Thursday, June 25, 2009

Convicted [and Confused]

Since it really doesn't effect me, and I am privy to only a select amount of information, I have typically had very little to say about Mark Driscoll. (Click here to see my only post--and click the comments--to see my schizophrenic perspectives on Driscoll.

I can tell you this:

His "Advance09" message, Ministry Idolatry, is absolutely brilliant. His best message I have ever heard and a very challenging, convicting and edifying sermon. Don't take my word for it? Here is Piper's comments at the introduction of his sermon (which immediately followed Driscoll's):

Before I pray and ask for the Lord's help, just to empathize with you, I found Mark's message to be devastating, and uh, don't have too much left. That's not a joke.

Driscoll began his message stating his desire to be more priestly than prophet-like. This does not mean he was vague or sugar-coated things. If a word search could be applied to his sermon manuscript, you'd find words like sex, pornography and masturbation still appeared in this sermon. However, there was not even a hint that these words were used to produce shock or gain attention. Each was appropriately and maturely handled. Mark has also confessed that ministry, stress and opposition can create a harshness and cynicism in his preaching...elements which are not remotely present in this sermon. Whatever your view (and what the true verdict may be) on Driscoll, I think you'll benefit from this sermon.

The sermon also created other thoughts for me:

To clarify from this post, I do not think sobriety requires a lack of humor. Driscoll and Piper both preached very sober messages, yet each of them took a playful (and appropriate) jab at the other during their messages.

Secondarily, this playful interaction suggests a strong relationship between Piper and Driscoll. At Alistair Begg's Basics Conference, Piper stated that he would be with Driscoll soon, and had several things he wished to address about Mark. As far as what has been published, it seems that Advance09 was that very moment where the two were together. Did Piper have some words that helped shape Driscoll and prepare him for such a message? It certainly seems possible.

Lastly, the question of public repentance/confession becomes an issue. Quite frankly, if Driscoll continues to preach as he did in this message (from here forward), his messages would be quite fruitful. Could such fruit be the evidence of repentance that has taken place and could the trajectory show that he has learned from his sin and turned from it? Or, is it necessary for him to publicly state his turning from sin?

Do yourself a favor, ignore these last three points until after you've listened to message and allowed it to work within your heart (killing idols that the Lord might reveal). Then, after you've allowed that process to happen, let me know your thoughts on these issues as well.

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