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    Mark Driscoll, Brian McLaren, Cagefighting, and more!

    Mark Driscoll, Brian McLaren, Cagefighting, and more!

    Here's a very interesting piece written by Anthony B. Robinson.  He talks about the contrast between Mark Driscoll and Brian McLaren; and talks about the similarities he sees between Driscoll and the pastor of a leading gay-friendly church...

    Here's a section:

    Driscoll: “In Revelation, Jesus is a prize-fighter with a tattoo down His leg, a sword in His hand and the commitment to make someone bleed. That is the guy I can worship. I cannot worship the hippie, dapper, halo Christ because I cannot worship a guy I can beat up.”

    McLaren proceeds to offer a quite different interpretation of the biblical text in question. He views Revelation, correctly, as literature of the oppressed, intended to encourage those suffering Roman persecution rather than a call to take up a sword with warrior Jesus. This is part of McLaren’s larger argument against what he describes as a misuse of the Bible as a kind of legal and constitutional document and for an understanding of the book of books as “a community library.” That is, a dazzling array of literary types which cannot be subjected to simple literal interpretation.

    Beneath Driscoll’s bombast are some serious issues. A powerful motivation for Driscoll has been connecting to young men, whom he has seen as often aimless and adrift in contemporary American culture. This accounts for his efforts to portray Jesus not as “meek and mild,” but “mean and wild.”


    Recently I shared keynoting responsibilities at a conference in California with Michael Piazza, who is Dean of the Cathedral of Hope, a gay-lesbian mega-church in Dallas. What struck me in talking with him was how, in a funny way, he resembled Driscoll. Both pride themselves on their “against-all-odds” creation of huge churches that defy the norms of the surrounding culture. Driscoll revels in swimming against the stream of liberal Seattle, while Piazza has built a huge gay-lesbian congregation in the heart of conservative, Bible-belt Texas.

    Maybe the new, counter-intuitive formula for church growth is this: be a stark alternative to whatever the dominant culture offers?

    What do you think?  Is there anything to this writer's take that being counter-intuitive culturally can lead to church growth?  Or is it something entirely different?

    What part of culture (either embracing or distancing) is related to church growth?  And... are they related at all?



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    1. CS on Tue, March 23, 2010

      “What do you think?  Is there anything to this writer’s take that being counter-intuitive culturally can lead to church growth?  Or is it something entirely different?”

      If you have a community that is predominantly X, but there is a large enough subgroup of Y that normally doesn’t gather together, and you make something Y-focused, of course you’ll get those people.  But within the context of Christianity, that doesn’t make it right nor does it add more converts to the church; you’re normally just filling up the pews with people who like Y.  They may not even like Christ at all, but just like the fact that something is Y-focused.  The associative rule of mathematics does not apply here.

      And, remember here that McLaren and Piazza are still heretics, and Driscoll is still crude and vulgar.  So the, “success,” of these men would be something I would call into question as-is.


    2. Dee Lauderdale on Tue, March 23, 2010

      I’ve always enjoyed Driscoll’s preaching and think he’s developed into a first rate biblical scholar. Lately though his style of preaching and word choices is becoming more and more “churchy”. I know he admires Dr. Piper, as do I, but he should preach like Driscoll not like Piper.

    3. Fred on Tue, March 23, 2010

      I would just like to see a hippie beat the tar out of Driscoll. smile I am not impressed in the least with his macho mouthing off. I suspect he is a closet wus.
      Brian McLaren is just a minus.


    4. Christopher Fontenot on Wed, March 24, 2010


      Why would you accept a keynote position at a conference with someone who openly denies the inerrancy and authority of Scripture?  You give credence to what he believes and teaches. Paul warned Timothy to avoid these kinds of people and I believe that we are to do so as well. (2 Tim 3:1-5)

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