Mark Driscoll and Joshua Harris – Where Are They Now?

"You lead a great movement as a brother, you will lead a greater one as a father, your later years will surpass your younger."

Prophetic (?) Words by Jimmy Evans at Gateway Conference (October 2014)

Driscoll/Harris interview Francis ChanMark Driscoll and Joshua Harris Interview Francis Chan (Screen Shot)

Not long after we rang in the New Year in 2009 and several months before launching TWW, the Deebs learned about a newfangled conference to be held in Chicago.  It was The Gospel Coalition's first ever National Conference.  We took special notice of several speakers slated to address attendees, namely Mark Driscoll, Joshua Harris and C.J. Mahaney (among others).  The conference theme was Entrusted with the Gospel.  It is certainly worth noting that these three men have served as Council Members for The Gospel Coalition, but because of "issues" in their ministries, all three have stepped down.  

During our almost seven years of blogging, we have discussed our concerns with a church-planting network that beginning in 2002 was called "Sovereign Grace Ministries" (now going by the name "Sovereign Grace Churches").  The flagship church in that organization was Covenant Life Church (CLC), located in Gaithersburg, Maryland.  C.J. Mahaney had served as CLC's senior pastor for 27 years.  In 2004 he turned over the reigns to his hand-picked successor, Joshua Harris, who was 29 years old. 

Harris had penned I Kissed Dating Goodbye around the time he agreed to move from his family's home in Oregon to Maryland, specifically the Mahaney residence.  This is where his mentoring by C.J. began.  Joshua met a young lady (Shannon) in the CLC congregation whom he married.   In recent years, CLC has withdrawn from the SGM 'family of churches', and then in February 2015, Joshua Harris announced to congregants at CLC that he was stepping down as senior pastor.  Christianity Today broke the news in an article entitled Why Joshua Harris Kissed His Megachurch Goodbye.  It begins with these words…

At 40 years old, Joshua Harris has already pastored a megachurch for a decade and authored six books, including the bestselling I Kissed Dating Goodbye. Now, he wants to go to college.

“I have lived a sort of backwards life. Without meaning to, I have experienced life out of the normal order and sequence of events,” Harris told attendees at Covenant Life Church (CLC) in Gaithersburg, Maryland, on Sunday, January 25. “I haven’t completed any post-graduate study. I don’t even have an undergraduate degree. In fact, I have never attended a formal school full-time in my life.” [Full statement]

The Washington Post also featured an article on Joshua Harris' decision to leave the pastorate at CLC.  The title – Pastor Joshua Harris, an evangelical outlier, heads to mainstream seminary – provided a glimmer of hope that Harris will grow beyond the narrow boundaries of Calvinista churchianity when he pursues a seminary degree at Regent College.  Perhaps the Post article provides a clue as to why Harris decided to leave CLC and seek a formal seminary education.  It states:

Covenant Life was the flagship congregation of Sovereign Grace, a cluster of churches founded in the 1980s by a former hard-core partier named C.J. Mahaney. The church’s theology is charismatic and imagines God as disciplinarian and man as needing oversight. Followers called Mahaney “apostle,” and critics said he behaved like a cult leader.

Building criticism from other evangelicals over Mahaney’s leadership style and the sex abuse allegations brought national controversy to Sovereign Grace, which in 2011, Harris preached, was “being publicly spanked . . . humiliated and being brought low.” He removed the Gaithersburg church from Sovereign Grace the next year, but the sex abuse allegations and criticism about the way pastors had treated victims continued at Covenant Life.

All of this led Harris, he said, to reconsider his own journey and whether formal education might help him.

We covered this development in a post entitled Joshua Harris Announces His Departure from Covenant Life Church.

Not long ago Harris wrote an article that appeared in the Leadership Journal entitled:  The 40-Year-Old Seminarian.  In it he writes:

When I shared my decision with the church, I said that I think Jesus still calls people to drop their nets and follow him. Yes, even pastors.

One member of my church asked, "How can you be sure you're hearing from God and not just having a mid-life crisis?" I gave a polished, religious-sounding answer that no one remembered. But what I wanted to say was, "Who says those two things are mutually exclusive?"

I think I am having a mid-life crisis and I am hearing from God. If the way you're living isn't healthy—isn't expanding your soul and deepening your love for God and fellow-humans—then a crisis that awakens you to your need for change is a good thing. It's a God thing. And that's my experience.

God used personal loss, disillusionment with former mentors [emphasis mine] and myself, my own mistakes as a leader, and questions about my approach to doing church to smack me in the face. God got my attention.

Now that he has a semester of formal seminary education at Regent College under his belt, it would be fascinating to see whether Joshua Harris has rejected some of the informal theological training he received from C.J. Mahaney and other Neo-Cals.  It will be interesting to follow-up on Harris once he completes his studies.


And then there's Mark Driscoll, who was propelled into the Calvinista spotlight by leaders like John Piper, who back in 2006 invited him to speak at the Desiring God conference and promoted him as a leader to be emulated.  Here is what Piper had to say about his good friend. (WARNING:  There are some graphic words from Driscoll's books in the video).

Perhaps you are wondering whether John Piper has any regrets about promoting Mark Driscoll.  Here is a portion of his response:

First, no regret. John Piper has no regret for befriending Mark Driscoll, going to Mark Driscoll’s church and speaking at his events, or having him come to the Desiring God conference. I do not regret that. My regret is that I was not a more effective friend. Mark knew he had flaws. He knows he has flaws. And I knew he had flaws. He knew that I knew he had flaws. There were flaws of leadership attitude, flaws of unsavory language that I think is just wrong for Christians to use, flaws of exegetical errors, say, in regard to the Song of Solomon. I wrote a long critique of his use of the Song of Solomon. I wrote him personally about these. But I always hoped that in those cases the relationship with me and with others would be redemptive and helpful. He certainly gave me more time and counsel than I deserved. I remember him sitting in my dining room, spending a long time with me and Noel, giving us good counsel about the last chapter of our ministry, and then going home and producing a long paper for me and to give guidance to me and the elders. He didn’t have to do that. I didn’t even ask him to do it. So there was a mutuality about this and I felt loved by Mark and I wanted to love him in return. I still do hope for the best in Mark’s life and ministry. So, no, I don’t regret it.

You can read the six lessons Piper has learned here.

Just this week news broke that Mark Driscoll is starting a new church where he and his family currently reside – Phoenix.  The Seattle Post Intelligencer reported the following two days ago:

Former Mars Hill Church senior pastor Mark Driscoll has filed incorporation papers in Phoenix for a new entity called The Trinity Church in Arizona, 14 months after he resigned his Seattle pulpit and just under a year after Mars Hill ceased to exist.

The new entity will be a “Bible-based Christian church” with Driscoll and two other directors, each giving the address of Mark Driscoll Ministries in Phoenix. Driscoll and his family moved to the “Valley of the Sun” last summer.

“Mark Driscoll appears to have a new project in Phoenix: The recently incorporated church will be a Bible-based Christian church without members,” said Warren Throckmorton, a Pennsylvania college professor who followed the Mars Hill Church meltdown for the Patheos.

We are grateful to Warren Throckmorton for persistently following the Driscoll debacle and his attempt to rise from the ashes.  No wonder Mark Driscoll and family moved to Phoenix! Throckmorton includes some important information about Driscoll's latest endeavor in his post linked above.  (See below)

The next big thing appears to be just around the corner.

Mark Driscoll is listed as a director of recently registered The Trinity Church in Phoenix, along with Randall Taylor and Jimmy Evans. The address is the same UPS store listed as the Mark Driscoll Ministries address (the church has a different box number):

Mark Driscoll Ministries
21001 North Tatum Blvd Ste 1630-527
Phoenix, AZ 85050

Click here for the Articles of Incorporation. According to the incorporation document, The Trinity Church will be a “Bible based Christian Church.” To these gentlemen, “Bible based” may not mean congregational. According to the articles of incorporation, there won’t be any members.

The same attorney, Steven Goodspeed, who incorporated Mark Driscoll Ministries, also incorporated The Trinity Church in Arizona at the end of November. Goodspeed also handled the sale of The Resurgence assets to Driscoll.

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 12.29.27 AM


Remember the Gateway Conference held last fall by Robert Morris and gang?  It was purportedly the first time that Mark Driscoll took the stage since leaving Mars Hill Church.  Driscoll said he was looking for 'some wise counsel'.  Well, it looks like he might have found some sort of counseling there.  😉 

According to this post by Warren Throckmorton, an attendee at the Gateway Conference tweeted that Jimmy Evans doled out a prophecy to Driscoll (who was standing in the front row).  Here is a screen shot of that prophecy along with an accompanying photo featuring Evans (on stage) and Driscoll (standing in the audience).

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/10/24/mark-driscoll-gets-prophetic-word-at-gateway-conference/

How can the prophecy be correct when Mark Driscoll threw so many under the bus during his failed attempt at ministry?  It just goes to prove that Jimmy Evans ain't no prophet!  

Getting back to The Gospel Coalition, they featured a video interview between Mark Driscoll, Joshua Harris, and Francis Chan several years ago.  In it, Driscoll and Harris show concern for the church Chan chose to leave behind (but in good hands).  Makes us wonder how much concern Mark Driscoll and Joshua Harris had for the congregations they left behind.  Take a look…

No doubt there will be much more to report on in the New Year regarding Driscoll and his "new tribe".  We will also do our best to keep up with Joshua Harris and the strides he is making at Regent College in Vancouver.

Comments

Mark Driscoll and Joshua Harris – Where Are They Now? — 191 Comments

  1. I commend Joshua Harris for stepping away from pastoring a large church to further his education. But by the title of his recent article, “The 40-Year-Old Seminarian” it appears to me that the man is still practicing what he learned so well under the mentorship of C.J. Mahaney, that is, how to obfuscate the subject matter in order to make himself look good.

    Harris is not a seminary student. To be accepted in a seminary you need to have an undergraduate degree from a college or university. Prior to attending Regent he has never taken a college course, as a matter of fact, Harris has not even attended the 9 month “Pastors College” which is mandatory for all potential Sovereign Grace pastors.

    Harris is enrolled in a one-year program which, when completed, Regent will award Harris a diploma in “Christian Studies.” http://www.regent-college.edu/graduate-programs/gdcs

    “To apply to the program, you must EITHER:

    have a bachelor’s degree OR
    be at least 28 years of age and able to demonstrate that your life/ vocational/ educational experience can be seen as equivalent to a university degree”

    Guess which requirement Harris met?

    It would be nice if Harris, after obtaining his one-year diploma, has learned how to tell the truth. He could begin by explaining what exactly his “disillusionment with former mentors” consists of. He should come clean on the facts of the sexual abuse scandal at Covenant Life Church and within the Sovereign Grace Ministries. He should tell us just what he knew and when he knew it. His truthfulness could unmask the whole web of deceit that continues to this day with C.J. Mahaney, Mark Prater and the whole leadership team of Sovereign Grace Churches.

    Perhaps Harris could even author a tell-all book about the sexual abuse scandal. Brent Detwiler has already done all the hard work of documentation. Now that is a book I would read.

  2. I am so happy to know that two of my favorite Christian teachers, Wayne Grudem and Mark Driscoll, will be residing so close to me. 🙁

    Grudem was kind enough to offer this endorsement of Driscoll’s book “Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe.”

    “An interesting, clear, practical, biblical, and remarkably insightful guide to the main doctrinal teachings of the whole Bible!”
    Wayne Grudem,
    Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies, Phoenix Seminary

    Who knows, now that Driscoll lives so close to Grudem maybe they can renew their fond friendship for each other:

    https://pjcockrell.wordpress.com/2008/08/08/mark-driscoll-in-conversation-with-wayne-grudem/

  3. How can the prophecy be correct when Mark Driscoll threw so many under the bus during his failed attempt at ministry? It just goes to prove that Jimmy Evans ain’t no prophet!

    It’s not about those who got thrown under the bus, it’s all about the driver (Driscoll). The ministry generated good press and lots of book sales, therefore it was great.

    Given those measurement criteria, it is sadly likely that Driscoll will indeed lead a “great(er)” ministry. So in that sense, Evans is a prophet. Just not of the truth of the Lord…

  4. @ Todd Wilhelm:

    I am curious how people like Harris do this. He has a family to support. Did he really walk away from CLC with that much money? Is his wife more educated than he is and could have a professional career to support them while he does this?

    I could not tell by reading the link but would this 1 year study which grants 24 credit hours be enough to enter a Masters program at Regent? There is so much dumbing down going on in seminaries, I cannot keep up.

  5. Piper writes: “He certainly gave me more time and counsel than I deserved. I remember him sitting in my dining room, spending a long time with me and Noel, giving us good counsel about the last chapter of our ministry, and then going home and producing a long paper for me and to give guidance to me and the elders. He didn’t have to do that. I didn’t even ask him to do it. So there was a mutuality about this and I felt loved by Mark and I wanted to love him in return. I still do hope for the best in Mark’s life and ministry. So, no, I don’t regret it.”

    This is so bizarre and ridiculous I don’t know where to start. How about I start with: Did this take place before or after the Petrys/meyers contacted him?

  6. @ Todd Wilhelm:
    Todd is absolutely right. The course Josh Harris is taking is not an undergraduate nor a true graduate course. If he is serious about education enroll at a real university and take real classes, including foreign languages. Then, enroll in a real grad school. Harris is not being up front and truthful about what he is doing.

  7. Lydia wrote:

    could not tell by reading the link but would this 1 year study which grants 24 credit hours be enough to enter a Masters program at Regent? There is so much dumbing down going on in seminaries, I cannot keep up.

    I wonder how soon before he’ll be wearing the title of “Dr.”

  8. @ Lydia:

    The response is dated November 13, 2014, so it was long after he had been contacted by Jonna Petry, the wife of one of the two elders ‘fired’ by Mark Driscoll.

    Here is an excerpt from her account of what happened (for the benefit of those not familiar with her story):

    https://joyfulexiles.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/jonna-mhc-story-29.pdf

    Along with this last letter we included a copy of a letter Bent Meyer (the pastor/elder who was fired with Paul) had recently written to the elders appealing to them to change their course, make things right and restore us. The elders (all but one or two on staff), were impotent to do anything. Nothing changed.

    After multiple appeals were continually rejected by Mark and Jamie, we discreetly implored some local and then national leaders, who Mark said he respected, to help us, including John Piper and C.J. Mahaney. No one was willing to get involved. I was shocked and heartbroken again. You’re kidding? The whole Body of Christ and no one is willing to step in, judge the matter, and attempt to make things right? How can Matthew 18 be carried out if not one Christian leader will stand in to bring peace and reconciliation?

  9. @ Todd Wilhelm:

    I am so sorry Todd. 🙁  When you come back to the states, maybe you'll see them out and about in the community.  😉

    Here in Raleigh, we we are 'blessed' to have Wayne Grudem's eldest son in our midst.

  10. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    But by the title of his recent article, “The 40-Year-Old Seminarian” it appears to me that the man is still practicing what he learned so well under the mentorship of C.J. Mahaney, that is, how to obfuscate the subject matter in order to make himself look good.

    I wouldn’t read too much into this, necessarily. It was an obvious play on words (he states it directly in the first line of the article). Beyond that, transforming people are generally in a process of transformation, not all the way there yet.

    I’m not saying that Harris is trustworthy. But his approach is worlds better than Driscoll’s, and it remains to be seen where it leads.

    Even admitting the idea that he is experiencing a mid-life crisis requires some vulnerability, which is a key ingredient that other leaders in his (previous) position lack.

    He’s clearly dipping his toe in trying to figure things out. I think a lot of grace can be extended for someone doing that.

  11. @ Jeff S:
    On the other hand, this is a group that had no problem constantly reminding people what big sinners they are and feigning humility.

    I just keep thinking of the victims. Whether Harris is sincere or not or just good at image mgmt with words because he grew up in that world is something we will never know.

    I would have been more impressed if he got out of ministry as a career.

  12. Jeff S wrote:

    But his approach is worlds better than Driscoll’s, and it remains to be seen where it leads.
    Even admitting the idea that he is experiencing a mid-life crisis requires some vulnerability, which is a key ingredient that other leaders in his (previous) position lack.

    This is a man who did nothing to help the families who experienced sex abuse within this ministry. That is my bottom line. If he was truly vulnerable he would go far beyond “mistake were made.”

    Until this man, along with all of the men and women who participated in the pain that this ministry caused, repents and spends the rest of his life making amends and serving the abused, I will never, ever trust him or anything that he says.

    He will go on from there to lead another ministry and be fawned over by the YRR crowd (who are getting long in the tooth) and no one will ever acknowledge their sinful behavior in leading God’s churches.

    Am I mad. You betcha!

  13. Godith wrote:

    Then, enroll in a real grad school. Harris is not being up front and truthful about what he is doing.

    Todd is right. And being upfront and truthful is not a quality admired by the leaders of the churches he just left. It is all about spinning and he has learned his lesson well. I hope that he has trouble sleeping at night when he thinks about what happened to children.

  14. Lydia wrote:

    @ Todd Wilhelm:
    I am curious how people like Harris do this. He has a family to support. Did he really walk away from CLC with that much money? Is his wife more educated than he is and could have a professional career to support them while he does this?
    I could not tell by reading the link but would this 1 year study which grants 24 credit hours be enough to enter a Masters program at Regent? There is so much dumbing down going on in seminaries, I cannot keep up.

    I think this is nothing new, though perhaps accelerating in recent decades since the purge of bona fide academics at SBTS. A couple decades ago, long before I entered academia, I was speaking with a professor, a colleague of my in laws, and somehow we got on the subject of seminary education, probably I was telling him about my interest, and he said “A seminary degree is the least valuable gift bestowed in academia.” After that, I never went to seminary.

  15. What Mark Driscoll is doing is eerily similar to what Kip McKean did when he left the International Churches of Christ. Except in his case, he took over a church in Portland, OR and began a new movement from there.

  16. @ dee:

    I wasn’t suggesting he’s trustworthy. In fact, I said exactly the opposite of that.

    But I think when people take steps in the right direction, they should be encouraged for that step, not examined for shortcomings.

    Nothing gives him a pass on his behavior or his (continual) lack of addressing it. But the path he’s on at least has a chance of leading to that end, unlike Driscoll.

  17. Law Prof wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    @ Todd Wilhelm:
    I am curious how people like Harris do this. He has a family to support. Did he really walk away from CLC with that much money? Is his wife more educated than he is and could have a professional career to support them while he does this?
    I could not tell by reading the link but would this 1 year study which grants 24 credit hours be enough to enter a Masters program at Regent? There is so much dumbing down going on in seminaries, I cannot keep up.
    I think this is nothing new, though perhaps accelerating in recent decades since the purge of bona fide academics at SBTS. A couple decades ago, long before I entered academia, I was speaking with a professor, a colleague of my in laws, and somehow we got on the subject of seminary education, probably I was telling him about my interest, and he said “A seminary degree is the least valuable gift bestowed in academia.” After that, I never went to seminary.

    I was in SWBTS before the purge. They got rid of all the actual academics and replaced them with ” yes men” and lackeys. A SBC seminary degree today is pretty much a joke. Sorry, but it’s the truth…

  18. InternetMonk is correct in naming this latest Driscoll fiasco as part of the Evangelical Circus: http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/61622

    Prophecy buffs have said for years that there would be a great apostasy within the Church before Christ returns. Most of those conservative prophecy teachers assumed the apostasy was coming in the form of Liberalism. Little did we know that it could come from Conservative Evangelical Christianity.

  19. I read Josh Harris’s part of the article, with quotes and everything, with little to no trouble.
    I wish the man well and hope he does take the plunge into full undergraduate and graduate schooling thereby pulling even further away from the elders with whom he is disillusioned. (or just get the heck out of dodge, the country, and ministry altogether and pursue a different field, one that doesn’t require so much attention to him since he has spent too much time in the fishbowl as it is.)

    However, when I got to the Driscoll part and began reading the quotes, my eyes glazed over and all I could see was ‘blah, blah, blah.’

    Apparently I haven’t had enough coffee yet this morning to deal with, “Second verse, same as the first. A little bit louder, a little bit worse.”

    Maybe after a bit more coffee.

  20. Jeff S wrote:

    But the path he’s on at least has a chance of leading to that end, unlike Driscoll.

    I guess you and I are both hopeful about even baby steps.
    Sure, baby steps don’t always get you where you need to go fast enough of even at all.
    But the straight up bullying forward, back into the limelight and money making by Driscoll is disgusting. I have no hope at all for Marky D at this point.

  21. Tina wrote:

    “A seminary degree is the least valuable gift bestowed in academia.”

    Valuable only as far as an actual touch of God on it. I wonder how many seminarians are truly called into ministry vs. choose that route to employment. Driscoll, who is seminary-trained, must continue to pursue some form of ministry … what else could he do? Sell cars?

    Driscoll is living proof that seminary education does not produce one ounce of revelation! Who in their right mind after following Driscoll’s potty-mouth ministry over the years would say “Surely, that junk coming out of his mouth and in his books was revealed to him by God”?

    Jesus builds his Church on revealed knowledge, not learned knowledge. One of the best preachers I ever sat under admitted one day that it took him 14 years to forget everything he had learned in seminary before he could hear God and be effective in ministry. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against education; I even have some. But seminary doesn’t turn preacher boys into men of God … it takes a wilderness experience to do that … a time and place where you get alone with God and seek His face. Such preachers are rare and endangered species these days … and in that void, along comes Driscoll, Harris, et al. to do their magic on America’s gullible church. Driscoll will always find an audience because there is a great multitude who identify with the lower standard he models and offers. They can all do church without God together and be quite happy.

  22. Law Prof wrote:

    A seminary degree is the least valuable gift bestowed in academia.” After that, I never went to seminary.

    Agreed. When my daughter was 6 we were driving by SBTS and she asked me if that was the “cemetery”.

    Out of the mouths of babes….

  23. I wish Harris all the best, but part of me wonders (and this is a bit off topic, my apologies) how much good a lot of seminaries do. The Disciples had more or less an apprenticeship, in my view–the sending out of the twelve was basically a journeyman’s journey.

    Driscoll…..boy, what a mess.

  24. Lydia wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    A seminary degree is the least valuable gift bestowed in academia.” After that, I never went to seminary.
    Agreed. When my daughter was 6 we were driving by SBTS and she asked me if that was the “cemetery”.
    Out of the mouths of babes….

    And it was nicknamed that when I was there….and I still refer to it as such….

  25. Max wrote:

    Tina wrote:
    “A seminary degree is the least valuable gift bestowed in academia.”
    Valuable only as far as an actual touch of God on it. I wonder how many seminarians are truly called into ministry vs. choose that route to employment. Driscoll, who is seminary-trained, must continue to pursue some form of ministry … what else could he do? Sell cars?
    Driscoll is living proof that seminary education does not produce one ounce of revelation! Who in their right mind after following Driscoll’s potty-mouth ministry over the years would say “Surely, that junk coming out of his mouth and in his books was revealed to him by God”?
    Jesus builds his Church on revealed knowledge, not learned knowledge. One of the best preachers I ever sat under admitted one day that it took him 14 years to forget everything he had learned in seminary before he could hear God and be effective in ministry. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against education; I even have some. But seminary doesn’t turn preacher boys into men of God …

    You don’t know how correct you really are….if you only KNEW who and what are attending the seminary…it was scary when I was there 30+ years ago. I shudder to think what is there now….and these guys are now preachers? And people wonder why I am. ” none/done?”

  26. bike Bubba wrote:

    I wish Harris all the best, but part of me wonders (and this is a bit off topic, my apologies) how much good a lot of seminaries do.

    A lot of these guys go to get a ” union card” a seminary education, so they can a pastoral or church staff job…they are given the ” gentleman’s C” ( you only need a 2.0 GPA unlike most Master’s programs, which require a 3.0 GPA to graduate.) to get that ” piece of paper.”

  27. I can understand people’s concern with Josh Harris over his semantics about being a seminary student. His upbringing, church affiliation and influences may make people wonder about how sincere he is about his disillusionment. That being said, even if he is not officially a seminary student, I think it speaks volumes that he is going to an interdenominational school. The fact that he has gone outside what he knows to pursue some education is a step in the right direction.

  28. Well, ol’ Bee Jay is on the comeback trail with a new Megachurch plant (just like Jimmy Swaggart after he got caught with that prostie, and Ted Haggard after he got caught with that rentboy).

  29. Max wrote:

    Driscoll is living proof that seminary education does not produce one ounce of revelation! Who in their right mind after following Driscoll’s potty-mouth ministry over the years would say “Surely, that junk coming out of his mouth and in his books was revealed to him by God”?

    More like revealed to him by his own sexual fantasies & fetishes & kinks.

  30. K.D. wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    A seminary degree is the least valuable gift bestowed in academia.” After that, I never went to seminary.

    Agreed. When my daughter was 6 we were driving by SBTS and she asked me if that was the “cemetery”.
    Out of the mouths of babes….

    And it was nicknamed that when I was there….and I still refer to it as such….

    And Mormon mishies refer to the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Provo as “The Empty Sea”…

  31. William wrote:

    Prophecy buffs have said for years that there would be a great apostasy within the Church before Christ returns. Most of those conservative prophecy teachers assumed the apostasy was coming in the form of Liberalism.

    More generically, they assumed the apostasy was coming From The Other Guy, not US.

    Never mind that historically (before Darby) there were actually TWO archetypes of The Antichrist:

    1) The Fanatic Persecutor (the Beast, “Anti” in the sense of “In Opposition To”), the only archetype you find among Prophecy Freaks today. (Thank You Hal Lindsay…)

    2) The Slick Deceiver (the False Prophet, “Anti” in the sense of “Imitation of”), the now-forgotten archetype. (Maybe it hits too close to home with a lot of preachers?)

    And these two Antichrists work very well together as a tag team. Fleeing the Fanatic Persecutor (The Other), the prey seeks refuge with (and takes The Mark of) the Slick Deceiver (One of Us, So Godly).

  32. Kathi wrote:

    I can understand people’s concern with Josh Harris over his semantics about being a seminary student. His upbringing, church affiliation and influences may make people wonder about how sincere he is about his disillusionment. That being said, even if he is not officially a seminary student, I think it speaks volumes that he is going to an interdenominational school. The fact that he has gone outside what he knows to pursue some education is a step in the right direction.

    With IKDG Harris, it’s still too early to tell. You’ve got some positive indicators he may be breaking away from the MegaIndustrial Complex, but his duckspeak is a major negative indicator. Or a result of “You can take the boy out of the Baptists, but you can’t take the Baptist completely out of the boy.”

    Final result: still ambiguous.

  33. Now I begin to understand why so many of my acquaintances revere Piper. He bludgeons one into numbness with a multitude of high-sounding words. My mind went out of focus only a few sentences into that quote in the article.

  34. Max wrote:

    Valuable only as far as an actual touch of God on it. I wonder how many seminarians are truly called into ministry vs. choose that route to employment. Driscoll, who is seminary-trained, must continue to pursue some form of ministry … what else could he do? Sell cars?

    I still remember being on the scene of a seminarian examination process, and hearing two of the examiners laughing together over one student’s paper. “He still believes the Bible is literally true!”

  35. Max wrote:

    Driscoll, who is seminary-trained, must continue to pursue some form of ministry … what else could he do? Sell cars?

    Wait, Driscoll is seminary trained? That doesn’t ring true, though it’s been a long time since I was reading all I could find about him as Mars Church was disintegrating. I had friends in one of his churches… and was very concerned for them.

  36. bike Bubba wrote:

    I wish Harris all the best, but part of me wonders (and this is a bit off topic, my apologies) how much good a lot of seminaries do. The Disciples had more or less an apprenticeship, in my view–the sending out of the twelve was basically a journeyman’s journey.
    Driscoll…..boy, what a mess.

    Huh. I thought about what you said for a few minutes, because something struck me and I wasn’t quite sure what it was. I was thinking that a lot of men strike out, today, and start preaching, without an education (their apprenticeship might be reading the bible, and then they go on the journey…?). And how can anyone nowadays apprentice under Jesus? (Read the gospels, perhaps? As I recall, He didn’t always answer his apprentices’ questions directly in person, either.) But then I had the clear thought, that the disciples, when they were sent out on their journeyman journey (as you put it), returned to Jesus for more instruction. Perhaps that’s where the modern versions of journeymen are getting it wrong.

    Sorry if I sound muddled. I feel awful (physically) today.

    (And how is Gram3? I miss her seasoned observations. I haven’t seen her comment here in awhile, and if she took her leave it must have been during one of my busy times when I was away from the internet.)

  37. Kathi wrote:

    I can understand people’s concern with Josh Harris over his semantics about being a seminary student. His upbringing, church affiliation and influences may make people wonder about how sincere he is about his disillusionment.

    His father was quite a showman in the heyday of “Vision” homeschooling.

    One thing I’ve got to give to Gregg, he introduced me to delight-based learning, which was an amazing boon in our homeschool. Our children never had their love of learning extinguished, as I did in school, but they learned how to learn (even the hard stuff, because they learned how to learn by learning things that interested them, in their earlier years, and so they knew how to ferret out information and express themselves in later years when studying required subjects not to their taste).

    If he had stuck with delight-directed learning and left all that patriarchal stuff alone, I would rise up and call him blessed.

    I wonder if his adult children are seeking other paths, and how well-equipped they are to live and thrive in our world today.

  38. refugee n
    I wonder if his adult children are seeking other paths, and how well-equipped they are to live and thrive in our world today.

    I read somewhere that Joshua Harris’ brother was attending Havard law school. My memory may not be correct on the Harvard part, but I know he is studying law.

  39. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Well, ol’ Bee Jay is on the comeback trail with a new Megachurch plant (just like Jimmy Swaggart after he got caught with that prostie, and Ted Haggard after he got caught with that rentboy).

    You could almost say he’s found his own Paraguay in AZ of sorts.

  40. “Now I begin to understand why so many of my acquaintances revere Piper. He bludgeons one into numbness with a multitude of high-sounding words. My mind went out of focus only a few sentences into that quote in the article.”

    Same modus operandi as Doug Wilson.

    I’ve been thinking on how C.S. Lewis was quite the wordsmith himself, yet never once have I picked up on a sense of arrogance or condescension from him. Ditto for a sense of being overwhelmed with the weasel words of a prickly controversialist.

  41. Well. *rubs hands together, it’s cold outside* Mark Driscoll’s coming to my metro area. So far I’ve found no building permits for Phoenix or Scottsdale, but if he’s planning on renting an elementary school to start, there won’t be one.

    My plan is to welcome Driscoll and his fan club to their new church by standing outside on the public sidewalk with a sign saying NOPE. Or maybe a sign with the SOON meme on it (picture of a housecat in background giving a Chihuahua in the foreground a baleful look). Who knows?

    There are so many reasons why Driscoll should not be starting another church; I posted just a dozen to my Twitter on Sunday. As I’ve made it clear, I’m outsie the household of faith, but I’d note that simply never being a Scientologist didn’t keep me from protesting the cult of greed and power.

    So welcome to Phoenix, Mark, Grace and hangers on. You don’t mind if I just stand out here with my posterboard sign, do you? Think of it as well-needed exercise for the fat middle-aged lady.

  42. refugee wrote:

    Now I begin to understand why so many of my acquaintances revere Piper. He bludgeons one into numbness with a multitude of high-sounding words. My mind went out of focus only a few sentences into that quote in the article.

    I thought it was just me for so long. What is it with vague platitudes and flowery words with no actual substance attached? That is the name of the game in evangelicalism, it seems. Piper is the master of it!

    You read that and think…he is talking about Driscoll, for crying out loud! There are tons of bodies under the bus and he is saying this about Driscoll! So, evil is good and good is evil. That is my take away. It is all so corrupt. It just seem to be the normal to so many young pastors and that chills me to the bone.

  43. Refugee; point well taken, and hope you recover soon from whatever is ailing you.

    What I’m envisioning regarding apprenticeship is how Timothy would have trained elders as he got older, really, and it would have a lot of similarity to how many of the great rabbis of Judiasm would train. You know, the guys who would be fluent in at least three languages (Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew), conversant in the 22 volumes of Talmud, and then came to America via Germany and picked up a couple more languages.

    It would require a major revival of the “bookworm” ethic and a lot more person-person time than a lot of pastors are used to spending these days, I think.

    And of course, I am emphatically NOT endorsing the practice of Billy Bob getting his walking papers from one church and walking across the street to rent a building where his snakes will be welcome! :^)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iJ4ySMuizU

  44. Jeff S wrote:

    But I think when people take steps in the right direction, they should be encouraged for that step, not examined for shortcomings.

    What step in the right direction? Running away from the scene of the abuse? A step in the right direction would have been a step towards the victims, not away from them. I do not believe that seminary is going to provide him with character and truth, merely head knowledge.

  45. refugee wrote:

    Wait, Driscoll is seminary trained?

    He taught Acts 29 boot camp with a break out session on sodomy, does that count? (rolling eyes)

  46. refugee wrote:

    Wait, Driscoll is seminary trained? That doesn’t ring true, though it’s been a long time since I was reading all I could find about him as Mars Church was disintegrating.

    According to Driscoll’s bio posted in various places, he has a Master’s degree in exegetical theology from Western Seminary. Scary, isn’t it?! Here’s another tidbit on him, he was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” in high school … well, he pulled that off depending on how you define “successful.”

  47. bike Bubba wrote:

    It would require a major revival of the “bookworm” ethic and a lot more person-person time than a lot of pastors are used to spending these days, I think.

    Why would anyone want to do all that old-fashioned-hard-book-work when Apple provides ‘smart devices’ which can make everybody an expert on everything?

  48. Dee wrote:

    I do not believe that seminary is going to provide him with character and truth, merely head knowledge.

    And the credentials to move more comfortably with his idols who do have seminary degrees. To date, Harris has not received any religious instruction only indoctrination. His quote in Christianity Today should alarm us all about his “theological” upbringing: “Instead of attending seminary before becoming a pastor, I moved into C. J.’s basement, worked as an intern in the church, traveled the country with him and began preaching. It was on the job training and I soaked up everything C. J. taught me.” When you soak in the things such characters have to offer, it will take you a while to get clean.

  49. Max wrote:

    refugee wrote:
    Wait, Driscoll is seminary trained? That doesn’t ring true, though it’s been a long time since I was reading all I could find about him as Mars Church was disintegrating.
    According to Driscoll’s bio posted in various places, he has a Master’s degree in exegetical theology from Western Seminary. Scary, isn’t it?! Here’s another tidbit on him, he was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” in high school … well, he pulled that off depending on how you define “successful.”

    I wonder if that’s an honorary Master’s… or one of those distance learning courses. I seem to recall anecdotal evidence that he decided to become a church leader while still in college, while attending a bible study, and (by some accounts) not having had a personal encounter with the Lord.

  50. refugee wrote:

    Max wrote:
    refugee wrote:
    Wait, Driscoll is seminary trained? That doesn’t ring true, though it’s been a long time since I was reading all I could find about him as Mars Church was disintegrating.
    According to Driscoll’s bio posted in various places, he has a Master’s degree in exegetical theology from Western Seminary. Scary, isn’t it?! Here’s another tidbit on him, he was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” in high school … well, he pulled that off depending on how you define “successful.”

    I wonder if that’s an honorary Master’s… or one of those distance learning courses. I seem to recall anecdotal evidence that he decided to become a church leader while still in college, while attending a bible study, and (by some accounts) not having had a personal encounter with the Lord.

    FWIW, I’m not trying to slander (or is it libel?) the guy. I’m honestly wanting to know if he attended Western, took the classes, wrote the papers, etc. and if so, when (in relation to his creating and growing Mars Hill).

  51. Dee wrote:

    What step in the right direction? Running away from the scene of the abuse? A step in the right direction would have been a step towards the victims, not away from them. I do not believe that seminary is going to provide him with character and truth, merely head knowledge.

    A step away from insular echo chamber of SGM.

    I’m surprised that you don’t see a willingness to get more information from someone who has been a leader in a controlling organization as a step in the right direction. Any any step away *is* a step toward victims.

    Obviously he hasn’t arrived. Not even close. But we are talking *steps*, here.

    It could be a smokescreen. It could be manipulation. It could be a journey away from a ministry that is falling apart to start something new (in which case he’s no different from Driscole).

    I’m not celebrating anything, but I am willing to hope.

  52. @ refugee:

    The seminary education for Driscoll–as I remember it–came after he cofounded MHC. So, it was done while he was working insane hours at Mars Hill Church. This was sort of the model extolled at the Acts 29 Boot Camp I attended back in the day at the Ballard campus–i.e. seminary after a “successful” church plant. Not wise or healthy, IMO.

  53. refugee wrote:

    refugee wrote:

    Max wrote:
    refugee wrote:
    Wait, Driscoll is seminary trained? That doesn’t ring true, though it’s been a long time since I was reading all I could find about him as Mars Church was disintegrating.
    According to Driscoll’s bio posted in various places, he has a Master’s degree in exegetical theology from Western Seminary. Scary, isn’t it?! Here’s another tidbit on him, he was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” in high school … well, he pulled that off depending on how you define “successful.”

    I wonder if that’s an honorary Master’s… or one of those distance learning courses. I seem to recall anecdotal evidence that he decided to become a church leader while still in college, while attending a bible study, and (by some accounts) not having had a personal encounter with the Lord.

    FWIW, I’m not trying to slander (or is it libel?) the guy. I’m honestly wanting to know if he attended Western, took the classes, wrote the papers, etc. and if so, when (in relation to his creating and growing Mars Hill).

    You’d be amazed at how many seminary grad’s wives actually wrote all their papers, did their research….not saying this happened in this case, but when I was there, a large number of the papers were written by Mrs. Seminarian.

  54. Muff Potter wrote:

    bike Bubba wrote:
    It would require a major revival of the “bookworm” ethic and a lot more person-person time than a lot of pastors are used to spending these days, I think.
    Why would anyone want to do all that old-fashioned-hard-book-work when Apple provides ‘smart devices’ which can make everybody an expert on everything?

    Sigh. Exactly.

  55. I don’t know anything about Regent College but I do know that my former abusive, lying pastor learned all he knew at seminary (according to him). All this meaningless jargon “God thing” “doing church,” oh it is all so familiar and leaves such a bad taste in my mouth. It seems what he learned at seminary was how to manipulate people. He kept a file of things he found out in the community about church members that he could use against them in case he ever needed to dispose of them, he called this “knowing how to ‘do church'” and said he learned it from his professors. Oh, they were all so sophisticated in the ways of the world, God has been waiting all these ages for them to break on the scene and fix things for him, since he has no idea how to succeed. They pat each other on the backs with their phony “prophecies,” spend their time offending the real brethren while seeking the world, travel around doing speaking engagements at each other’s churches, living behind masks.

    I hope Josh Harris finds something better than this at Regents, I hope he is sincere. I guess, personally, I’d be impressed if he’d gone to a secular college to earn a degree in something non-religious, beginning at the beginning.

  56. Law Prof wrote:

    A couple decades ago, long before I entered academia, I was speaking with a professor, a colleague of my in laws, and somehow we got on the subject of seminary education, probably I was telling him about my interest, and he said “A seminary degree is the least valuable gift bestowed in academia.” After that, I never went to seminary.

    The founders of Yale University would differ with that professor. That’s why they founded Yale University–i.e. to train up qualified and quality pastors. Just saying…

  57. K.D. wrote:

    You’d be amazed at how many seminary grad’s wives actually wrote all their papers, did their research….not saying this happened in this case, but when I was there, a large number of the papers were written by Mrs. Seminarian.

    Under Mr. Seminarian’s authority and covering, of course. :o) So really, according to the ‘plain reading of scripture’ it is just like he did it himself. (wink)

  58. @ Divorce Minister:

    So much for what Yale seems to be turning out:

    “After the email, a group of students confronted Dr. Christakis. One student was shown in a video posted on YouTube confronting Dr. Christakis as he clasped his hands. “It is not about creating an intellectual space! It is not!” the student was heard yelling. “Do you understand that? It is about creating a home here!”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/08/us/yale-lecturer-resigns-after-email-on-halloween-costumes.html?_r=0

    Yale is not about creating an “intellectual” space. Okey dokey!

  59. Lydia wrote:

    “After the email, a group of students confronted Dr. Christakis. One student was shown in a video posted on YouTube confronting Dr. Christakis as he clasped his hands. “It is not about creating an intellectual space! It is not!” the student was heard yelling. “Do you understand that? It is about creating a home here!”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/08/us/yale-lecturer-resigns-after-email-on-halloween-costumes.html?_r=0

    Yale is not about creating an “intellectual” space. Okey dokey!

    In defense of Yale, this woman was a lecturer in the Early Childhood Ed department, not a professor, and not teaching theology. Yale has 4,410 faculty of all types; I’m sure she’s not the only one who is two tacos short of a combination plate.

  60. Here is the link to Western Seminary, Driscoll’s alma mater. http://www.westernseminary.edu/

    It has online, several small onsite locations. I don’t know the names of any of the professors, but some of you might.

    Now, I am not pulling this out of my hat, but I AM pulling it out of my memory, and that has been known to make a mistake or two…but, if I recall correctly, Western’s Bellevue Campus was the Mars Hill “church” site. And (this part is a little foggier), I believe Driscoll was teaching some of the classes, and that he was in the process of starting a seminary in some sort of partnership with Western…probably for accreditation coverage.

    That’s what I remember, anyway.

  61. refugee wrote:

    Now I begin to understand why so many of my acquaintances revere Piper. He bludgeons one into numbness with a multitude of high-sounding words. My mind went out of focus only a few sentences into that quote in the article.

    Hypnotic, isn't it?

  62. bike Bubba wrote:

    Muff Potter wrote:
    bike Bubba wrote:
    It would require a major revival of the “bookworm” ethic and a lot more person-person time than a lot of pastors are used to spending these days, I think.
    Why would anyone want to do all that old-fashioned-hard-book-work when Apple provides ‘smart devices’ which can make everybody an expert on everything?

    Sigh. Exactly.

    Off topic, but I just saw a facebook (meme? is that what you call those pictures with text?) that talked about an Icelandic christmastide tradition: giving books. Apparently people get books as presents on christmas eve, and then they go to bed with their new book and… I forget, maybe a hot drink like cocoa? The meme said that new books published in Iceland come out at christmastime.

    Sounds like a lovely holiday tradition, in my book. (pardon the pun. just a little.)

  63. Lydia wrote:

    K.D. wrote:
    You’d be amazed at how many seminary grad’s wives actually wrote all their papers, did their research….not saying this happened in this case, but when I was there, a large number of the papers were written by Mrs. Seminarian.
    Under Mr. Seminarian’s authority and covering, of course. :o) So really, according to the ‘plain reading of scripture’ it is just like he did it himself. (wink)

    You’d be amazed at how many students seem to be soliciting papers at the freelancing sites I frequent. Who is really being educated here?

  64. siteseer wrote:

    and said he learned it from his professors. Oh, they were all so sophisticated in the ways of the world, God has been waiting all these ages for them to break on the scene and fix things for him, since he has no idea how to succeed. They pat each other on the backs with their phony “prophecies,” spend their time offending the real brethren while seeking the world, travel around doing speaking engagements at each other’s churches, living behind masks.

    I guess they’ve got the “wise as serpents” part of the “wise as serpents, innocent as doves” formula down pat.

  65. @ mirele:
    I wasn’t concerned about the prof but the “group of students” who claim Yale is not about “creating an intellectual space”.

    The Facists are the students these days. There is not enough bubble wrap in the world to keep them from being “offended” so they seek to censor.

  66. @ Lydia:

    To paint all Yale students (and these were only undergraduate students, btw) plus faculty that way would be highly unfair. Plus, I think it is like a pastor saying someone left the church over the carpet color when something far deeper was at play in their leaving. I do not agree with those undergraduate students response to the masters, but I’d encourage charity that perhaps they are reacting to something that needs addressing in reality.

    Further, whatever your take on the recent Yale UNDERGRADUATE situation does not invalidate that people still value a degree from Yale in the marketplace.

    In addition, a seminary education has been historically valued highly in this nation. Those who founded our nation highly valued seminary education to even the exclusion of other training–i.e. these Ivy League schools were not founded primarily to produce science Ph.D.s, etc. They WERE founded to make pastors and missionaries competent to serve. That is a historical fact. All you have to do is look at Yale’s original founding statement to see that.

  67. I don’t know much about Harris but it could be less of a midlife crisis and more of deserting a sinking ship. Be interesting to know the true state of CLC’s finances.

    I wouldn’t underestimate Driscoll. He probably incorporated as a church to take advantage of tax savings. I think that he must have some charisma and guys like him can con others pretty easily. No members though, just followers. All anyone can do is prepare to receive the victims in the aftermath.
    I guess he’s got to get out there and earn some money. He’d be worse than an unbeliever if he didn’t.

  68. Jack wrote:

    easily

    Jack, I suspect this is what Driscoll has done. The Christianity Today Article referred to by Warren Throckmorton on Patheos talks about how Mr. Jolley of The Gathering has done something similar; he and one other person ARE the incorporation’s board (never mind that they are supposed to have 3 board members) and they get all the material goods that are donated to the “ministry.”

    Driscoll has set up his entity with three board members and the constituting documents claim that there will be no “members.”

  69. PaJo wrote:

    Driscoll has set up his entity with three board members and the constituting documents claim that there will be no “members.”

    I suspect this means the pew peons must tithe, tithe, tithe!!! But, since there are no members, only the board members may reap any of the benefits. And, only the board members may decide where the money goes —- in their pockets.

  70. @ Deb:
    Jack wrote:

    I wouldn’t underestimate Driscoll. He probably incorporated as a church to take advantage of tax savings. I think that he must have some charisma and guys like him can con others pretty easily. No members though, just followers. All anyone can do is prepare to receive the victims in the aftermath.

    I wondered if any of Driscoll’s victims (ie. those thrown ‘under the bus’) ever were compensated or at least apologised to in the aftermath of the Driscoll implosion? Was there ever any sign of repentance in Driscoll? And now, he forms a ‘church’ with ‘no members’ . . . setting himself up as ‘the Founder’ . . . patterns of behavior repeat themselves unless there is some intervention or some serious re-thinking and taking responsibility for a changing renewal. It won’t take long to get Driscoll’s measure in his new endeavors . . . I hope he won’t continue building up his ‘masculinity’ by shaming his wife, Grace . . . what ‘man’ shames his wife publicly? It’s not biblical: Joseph, until the angel appeared to him in a dream, only wished to put Mary away quietly . . . but that all changed, as we know and Joseph became foster-father to Our Lord . . . but Joseph’s kindness to Mary could not be fathomed by the great Driscoll . . . so Grace’s honor was sacrificed to his ‘visions’. What a sad example of a disloyal husband!

  71. refugee wrote:

    Piper. He bludgeons one into numbness with a multitude of high-sounding words. My mind went out of focus

    My father used to talk this way before he gave his heart to Jesus and become a more humble man.

    Someone gave him a plaque once that said:
    “I know you believe you understand what you think I said. But I’m not sure if you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”

    I thought it was funny enough that I memorized it.

    At the same time, I saw how ineffective this sort of communication was and determined to speak more directly, thereby actually communicating rather that showing off perceived oratory skills and over-achieving/reaching vocabulary.

    (As a result of growing up listening to my dad talk over people’s heads, I’m rarely confused, intimidated, or hypnotized by such talk which frustrates the heck out of those trying to confuse, intimidate, or hypnotize. Just because I speak simply doesn’t mean I’m simple minded. I’ve just throw away the high-sounding-nonsense form of communication long ago. It is worthless in bringing understanding to the listener. It’s purpose is to prop up the pride and ego of the speaker.)

  72. refugee wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    K.D. wrote:
    You’d be amazed at how many seminary grad’s wives actually wrote all their papers, did their research….not saying this happened in this case, but when I was there, a large number of the papers were written by Mrs. Seminarian.
    Under Mr. Seminarian’s authority and covering, of course. :o) So really, according to the ‘plain reading of scripture’ it is just like he did it himself. (wink)
    You’d be amazed at how many students seem to be soliciting papers at the freelancing sites I frequent. Who is really being educated here?

    No one is learning anything. Have you spoken to any recent grad of a seminary? ….( When I in seminary, there was no internet. We did our papers on typewriters. )

  73. I thought of Joshua Harris the other day when happening to read an article about Kat Cole, the president of Cinnabon. She worked her way from waitress to executive in the hospitality industry, and actually has an MBA with no bachelor’s. So, it is at least heard of

    Of course Driscoll is going is returning to ministry, and of course he has an exciting new soft tyranny for polity. In a more righteous world, him and Tullian would be teaming up for one of those “hunks hauling junk” outfits as that’s what they’re qualified for.

  74. mirele wrote:

    So welcome to Phoenix, Mark, Grace and hangers on. You don’t mind if I just stand out here with my posterboard sign, do you? Think of it as well-needed exercise for the fat middle-aged lady.

    In addition to poster boards-

    Have you considered getting a bull horn and maybe just reading quotes of stuff Driscoll has written in books or blogs for passers by, letting them know that stuff is by Driscoll? That would be educational for the uninitiated. 🙂

    And maybe scary for them.

  75. William wrote:

    Prophecy buffs have said for years that there would be a great apostasy within the Church before Christ returns. Most of those conservative prophecy teachers assumed the apostasy was coming in the form of Liberalism. Little did we know that it could come from Conservative Evangelical Christianity.

    Funny you said that, I was thinking just this the other day. The Neo-Con, excuse me, Neo-Cal movement is a cancer that is spreading false teachings and according to the number of nones and dones from these churches, driving people from the church and even some from Christ. Their MO appears to be to stress that they’re chosen by God (the elect, the most exclusive of country clubs), then sideline and discredit the women because without the women’s influence, the men are easy prey. Then they bring out the restrictive membership covenants and serve a heaping helping of a God created in their own image.

  76. refugee wrote:

    I still remember being on the scene of a seminarian examination process, and hearing two of the examiners laughing together over one student’s paper. “He still believes the Bible is literally true!”

    That’s concerning. I read some of the theology blogs on Pathos, and every now and then, a theologian will post who apparently doesn’t believe any of the tenants of Christianity. So, why are they there? Why bother?

  77. @ Divorce Minister:

    I am well aware of why Harvard, Yale and Princeton were founded. But we are a long way from that, right? I think you have misunderstood my point. I was not in any way mapping the the reason for the founding of Yale to what is happening today on campuses. Yale is ONE example of the ridiculousness happening all over the place.

    I am very concerned about what is happening on campuses all over this country. Censoring speech is becoming the normal. If it is not a good thing at church why is it a good thing for Universities where debate and discussion should be free. Especially for those who receive lots of state and federal funds.

    As one brave College president put it: College is not day care.

  78. mirele wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    “After the email, a group of students confronted Dr. Christakis. One student was shown in a video posted on YouTube confronting Dr. Christakis as he clasped his hands. “It is not about creating an intellectual space! It is not!” the student was heard yelling. “Do you understand that? It is about creating a home here!”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/08/us/yale-lecturer-resigns-after-email-on-halloween-costumes.html?_r=0
    Yale is not about creating an “intellectual” space. Okey dokey!
    In defense of Yale, this woman was a lecturer in the Early Childhood Ed department, not a professor, and not teaching theology. Yale has 4,410 faculty of all types; I’m sure she’s not the only one who is two tacos short of a combination plate.

    Then there was the report yesterday about several Yale students signing a (bogus) petition to repeal the First Amendment.

  79. Christiane wrote:

    Was there ever any sign of repentance in Driscoll?

    I’ve seen various references over the past year of Driscoll saying “I’m sorry” and “I apologize” for this or that … but no where have I seen a post where Driscoll has actually uttered “I repent.” There’s a vast difference between expressions of sorrow, apologies and repentance (remember Bill Clinton’s style of repentance?). Biblical repentance means “to change one’s mind”; true repentance results in a change of actions. “If” Driscoll has truly repented, we should be able to see it … but, on the other hand, maybe not – he is a good actor.

  80. @ Lydia:

    Fair enough. I agree that the current trend is not encouraging.

    But the context of my comment was to engage in the topic of seminary being a valuable degree to hold. That what was being denied.

    I think it is a good thing that Harris is going to Regent (even if it isn’t in a quasi-degree program). Seminary educations are valuable and have been valued over the centuries–including as seen at Yale, etc.–as they equip and–hopefully force–the holders to dialogue with centuries of faithful Christians and their important ideas.

  81. Lydia wrote:

    I am very concerned about what is happening on campuses all over this country. Censoring speech is becoming the normal.

    The Coddling of the American Mind
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356/

    “In the name of emotional well-being, college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like. Here’s why that’s disastrous for education—and mental health.”

  82. This seminary talk reminds me of the whole alternate education route that was in vogue about five years ago or so. Mars Hill Church was gearing to create its own training center. They were communicating to their people and others that they thought traditional seminaries were failures. I suspect–like other programs–they were really talking about control–i.e. control over doctrine taught.

    Seminaries are not perfect. Yes, some seminarians attend as a profession as opposed as a calling. (Btw, it ought to be both as a the worker is worth his wages). However, anything built by humans will be imperfect as we all are imperfect beings post the Fall.

    I just wonder if anything would have changed in the narrative if Harris had gone to seminary–like Regent–as opposed to only being under CJ Mahaney first. Maybe? Maybe not?

  83. Daisy wrote:

    “In the name of emotional well-being, college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like. Here’s why that’s disastrous for education—and mental health.”

    Oh, please! Give them their pacies and check their diapers. If they can’t cope, they are certainly not mature enough to go off to college!

  84. Lydia wrote:

    @ Jeff S:
    I would have been more impressed if he got out of ministry as a career.

    This is what they know how to do – it is their comfort zone. Getting a REAL job requires effort, a willingness to take risks, and step out of one’s comfort zone. I believe that once a person has experienced what it is like to be popular and in the lime light, i.e. – on stage with people hanging on your every word – it is particularly difficult to leave it behind for good. Look, many of us here at TWW knew that it was only a matter of time before Mark Driscoll would resurface. Find a different career? Why, when the perks of being part of the Popular Pastor Party are so good?

  85. I am sure no pastor in SGM, DG, SBC will speak against another pastor even if there is sin involved. Cover up, justification and their friends and slandering those who challenge them is their stock in trade. They are not leadt bit worried about God, people, or truth. All they worry about is their reputation and how much money they can amass. These guys are destroying the name of Christ. These guys must be tarred and feathered and run out of town and pursue whereever they go so that no one will heed them. They need ti repent and stay out of ministry and learn to work like the rest of us instead of sitting around and eating from peoples hand. These guys have no shame.

  86. Nancy2 wrote:

    Oh, please! Give them their pacies and check their diapers. If they can’t cope, they are certainly not mature enough to go off to college!

    Let me give you some insight as a college professor (recently retired, mercifully). The young people at institutions of higher learning these days are not ‘students’ seeking an ‘education’. They are customers purchasing a credential. And believe me, this is how the college administrations think about the whole situation. Make the customers happy. It became so craven and disgusting that I had to leave.

    Yes, there are exceptions here and there, but by and large, this is the story.

    So sad, so sad.

  87. Lydia wrote:

    The Facists are the students these days. There is not enough bubble wrap in the world to keep them from being “offended” so they seek to censor.

    Can you imagine the Reign of Terror they’d get rolling if they came to power?
    It’s got me wondering if they’d revive Madame Guillotine.

  88. roebuck wrote:

    Let me give you some insight as a college professor (recently retired, mercifully). The young people at institutions of higher learning these days are not ‘students’ seeking an ‘education’. They are customers purchasing a credential.

    You might enjoy reading Chris Hedges’ Empire of Illusion, in it he says pretty much the same thing.

  89. mirele wrote:

    My plan is to welcome Driscoll and his fan club to their new church by standing outside on the public sidewalk with a sign saying NOPE.

    Thank you Mirele! If I lived there, I would join you.
    In the past few years, my husband and I watched Mars Hill plant churches closer and closer to our neighborhood. We were ready to be out there with posterboards also. Ours was going to read: “Just ask us about our daughter”.

  90. Divorce Minister wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    A couple decades ago, long before I entered academia, I was speaking with a professor, a colleague of my in laws, and somehow we got on the subject of seminary education, probably I was telling him about my interest, and he said “A seminary degree is the least valuable gift bestowed in academia.” After that, I never went to seminary.
    The founders of Yale University would differ with that professor. That’s why they founded Yale University–i.e. to train up qualified and quality pastors. Just saying…

    Yale is a somewhat different place than it was when founded, about 180 degrees different.

  91. @ Deb:
    You’re very welcome.

    I just shared another link, one about Kentucky churches leaving the SBC over having women preachers. I think the article says one church left voluntarily, but the other was kicked out.

  92. Nancy2 wrote:

    Daisy wrote:

    “In the name of emotional well-being, college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like. Here’s why that’s disastrous for education—and mental health.”

    Oh, please! Give them their pacies and check their diapers.

    And smartphones.
    Don’t forget the smartphones.
    (text text text text text text text…)

    Why do I hear ISIS crowing in triumph?
    One generation of Bread and Circuses,
    Then ten thousand generations of “AL’LAH’HU AKBAR!”

  93. Daisy wrote:

    Southern Baptist Convention Sever Ties With Kentucky Churches Over Female Pastors

    I read that article a day or two ago and thought, “So much for the autonomy of each local church. We all must abide by the regulations as decreed by the SBC now. Leaning towards Catholicism.”

  94. Daisy wrote:

    In addition to poster boards-
    Have you considered getting a bull horn and maybe just reading quotes of stuff Driscoll has written in books or blogs for passers by, letting them know that stuff is by Driscoll? That would be educational for the uninitiated.
    And maybe scary for them.

    I have threatened for years to get a bullhorn to talk to my mother, who refuses to wear her hearing aids, and I’ve not done it. I’m not sure I could do that when protesting, because it would likely require a sound permit. I don’t want to be a bother to the neighbors. I just want to be a big NOPE in front of Mark Driscoll’s latest religious business (not going to call it a church).

    And in local blessings: I was told today that there might be a debate with notorious young earth creationist (and convicted felon) Kent Hovind here in Phoenix. I can’t wait–I’ll be there with bells on if it actually happens. *Especially* if it occurs at the Baptist church on the west side of Phoenix where the pastor is a sovereign citizen. (But I suspect that church is too small for Hovind’s ego.) This is how the church’s website describes the location of the church (actual address obscured to protect the guilty):

    “Visit us at:
    xxxxx North xxth Avenue
    surrounded by Phoenix, Arizona
    [85009] Reference only, not in a federal zone.” << it really does say that!

  95. Daisy wrote:

    Southern Baptist Convention Sever Ties With Kentucky Churches Over Female Pastors
    http://www.christianpost.com/news/southern-baptist-convention-sever-ties-with-kentucky-churches-over-female-pastors-152812/

    The headline is misleading. The church in question was thrown out by the local Baptist Association, not the State or National SBC. This is also not unusual. There are 3 things that will practically guarantee a church to be expelled from a local association:

    1) Accepting members that have not been baptized by immersion.
    2) Accepting or blessing homosexual unions or ordaining practicing homosexuals.
    3) Calling a woman as a pastor.

  96. Nancy2 wrote:

    “So much for the autonomy of each local church. We all must abide by the regulations as decreed by the SBC now. Leaning towards Catholicism.”

    Church autonomy stands intact. The church made a decision almost certainly knowing the consequences. There is only one action an association can take, which is withdrawal of fellowship. Local, State or National conventions cannot impose any sanctions or fire pastors on autonomous churches.

  97. refugee wrote:

    Now I begin to understand why so many of my acquaintances revere Piper. He bludgeons one into numbness with a multitude of high-sounding words. My mind went out of focus only a few sentences into that quote in the article.

    Now if only Piper himself could be out of focus, that would be such a relief!!

  98. Divorce Minister wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    Fair enough. I agree that the current trend is not encouraging.
    But the context of my comment was to engage in the topic of seminary being a valuable degree to hold. That what was being denied.
    I think it is a good thing that Harris is going to Regent (even if it isn’t in a quasi-degree program). Seminary educations are valuable and have been valued over the centuries–including as seen at Yale, etc.–as they equip and–hopefully force–the holders to dialogue with centuries of faithful Christians and their important ideas.

    I know where you are coming from but I have to wonder why the overall state of Christendom is so poor if such an education is so valuable? Why wouldn’t seminary training transfer to more spiritually educated pew sitters in some respect? Why does it seem, in general, to be churning out clones who are authoritarian? The overall results seem to value the wrong things. Generally speaking.

    And to make it worse, they focus on indoctrination instead of education. Not all, of course, but more and more are falling in line.

  99. roebuck wrote:

    et me give you some insight as a college professor (recently retired, mercifully). The young people at institutions of higher learning these days are not ‘students’ seeking an ‘education’. They are customers purchasing a credential. And believe me, this is how the college administrations think about the whole situation. Make the customers happy. It became so c

    I’ve had high school athletes say, “I play football. You have to give me a passing grade!” So now, college students say, basically, “I paid the tuition” or “I’m on a scholarship, you have to pamper me!” ????????

    Somebody needs to give these students and their parents a good swift kick.
    It certainly explains what the seminaries are cranking out!

  100. Lydia wrote:

    When my daughter was 6 we were driving by SBTS and she asked me if that was the “cemetery”.

    Are you given an epitaph upon graduating? It comes from two Greek words, you know …

  101. One big issue I have had with Josh Harris is how silent he has been about the problems with his alternative to dating that he championed. Josh may have given a few messages at CLC updating his thoughts on KDG (kissing dating goodbye) and saying it was OK for two singles to go out for coffee etc. On the other hand Josh hasn’t really shared any of this on his blog/website. Josh Harris is quick to identify the defects he sees with dating but won’t admit the defects with KDG.

    It is as if Josh Harris for whatever reason won’t admit the problems though he knows they exist. It may be due to having a hard time admitting that what brought him in the spotlight has its own problems. It could also be with his father being active in the homeschool groups that from what I see still promote this Josh is reluctant to say anything.

    Sadly 2 of the couples he mentioned as “examples” in his sequel to KDG titled “Boy Meets Girl” are now divorced.

    Maybe now with some schooling Harris will be more willing to admit these issues but as the saying goes I wouldn’t hold your breath.

  102. Ken wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    When my daughter was 6 we were driving by SBTS and she asked me if that was the “cemetery”.

    Are you given an epitaph upon graduating?

    No, just an Honorary Doctorate.

  103. Nancy2 wrote:

    I’ve had high school athletes say, “I play football. You have to give me a passing grade!” So now, college students say, basically, “I paid the tuition” or “I’m on a scholarship, you have to pamper me!” ????????

    Somebody needs to give these students and their parents a good swift kick.

    Or drop them into Mosul.
    Let’s see how far their “YOU HAVE TO PAMPER ME!” would get with ISIS.

  104. Nancy2 wrote:

    “So much for the autonomy of each local church. We all must abide by the regulations as decreed by the SBC now. Leaning towards Catholicism.”

    Actually, the SBC is leaning toward patriarchal, authoritarian Calvinism in this regard. There is no doubt that the Baptist Faith and Message (BFM) revision team in 2000 was greatly influenced by Calvinist belief and practice (Al Mohler was in that group). The BFM2000 statement of faith trends toward Calvinism; that’s why the young, restless and reformed taking over SBC churches can so easily endorse it.

    In the BFM section pertaining to church structure, the following clause was in the 1963 version of the Southern Baptist statement of faith:

    “The church is an autonomous body, operating through democratic processes under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. In such a congregation, members are equally responsible. Its Scriptural officers are pastors and deacons.”

    Note the not so subtle changes and addition in the 2000 revision (particularly the last sentence):

    “Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.”

    While local church autonomy may still govern each Southern Baptist congregation, language such as this in the denominational statement of faith puts heat on offending churches to conform, voluntarily exit, or wait for lightning to strike. Putting such things in black and white doesn’t make them Biblically accurate … the same can be said about Calvinist belief and practice. I guess I’ll just have to take Paul at his word when he wrote “Gone is the distinction between Jew and Greek, slave and free man, male and female – you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

  105. These two men have gained financially through their connections to the church culture of our day, through the networks they have been a part of, through their books. Evidently, in Driscoll’s actions, he reveals it is not enough, so back to the game, so to speak. (I recognize it is demeaning to speak of it in this way, but the cavalier attitude that our cultural church leaders take toward their personal sin and failure, as opposed to the, sometimes (think village church) toward those without position or influence is absolutely hypocritical and shameful.)

    Silence from those with power and influence.

    It will be interesting to see how Josh Harris comes out of his year of education–I would have more confidence in him had he maintained silence, rather than the Christianity Today article. My concern is that he is in the midst of rebranding himself, rather than taking in the full lesson of the leadership failures that occurred on his watch. We will know if he immediately reestablishes himself in the celebrity genre of Christianity (new book, with an aren’t I humble matrix).

    I think it would be great for both of these men to get secular jobs and work for a living–perhaps learn to contribute to church life without financial benefit–a self-clarification of what each truly values. A few years away from celebrity, from cuteness, would benefit them both, their families, and the church at large.

    A friend of mine joined a mission organization years ago and spent his first couple of years doing fieldwork (literally farming). It was difficult for him (I remember the tone swing in his letters as he came to realize as he was weeding fields, God was weeding his heart). He is now in a position of great responsibility–the organization was wise in their approach to training him or ministry.

    Hoping for both men, but especially the church, redemptive future.

  106. “Makes us wonder how much concern Mark Driscoll and Joshua Harris had for the congregations they left behind. ”

    I had a conversation this week with a woman who ended up at my church after the Mars Hills closure. I expressed my sympathy for her, and commented that Mark had just started a new church in Phoenix. She replied positively and asked that God would bless his efforts in that. I realized she was a MD supporter, and again expressed my sympathy over Mars Hill closure. Her next words broke my heart. With an expression much like a abandoned wife she cried, “I don’t know why he left us?” She was in such anguish, I could only comfort her in support of her, but my anger at Driscoll reached new heights.

  107. @ Max:
    Out of curiosity as a former member, I checked and the Baptist Union in the UK has been ordaining women for nearly a century. I don’t think in large numbers, but it doesn’t seem to be an ‘issue’ at the moment.

  108. Cousin of Eutychus wrote:

    My concern is that he is in the midst of rebranding himself, rather than taking in the full lesson of the leadership failures that occurred on his watch.

    Driscoll, Harris, Mahaney – the list goes on – of failed “pastors” of the New Calvinist movement who are in the process of re-inventing/re-branding themselves. The sad thing is that they have a great multitude of idol-worshipers just waiting for their unrepentant comebacks. If they didn’t have a gullible audience, they would have no stage; the YRRD’s will support them in whatever form they reappear (YRRD = young, restless, reformed & deceived). When will this madness end?!

  109. @ Max:

    Max, You know I am a mapper, pattern person so I cannot help but notice them. So this is strange. I have heard from 3 different people from 3 different SBC churches here that the BFM was “preached” in a series. Not at the same time but all within several months. The last time it was mentioned was from the last remaining non Cal staff member at a former church who left demoralized after 10 years. They forced him out and of course he went without causing a ruckus…put in financial chaos in his 40’s.

    I happen to know the BFM was never mentioned at that church before in that capacity. He said that the series was cut and pasted from another Neo Cal pastor but he would not say who. (people become so furtive and demoralized when they have had to work around this stuff )

    This focus on preaching the BFM in a series, no less, has to originate somewhere. At a conference? A push from Mohler?

    So, for what it is worth, it seems there is a push to “preach” the BFM and codify it as SBC law. Just like Jesus, eh? So be on the look out. It is so bizarre this push to make the SBC creedal.

  110. @ Cousin of Eutychus:

    I don’t have the time or inclination to go back and piece together the timeline of events but I think people would be less impressed with Harris if they did. Everything from the wikileaks emails to Mahaney leaving and what Harris told people at CLC, the filing of the lawsuit and then to his decision to get out . I think people were counting on him, thinking he was the good leader and then he got out.

    I think Harris’ decision was to protecte himself.

  111. Steve240 wrote:

    Sadly 2 of the couples he mentioned as “examples” in his sequel to KDG titled “Boy Meets Girl” are now divorced.

    Wasn’t one of them Bob Kauflin’s daughter whose ex husband told his story on SGM survivors? He wanted to leave SGM and that caused the divorce. It was so bad he moved out of the country!

  112. Law Prof wrote:

    Yale is a somewhat different place than it was when founded, about 180 degrees different.

    I am not arguing about its theological or non-theological orientation today. My point is that someone thought a seminary education in the past was SO valuable that they founded Yale (as well as other seminaries and universities around the globe, btw). Suggesting that ALL seminary degrees–even today–are practically worthless seems to contradict what history and tradition suggests by this historical fact.

  113. Divorce Minister wrote:

    My point is that someone thought a seminary education in the past was SO valuable that they founded Yale (as well as other seminaries and universities around the globe, btw).

    The Puritans. :o)

  114. Lydia wrote:

    It is so bizarre this push to make the SBC creedal

    Baptists as a group, whether they be Southern or not, have had an aversion to creeds. Calvinists, on the other hand, have not. Southern Baptists (the non-Calvinist majority) were quite happy with the BFM1963, prior to its revision in 2000. (in fact, many SBC churches chose not to adopt the 2000 version). But SBC’s reformed minority were not happy with it; thus, Mohler and others led a charge to fix that … and, by the power of his influence, fixed it good!

    In the Preamble to the 1963 version of the BFM, you will find: “Such statements have never been regarded as complete, infallible statements of faith, nor as official creeds carrying mandatory authority.” The BFM2000 revision team deleted that passage, elevating the BFM to a human statement of faith and paving the way for doctrinal authority to rule the roost. Swept away in the process were long-held Baptist beliefs of soul competency and priesthood of the believer … which were sacrificed on the New Calvinist altar. Darnedest thing I’ve ever seen … for millions of non-Calvinst Southern Baptists to roll over and play dead as Calvinization of a once-great denomination takes place.

  115. Mara wrote:

    Just because I speak simply doesn’t mean I’m simple minded. I’ve just throw away the high-sounding-nonsense form of communication long ago. It is worthless in bringing understanding to the listener. It’s purpose is to prop up the pride and ego of the speaker.

    I think that they also speak that way purposely to obfuscate what they mean. It leaves them a fuzzy area where they can fudge one way or the other if in need. It protects them from truly being analyzed and discounted because, after all, perhaps the analyzer has not fully comprehended the meaning behind the meaning behind the phrases…

    A mark of a truly intelligent and wise person is the ability to take complex thought and simplify it so that a wide audience can comprehend it.

  116. patriciamc wrote:

    I read some of the theology blogs on Pathos, and every now and then, a theologian will post who apparently doesn’t believe any of the tenants of Christianity. So, why are they there? Why bother?

    My question, also. I guess it is just a testimony to the fact that the name of Jesus carries a lot of clout. If they gave their theology an honest name, who would listen?

  117. siteseer wrote:

    A mark of a truly intelligent and wise person is the ability to take complex thought and simplify it so that a wide audience can comprehend it.

    A BIG BINGO !
    Common factors cancelled, denominators rationalized, what a concept…

  118. Lydia wrote:

    This focus on preaching the BFM in a series, no less, has to originate somewhere. At a conference? A push from Mohler?

    LifeWay has a sermon series on BFM “Foundations of the Faith” posted on their website. Mohler also has a 6-session study on the BFM, providing his biblically-correct insight on it.

  119. siteseer wrote:

    A mark of a truly intelligent and wise person is the ability to take complex thought and simplify it so that a wide audience can comprehend it.

    Completely off-topic, but one of my favourite quotes is any one of several from Muhammed Ali on refusing the draft. E.g.:

    And shoot them for what? They never called me “n****r”.

  120. Max wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    This focus on preaching the BFM in a series, no less, has to originate somewhere. At a conference? A push from Mohler?

    LifeWay has a sermon series on BFM “Foundations of the Faith” posted on their website. Mohler also has a 6-session study on the BFM, providing his biblically-correct insight on it.

    Is the BFM the New Koran, Hadith, or Talmud?

  121. Max wrote:

    I’ve seen various references over the past year of Driscoll saying “I’m sorry” and “I apologize” for this or that … but no where have I seen a post where Driscoll has actually uttered “I repent.”

    Shouldn’t there be some kind of contract he has to sign? And an agreement to divulge all of the thoughts and events that went into his failure? And some weekly meetings he has to attend? lol

  122. siteseer wrote:

    A mark of a truly intelligent and wise person is the ability to take complex thought and simplify it so that a wide audience can comprehend it.

    In French, this is called “vulgurazation”, expressing complex concepts in an easily-understandable form. The essay collections of the late Steven Jay Gould are some of the best examples in English; as is Carl Sagan’s The Cosmic Connection and Cosmos.

  123. Nancy2 wrote:

    Daisy wrote:
    “In the name of emotional well-being, college students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like. Here’s why that’s disastrous for education—and mental health.”
    Oh, please! Give them their pacies and check their diapers.

    And don’t forget easy access to Alcohol (for Binge Drinking) and condoms (for Hookup Sex). Or the Free Medical Care for the aftereffects of both.
    “BECAUSE I WANNA! I WANNA! I WANNA!”

    Or the student unions/student centers with all the on-campus amenities of an upscale shopping mall plus those of a high-end cruise ship?

    How long would these Speshul Little Snowflakes last if you dropped them into (Third World country of your choice)? Or even into (First World country of your choice 1939-1945)?

  124. siteseer wrote:

    Shouldn’t there be some kind of contract he has to sign?

    Membership Covenants are for mortal pew-sitters, not… GODS…

  125. William wrote:

    Prophecy buffs have said for years that there would be a great apostasy within the Church before Christ returns. Most of those conservative prophecy teachers assumed the apostasy was coming in the form of Liberalism. Little did we know that it could come from Conservative Evangelical Christianity.

    I think about that, myself. Yet every age has its imposters and distortions of the gospel. Jesus said the gates of hell would not prevail against the church and I wonder exactly what that means, it’s such a curious way to put it. Maybe it is just the fact that in spite of all the confusion that goes on here in Vanity Fair, he is still adding to our numbers daily those who are being saved (Acts 2:47)?

    At the current point in history, it seems there is an apostasy of every flavor to choose from. Eventually, though, we will see the apostasy spoken of, and I guess we will know it when we see it, if we happen to be around at that time.

  126. siteseer wrote:

    A mark of a truly intelligent and wise person is the ability to take complex thought and simplify it so that a wide audience can comprehend it.

    Exactly. Listening to a Calvinist go through gyrations to defend their theology is like being in a yo-yo with a termite. Sooner or later, they will run out of wood … but the damage will be done.

  127. One comment being held due to a technical problem. Reader has been notified. Will plan to post once the issue is cleared up.

  128. Regarding Baptists and creeds, I think I can speak to this, having been a member at Conservative, GARBC, and independent fundamental Baptist churches. We are not really averse to creeds–just look at the church constitution and the habit of many pastors of remaking parishioners in their own image. We just don’t use that word for our creeds, and they’re not the ones you’re familiar with unless we’re using the London Baptist Confession or the New Hampshire Confession.

    Regarding the nonsense (I’ll be polite) at Yale, I read the comments, and the former professor was well within her profession. She does early child development, really psychology by another name, and she was pointing out that the hissy fit many at Yale were throwing wasn’t just annoying, but rather was a sign that they were signing up for protracted immaturity.

    And quite frankly, I’m rejoicing at my ability to appropriate things from different cultures, like my Andean, Scottish, and Aran wool sweaters (of various breeds and even alpaca), coffee, chocolate, wine, ethnic foods, and the like. When I use something from your culture, I’m saying I like it enough to use it. Take the compliment!

  129. Divorce Minister wrote:

    My point is that someone thought a seminary education in the past was SO valuable that they founded Yale (as well as other seminaries and universities around the globe, btw).

    Yes, and someone thought slavery was SO valuable that in 1749 they campaigned for its legalization in the Georgia colony. Maybe they both were misguided?

  130. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    How long would these Speshul Little Snowflakes last if you dropped them into (Third World country of your choice)? Or even into (First World country of your choice 1939-1945)?

    HUG, I find this pretty offensive. I suspect this children would last about as long as I would have at 18.

  131. @ nmgirl:
    It is sad these college students are not wise or educated enough to see how blessed they are compared to their great grandparents. That generation had to put their plans on hold to deal with evil.

  132. @ Max:
    Like adding the “s” to priesthood of believer. Sly one, that Al. A few tried to point out his sneaky intention but Al can do no wrong. Now we get it. It was all about authority. The believer CANNOT stand alone. They must be in a church under the authority of the keys holder who interprets scripture for them.

  133. Joe2 wrote:

    Divorce Minister wrote:
    My point is that someone thought a seminary education in the past was SO valuable that they founded Yale (as well as other seminaries and universities around the globe, btw).
    Yes, and someone thought slavery was SO valuable that in 1749 they campaigned for its legalization in the Georgia colony. Maybe they both were misguided?

    Calling a fallacy in reasoning there, Joe2–i.e. “false analogy.” Supporting or valuing slavery is the same thing as supporting or valuing seminary training?! Really?

    You could argue the same way regarding all education. So, should we say that we ought to abolish all forms of higher education?! I think not.

    Plus, if it weren’t for people valuing seminary-like education over the years, it is arguable that zero Western universities would exist.

  134. Lydia wrote:

    Like adding the “s” to priesthood of believer.

    Yep, the Calvinist brethren on the revision committee slipped that in less than an hour before the revision went to the convention for approval! The simple insertion of an “s” at the last minute rejected the Baptist ideal of the priesthood of each individual “believer” (singular), replacing it with the priesthood of “believers” (plural), which is in line with more acceptable Reformed doctrine. Brother Al is sly, indeed.

  135. @ Divorce Minister:

    I think most people value “education”. But there is a need to question what IS education. Beyond the basics of reading, writing, math, science, etc, there is a need for education to encourage analytical thinking, debating, discussion.

    What I think some here are opposed to is indoctrination. The irony is that the “seminaries” you mention were started to train Puritanesque ministers. That did not last long after the revolution as enlightenment thinking became more popular.

    So the question is not whether “education” is valued or not. It is. What is not valued is indoctrination.

    If more seminaries were turning out actual scholars who were well versed in contextual history and languages like ancient Greek and even Hebrew, I might get where you are coming from. But the areas of study are something I would rather not be beholden to like church admin.

  136. Lydia wrote:

    So the question is not whether “education” is valued or not. It is. What is not valued is indoctrination.

    So true, Lydia. The Southern Baptist Convention is not being taken over by educated seminary graduates, but indoctrinated ones. They have been imbued with a partisan and biased belief, hitting the pulpit convinced that they have come into the world for such a time as this to restore reformed theology to the church. The campuses of leading SBC seminaries are abuzz with New Calvinism.

  137. Lydia wrote:

    Like adding the “s” to priesthood of believer. Sly one, that Al. A few tried to point out his sneaky intention but Al can do no wrong.

    A few years ago, Christianity Today did a cover story on Al Mohler. In the comments section of the article, several of us entered very respectful comments on why we disagree with Mohler. All were deleted. The only comments left were ones complementary to him. I pointed this out when I commented online in their letters of the editor section. My comment, of course, was deleted. I couldn’t help but wonder what power did he have over CT.

  138. patriciamc wrote:

    Lydia wrote:
    Like adding the “s” to priesthood of believer. Sly one, that Al. A few tried to point out his sneaky intention but Al can do no wrong.
    A few years ago, Christianity Today did a cover story on Al Mohler. In the comments section of the article, several of us entered very respectful comments on why we disagree with Mohler. All were deleted. The only comments left were ones complementary to him. I pointed this out when I commented online in their letters of the editor section. My comment, of course, was deleted. I couldn’t help but wonder what power did he have over CT.

    Advertising dollars. Think of all the associated seminaries, book publishers, etc involved. Even if there are no degrees of association the advertisers think if they allow the dissing of Mohler, they would for our guys, too.

    Christian marketing is a very closed bubble of thinking. It props up an “industry”.

  139. Max wrote:

    Southern Baptists (the non-Calvinist majority) were quite happy with the BFM1963, prior to its revision in 2000. (in fact, many SBC churches chose not to adopt the 2000 version). But SBC’s reformed minority were not happy with it; thus, Mohler and others led a charge to fix that … and, by the power of his influence, fixed it good!

    Well, I guess the word “fix” has all kinds of meanings…

    Case in point:

    “Welcome to the fix-it segment of our show, which we call, ‘If It Ain’t Broke, Yer Not Tryin’!'”
    – The Red Green Show

    “That’s ‘fixing it’? Is that your idea of ‘fixing it’!?”
    – Bert, to Ernie (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qw-lca6kk7w)

  140. @ Lydia:

    Yale Divinity School still exists as well as does Princeton Seminary to this day, for example. They are not just producing Puritans.

    In modern times, Bruce Metzger was produced by Princeton and pretty much anyone who knows NT Greek knows his name due to his high level of scholarship respected from conservative to liberal seminaries alike.

    Yes, some places are about indoctrination. But all?! I don’t buy it, but I suppose if you want to give into complete cynicism on the matter….

  141. nmgirl wrote:

    I suspect this children would last about as long as I would have at 18.

    Same here. In fact, I’m not sure how well I’d cope with that kind of environment now, at middle age. I was brought up pretty sheltered, and in peacetime.

    While the attitudes of some students today aren’t too impressive, I feel less-than-qualified to look down my nose at them.

  142. @ Divorce Minister:
    We are talking past one another. My point was referring to “why” those schools were founded and that they moved away from their original purpose in training for specific puritanesque denoms.. As we know now into broader education. Wasn’t it Yale that later became popular with Unitarians when the Puritans were dying out?

    And I mentioned education vs indoctrination. I think it just as unwise to trust a seminary credential carte Blanche as if it means more anointing or something. .

    There is no academic institution that has the power to instill the Holy Spirit into anyone. Yet, more Greek would be nice. :o)

  143. @ Lydia:

    Harvard went towards the Unitarians. That’s why Yale was founded due to Enlightenment influences at Harvard…anyways.

    True. Nor ought you to trust any professional carte blanche based solely on a degree…that does not make the degree worthless, though.

    A psychologist is required by law to have a degree, but I wouldn’t trust just any psychologist. In fact, someone who never got his Ph.D. might give me better advice than a psychologist could as a friend with natural gifts….yet that does not mean the school and education is without value.

  144. Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    Well, I guess the word “fix” has all kinds of meanings…
    Case in point:
    “Welcome to the fix-it segment of our show, which we call, ‘If It Ain’t Broke, Yer Not Tryin’!’”
    – The Red Green Show
    “That’s ‘fixing it’? Is that your idea of ‘fixing it’!?”
    – Bert, to Ernie (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qw-lca6kk7w)

    Totally off topic, but I couldn’t help it. Red Green is awesome!

  145. @ Serving Kids In Japan:
    And, as you correctly point out, it is not *all* students. Some, yes. But to characterize an entire generation in this way is, imo, very cruel.

    As for who would survive in hostile places at 18,like you, i wouldn’t have had any life experiences that could havd prepared me for those scenarios. It seems a most unfair comparison at best, again imo.

  146. numo wrote:

    @ Divorce Minister:
    A truly decent education that prepares men and women for pastoral wotk is… not uncommon in the mainline-owned schools. Intersting, no?

    Maybe because in mainline, Catholic and Orthodox churches, seminary graduates can’t just run around starting their own “churches.”

    I’m pretty convinced that there is a correlation here.

  147. Divorce Minister wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    Harvard went towards the Unitarians. That’s why Yale was founded due to Enlightenment influences at Harvard…anyways.
    True. Nor ought you to trust any professional carte blanche based solely on a degree…that does not make the degree worthless, though.
    A psychologist is required by law to have a degree, but I wouldn’t trust just any psychologist. In fact, someone who never got his Ph.D. might give me better advice than a psychologist could as a friend with natural gifts….yet that does not mean the school and education is without value.

    I have never once said education is without value. I would appreciate it if you would stop characterizing and reframing my comments to fit whatever it is that is your agenda.

  148. PaJo wrote:

    Maybe because in mainline, Catholic and Orthodox churches, seminary graduates can’t just run around starting their own “churches.”

    Do they apprentice until a certain age or experience level before they take over? That would be a much better structure than giving money to 20 somethings to start a church like the SBC has done.

  149. Lydia wrote:

    Steve240 wrote:
    Sadly 2 of the couples he mentioned as “examples” in his sequel to KDG titled “Boy Meets Girl” are now divorced.
    Wasn’t one of them Bob Kauflin’s daughter whose ex husband told his story on SGM survivors? He wanted to leave SGM and that caused the divorce. It was so bad he moved out of the country!

    Yes one of the couples who divorced was Bob Kauflin’s daughter. As I recall in that book Josh talks about how Meghan (Kauflin’s daughter who divorced) ignored some of her “gut” instincts and went ahead and married. In hindsight she shouldn’t have done that.

    This is just an example of courtship not being the better alternative that those who promote courtship tell you.

    I was easy when courtship was introduced to to claim it was a much better system and would result in less divorce etc. Now that it has been in place for a while and we can see the results from what I can tell it isn’t delivering nearly as promised.

    One former proponent of courtship called it a failed experiment and even has a book titled “Courtship In Crisis.” The Deebs said if I would write up a review of this book they would consider posting it. I will try and do that over the holidays.

  150. Lydia wrote:
    I have never once said education is without value. I would appreciate it if you would stop characterizing and reframing my comments to fit whatever it is that is your agenda.

    But you have made statements to the effect that seminary education is NOT valuable–or at least, today’s seminary education is. That is what I have a problem with…I disagree. Perhaps there is where we leave it.

  151. @ PaJo:

    I have a friend who half joked that evangelicals are less interested in properly trained pastors as long as the person can essentially run a business and draw a crowd. Sadly, I agree with that assessment. That said, the mainline and Catholic church have their own set of issues as well.

  152. Divorce Minister wrote:

    But you have made statements to the effect that seminary education is NOT valuable–or at least, today’s seminary education is. That is what I have a problem with…I disagree. Perhaps there is where we leave it.

    Ironically, so far, as a “minister”, interacting on the subject you have not convinced me of the value of your seminary education in communication. I suppose I hit a nerve because it is your livelihood and for that I am sorry. In general, the state of the institutional church is a mess. Are there decent ones? surely but I weary of going through that process anymore to find out differently.

    I just no longer see the need to sit in a pew facing a guy on stage to be spoken to about his interpretration. It is not interactive but it is a perfect set up for indoctrination. I am with Victorious who earlier stated the Good News is the focus. And I am starting to wonder if a liturgical situation might be more productive IF one needs to attend a church building. It sounds like there would be more diverse and direct scripture reading, at the very least.

  153. Godith wrote:

    Todd is absolutely right. The course Josh Harris is taking is not an undergraduate nor a true graduate course. If he is serious about education enroll at a real university and take real classes, including foreign languages. Then, enroll in a real grad school. Harris is not being up front and truthful about what he is doing.

    I don’t know if he is being dishonest or not, but I do believe he would benefit tremendously from an actual 4-year degree at a real university.

  154. @ PaJo:
    Being Luthean myself, my comment was somewhat tongue in cheek. Geesh, we even require seminarians to take a whole mess of psych courses! 😉

  155. Lydia wrote:

    PaJo wrote:
    Maybe because in mainline, Catholic and Orthodox churches, seminary graduates can’t just run around starting their own “churches.”
    Do they apprentice until a certain age or experience level before they take over? That would be a much better structure than giving money to 20 somethings to start a church like the SBC has done.

    It depends on the mainline/denomination/Church. The three I am most familiar with at this point have in common that the seminarian has to have … permission? a blessing? … to go to seminary. Our seminarians spend three years at seminary, and assistant-pastor at a local church, so they get experience in all sorts of church life, and under the eye of a senior pastor. (Sort of like student teaching…) It is traditional that no one is ordained before he is 30, no matter when he graduated from seminary–but that tradition is not always followed. Before ordination, he serves in other roles in the church, again, under the eye of a senior pastor, and most often has a “day job” in the world.

    This is a really different model from someone deciding he’s going to seminary, then getting out and rolling his own. I talked to a guy on a plane one time who was in seminary. I asked him if he liked it. Nope. Not only did he not like it, he didn’t believe a word of it. But he had to go there to get the lingo so he could start his own church. I was dumbfounded. I asked him why he was going to do that. He said, “That’s where the money is.”

    Eye opening.

  156. Divorce Minister wrote:

    I have a friend who half joked that evangelicals are less interested in properly trained pastors as long as the person can essentially run a business and draw a crowd.

    I think that’s one of two poles of deception between which evangelicals will oscillate if they’re not careful. At the other pole, you have evangelicals who are less interested in the character of their pastors than in whether those pastors bang a particular conservatively doctrinal drum. So it didn’t matter how unregenerate Driskle’s behaviour was as long as he unregenerately brayed about penal substitutionary atonement.

    I say “two poles of deception”, but I have to concede that this too is simplistic. One of the problems of avoiding ungodly extremes is that there aren’t just two extremes – there are many. Even the pursuit of balance and moderation* can easily become extreme, because denying self, taking up one’s cross and following Jesus can’t be done without a certain well-placed extremeness.

    * In the non-adminstrative sense

  157. When a snake sheds its skin it is not having a conversion experience.

    I thank God for the few genuine, non money and power hungry Christians trying to shepherd. The rest make you sick to your stomach. We do have to be careful not to bitterly snip away at every and /anything. That gets to be a bitter chorus pill to listen to and swallow.

  158. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    Godith wrote:
    Todd is absolutely right. The course Josh Harris is taking is not an undergraduate nor a true graduate course. If he is serious about education enroll at a real university and take real classes, including foreign languages. Then, enroll in a real grad school. Harris is not being up front and truthful about what he is doing.
    I don’t know if he is being dishonest or not, but I do believe he would benefit tremendously from an actual 4-year degree at a real university.

    What this almost seems to say is that the SBC is more concerned over women being ordained versus children being abused in SBC churches. If so this is really sad.

  159. BC wrote:

    When a snake sheds its skin it is not having a conversion experience.
    I thank God for the few genuine, non money and power hungry Christians trying to shepherd. The rest make you sick to your stomach. We do have to be careful not to bitterly snip away at every and /anything. That gets to be a bitter chorus pill to listen to and swallow.

    I thought the “b” word was outlawed here. :o). It is too easy to declare those who disagree as “bitter”.

  160. Steve240 wrote:

    What this almost seems to say is that the SBC is more concerned over women being ordained versus children being abused in SBC churches.

    The abusers have penises,
    The woman pastors do not,
    And that is ALL that matters.

  161. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Divorce Minister wrote:

    I have a friend who half joked that evangelicals are less interested in properly trained pastors as long as the person can essentially run a business and draw a crowd.

    I think that’s one of two poles of deception between which evangelicals will oscillate if they’re not careful.

    “The Devil sends temptations in opposing matched pairs, so that in fleeing one we embrace the other.”
    — attr to C.S.Lewis

    At the other pole, you have evangelicals who are less interested in the character of their pastors than in whether those pastors bang a particular conservatively doctrinal drum. So it didn’t matter how unregenerate Driskle’s behaviour was as long as he unregenerately brayed about penal substitutionary atonement.

    Purity of Ideology, Comrades.
    Purity of Ideology.

  162. In the interests of a little education re Regent College, I can’t help but offer the following. My time at Regent, working towards an Masters in Christian Studies was one of the richest times of study I could imagine. The faculty was from a broad spectrum of evangelicalism, from Anglican to Pentecostal. I learned from of the most highly respected scholars in the Christian world. Not to name drop here were some of my profs: J.I. Packer (Theology), Gordon Fee (Pauline studies), Bruce Waltke, (OT Foundations), Eugene Peterson, (Spirituality,) Scott McKnight, (Bible), James Houston, (Spiritual Life), Gerald McDermott (Jonathan Edwards Religious Affections), Alistar McGrath (Theo). There were many others whose names aren’t as well known but all of them challenged me a deeper love for and walk with God. I’d be surprised if this isn’t the case for Harris and that can only be a very good thing. Perhaps we should cheer on a hungry heart.

  163. Josh Harris repeatedly lied on camera when he was interviewed and he also lied other times. He knew first-hand about abuse by people that were current members and big donors of his church. His degree from Regent is a sham and a joke. No undergraduate degree but his books and pastoral experience somehow make him eligible for a seminary degree. For those of us pursuing an accredited doctorate degree, it’s laughable. For those on the thread who asked, when I knew them, Shannon did not have a college degree. And for that matter, most of the pastors at Covenant Life not only lacked seminary degrees, many of them did not even go to college at all. Hence, the utter miscarriage of justice for victims of abuse and the lack of understanding on how to counsel anyone or the need for reporting to authorities and police. Of course, I am being generous here by assuming a lack of education accounts for their negligence. In reality, it may be deception, hubris, greed and a host of other reasons. For those who think that the lawsuit is over and justice has been served, the truth will come out one day. The magnitude of what Josh and the other pastors covered up is staggering.

  164. Former member wrote:

    For those who think that the lawsuit is over and justice has been served, the truth will come out one day. The magnitude of what Josh and the other pastors covered up is staggering.

    Praying for those who have been hurt at Covenant Life Church and throughout the Sovereign Grace ‘Churches’. Yet another name change…

    May the truth come out soon. Praying to that end.