Brierley Versus Driscoll

"When you've got guys in dresses, you know, preaching to grandmas and young men won't show up as a nation, you've gotta ask yourself, you know, have we picked a course that really fits the past but isn't gonna work for the future?"  

Mark Driscoll

Justin Brierley

So Mark Driscoll truly believes he has established a course of action that will advance Christendom?  Poppycock!  (which means unbelievable)  Yep, "Unbelievable?" is also the British radio program hosted by Justin Brierley on Premier Christian Radio. 

Before we take a look at some of the most controversial exchanges between Justin Brierley and Mark Driscoll, I believe it is important to point out that not everything Driscoll states is correct.  Here is a case in point.  During the interview, Driscoll tells Brierley that Seattle is "the most educated city in America." 

Wrong!  Here's the most recent ranking in Men's Health.

Most educated cities in America, along with their grades.

1. Madison, WI       A+
2. Plano, TX            A+
3. Raleigh, NC        A
4. Burlington, VT   A
5. Seattle, WA         A-

By the way, Dee and I are very proud of where our city placed in this ranking – Number Three!

For those who haven't had the opportunity to listen to the interview, here are the transcribed segments that we will be discussing in upcoming posts. 

WARNING:  The first segment is extremely graphic!  


Brierley:   Perhaps most controversially in the book you directly address what Christian partners should and shouldn't be doing in the bedroom.  You cover masturbation, oral sex, anal sex, I mean I can imagine some people disagreeing with you when you say, for instance, anal sex is not off limits; it is lawful you say.  I mean, are you in a position to be able to say that Mark?


Driscoll:   I'm a Bible teacher and if anybody wants to disagree with me they can argue Biblically, and I'll be glad to do so, but I cannot allow the people of God to be governed by sort of prudish, Victorian culture; they have to be governed by the Word of God.


Brierley:    But isn't this whole, I don't know, the very idea of anal sex probably kinda exists largely in culture today because of this pornography issue that you've been talking about, so is there not a sense in which you are somehow buying into the culture — the overly sexualized culture — when you approve the use of sex toys and role play and that kind of thing?


Driscoll:  What I say is, and you're not being fair, in fact, you're being sort of scandalous and you're being immature about the issue, so I don't really appreciate that.  Um, you're going for one or two pages in the book where we answer a very common question that Christian couples have, and you're trying to put a little shock around that for the radio and as a pastor I'm trying to answer the questions that people have according to the Bible.  And the Bible doesn't forbid certain things, and so then we can't forbid certain things.  What I do say in 1 Corinthians 6:12, Paul lays out:  Is it lawful?  Is it profitable?  Is it enslaving?  He gives us three questions to ask.  Number one if it's not illegal and it's not against the Bible, then number two we go to is it profitable?  And we say in the book there are many reasons it might not be profitable — health risks, lack of conscience, doing something just because you saw it in pornography and becoming obsessed by it.  And if you can say well it's not for any of those kind of reasons, so it's not necessarily a bad thing for us according to conscience, then you move on to is it enslaving?  Is it something that makes one person feel defiled or harmed or dirty or taken advantage of, then we would say no.  So what we say in the book is we would never encourage a couple to do such an act, but if they do there's no Biblical case that says it's a sin. An so they have to operate according to conscience on that issue, just as Christians do with many issues.  The Bible doesn't say anything about smoking, so you can't say that smoking is a sin.  But you know there are health reasons why it may not be a good idea. There may be conscience reasons why it may not be a good idea, and we would never recommend that as an activity, but you can't bring someone up for church discipline and kick them out of the church for the activity because the Bible doesn't expressly forbid it. This is exactly why we wrote the book.  Most Christians do not think Biblically when it comes to cultural issues.  They think emotionally, they think in a way that is culturally governed, and we want to bring 'em back to the Word of God. 


Brierley:   I mean, maybe it's our sense of British reserve or something Mark, I don't know but…


Driscoll:  Yeah, but, you've gotta know this too.  I've been to London, I've been to Northern Ireland, I've been around the U.K., even fairly recently.  What appears to be a British conservatism is only public.  In private Brits are just as dirty as Americans.




Brierley:   Something that you said that was perceived as being slightly controversial, it was on the back of the Ted Haggard scandal, um you talked about the fact that a wife who lets herself go and isn't sexually available to her husband in the way that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband's sin but she may not be helping him either.  You got quite criticized for that statement.  I mean, what are you trying to express when you say that? I mean, are you saying that a woman in some sense has a duty to look after herself, make herself sexually available to her husband? As it were, a Biblical mandate for that in some sense. 


Driscoll:   I didn't say anything about the Haggards, and I regret what happened in their marriage, and I grieve for that woman in the kind of horrific situation she was placed into.  My position, the Bible's position is that a husband and wife should make an effort to be attractive and available to one another in the context of marriage.  (Mark then gives examples of men and women who do not do this well).  Brierley encouraged Grace to respond to this topic, which she did.




Brierley:   What have been some of the major things that you've had to learn to live with, to kinda get around when it comes to your relationship with Mark in the course of the years you've been married?


Grace Driscoll:   Well, I think we've had to learn how to communicate differently.  We both communicated sinfully often out of ways that we knew how to communicate that weren't right, weren't kind.  And so we've had to learn to speak into each others lives in an honoring way and in a way that builds each other up in the Lord and encourages each others walk with the Lord.  So while he's had to deal with some silence and lack of encouragement from my side, I've had to deal with other issues of criticism or ways of saying things that are frank, and I wasn't used to that, and so we've had to be gracious in learning how to re-communicate our ideas in a better way to each other.  (Grace did not speak after this response.)


Brierley:    Coming back to you, Mark, it sounds like your wife has kinda had up it close and personal what many people see you like as a personality in the context of the church, etc.  You quite often cause controversy let's say with some of the statements you make, the way you put the message across.  Um, I mean some have accused you of kind of bringing across a very macho, kind of muscular form of Christianity where you've got to be a real kind of man's man if you're gonna be a good Christian.  Um, do you think the church has become too feminized in some sense?  Is this why you kinda talk about these kinds of issues quite a lot?


Driscoll:   Well, men are not going to church.  Young men are the least likely to go to church.  I mean, and you've got a, you've got a crisis in Great Britain.  You have got a full blown crisis to where young men are not coming to the church, they're not committed to the church, and they're not rising up as leaders in the church.  They're just not.  And so you can say Mark I think you' re a little intense; I think you're a little masculine. You say, well, what are you not doing?  I mean, when you've got guys in dresses, you know, preaching to grandmas and young men won't show up as a nation, you've gotta ask yourself, you know, have we picked a course that really fits the past but isn't gonna work for the future?  And why are young men going to places, I mean I was in London not long ago, I mean when there's a UFC fight that pulls into town, it's packed. At night the bars are packed.  Once those bars close the clubs are packed, um but the churches are not packed.   Why is that?


Brierley:   I mean, that said, um is it right then to kind of, as it were, look at the culture and say that's what's attracting men, we need to be more like that?  Because there is a danger is there not of simply blindly following culture in some sense.


Driscoll:   Well, what happens is most men, many men did not have a father, so they don't know what a responsible male looks like.  Um, as well, when men hit a certain age, they don't have any authority.  They've got money, they've got disposable time, they've got you know sexual sins, but nobody has any authority over them, so what I do is I speak to men more like a father or a drill seargent would, I give them very direct orders, I teach and preach the Word of God for an hour plus, um and I speak to them very directly.  Men tend to respond very well to that.  I don't speak the same way to women.  I would never counsel a woman the same way I counsel a man.  In my conversations with Grace they are very different than they are with men, particularly men who are in sin and rebellion and folly, and so I think the problem in the church has been a one size fits all.  We speak to you know nice godly growing women the same way we speak to immature, rebellious, date raper men, and it's not working.


Brierley:    Is there a danger you're only appealing to a certain type of man?  I mean you caused a lot of controversy with a statement you made on Facebook where you said so what story do you have of the most effeminate anatomically male worship leader you've personally witnessed?  And [eople said it was a bullying thing to say.  Others said you know that's the kind of thinking that got me called a faggot and bullied at school.  I mean do you regret some of the things you say in this kind of area?


Driscoll:    I do but I go too far sometimes.  Almost every other pastor I know doesn't go far enough and that's O.K. cause the church tends to be led by people who are timid and fearful of going too far.  I mean let's just say this . . . right now, name for me the one young, good Bible teacher that's known across Great Britain. You don’t have one – that is a problem. There's a bunch of cowards who aren’t telling the truth. You don't have one. You don't have one young guy who can preach the Bible that anybody's listening to on the whole earth.


Brierley:    Do you think that we need in the U.K. here then to model your approach more a bit?


Driscoll:   You don't have to do what I'm doing.  I'm just telling you what you're doing ain't working, so you need to do something else.   


Brierley:   Let me give you another quote of yours Mark, and I hope you appreciate that I'm just bringing up some of the issues here that often come up in this area.  You talk about often some emergent types have recast Jesus as a limp wrist hippie in a dress, and you say I cannot worship a hippie diaper halo Christ because I cannot worship a guy I can beat us.  I mean that's strong words. 

Driscoll:   Yes, that's very clear.  See, and this is the deal for me.  You've gotta break through the cultural noise.   If I get on and I say Jesus is nice, blah, blah, blah; Jesus is sweet, blah, blah, blah; Jesus takes care of people, blah, blah blah, nobody cares, nobody listens because there's nothing interesting around it. The whole reason you've got me on the radio is because I will say things that are interesting. 


Brierley:   Yeah, you do, but is there not a danger that you kind of turn into the shock jock of the pulpit in a way?  That you're saying things to create a reaction to make people go "Mark Driscoll said something controversial."


During the remainder of the interview, Brierley and Driscoll discussed the success of Mars Hill Church, Calvinist theology, the Young, Restless, and Reformed Movement, John MacArthur's criticism, and female pastors.  Perhaps we will discuss those aspects of the interview in the coming weeks.  Stay tuned for TWW's analysis of this portion of the Brierley / Driscoll interview.


Lydia's Corner:    Isaiah 10:1-11:16    2 Corinthians 12:11-21    Psalm 56:1-13    Proverbs 23:6-8


Brierley Versus Driscoll — 63 Comments

  1. MD’s talk about Christian Freedom is hilarious! He and the other neo calvinistas that give him a pass because he loves TULIP are some of the most binding pastors out there. MD sounds so cool with his tattoos, t-shirts, and beer but he is more legalistic than your grandma who thinks beer is of the devil. MD is a deceitful!
    I also think that he is showing that he is in grave error to throw out Christian history by insulting clerical dress in British churches. He is dangerous. Maybe the most dangerous of the Neo Calvinistas. Isn’t it funny that he talks about all things manly yet, he runs through the TULIPS:)

  2. “Well, what happens is most men, many men did not have a father, so they don’t know what a responsible male looks like.”

    If this is supposed to be literally true it’s going to make the virgin birth seem awfully mundane. He must have meant that many men grow up without steady male role models but the word choice was unfortunate if Driscoll wants to be a stickler about doctrine and words and context.

  3. Eagle – and people overwork like fiends in the D.C. area. All the medical institutions in the world aren’t going to be very helpful if a person doesn’t take care of themselves, you know?

  4. Some of the most drive people I have ever met belonged to churches that I attended in the D.C. area. Many of them worked 60+ hours per week, even when they didn’t have to. (They had office jobs, so it wasn’t like they were on-call docs or anything.)

    I honestly cannot imagine making work into my life. I found it hard to maintain friendships because of this, as women are caught up in it, too.

  5. Convinced both miss the mark honestly, Dee. In other things that I have read, it is not actually the feminized issue at all that Mr. Driscoll proposes at all that is wrong with Great Britain. They are actually being subcombed to Sh’ra laws and becoming more secularized. The poll numbers are dismal in regard to Britains and their interest in church and the country is need of revival. I really think Drisoll is a bully pulpiteer and needs to consider the Aramaic version on the Sermon on the Mount on calling others cowards.
    I have another one that I would add to may heros of the faith list that I mentioned awhile back, I am in the midst of reading Life without Limits by Nick Vujicic and this guy is truly inspiring in how lives his life out without having arms and legs. I personally like inspiring people like Nick not blowhards like Mark. There is a place for confrontation but it is to be toward the brutish and not to meek.

  6. One of the best books I have read was Blinded by Might by Cal Thomas. He stressed that good reforms are from the bottom up not top down. For example, kicking out a women out of teaching a class in seminary while her husband is disabled is not a bottom up reform it is an ungodly reform.

  7. Eagle,

    Sorry to offend you. I didn’t conduct the study. Perhaps this one will be more to your liking. Notice that Seattle doesn’t even break into the top 10, although our area places in the 4th and 10th positions. Really, they should be combined.

    The 10 Most Educated U.S. Cities

    Based on a U.S. News analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau, these are the 10 most-educated metropolitan areas (population 300,000 or greater, as of 2009) in the United States.

    1. Boulder, Colo.

    2. Ann Arbor, Mich.

    3. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.V.

    4. Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C.

    5. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.

    6. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.

    7. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif.

    8. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-N.H.

    9. Madison, Wis.

    10. Raleigh-Cary, N.C.

    Source: U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey, 2009.

  8. Why is it that US evangelicals are so convinced that european countries are “secularized”? Could it be that many Europeans are disenchanted with the established churches in their respective countries?

    And could it also be that Europeans simply don’t conform to the patterns that US-based evangelicals (and others) understand as “being churched”?

    The sheer futility of many missions comes to mind – like the board that sent out Francis and Edith Schaeffer to “evangelize” in an almost entirely Catholic canton in Switzerland. They ended up having to move to a Protestant canton due to the friction between this American “vision” of church and the one held by the good churchgoers of the canton where they first lived. (And on top of it all, neither of the Schaeffers knew how to speak French when they 1st arrived in Switzerland… in fact, neither of them became fluent in the language, even though they lived in the French-speaking region of Switzerland for much of their adult lives… go figure!)

    So, is the UK “unchurched”? I’m willing to bet that it’s no more so than Seattle, which certainly was full of churches prior to MD’s arrival. (In fact, I was amazed by that when I first visited, in the late 70s and early 80s.)

    I think MD’s claims about Seattle being “unchurched” before he got there are about as reliable as his “visions,” whether sexually-oriented or simply tall tales about a man charging the pulpit with machete in hand.

    He’s not someone I could ever trust, and I don’t take his word for anything.

  9. Notice how (in quotes above) MD refers to “bars” being “packed” with men who wanted to watch UFC fights.

    1st, MD – shut the hell up already about the UFC! Just because you’re3 obsessed with it doesn’t mean everyone else has to be. (I’d venture to guess that MD thinks cricket is “feminized.”)

    2nd – they call them pubs over there, “dude.” I have this sneaking feeling you’ve never been in one, or you would know that… and… why would TVs in UK pubs be tuned into the UFC? Football, rugby and Formula I racing are more likely… (Also, I thought the UFC was strictly an American thing, though maybe I’m wrong?)

    So… sex, violence, macho-ness is next to godliness, sex, violence, gratuitous remarks about church culture in the UK, glaring ignorance of church (and local) history, sex, whinging about how there was an “agenda,” sex, violence, “I’m a better communicator than you are,” misogyny…. [rinse, repeat]

  10. One more thing about pubs… the “local” is different to an American bar, and plays a different role in terms of socializing.

    This – which is one small point of the Brierly-MD convo – is actually kind of a big thing as far as cultural differences between the US and the UK, and clearly not something that MD understands.

    But then, when I read things he says, I start feeling like there’s an alternate universe out there with MD’s name on it. (I know that probably sounds snarky, but truly, I *don’t* live in his world and am mighty glad of it!!!)

  11. No, Numo. I think you are right. There is an alternate universe out there that MD has created to suit himself and he’s getting as many young, vulnerable, insecure, impressionable young men to join him and expand it like a black hole sucking up in everything within reach.

    In this alternate universe, nice words, like husbands protect, defend, provide, are used to suck in women to hand over their freedom and become slaves to the male authority masters.

    You don’t believe me?

    Then why does Mark have the authority to screen Grace’s emails? To protect her? Hell, no! It’s to own and control her.

    Frankie’s son-in-laws learned well, only allowing Frankie supervised visits with her own daughters. To protect them?
    Again, HELL NO! Not protection. Control and ownership. This is where their gender gospel has taken them. To an alternate universe where men get to be little lords, little BAALs of their homes and women have no power to stop them otherwise they are rebelling against God.

    This it the alternate universe that Mark built.

    And he’s going to keep on building until men and women have had enough, remember the authority that they have in Christ, rise up, and tell him to get lost.

    Sorry, Numo. You probably didn’t mean to go there.
    I am just still heart sick over what Frankie is going through. I’m heart sick that the Gospel message has been turning into BAAL worship.

    Hosea 2:16 “It will come about in that day,” declares the LORD,
    “That you will call Me Ishi (my Husband)
    And will no longer call Me Baali (my Master).
    17 “For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth,
    So that they will be mentioned (remembered) by their names no more.

    This is the house that God wants to build that Mark is rebelling against in his lust for power and authority over others.

  12. I was thinking about Mark Driscoll’s remarks about Great Britain not having any young, well-known pastors, and then I realized that Driscoll is a middle-aged man. He turned 41 last October.

    It has taken Driscoll quite a while to become well-known, and of course, we all know what three-letter word he has used to propel himself into the spotlight.

  13. Deb

    I don’t know if most people know that #4 (Durham and Chapel Hill) and #10 (Raleigh, Cary) are essentially one and the same. You drive from one to the other with no towns in between. I live in Raleigh, get my hair done in Cary, go to church in one of the towns, spending lots of time in both Durham and Chapel Hill. So, this is the area with one of the highest number of “dumb” sheep?

  14. Absolutely Unbelievable (pun intended)–Driscoll is claiming to know British culture better than the British do. At least that’s how I read it.

    Numo’s point about British pub culture is spot on. Pubs are quite different from US bars. Anyone can go into a pub–there’s no age limit. Most pubs have pretty good food, and you’re likely to find whole families having dinner there. The adults might or might or not have a drink.

    (And she’s also right about DC culture. It’s really hard to make friends and get through the masks of success that people put on here. I’ve taken to calling it “beautiful people syndrome.”)

  15. Oh, and if Driscoll had done his homework in all those communications classes he had to take for his degree, he would know that effective communication takes the other party’s response into account. It’s no good claiming afterward that you didn’t intend to convey something. If the meaning your hearers take away from your speech is different than the meaning you intended to convey, you are as much or more to blame than they are. But I only minored in interpersonal comm, so what do I know?

  16. Dee,

    Actually, the pastor who referenced “dump sheep” in a sermon recently wrote the following in an article that is currently being featured on a certain website:

    “Students are not dumb; nor are the college professors filling their minds five days a week.”


  17. Driscoll: I’m a Bible teacher and if anybody wants to disagree with me they can argue Biblically, and I’ll be glad to do so, but I cannot allow the people of God to be governed by sort of prudish, Victorian culture; they have to be governed by the Word of God.

    AKA “anal sex” is sin? SHOW ME SCRIPTURE!”

    Brierley: But isn’t this whole, I don’t know, the very idea of anal sex probably kinda exists largely in culture today because of this pornography issue that you’ve been talking about, so is there not a sense in which you are somehow buying into the culture — the overly sexualized culture — when you approve the use of sex toys and role play and that kind of thing?

    Brierly, you DO know there is a line of CHRISTIAN(TM) sex toys coming out, don’t you? (Maybe they have chapter-and-verse zip codes embossed?)

  18. (And she’s also right about DC culture. It’s really hard to make friends and get through the masks of success that people put on here. I’ve taken to calling it “beautiful people syndrome.”) — Amy

    As someone I used to know who lived in DC put it: “DC is a Company Town, and the Company is Politics Politics Politics Politics Politics.”

    And with another Election Year, all anyone wants to talk about is Politics Politics Politics 24/7/365. Expect to be followed into the crapper to be lectured about Politics Politics Politics outside of DC, never mind Inside the Beltway Event Horizon.

  19. MD’s talk about Christian Freedom is hilarious! He and the other neo calvinistas that give him a pass because he loves TULIP are some of the most binding pastors out there. — Robin

    Over at TV Tropes, there’s a page titled “People’s Republic of Tyranny”. It’s based on the RL examples that the more a country’s official name includes words about Democratic and Freedom and People, the nastier a dictatorship it is.

    As for “He Loves TULIP” — TULIP ees Party Line, Comrades. doubleplusgoodthink. doubleplusINGSOC.

  20. Deb
    So, maybe, just maybe, he is backing away from the “dumb” comment. That would be beneficial fro his ministry to college students. I would never go to a church in which the pastor called everyone dumb, including himself.

    Yeah, we are not God and in that respect, we cannot be as smart as God. But, that is a given. So what’s the use of beating us up for not being wise like God. God knows we can’t and doesn’t expect it of us. Fore example, my beloved pugs, Lily and Petunia, are not as smart as me (although sometimes I wonder). So, should I beat them over the head until they admit they are stupid compared to me. That is ridiculous. I love them as they are and calling them names never crosses my mind.

  21. HUG

    I made a couple of changes to your comment, toning it down a bit. If you object, please email me. Your points are very good, especially the chapter and verse zip codes embossed.

  22. Ok….this whole talk of the the Northwest being unchurched is baloney. Seattle is home to some mega churches, not affiliated with Acts 29 and the Mormon church is a large institution in the NW. I know it does not fall into most Christian’s version of Christianity-none the less-most folks in the NW grow up with some sort of church experience. Not to mention the long history of Calvary Chapel in the the Northwest….

  23. doubtful

    You are so right. I was at a service at David Platt’s church in Birmingham last year in which they sent out a church plant team to Seattle. The reason given? Seattle is unchurched. Platt and Driscoll know each other!

  24. Ooooh! Let’s not mention Calvary Chapel… That’s another 15 posts with survivors galore!

  25. Eagle-Amy-Numo: I am experiencing that same thing with the DC culture as well. I’ve been here two years. I thought it was just me. I’ve never been in a place where it’s so hard to make friends, and friends who are dedicated to loving others. It took me going to France and meeting some older women on the plane who are beyond all that crap to become friends with. They have been a great bunch and are so well-rounded. But they aren’t all caught up in the DC culture either. So.

    Numo- Your comments were great. Especially those pertaining to British pub culture. I was getting the same idea as I read Driscoll’s statements. This guy is a real ass-clown. There is no other way to put it. (Dee, feel free to edit if you need to).

    I think it’s arrogant that he implies that some great “course of action” was taken here in the States to church the unchurched and men. Really Dris? Really! You think you were part of such a great decision?

    He was also arrogant, in the same vein, to think that no action or rather the cultural heritage of the Brits was some sort of “course of action” they had decided upon and it is failing. IMO, I think their traditions and practices have been what they are because of tradition, history and practice. Simply put. Not everybody is always thinking strategically on how to mass manipulate people into “loving” god, i.e. the pastor, doctrine, (insert favorite evangelical idol).

  26. If you haven’t listened to the interview, I want to encourage you to do so. Just click on the word “interview” in the post.

    I have decided to listen to it one more time, and the most hilarious / ridiculous part of the interview was when Mark Driscoll accused Justin Brierley of being scandalous because he brought up certain sex acts mentioned in Real Marriage. Kudos to Justin for his reaction to Mark’s silly accusation.

  27. Deb–

    I could hardly stomach it the first time. I felt physically ill. You get the “strong girl” award today with a huge pint of beer!

    I’ve met men like Dris in my life, and men like him bring out the worst in me. My first inclination is to beat them to a bloody pulp–or at least try to. I know I’m fiesty and all, but most peoplel don’t inspire in me an instant desire to kick their asses within 5 minutes of meeting them. Jus’ sayin’.

    He’s hte kinda man I’d love to go head-to-head with and emasculate him and send him home crying. That’s sinful, I know. But in the words of Nanny McPhee…. (mmph) There it is.

  28. Moment of clarity: I used to sit in these bible studies thinking I don’t see any of this stuff they are getting out of it? I then would start looking around looking for lexicons and the sort; wondering, maybe I’m missing some tools or something. Because yeah, I dont get ANY of this, unless it was plainly stated. Now when I come to think of it, I didn’t get it or see it because…



    Home Slice’s sex scenes and all that he’s seeing in the text simply isn’t there. Neither is his penchant and obsession over authority. I found this statement really telling: “…they don’t have any authority. They’ve got money, they’ve got disposable time, they’ve got you know sexual sins, but nobody has any authority over them.” I’d imagine that he feels qualified that he could be such an “authority”.

    I’m seriosuly about to ban that word.

  29. Two WELL KNOWN Bible teachers known across Britain and through the whole world:

    Graham Tomlin. N.T. Wright. Oh, but wait… They’re Anglicans, so they preach in dresses. Don’t count.

  30. NLR – nope, it’s *not “just [you].” (Includes what you weren’t “getting” in those preposterous “Bible studies.”)

    Believe it or not, the “pastor” who booted me from That Church (which is also on the Hill) told me that I should emulate the people who work 70+ hour weeks *and* do church stuff.

    I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

    ‘Nuff said.

  31. NLR re. “It wasn’t there” – I used to sit through sermon after sermon where said “pastor” had all kinds of (to me, at the time) devastatingly brilliant insights from relatively obscure texts … and I kept thinking I was failing at “hearing God” as I never, ever could understand where all of these ideas came from.

    Simply put: WASN’T THERE!!!! [apologies for yelling, but I do feel better now ;)]

  32. Numo-

    I knew somebody wtih all the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue… and they’d continue to push tehmselves to do everything at teh church and work like crazy. Hindsight is 20/20. It really is. So glad I’m out. That’s my next t-shirt: So glad I’m out.

  33. NLR said:
    “I’ve met men like Dris in my life, and men like him bring out the worst in me.”


    Here’s what is so incredible about your comment. Just before you posted it, I was thinking about how Mark Driscoll really brings out the worst in Christians IMHO.

    If I had heard this interview three years ago (before we began blogging), I would have felt such great despair. Now I have found a way to fight against what I consider to be a great ungodliness being promoted by Driscoll. He even has his wife doing his bidding. 🙁

    I want to share with you one of my favorite Il Divo songs that makes me so joyful in my Christian walk! Yes, I have taken back my faith from all of these authoritarian leaders who want to control their sisters in Christ. Enjoy!

    Rejoice by Il Divo

  34. Numo and NLR –

    Some leaders have a propensity to hear what is NOT there IMO. Do they ever stop to think that they are adding to scripture? Many have added so much that it seems we are back to the Middle Ages with Popes and indulgences (be macho, be a comp, homeschool, be a man?, have clean counters, bible study at 5 am, parent like this). Sheesh – let me buy an indulgence and be done with it all! It’s not what Jesus prescribed for sure.
    “I am the way and the truth and the life.”

    I wonder if it ever occurred to anyone that if we are so busy doing church “right” and wives are so busy with clean counters and serving their husbands needs and homeschooling (and these things aren’t bad) that nothing gets proclaimed outside the walls if their home or church building. The mission was to go to all the nations, not invite everyone in to see how wonderful we do everything! (They could care less BTW) Some scriptures have been overemphasized to the detriment of Christian life.

    Dee and Deb –

    Have you ever done a post with “The 95 For Today”?

  35. Deb –

    Brierley vs. Driscoll – hmmm. Not difficult?

    I would rather sit down to a meal and converse with Brierley and his wife any day. Although I feel compelled (by the HS?) to want to do the same with Driscoll and his wife, if for no other reason than to possibly get a moment alone with Grace.

  36. 1. My observation is that, generally speaking, Americans tend to be smug. Feeling they have the answers for the rest of the world. (kind of like perpetual recent college grads)

    American christians are certainly not above going into another culture presuming to know what’s best for them and the program for how they will do it (which of course involves desconstructing what’s already been put in place through honest effort and heartfelt concern).

    2. My husband’s from England, so all my inlaws are there. In my mother-in-law’s little village, the 14th century norman church is the heart & soul of the place. The pub is also the heart and soul of the place. Often both will join forces, like the carol sing at the pub at christmas time. Church attenders, villagers, clerical collars, pints, and wonderful songs, all being freely enjoyed.

    Guess my thought distilled is that England is very much NOT America. There is a non-religious freedom there to enjoy the good in things that doesn’t exist in America, pubs and pints notwithstanding.

  37. TedS.

    At first I thought Cho had taken down his post, but then I got it!

    Very clever. Wish I had thought of that. 🙂

  38. Love the review, too. I had to try two different browsers before I got it.

    NLR (and other DC denizens): it’s definitely not just you. We moved here from the midwest, and were surprised by how much effort we had to expend getting to know people at the church–and we found a good one that is working to correct the stand-offishness and cultivate real community.

  39. Deb–

    That’s what I think about most of this Neo-Reformed crowd as well. Like you, I feel like they bring out the worst in most Christians, provided they could be called such. When I was in that crowd, it brought out the worst in me too. When I think back on my pride alone, it disgusts me. (gags)

  40. “what I do is I speak to men more like..a drill seargent would..Men tend to respond very well to that.”

    What? I was about to join the Marine Corps, went to a military school instead, dropped out and my career opportunities fell apart. I was so desperately looking for Truth. If I had someone come at me like a Drill Sergent (which Driscoll has no idea about), I would’ve fled everything Christian ASAP.

    What’s with these men, who think they know what they’re talking about with fighting and shooting and killing. Do they even know what the military is? Do they have any idea how it literally destroys people’s minds, making sociopaths and shattered minds? When I first heard of Driscoll, I thought he was ok. Now after seeing more of who he really is, he is just a punk. Erasmus said something to the effect of “War is delightful for those who have no knowledge of it”.

    “the one young, good Bible teacher that’s known across Great Britain.”

    Notice the definite article. 2 Things:

    1) Does Driscoll think that’s himself? Arrogance!
    2) Yes the Apostles and evangelists and everyone else was about coalescing about one man! The man should quit his showboating and go back to Rome if he wants that sort of authority. Oh wait, he doesn’t like the “men in dresses”, nevermind. Maybe he should’ve been a viking priest to Thor.

  41. Cal
    Arrogance and Driscoll go together like Ed Young Jr. and money.
    Driscoll: Viking Priest-well said. How about a Klingon warrior?

  42. Your points are very good, especially the chapter and verse zip codes embossed. — Dee

    That’s because embossing “chapter-and-verse zip codes” is the usual method to Christianize kitsch.

    And the stories about Christianese sex toys are the current example of the ultimate “Just like Fill-in-the-Blank, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!” Makes you wonder what the next “Can You Top This?” will be.

  43. So I started a Mars Hill refuge blog…since everyone was asking if there was a survivors site.

    The website is:

    It is still in the works, but if you would like to share your story as a “survivor” or family member of a Mars Hill “captive”, please submit your story for posting.

  44. Free–

    I posted on your new site! I think it looks amazing and I am prayerful and hopeful that it will fill up soon with the needy adn brokenhearted who need prayer, support and healing.



  45. I have already gone on record of saying the “I see things” comments are so off the charts, that it causes me to see this guy in a certain way.

    The preaching in dresses and Britain has no great Bible teachers comments are ignorant.

    But I see where some of his points have merit – to a point. There is some truth in them.

    But his approach and shoot from the hip style is not helpful to his own cause.

    I can say some things that are truthful and have some merit, but I can fail to put them in a larger context, or I can taint them with things that are not true or with an abrasive or insensitive approach, and that can detract from what I am saying.

    That is what is going on here, I believe.

  46. Free
    I linked to your new blog and promoted it in today’s post. may you help many, many people. I think there are a lot out there. Well done!

  47. Dee & NLR~

    Thank you! I wasn’t going to and then I read one of my devotions for the day about social justice…and I woke up with the “seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God” song in my head. I pray it helps people!

    I am so sad when I think about the friends (all of whom severed all contact with us upon our departure) that are well meaning but so deceived…and their sons and daughters who are now being indoctrinated starting at age 4. I pray God exposes all!


  48. “I have already gone on record of saying the “I see things” comments are so off the charts, that it causes me to see this guy in a certain way.

    The preaching in dresses and Britain has no great Bible teachers comments are ignorant.

    But I see where some of his points have merit – to a point. There is some truth in them.”


    Perhaps you could point out the “truth” in the “I See Things” porno visions of Driscoll?

    Perhaps you can be more clear in what truths you see in Driscoll’s comments?

  49. MD cops out of answering the questions as to whether a woman should make more than the man or that they should stay at home to raise children. If he were honest, he would say women should be at home and men should be earning the money. Instead he talks about “adolescent” men who don’t take responsibility. That’s a totally different issue and he acts like a politician by not answering the question directly. Wimp.

  50. I also totally agree with the interviewer that challenged Mark on his teachings of what is “lawful” in the bedroom. He has bought into the very culture he is railing against.

    All we know is that he is the kinky pastor. We get it Mark, you like certain things in the bedroom and use the pulpit and books to justify it.

  51. Mark
    You said “All we know is that he is the kinky pastor. We get it Mark, you like certain things in the bedroom and use the pulpit and books to justify it.” Thank you for summing it up succinctly.

  52. Anon1:

    Did you even read what I said? I do not approve of the “I see things” video. That’s the first time I have ever heard Driscoll preach, was from watching that video. I am totally shocked by it. He needs to apologize for telling a story like that, or he needs to consider help.

    I have even said that here before.

    Why would you then ask me to identify things in that video that I agreed with?

    Even a casual reader would see that I was commenting on the comments Driscoll made in the interview this blog post, not the “I see things video.”

    I fear that any further discussion on this point is a lost cause.

    We’ll chat on another blog post.

  53. Anonymous, Chill out. This is what you said:

    “But I see where some of his points have merit – to a point. There is some truth in them.””

    That is a vague but blanket statement and you chose not to be specific. Why? I was simply asking you to be specifice about what of Driscoll’s points have some merit to them. I am sure Jim Jones had some points that had some merit to them, too.

    If you think that some of his points have merit, why not statement those?

  54. I know what I said. But I can tell you arent’ too wound up to hear me.

    Here are the points that Driscoll made in the interview that I agree with. Not that I agree with how he works them out, but I agree with them generally. Oh, and I should add that he is not the first person to say these things, and others have said them better than he.

    1. Don’t be unnecessarily prudish when it comes to topics. (Although he needs a less in decorum, in my opinion.

    2. Don’t forbid things on a biblical basis if the Bible doesn’t forbid them. (Though there are things that should be forbidden that the Bible doesn’t forbid – e.g. slavery).

    3. Husbands and wives should make an effort to be attractive and available to one another in the context of marriage. That’s a general principle that we can all agree upon. The working out of that leaves a lot of room for flexibility or abuse, depending on the person.

    4. I perceive that in some places, there is a reduced participation by males in church. It may have always been this way. But I think he is right to give some thought to whether churches present themselves culturally in ways that might not be appealing to men. The danger of overcorrecting here, though, is a huge danger. The cure may be worse than the disease.

    5. I agree with the idea Christian communicators should be thinking strategically with an idea of breaking through the cultural noise. There is a danger here, too, and a lot of churches are falling into that trap. My daughter, a freshman at college, has told me about trying to find a local church. Some are “trying too hard”, especially as it relates to music and such.

    But churches should seek to be culturally astute so as to communicate as effectively as possible. The other approach, remaining old fashioned for tradition’s sake (the best example of which is insisting that the services be conducted in Latin, rather than the tongue of those attending).

    I believe Driscoll made some good points on these issues in the interview.

    But having said that the “I see things video” does it for me. I will not be looking to this guy as a leader, though he may have some good points to make.

    But what is it they say about stopped clocks?

  55. TedS
    I have left a message at Dr. Drennan’s blog, requested permission to reprint that post here. I believe it is important to hear from the people who Driscoll insulted. I will let marshillrefuge know as well.