Tim Challies Gives Accolades to Mark Driscoll

"There are going to be a lot of people who are disappointed that I gave this book a positive review. That's kind of sad, isn't it?"

Tim Challies


Have you heard about Mark Driscoll's latest book – Who Do Think You Are?  Finding Your True Identity ?  It was this time last year that we alerted our readers about Driscoll's highly touted book Real Marriage, which contained some porno info.  Is Driscoll now trying to redeem himself with this latest offering (after making bank with his 'bestseller')?

A few days ago Tim Challies posted a review of Driscoll's new book and gave it a thumbs up.  No surprise there…  Challies begins his review with these words:

"One of the great questions of life is the question of identity. Who am I? When faced with this question—a question we must all answer at one time or another—some respond with their vocation: I am a pastor or a police officer. Others respond with deep pain from the past: I am a victim of sexual assault or I am a drug addict. Others respond with their greatest success or most shameful failure. Yet none of these get right to the heart of the matter. These may be what we do or what we have done or what has been done to us, but none goes deep enough.

The Christian answer can and should and must be different. It is this, the matter of identity, that is at the heart of Mark Driscoll’s new book Who Do You Think You Are?. Driscoll says rightly that even as Christians 'we’re continually forgetting who we are in Christ and filling that void by placing our identity in pretty much anything else.' The question 'Who am I?' is 'far-reaching, belief-revealing, life-shaping and identity-forming. How you answer determines your identity and your testimony. Tragically, few people—even few Bible-believing, Jesus-loving Christians—rightly answer that question.' "

Then he describes how Driscoll writes like a pastor.  Here is how Challies explains the book's contents:

"Working his way through the book of Ephesians, Driscoll provides a long list of answers to this question of Who Am I?: I am in Christ, I am a saint, I am blessed, I am appreciated, I am saved, I am reconciled, I am afflicted, I am heard, I am gifted, I am new, I am forgiven, I am adopted, I am loved, I am rewarded, I am victorious. Each one is firmly grounded in Scripture. Each one flows from the good news of the gospel.

I am quite certain that I have read each one of Driscoll’s books, and I am confident that this one displays the greatest level of pastoral care and sensitivity. Driscoll is writing as a pastor and often illustrates his points by relating the stories of people in his church, describing how they came to find a new identity in Jesus Christ. He writes humbly and with carefully-chosen words, rarely turning far from the biblical text. He dedicates this book to his daughter and it is a book most fathers would be very glad to have their daughters read."

You see, that's the problem.  Time and time again, Mark Driscoll has demonstrated his incredible immaturity and inability to show 'pastoral care and sensitivity'.  Now that he has garnered so much criticism for his crass language, for firing two beloved Mars Hill elders, for consolidating power at his church, for his 'marriage' manual, for his pornovisions, and on and on and on, Driscoll is trying to change his bad boy image, and Calvinistas like Tim Challies are helping him do it.  Thankfully, there are those who are challenging him.  Here are two responses Challies received on his website.

TexTown77 wrote:

"Exactly. Just because someone who is unqualified for the ministry finally writes a book that doesn't contain horrific perversion doesn't mean he is now qualified for the ministry. Just because Driscoll is a Calvinist doesn't mean he should get a pass on LITERALLY EVERYTHING else he does. He claims God gives him visions of people having sex. He says he married his wife because God audibly told him to. Same with his "ministry call." He encourages wives to get plastic surgery if it would make their husband more sexually satisfied. His church's government is horrible, and he has crafted it to be that way to give himself ultimate power and very little accountability. He plays footsie with heretics like TD Jakes and with dangerous charismatics and egalitarians like Judah Smith. He validates the "ministries" of people like Perry Noble and Steven Furtick. What, I ask, could he possibly do that would finally earn an open, public rebuke from TGC? If not these things listed above and the many others, then what? I'm glad he is correct on some of the important doctrines, but that does not make him qualified for the ministry. He needs to step down for a time and focus on cleaning his heart and mind."

YankeeGospelGirl had this to say:

"I'm not sure how I feel about people continuing to speak of Driscoll and review his books favorably. It seems to me that he's ventured into dangerous territory, both sexually and spiritually, and that other pastors would be wise to take a step back from endorsing him as a consequence. I've heard some hair-raising stories about how he's handled his leadership of Mars Hill. Perhaps we should reconsider whether he truly is "in the fold" of solid spiritual leadership and orthodoxy.'

I do give Tim Challies credit for allowing these critical comments to stand in response to his favorable review of Driscoll's book.

Yet, the Calvinistas are so busy circling the wagons that they have no idea how ridiculous they appear to those of us who are outside their little YRR bubble.  The longer they remain silent about the Mahaney/SGM debacle while actively promoting Mark Driscoll, the more suspect they appear.  Guys, it's time to man-up!  No more covering up the sins of your brothers.  Too many people have been hurt by these characters who are masquerading as shepherds.  It's way past time to stop promoting the Calvinista brethren who have serious issues.   We are watching, and so is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  

Lydia's Corner:   Numbers 22:21-23:30   Luke 1:57-80   Psalm 58:1-11   Proverbs 11:12-13


Tim Challies Gives Accolades to Mark Driscoll — 424 Comments

  1. Wow! Name calling and innuendos are the weapon of choice against anyone that doesn’t hold to your same theological position, or even questions the intent of some of the writers here. I am not saying we shouldn’t question bully leaders, I was just making the case that using the tactics of those you hate is a bit hypocritical. There’s a lot of bitterness here, so I’m out. I really do wish blessings to you all, and sorry for causing such a caustic good morning.

  2. @ Kevin:
    “There’s a lot of bitterness here.”

    1. No, there is not. Not in the sense of the sort of bitterness that grieves the Lord.

    2. But, yes, there is. And there OUGHT to be, in the sense of the sort of bitterness that the godly spirit has towards those that would harm and abuse the weak. The prophets were full of bitterness in that sense, as was (and IS!!!) the Lord Himself.

    The very reason(s) that lead you to say farewell to reading at TWW are the very reasons that lead me to read here, every day, for my edification before the Lord and hopefully the overflow to those I pastor. You give us your blessings as you leave; we give you ours as well.

  3. @ pcapastor:
    I wish there were more pastors like you. Maybe there are. Maybe I should state that I wish I had a pastor who cares as much as you do. Thank you for what you shared.

  4. Kevin

    I hihgly recommend that you read the book on spiritual abuse. The “bitterness” word is the ho-hum response of those who don’t like what they are hearing. We suggest that you open. Also, to whom were your remarks directed? Everyone, a few, me-be specific and do not paint all who come here with a broad brush since you are here as well.

  5. “2. But, yes, there is. And there OUGHT to be, in the sense of the sort of bitterness that the godly spirit has towards those that would harm and abuse the weak. The prophets were full of bitterness in that sense, as was (and IS!!!) the Lord Himself.”

    Amen. It is a grieving that is hard to explain to those who do not have it. Who do not see the horrors done and protected using Jesus’ Name as a cover. It is so insidious it boggles the mind how many dismiss it or accuse folks who are shining a light as bitter or gossips.

    It is the deception, the hiding, the twisting to make a real evil some “mistake” or misunderstanding or even to claim the victims are just as sinful as the perpetrators and protectors of perps. All this horror, just so a few can have power and position. The gurus are more important than Jesus Christ. That is the only conclusion I can come to.

  6. Kevin:

    For many, their experience may not be palpable like the victims in the cases Dee and TWW mention, but the damage is more subtle and in some ways just as bad because it damaged their ability to connect to the authentic church and to trust their own judgement. Because commenters do not get censored as they do on the blogs of the “ministries” and “pastors” who are the subjects of many of the articles on TWW, there are some comments that may legitimately be termed as inappropriate. But please reserve your criticism for the driver of the bus who runs over the victim, not the victim who cries out in pain!

  7. anon

    Wow! Awesome comment. In fact, I think you get what is going on inside of me.

    “Because commenters do not get censored as they do on the blogs of the “ministries” and “pastors” who are the subjects of many of the articles on TWW, there are some comments that may legitimately be termed as inappropriate.”

    We have a deeper agenda than “appropriateness.” There is pain out there. So many people have been hurt by ministries and no longer trust the system. They are used to being rejected and shut off. Sometimes they shout, and then shout louder, to be heard. And are kicked in the pants for doing so.

    It has been our desire, since we started this blog, to allow space for people to heal. And sometimes, that healing process can be messy. 

    Let me put it this way- I may use this in a post. I had a patient that had a small bedsore that would not heal. We tried everything over the course of months One day, I poked it just a little too hard and before I knew it, large amounts of purulent material came pouring out.  I called the doctor and she was brought to the hospital. They proceeded to operate, going into the ulcer to get rid of the infection and the dead material. Before they knew it, there was a hole the size of a large man’s fist.

    Finally, we had gotten to the source of the problem which was an undiscovered, massive infected sore masqueading as a little one. It took another 5 months of debriding, irrigations, antibiotics, etc., but the day came when the sore finally healed. But, there was, and always will be, a scar. It was an ugly process but mission accomplished.

    Thank you for getting it.

  8. anon wrote:

    But please reserve your criticism for the driver of the bus who runs over the victim, not the victim who cries out in pain!

    Amen, Anon!!!

    And pcapastor – – Love your 11:21 comment. Excellent!! I’m glad you’re here.

  9. anon wrote:

    But please reserve your criticism for the driver of the bus who runs over the victim, not the victim who cries out in pain!

    A simple web search “bodies behind bus” pops up –guess who– as the top bus-driver on the whole Internet? Hint — rhymes with Park Fiscal!
    Speaking of “harsh, unloving statements” and applying Jesus words to love our enemy– let me quote myself only 4 paragraphs above Kevin:
    Dave A A wrote:

    @ gavin white:
    In the words of the “new F word” pastor, “What should be our corresponding action? We should forgive and extend grace to everybody else.” And later, “God, I wish I had somebody that would have a little “church” with me, and thank God that he forgave all your sins, and now you can forgive everybody else!”
    Grace and peace!

  10. Vicki in NC

    As far as i know, Driscoll has not had multiple relationships with women. However, his statements on various subjects regarding sex could make him sound perverted. I hope you don’t mind if I remove the womanizing part of your comment.

  11. Kevin

    I have thought about one thing you have said and decided that you are correct in that limited sense. As far as I know, Driscoll is not a womanizer. He appears to be “faithful” to Grace, whatever that means. So, in light of that, I have edited the comment to remove the word “womanizer. However, I am leaving the word “perv” because I believe a case could be made for the use of that word in its broader sense-see Song of Solomon sermon, Queen Esther, etc. 

  12. Kevin

    One further point-I note from your IP that you are writing from a part of the world which is very sensitive when it comes to issues on morality with strict laws on the conduct of women. Do you think that Driscoll is the best person to be quoting in that environment?

  13. As far as the word “Womanizer”? Yes, I suppose in the strictest definition of the word we can not use it since we have no evidence that he is chasing other women.

    But how about the word “Whorifier” since this is Driscoll’s view of women, that they are whores and he teaches such.


    From his teaching in the Songs to his teaching in Esther he is either trying to force women to be their husband’s personal pornstar/whore or determining that a Bible heroine IS NOT a heroine after all, but rather a whore like most women based on his own standard of measure.

  14. It may be true that Driscoll is not physically running around womanizing ‘cheating’ on Grace and sinning against other women. Huh, funny, as I typed that I certainly see a double meaning there. Driscoll IMO does cheat on (God’s) grace.
    Anyway, you certainly cannot convince me that he doesn’t struggle constantly with cheating on Grace in his heart or mind by the way he teaches to blame the wife if she doesnt give up every orafice to keep ‘master’ from physical adultery.

  15. And again, even if there was any truth to his view of SOS, his opinion that it worked for Solomon is so ludicrous.
    Mark certainly counts on his sheeple to neglect their own scripture reading. Ever notice how he quickly throws in misquotings or out of context scripture passages without so much as a glance to his Bible or asking anyone to turn to it? It still floors me how many people even in my own church will never look up the scriptures even when the pastor asks us to turn there.

  16. “I grew up with a psychological abuser”

    It’s more like psychological torture and it takes years to unravel all of the crap that has been done to you.

  17. The “Bitter Card” has trump power. Pop that baby out, and you can dismiss the criticism. It’s played this way: person A has a grievance that he/she does not feel is being understood. Eventually Person A vents too often, too emotionally, or even sinfully, or gets too close to unsettling the happy delusion of the establishment and consequently in danger of getting too much influence. At this point, play the “Bitter Card.” This puts them on the defensive and, in the minds of the clueless, guts their argument. Plus it has the added benefit that you can say that their defensiveness is proof of the truth of your claim. Often people who play the “Bitter Card” employ Hebrews 12:15 and warn that the bitterness could result in the defilement of many.

    More: http://www.theologyforwomen.org/2011/07/what-bitterness-really-is.html

  18. Patti: “It may be true that Driscoll is not physically running around womanizing ‘cheating’ on Grace and sinning against other women.”

    I beg to differ. Mark Driscoll IS sinning against other women AND Grace by fashioning a porn god after his own heart and demanding that women bow down and worship it by performing porn acts for their husbands.
    Driscoll sins against women when he teaches that they are not allowed to have any boundaries but are to make every orifice available upon demand in order to keep their husbands from chasing other women.

    I know what you meant Patti and you are right. He cheats grace AND he sins against women and men with the sex idol he has fashioned through is teachings.
    He has sexually, verbally, and spiritually abused people using his words.

  19. Mara/Patti

    I hope you understand that I am firmly in your camp. Currently, this blog is being watched closely and I want to protect all of us from any unfounded accusations. There is a way around this. If someone uses a word that some attorney might find interesting, get my drift, I could have the person using it define if in the way that they mean it.  So, if one were to use the word “womanizing” and then give the explanation that Mara gave in her 11:15PM comment, we could let it stand.

  20. Watch closely, eh?

    By the henchmen of wealthy, bully ministers who have turned God’s house into a den of thieves and wish to use legal terrorism to shut up those who would point out their corruption?


  21. @ dee:
    You are such a champ for spending your time to navigate through all of this- checking our comments and keeping them legally acceptable. The fact that you have to is a perfect example of why so many are intimidated into not speaking out against an abusive organization. It also underscores why I can no longer consider it a “church” when it’s main priority is to protect it’s image.
    I will pray for you.