Mark Driscoll Sermon Archive - I think I want a refund

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 26 2010 12:30 PM | Locked

Matthew C Jones:
The only problem is they are pornographic in nature. We might expect a pagan culture to be like that.

I assume you mean "pagan" in the sense of a non-believer in one (or more?) of the Abrahamic religions. I would not expect the ethics in Buddhist, Hindu, Taoist, or Zoroastrian regions to be any laxer than in Christian cultures. As for cultural adaptation, one might look to the Church of the East and the Orthodox in Asia and Africa after the Arab conquest. A little church history often puts things in a different perspective.

However, this does not imply that I think Driscoll is applying "cultural adaptation." In fact, I find MacArthur's Seattle grunge theory humorous and know of Driscoll only second hand.

But I do think that this thread has gotten so far off Logos that it probably should be left to wither away.

 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 26 2010 12:32 PM | Locked

Richard DeRuiter:
Taking on the strategy of someone published by Logos, or language of material not in Logos is outside the purview of these forums.

Yes. Well said.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 26 2010 12:40 PM | Locked

Andy Evans:
I know people may kick me for being over-sensitive or melodramatic, but it bothers me.

It should bother you. It constantly surprises me how quickly the golden rule becomes rusty iron when it comes to beliefs, especially religious or political. I love the message of the Country & Western song with the message "you may be the only Bible they ever read".

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Jeremy | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 26 2010 12:58 PM | Locked

MJ. Smith:

Jeremy:
Not that he shouldn't talk about sex in very frank terms (Driscoll's location in Seattle demands it)

Do you know something about Seattle that I don't?

Seattle is one of the most unchurched cities in the US. Mars Hill is made up of a bunch of converts who know nothing about biblical sexuality and everything about unbiblical sexuality. His members are young and don't mind a pastor being blunt.

 

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Jeremy | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 26 2010 1:12 PM | Locked

Richard DeRuiter:
Inquiries as to the value of certain resources one is considering for purchase (or considering returning) are also valid.

I think the value of certain resources is determined by having the exact conversation this thread is engaged in. Since the discussion revolves around Driscoll's method of preaching, I think the conversation in this thread is worthwhile. And Logos doesn't seem to be just a passive publisher of this series, but a strong endorser.

Each week, more than 8,000 people gather at Mars Hill Church in Seattle to hear Mark Driscoll’s preaching. Driscoll is unafraid to talk about sin or confront the most difficult cultural issues. Drawing from the rich insights of Augustine, Calvin, Luther, Spurgeon, and others, he never hesitates to explain the raw and confrontational truth of the Gospel. Driscoll’s goal, in his own words, is to “study the Bible all week, pray to the Lord, and then. . . speak from my heart” (Seattle Times, November 30, 2003).

Driscoll’s passion for the Gospel and his deep honesty in explaining its truths has placed him at the center of a resurging interest in Reformed theology. It has also helped foster Mars Hill’s explosive growth in recent years, and drawn the attention of supporters and skeptics alike. With the Mark Driscoll Sermon Archive, you can go deep into his sermons, or simply read the text. Either way, you get access to an amazing wealth of preaching material.

 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 26 2010 1:16 PM | Locked

Jeremy:
Seattle is one of the most unchurched cities in the US.

And proud of itBig Smile

Of course I do belong to a Seattle parish that has had its attendance growing 5-17% a year for the last 6 years. We don't have parking space for people who come from habit not belief! [Factually accurate, but I'm kidding folks, just kidding]

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Ken Shawver | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 26 2010 2:09 PM | Locked

Jeremy:
Seattle is one of the most unchurched cities in the US.

This was not always so. My mom was born and raised in Seattle, my sister was born there, and when I was little we lived in Lynwood and Alderwood Manor. My grandmother's house was a block from the neighborhood church and on Sunday's it was always packed.

I think the real issue is that the United States since 1963 has been turning its back on the Christian foundations (prayer in schools, teaching the bible) that made us prosper.

We, in general terms, have become a secular country on a slippery slope of moral decay. I do not personally care for Mark Driscoll's teaching style, nor do I know if it is efffective in biblical terms, but it isn't my call to judge Mark Driscoll. God did not call me to judge, only Christ is called to judge. So I will leave it up to Christ and pray that the Holy Spirit gives discernment to the listener to keep them on the correct path that the Father has set before them.

In Christ,

Ken

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Greg | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 26 2010 3:08 PM | Locked

Robert Pavich:

Isn't this an argument from pragmatism?

What works = what is correct before God?

That's not what I said, and I don't think my analogy went that far. Our freedom in Christ allows for the use of pragmatic ways of reaching people in as much as we do not go outside the bounds of that freedom. Just because one's Christian cultural sensitivities are offended doesn't mean Driscoll, or anyone for that matter, is wrong in how they are reaching people. Just look to Jesus for this. Look at how much he associated himself with sinners, and look at how much the religious people were offended by that and resented him. I think Matthew 11:19 sums it all up very well: "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds."

Robert Pavich:

What if it would reach more people in the bar by showing that you're a "regular guy" and get hammered like everyone else?

Would that be appropriate?

Sharing a beer does not mean you have to hammered. Our freedom in Christ allows for the beer, but not for the hammering, FYI. Jesus made great headway with the sinners by sharing a meal with them and giving them some wine. Far be it from us to act holier then Jesus, right?

Paul Golder:

Nail head, meet Bob's hammer...

I don't think so Paul. Our freedom in Christ allows for one and not the other. The danger of a slippery slope is only there if you have faulty brakes. A man strong in the faith with full knowledge of his freedom in Christ is not in that sort of danger.

Jesus identified with the people he came to reach by getting down to their level. Why is that so hard to see?  Saint Paul acted as if he was under the law to reach those under the law, and vice-versa for those not under the law. He adapted himself to his audience by making use of his freedom in Christ. Yet even still his critics gave him a hard time for doing that.

Matthew C. Jones,

I understand the push to follow the logical consequences of this sort of thinking, and I understand what you and the others have been getting at. But I think also our freedom in Christ has been overlooked in our assessment. Our freedom in Christ changes everything and allows us to adapt to our audience in the way that we feel comfortable and in as much as it does not obviously violate scripture. Homosexuality does. Drinking beer does not. Showing porn at church does, while preaching the Ancient Near Eastern imagery and interpretation of the Song of Solomon does not. In this line of thinking, what may be acceptable to older generation's ears may not be acceptable to a younger generations ears, and vice versa. This is not a difference of morals, but a differences of mores. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mores)

Romans 14 seems to touch on the mores of individual believers in Paul's churches, those who used their freedom in Christ to eat anything, and those who thought it wrong to do the same. Paul comes out and says that both are right as long as they follow their conscience on these matters and do not seek to cause another to stumble.

Driscoll has asssessed his pastorate to have a set of mores different than most churches, so I think he is using his freedom in Christ to preach in a manner that helps them first and foremost. That Driscoll's sermons are broadcast so widely changes things some, and he has accepted the counsel of people like John Piper on some of these matters, but shouldn't be something that effects how he preaches to those directly under his pastoral care. In fact, that's where our freedom in Christ allows us to refrain from listening to those sermons which offend our own mores.

It doesn't make him wrong though. That's the whole point I'm getting at.

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Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 26 2010 4:09 PM | Locked

Kenneth Shawver:
We, in general terms, have become a secular country on a slippery slope of moral decay. I do not personally care for Mark Driscoll's teaching style, nor do I know if it is efffective in biblical terms, but it isn't my call to judge Mark Driscoll. God did not call me to judge, only Christ is called to judge. So I will leave it up to Christ and pray that the Holy Spirit gives discernment to the listener to keep them on the correct path that the Father has set before them.

Just a one note of contention:

For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?
1 Corthains 5:12.

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

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Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 26 2010 4:19 PM | Locked

Greg Masone:

Paul Golder:

Nail head, meet Bob's hammer...

I don't think so Paul. Our freedom in Christ allows for one and not the other. The danger of a slippery slope is only there if you have faulty brakes. A man strong in the faith with full knowledge of his freedom in Christ is not in that sort of danger.

Jesus identified with the people he came to reach by getting down to their level. Why is that so hard to see?  Saint Paul acted as if he was under the law to reach those under the law, and vice-versa for those not under the law. He adapted himself to his audience by making use of his freedom in Christ. Yet even still his critics gave him a hard time for doing that.

I understand your point, and just have one question:

Are we not called to exemplify purity of the Spirit when we preach the Gospel?

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12

 

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 26 2010 4:23 PM | Locked

Andy Evans:

I am sorry for posting in this way, but I do so for selfish reasons. I posted on the first page and am now embarrassed that I did so, particularly given the shape of the subsequent exchanges.

I apologise to Mark Driscoll, his family and the folks at Mars Hill Church for my part in this.

Andy, Don't feel personally responsible for the posts of others. You never know which way a thread will go. We can avoid fanning the flames if it gets too wild just by withdrawing further coment.   Mark Driscoll apparently has no qualms about thinking, preaching, publishing, advertising & selling his comments. So why should he be embarrassed people talk about them? After all, Bob Pritchett said Logos is a sermon preparation tool and sermons are prepared for public delivery. If the Bereans were honorable for close scrutiny of Paul's message, why would it be less honorable for us to do the same with Driscoll's?

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Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 26 2010 4:23 PM | Locked

Greg Masone:

Sharing a beer does not mean you have to hammered. Our freedom in Christ allows for the beer, but not for the hammering, FYI. Jesus made great headway with the sinners by sharing a meal with them and giving them some wine. Far be it from us to act holier then Jesus, right?

I'm done with this conversation but just to clarify...my example was just to illustrate pragmatism. I used a Christian getting hammered.

The idea is that if something "works" then that's what matters...

"If X brings in Y number of people, then it's ok to do"

That was my illustration, that's all.

 

No biggie, we've all said what we think. You like Driscoll, I don't...it's not worth hijacking this thread anymore as far as I'm concerned.

 

Robert Pavich

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 26 2010 4:35 PM | Locked

Jeremy:
I think the value of certain resources is determined by having the exact conversation this thread is engaged in.

Jeremy:
nd Logos doesn't seem to be just a passive publisher of this series, but a strong endorser.

While the conversation may be worthwhile, that doesn't mean this is the appropriate venue. I don't like the implication that Logos endorses a particular view. In fact, I don't even like the thread speaking of Japan as "pagan" - while it is correct for the definition of the word, it is incorrect in its emotional/cultural impact. I don't like characterizing Seattle as "post-grunge" as if the subculture of angst were something new and unique. And, if I were a member of Mars Hill, I would be very leery of coming on the forums and asking for help. Yes, I know I am expressing nothing but personal reaction - but it illustrates why I don't steer Catholic friends towards the forums.

I tried to tone the thread down with humor in defense of Seattle. That clearly did not work. Dave tried to tone it down with a reminder of the forum guidelines. Anyone have a suggestion as to what we should try next?

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John Nerdue | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 26 2010 5:15 PM | Locked

MJ. Smith:
Anyone have a suggestion as to what we should try next?

Stop posting and stop reading. That's what I am going to do. Smile

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 26 2010 5:38 PM | Locked

MJ,

I know you have a better understanding than most regarding East-Asian religions. I do not presume to teach you anything new.  However, I do think the only emotional/cultural impact my literal statement may have is on non-Japanese who have politically-correct sensitivities.

MJ. Smith:
I don't even like the thread speaking of Japan as "pagan" - while it is correct for the definition of the word, it is incorrect in its emotional/cultural impact.

To whom? Emotionally I am Japanese. (I arrived there before my 10th birthday. I spent all of my "grunge" years there and much of my angst.) I returned to an America I had no affinity to. Just because my skin is white and my eyes blue did not mean I understood or belonged here. It has taken me decades in America to become bi-cultural but I still feel like a citizen of no country.

The Japanese are not apologetic for their paganism. It is part of their cultural identity. Shintoism controls the public school system in Japan.  (I've got a Japanese school diploma.) They freely mix Buddhism (foreign origins), Shinto and Emperor worship.  The Crown Prince allowed me to sit in his limo in 1975. He became the current Emperor when he declared his Godhood and ascended the throne. Me calling them pagan doesn't hurt their feelings one iota.  And as much as my heart is Japanese, they call me a gaijin without hurting my feelings either.

 

MJ. Smith:
Yes, I know I am expressing nothing but personal reaction - but it illustrates why I don't steer Catholic friends towards the forums.

 Personal reaction..... me too. And I would definitely steer my Catholic childhood friend "Larry M." to Logos if I knew where he was. Then maybe he can explain to me why he had to wear white shoes when taking communion. Big Smile Fer real!

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 26 2010 6:09 PM | Locked

Matthew C Jones:
However, I do think the only emotional/cultural impact my literal statement may have is on non-Japanese who have politically-correct sensitivities.

My discomfort with such terms has little to do with "politically correct sensitivities" and everything to do with being a direct descendant of Rebecca Nurse and Anne Marbury Hutchinson. Yes, the names and the stories have survived in the family although my niece is probably the last to carry the Marbury name. If the names aren't familiar, check Wikipedia. That should give you an understanding of my belief in the power of language - and the reason I dislike any use of terms with negative connotations that appeal to emotion and culture.

I have never been to Japan but my Japanese Buddhist friends won't know whether to laugh or cry if I were to call them "pagan". I suspect the reaction of any person of Japanese citizenship would depend on whether or not they knew the connotations of the term.

But, I do also have a direct line to the first class at Mount Holyoke as well so not all our history is negative. Wink

 

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 26 2010 8:20 PM | Locked

MJ. Smith:
I have never been to Japan but my Japanese Buddhist friends won't know whether to laugh or cry if I were to call them "pagan". I suspect the reaction of any person of Japanese citizenship would depend on whether or not they knew the connotations of the term.

Maybe you missed the part of about me loving the Japanese people, their land & culture. My ancestors were also persecuted. My wife is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation & Chickasaw Nation. So I would never disdain anyone for their God-given heritage. But according to the English I spoke in, "pagans" is the truly literal term. And  theologically, I cannot broaden the definition of "Christian" to include my "pagan" friends who do not believe in Jesus Christ.

Ooops. There is reason to believe I have strayed into theological territory with this thread. 

Final comment: I don't hate anybody for being different. I just want them to hear about Jesus. Even if it comes from Driscoll, praise God!

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 26 2010 8:29 PM | Locked

Matthew C Jones:
And  theologically, I cannot broaden the definition of "Christian" to include my "pagan" friends who do not believe in Jesus Christ.

Here you use "pagan" as if there were two categories - Christian and pagan. That is not how I use the term and may explain our differences. from Wikipedia: "The term pagan is a Christian adaptation of the "gentile" of Judaism, and as such has an inherent Abrahamic bias, and pejorative connotations among monotheists," highlighting is mine. It is the pejorative aspect that prompted my response. It appears that it does not have that aspect in your use of the term.


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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 26 2010 9:15 PM | Locked

MJ. Smith:
It is the pejorative aspect that prompted my response. It appears that it does not have that aspect in your use of the term.

Fascinating. I never thought of it that way. I am sure glad you persued this to a clarification. I now see how you (and others ) could possibly be offended. The way you have described your usage resembles the different ways "goy" & "goyim" are used by Jews.

In my family tree we don't let differences get in the way.  Jews/Gentiles,  Americans/Foreigners,  Irish/Native Americans,  Baptists/Campbelites/Presbyterians, Yankees/Confederates.... Democrats/Republicans/Populists/Libertarians ......even have some cat lovers.

No, MJ. I don't burn witches or cast stones. My glass house is too fragile and my "righteousness" inadequate to save myself.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 26 2010 9:52 PM | Locked

Matthew C Jones:
The way you have described your usage resembles the different ways "goy" & "goyim" are used by Jews.

Good analogy.

Matthew C Jones:
In my family tree we don't let differences get in the way. 

Hey, my Dad was even friends with his brother who raised Herefords! (Yes, Dad raised Angus when they weren't popular)

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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