’t see much, if anything, in the public record to alter my impressions of him. If anything, he keeps sounding crazier (Avatar is the most Satanic movie he’s ever seen, etc. etc. etc.).

    His misogyny is immensely troubling; ditto for his fixations on sex, violence (MMA); his attitude toward Jesus, and on and on…

  89. I think of my aunt — who eroded my self=esteem as a child by constantly comparing me to her superior daughters. My struggle now is not to assume that her every action and motivation has some mean intent behind it. Because in actual fact, she is a good, dedent, & kind person who (whether or not I can completely accept it in my heart of hearts) does love me.

    But…while I understand what you’re saying, (we’re all flawed), there’s still a big problem, which you have clearly stated. That doesn’t make her an evil person, but it doesn’t negate the painful effects her speech and actions had on you.

  90. MD again: that “most effeminate worship leader” thing on his Facebook page totally (imo) undercuts all the alleged good that’s in MD.

    He’s like a more damaging, macho, chest-beating version of Pat Robertson (again, imo).

    He never apologizes, never admits that he was wrong, or that he could have phrased things, differently, or…

    My take: he is verbally and emotionally abusive, a bully (the 8th grade kind) and not even close to emotional maturity. Adults who are comfortable with who they are do NOT go around finding people to belittle, mock and attack.

    I have plenty of personal experience with such people, believe me… more than enough to tell you that I think both Piper and Driscoll should be out of the pulpit, doing real jobs. (I actually do think that being a minister is a real job, but in these guys’ cases, it seems to be all about them; a cult of personality – they both strike me as being narcissistic to a T.)

    I don’t mean to rant *at* you, WH, but honestly – can you point me (us) to some things that MD has said or written so that we can see the nuances you’re talking about? It would help us – and, I think, your own thesis as well.

    Cool? 🙂

  91. I’ll try to get to some of that stuff numo, because those are all fair questions, but I’m up for evaluation for eye surgery for both eyes today. I’ll see, so to speak, if I can field some of the questions you asked later in the week when my pupils aren’t the size of nickels.

  92. Oh gosh! Praying here; hope it all goes well – and no rush on documentation! (Though I’m all ears.)

  93. elastigirl: i don’t want to make all things and people that fall under the “charismatic” heading look bad. That would be very unfair, and (imo) false. (I became a professing xtian during the height of the Catholic charmismatic movement, and saw many good things over the years.)

    But… by the same token, I *could* say that there are *some* things about SGM that seemed to have a positive influence in the lives of a few of my old friends. However, those few positive things are greatly overshadowed by the wrongs, theological and otherwise, committed by SGM “pastors” and “leaders.”

    That’s pretty much how I feel about the charismatic movement as a whole, especially as it is now. (Super-weird “strategic level spiritual warfare”-ness and all.)

  94. Elastigirl,

    I agree with you that we should not throw the baby out with the bathwater as regards what we commonly refer to as ‘charismatic’. I think there must be a balance between what we experience in Christ and what we know intellectually. When either of those become dominant, something is missing. For me, if it were not for my many experiences of the presence of God and him working through the kinds of elements that are presented as desirable in Charismatic circles, I do not believe my faith would have survived the challenge of the intellect as regards the issue of scriptural authority and the apparent conflict between science and faith.

    So you will never find me directly critical of the charismatic distinctives themselves. But I always have been, and remain, critical of those who drop into the Corinthian mentality of putting the gifts before the giver of the gifts, who exercise no self-control or order in their lives, or who are willing to compromise sound Biblical doctrine at the expense of the emotional.

    Indeed, I have tended to fellowship at more or less non-charasmatic fellowships over the years to avoid the excesses, though to me the ‘perfect’ fellowship would include the recognition of their value and careful but sober encouragement of its members in that area.

    Zeta

  95. Hi, Numo.

    I’m all for being upfront and honest, instead of avoiding things. Yes, these “visions” should be discussed. It just seemed like for this post in particular, moving over into debating MD’s “visions”, & charismatic things was straying too far from the intended point. At least, I think Wenatchee the H mentioned somethign like that — & since he authored this post, i just wanted to be respectful of that. But of course I barged on ahead and composed my lengthy comment anyway!

    I’m sure “charismaniac” is apt for what you have in mind.

    I don’t mean to negate the painful effects of bad behavior (whether done on purpose or by accident or ignorance). Just seems it’s not impossible to make peace with bad events and their “perpetators” and not be in denial about it all. A delicate matter, for sure.

    And perhaps not always appropriate (i can think of a number of people and movements and organizations that are despicable enough to not warrant peace-making).

  96. (fwiw, I live near Penn State, and I think some of my anger, grief and frustration over recent news – especially the cover=up/enabling of child abuse – is affecting me…. and so I ranted about MD instead.)

  97. Zeta – very much agreed.

    One sad thing, though, is that I have encountered surprise (and, on a couple of occasions, contempt) from other Christians when I finally mentioned that I was one of those charismatics.

    It seemed not unlike the few reactions I’ve had from people who aren’t Christian who (for example) were amazed that Christians would read books and THINK and like things like theater, dance, visual arts, etc. etc. (Though on the whole, those folks were just surprised, and in a good way, mainly.)

  98. Driscoll is evil. I cannot believe more people cannot see it. He gives more and more proof all the time. He blasphemes the God in the Flesh.and at the same time he claimed that every word out of his mouth on stage is from the Holy Spirit. He is vile, vulgar, hateful and cruel.

    If this is Christianity and people believe he represents our Lord we are in big trouble. The video “I see things” is nothing but divination and people need to run from him.

  99. Numo
    Just got back from taking my mom to see the Radio City Music Hall/Rockettes Christmas Show in Durham. I have been missing out on the conversation. Driscoll is weird, off balance and a bit scary. WTH is doing a good job of exposing Driscoll’s ridiculous teaching on SOS. He and I might differ in a few approaches but we do agree on this issue.

    However, you never have to worry about TWW backing down on our general disgust with what is going on with this supposed preacher of the Gospel. You know, this Calvinista crowd spends a heckuva lotta time lecturing the world on the supposed doctrine of the Gospel. But, this guy screws up basic exegesis of Scripture on a regular basis and he does it with vulgarity. Yet, many of them keep silent. I don’t buy their theology because it gives a pass to any guy who lip syncs Calvin and then teaches nonsense. This is hypocrisy and the entire Calvinista set should be ashamed of themselves.

  100. Dee – no worries, and I hope you had a good time.

    About lip service to Calvin: honestly, I don’t think Calvin has much – if anything – to do with it. This is a good old boy network; they have passwords and “Calvin” is one of them.

    But theologically? Forget it!

    As for Driscoll (again), I am baffled by the adulation and how people seem not to realize exactly how bad he is, on multiple levels. If he was part of some other religion, he would probably be viewed as dangerous and mentally unbalanced – and rightly so.

    I think Eagle’s comparisons to Joseph Smith and other Mormon “prophets” are very applicable to MD and crew. (Especially re. the “rogue” prophets out there who are associated with various fundamentalist LDS groups…)

  101. I’ve written at some length about the distinction between person and persona at my own blog, particularly as applies to Driscoll. Even people who have been on the receiving end of his ire have said that Mark Driscoll the person is capable of being very nice, sympathetic, understanding, and agreeable.

    Mark Driscoll the persona, however, is another matter. People who have talked with Driscoll the person can discern that he’s capable of nuance, study, research, but that the persona will choose to grossly simplify things for the sake of pragmatic concerns. I believe that for those who have never actually been “inside” this is something they won’t grasp and the temptation (so evidently observable here) is to simply demonize Driscoll because he demonizes people.

    The whole thing about blessing those who persecute you and not repaying evil for evil doesn’t change just because someone who claims to be a Christian is saying stupid stuff. Driscoll may be evil in the eyes of other people but he’s still human. I’ll attack his arguments and handling of texts until the cows come home if he keeps doing what he’s doing but the second I attack him as a person all I’m doing is playing into one of his worst traits. TWW commenters should become alert to this. What good is speaking out against a man if you end up exemplifying his own flaws in the process?

    Now that I’ve got a little time. Driscoll has done and said some helpful things but they aren’t things that would be easily observed by anyone who wasn’t around to see them. The old school Reformed types consider him to be not-really-Calvinist because he is okay with credobaptism. He’s also no longer interested in telling Arminians they have heretical doctrine, basically, which he was doing between 2001-2002. His strongest period was between 2003-2005. His presentation on the atonement series was, considering how lockstep evangelicals always are about just substitionary atonement, a useful alternative to what often goes on. His deliberate path through a Revelation series focusing just on christology was also good. While on the one hand I think he chickened out by not trying to field the cases to e made for or against futurism, historicism, moral allegory, or forms of preterism, he did a good job of emphasizing that getting bogged down on end-times timelines or trying to use Revelation to justify political agendas for the here and now is a bad way to go. He may be more Republican than the Republican party but compared to some critics he’s had he has avoided lining up behind Dobson and has said that Dobson’s ministry has probably by now done more harm than good by overemphasizing family at the expense of other aspects of faith. I hasten to add this was Driscoll circa 2003-2005. A few ex-members have shared with me that somewhere past that point or within that point he began to start buying a lot of his own press. I think that process had to have started earlier but for people who have never actually been to Mars Hill that won’t matter. About that stage earlier in the church and how people who could have said something didn’t because they were minding their own fiefs I have said more in a comment in the other part of the series.

  102. WH… Driscoll the person is solely responsible for Driscoll the persona.

    And that is THE face that the public sees, plus – from what many of us understand – offstage as well.

    So… I’m not sure you can present what we cannot see/hear, y’know?

    Hope that makes sense.

  103. Actually, no, a persona is not merely what one person puts into the persona but also what the cult in the cult of personality reads into it.

  104. If there *is* more to him than crass frat-boy behavior and speech, it would be smart for him to drop the pose and show the other side of himself to the world.

    Seriously, he’s not 16 anymore. (And I wonder if he was obnoxious at 16?)

  105. Even if he did people here would likely assume that it was a sham.

    I never said he wasn’t or isn’t responsible for his actions and words.

    That also doesn’t change the fact that his persona is not merely what he makes it but what his fans and detractors invest in it. Unlike many of his fans and detractors Driscoll gets this dynamic. In fact it is essential to the persona. He has been able to sell himself on the claim that if you’re ticking off both the liberals and the fundamentalists you must be doing something right.

    Well, no, not really, as the liberal and conservative reactions to Joel Osteen on gay marriage have demonstrated this year. To liberals Osteen is a homophobic bigot and to fundamentalists (and evangelicals) he’s still a heretical prosperity teacher. But in the case of Driscoll fans and detractors are often responding to the ads and soundbites and not engaging with the kind of work needed to highlight the weaknesses in Driscoll’s positions and research. It’s as though people were seeing the ad for a car and discussing the car rather than also observing how the car actually drives. By responding to just the persona people (for or against) are only responding to the ads for the car and not discussing the car on the road. If Driscoll is a Corvair there is not, as yet, an “Unsafe at Any Speed”.

  106. Maybe Mark Driscoll should take a job as a writer for the pornograghic industry in southern California. — Eagle

    Don’t you know listening to preaching like this is how Church Ladies get their porn fix without admitting to it?

    I suspect that Driscoll has a major obsession with sex and is trying to self-indulge AND self-treat it through his preaching. He is already known to be heavily into Hypermasculinity (including MMA cage fight fanboying) and usually obsession with sexual conquest goes with the territory.

    Also, as a CELEBRITY Megachurch Pastor he cannot show ANY weakness or defect — it would violate his Hypermasculinity. I think he’s headed for a spectacular fall, his career ending in a BIG sex scandal.

    “When it comes to breasts, all men are breast men. Those who say they are not fall into one of two categories: gay men and liars.” — Driscoll (from transcript)

    So Driscoll is a Tit Man… And the denigration of “gay men” does fit with Hypermasculinity’s aversion to anything Un-Manly and homosexuality is about as Un-Manly as you can get to a Hypermasculine type.

  107. A shade less jokingly, I think MD’s so-called “visions” are really quite perverse, and I’m not sure that I need to go to the sources you suggest to have that conviction. — Numo

    These “visions” are probably how Driscoll passes off his own sexual fantasies without admitting what they are.

    In Medieval times, when Clericalism was rampant and the only way to be Truly Godly was to become a celibate monk or nun, most monks reported sexual “temptations” and “visions” credited to the Devil. (And nuns had “Bridal Mysticism”, which focused eroticism onto the male person of Christ.) I suspect some of these were the result of sworn celibates who weren’t actually cut out for the celibate lifestyle but felt they had to take such vows to be spiritual.

  108. Headless
    You said ” I think he’s headed for a spectacular fall, his career ending in a BIG sex scandal.” You and I both-remeber to email me when it happens! I told you sos will be forthcoming from both of us.

  109. HUG, you bring up a few things I may have to write about some time after holidays with family and eye surgery. You’ve touched on something that I think is a more plausible explanation of Driscoll’s claims that the rote “divination” cessationists keep hammering away at. If I indulged in a strictly Christianese ranter definition of divination and responded in kind I could still point out that the entire Bible can be considered a kind of collection of divinations established by a committee. The urim and the thummim constituted something that could be construed as a form of acceptable divination within the Israelite community. On the subject of devils and the like there’s a lengthy post-script in which I get into some interpretive questions raised by certain preachers refusing to see Jesus in Song of Songs because a plain reading can’t be there but insisting on only really discussing certain prophetic passages as referring to Satan even though they can’t be read that way if they go for the plain meaning of the text. I knew reading all five of Jeffrey Burton Russell’s books on the devil would be useful one day. 🙂

  110. On MD’s “visions” possibly being his own sexual fantasies (!!!!), I suspect there’s a lot of truth to that.

    Which is pretty scary, in more ways than one.

  111. Re. how MD has been “selling himself,” I think that lately, it’s been as a bigoted jock (the FB post on “most effeminate worship leader,” for example).

    WH, I realize that you are trying to be fair to MD, but I think there is a line here that might be harder for you to see (having been an insider there) than it is for others.

    I am sure that the “leaders” at SGM are mostly kind and loving to their spouses and immediate families, but that in no way changes the fact that they’ve committed some egregious wrongs 9and keep on compounding them).

    Not sure i can see any difference between them – and some abusive “pastors” I’ve known personally – and MD. To take this to an extreme (or maybe to a logical conclusion), lots of Nazi war criminals were doting fathers and husbands. That doesn’t make them “good” people.

  112. numo: “Lots of Nazi war criminals were doting fathers and husbands…”

    And sons too.
    From today’s Guardian (UK):

    “Like any dutiful son, Himmler kept in touch with his mother, Anna, while he visited France, Norway and Italy. The most remarkable is probably a card from Paris…written days after the Nazis occupied the French capital. Richard Westwood-Brookes, of Mullock’s auctioneers in Ludlow, Shropshire, which is selling the postcards, said: “Himmler was a devout Catholic and his mother had a big influence over him in his upbringing. He kept in regular contact with his elderly mother during the war and judging by these postcards he was a bit of a mummy’s boy…the postcards clearly show Himmler was very thoughtful towards his mother.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/8893056/Heinrich-Himmlers-postcards-to-mummy-up-for-sale.html

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/15/nazi-postcards-himmler

    Apologies to WtH.

  113. Eagle

    Mahaney as supposed to be mentoring Driscoll. And, as is usual, there are no comments forthcoming. It is all smoke and mirrors. I think they just like the sound of the word “mentoring.”

  114. You’ve touched on something that I think is a more plausible explanation of Driscoll’s claims that the rote “divination” cessationists keep hammering away at.

    Cessationists have their own blind spot. To them, Driscoll’s “Visions” are not only REAL, but they have to be DEMONIC in order to score the Cessationists’ theological point in the game of one-upmanship. (“I’m Right, You’re WRONG, HAW! HAW! HAW!”)

    In my book, Cessationists are just the Christianese Theology version of an Uber-Uber-Skeptic a la Amazing Randi. Just as their funhouse-mirror reflections the Uber-Pentecostals and Uber-Charismatics are the Christianese Theology versions of Art Bell’s guests and 3 Ayem phone-ins. One Disbelieves Everything, the other BE-LEEEVES Everything.

  115. Mahaney as supposed to be mentoring Driscoll. And, as is usual, there are no comments forthcoming. It is all smoke and mirrors. I think they just like the sound of the word “mentoring.” — Dee

    Is Mahaney one of Driscoll’s cronies or yes-men?

    Someone as Domineering and Hypermasculine as Driscoll sounds like the type of Pointy-haired Boss who can only tolerate Yes-Men in his presence. (Examples: Baba Saddam and Brother Leader Gadhafi.)

  116. He once said, somewhat famously, at a mens’ retreat, that if he went without sex for a period of more than three days he’d get “wiggy”. — WTH re Driscoll

    Isn’t this usually called “hypersexual” or “male nymphomaniac”?

  117. Now that you mention it, HUG, the Publishers Weekly blurb on Real Marriage mentions that Mark saw sex as a god and Grace saw it as gross and they had to work together to get past their hang-ups.

    Put 2 and 2 together and it might seem as though Mark Driscoll has displayed signs of what some would call a sex addiction or sex obsession indicative of problems. Morgan74 posted this kind of concern on Babblerash a decade ago and I admit I didn’t see that as a viable idea. If Driscoll actually were some kind of sex addict how could he rebuke fornicators and adulterers for making an idol of sex if the only difference between his idolatry of sex and others was that he only had sex with Grace? Then again, I’d hear Mark explain how he and Grace made this agreement to “never say ‘no’ to each other” and I got to thinking, “That’s a dangerous deal that will only favor whomever has the highest sex drive in that relationship and could leave the person with the lower drive feeling used a lot.”

    The Driscolls book isn’t officially out yet and I’ll leave it to others to go read it if they want, but I’ve wondered if at some point Driscoll would consider that some of his racier preaching on Song of Songs might be what some people would call “acting out”, obsessively revisiting sex as a topic to scandalize conservatives while using “it’s in the bible” as an excuse to keep revisiting the same topics to increase church attendence and rationalize some of his own obsessions.

    Of course my obsession is being constantly involved in theological debates so I don’t think I could say that’s really a “better” obsession.

  118. WTH:

    Sounds very plausible. Add to that Driscoll’s position as CELEBRITY Megachurch Pastor (which usually means a one-man Apostle show). He’s the Big CELEBRITY; he can’t open up or share his burden with anyone else (except maybe his wife, and his sexual obsession and male-supremacist leanings makes that VERY problematic). He has to handle it Alone (or just ME and JESUS(TM)), without any third party. (Aside: The Macho Lone Ranger Christians, the Evangelical Gospel of Personal Salvation and ONLY Personal Salvation, no third parties needed or wanted.)

    I think his erotic “visions” are his obsessive sexual fantasies bursting through in a Church Lady-acceptable form. (Like those Medieval monks & nuns, he might not even be aware they ARE sexual fantasies — only Heathens have THOSE and He’s Saved! Big Megachurch Preacher!) His “porno-preaching” on Song of Solomon might be a way to make his obsession acceptable or a way to self-medicate and self-treat. (They say a lot of psychiatrists & psychologists get into the field because they’re not wrapped all that tight themselves and becoming a shrink means they can self-treat without anyone knowing.)

    This idea adds more weight to my original prediction: This guy’s Celebrity preacher career is gonna end in a BIG sex scandal. He’s messed up, he has to go it alone, which will make him even more messed up, and one day it’s all gonna blow sky-high.

  119. I got to thinking, “That’s a dangerous deal that will only favor whomever has the highest sex drive in that relationship and could leave the person with the lower drive feeling used a lot.” — WTH

    A couple years ago, a prominent Christian artist in local Furry Fandom got divorced. I wasn’t in the loop, but some of the grapevine rumblings claimed a similar reason to what you stated above; her ex-husband had such a HUGE sex drive compared to hers that it burned out whatever else had bonded them in the first place. (Strong hints of this worked its way into some of her slice-of-life comic strips shortly before the divorce.)

  120. I read the transcript. The interpretation and prooftexting errors are rampant, and what pisses me off is how often he goes ‘It’s biblical, it’s in the Bible, Jesus/Scriptures command this’ etc. Lies. SOS is a poem, nothing more. And since when did Jesus ever tell a woman to perform fellatio on her husband?

    Then there are the insinuations, the underlying messages. 41:48 – men go to strip clubs because their wives don’t strip for them. Also a lie, and blaming the wife for husband’s sin. 33:00 Apparently the Corinthians verse of how a married couples’ bodies ‘belong’ to each other means that men are entitled to fondle their wives’ breasts whenever they want. That those breasts are ‘their property.’ 45:38 Men can’t imagine their wives without imagining them naked. They don’t considered she is a person at all, at first, just an object of lust.

    Elsewhere, though the minutes aren’t named: 1) it’s a ‘sin’ for a wife not to go down on her husband 2) to be a godly wife you must give him oral sex (or else be a sinner) 3) sex will make a non-believing husband turn to Christ. I wonder if his motive behind this is that his wife simply won’t perform on him, and the only way he can get her to is to twist Scripture and lie, saying ‘God commands thee’. Then he’ll preach the same message to his fanboys, trying to give them the same deceptive idea.

  121. I noticed that was just a partial transript. That means we’re not even reading the whole thing. What there is is problematic enough, of course.