The Driscoll Debate
Tim Challies has opened a small can of worms because of his review of Mark Driscoll's new book "Vintage Jesus". Having read the review I can honestly say it's very charitable and shows Mr. Challies being honest to his convictions. However, there are a few things that Tim points out that he has a problems with. He notes a few instances of "coarse" language. Those of you who know anything about Mark, know that he has in the past been called the cussing pastor (though he has stopped that I hear).
Challies notes the good:
* “Jesus was a dude. Like my drywaller dad, he was a construction worker who swung a hammer for a living. Because Jesus worked in a day when there were no power tools, he likely had calluses on his hands and muscles on his frame, and did not look like so many of the drag-queen Jesus images that portray him with long, flowing, feathered hair, perfect teeth, and soft skin, draped in a comfortable dress accessorized by matching open-toed sandals and handbag. Jesus did not have Elton John or the Spice Girls on his iPod, *The View* on his TiVo, or a lemon-yellow Volkswagen Beetle in his garage. No, Jesus was not the kind of person who, if walking by you on the street, would require you to look for an Adam’s apple to determine the gender.”
* “The Orthodox and Catholic baby Jesus pictures are simply freakish, with him looking like a Mini-Me complete with a halo. Honestly, if I had a kid like that I would sleep with one eye open.”
He also notes the not so good:
Roughly two thousand years ago, Jesus was born in a dumpy, rural, hick town, not unlike those today where guys change their own oil, think pro wrestling is real, find women who chew tobacco sexy, and eat a lot of Hot Pockets with their uncle-daddy. Jesus’ mom was a poor, unwed teenage girl who was mocked for claiming she conceived via the Holy Spirit. Most people thought she concocted a crazy story to cover the “fact” she was knocking boots with some guy in the backseat of a car at the prom. Jesus was adopted by a simple carpenter named Joseph and spent the first thirty years of his life in obscurity, swinging a hammer with his dad.
After 65 responses to the artice, Tim shut down the comments section. He also responded with an article on the whole thing here.
My own take? It must be noted that Mark has come a long way from just being a "cussing" pastor. He wrote a Christ-centered book on Jesus that many more 20 to 30 year olds will pick up. How likely are they to pick up a book from John MacArthur or R.C. Sproul? However, he's not just attacked by Reformed people because he seems irreverent, but he also gets flak by emergents because he's Reformed. And, he was criticized at church growth conference for using soldier imagery and implying that men were called to lead churches. In my own response on Challies page, I mentioned that we should take a wait and see approach. He has publicly apologized for his lack of humility and he has taken a stand for the bible and the gospel and Jesus' humanity and divinity (which is what the book is about). I would also say that someone who is on good terms with John Piper and D.A. Carson is ok with me.