Poll: Your Thoughts on Baptist Press on Mark Driscoll

Update: BP has revised their article this morning, and SEBTS has written a response as well.  My thoughts are forthcoming.

Here’s the article. Read it and vote.

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26 Comments on “Poll: Your Thoughts on Baptist Press on Mark Driscoll”

  1. Chris Says:

    I think Mark D. loves the Lord. Having said that, I think he makes light of the wicked culture he ministers to. He is the product of his generation… and every generation thinks that they have to look and sound like their peers/target audience to gain a hearing with them. At the same time, he is also winning souls With the Gospel. Do the ends Justify the means?

    When it all comes down to it Mark will not have to answer me at the Bema seat. Good thing too… ’cause I will have my own explaining to do.

  2. Adam Brown Says:

    OK, so I don’t agree with everything Mark Driscoll says and does, but the issue here is with the article. The constant clarification on someone’s “Calvinist” leanings was annoying. D0 Calvinists like AL Mohler constantly refer to people as an avid Arminians? Of course they don’t, get over it people. Also, the article would never have made it on Fox News due to its lack of fairness and balance, there was not ONE single quote in support of Driscoll who has reached many in his area and through the media too. So, whether you like him or not, report fairly and love your Calvinist brothers, Jesus does. 🙂

  3. Chris Poe Says:

    The references to Calvinism were largely b/c the NYT article made much of it, even thought Driscoll isn’t a 5 pointer. Also please note that John MacArthur and Ingrid Schlueter (Slice of Laodicea) are both Calvinists. People keep making excuses for Driscoll, but his linking to the “nymphos” site IMO is indefensible. I agree with Chris’ thoughts in the first comment.

  4. Dr. Paul Foltz Says:

    We are not to try to ”modernize” IE. make up to date, according to lifestyle, The Word of God, or The Gospel of God’s grace.

    It is the work of The Holy Spirit to apply the Word.

    I do not like the attack on Calvinism, nor do I appreciate it.

  5. Todd Burus Says:

    I like how the article just assumes that the church was already doing a wonderful job addressing sexual issues. Give me a break. There is a reason why people in the church have been sexually repressed, and thus easily led to temptation, for several decades now; it is because pastors have been too afraid to speak about it from the pulpit and people are too ashamed to ask about it in private. I say kudos to Mark for putting this up in front of people and saying, “Sex is good, in the context of marriage. Sex is real good, in the context of marriage. Therefore, first, get married. Then, have real good sex.” Honestly, it’s refreshing to hear a pastor encourage the married couples in his church to be having sex, instead of watching him ignore all the people who are practicing bad sex (i.e. adultery, pornography, etc.) because its too dirty an issue to talk about.

  6. Todd Benkert Says:

    I’m bothered by the swearing and the off-color humor. Unfortunately, I’ve heard similar foul language and course talk (in private settings) from a few denominational leaders that are not even close to being “cutting edge”.

    I have no idea what kind of true impact he’s having. I don’t think positive results should trump unbiblical methodology. Further, I think he makes it harder to make a case for contextualization and engaging the culture because he comes off as such a negative example of it.

  7. Pregador27 Says:

    I thought the article was unfair (whether the content was 100% true or not) because it did not mention any effort to contact Mark Driscoll to get his side. When an article takes someone to task, it should at least offer an opportunity for that person to defend himself.

  8. Trip Rodgers Says:

    I agree with Pregador. My first thought was “Did he really do the things the NYT claims?” My second thought was “Why didn’t they talk to Mark for clarification?” That’s what a responsible news organization would have done. But honestly, we’re talking about a propoganda mill, not serious journalism.
    Comments look on target here this morning. Most pastors would never attempt what Driscoll did, even if he went too far.

  9. Hutch Says:

    It looks like Paige Patterson and the rest of the SBC old guard got jealous that Mark Driscoll is so much more popular among young SBC pastors than they are. So they ordered Baptist Press to run a smear piece on Driscoll. Of course, this is part of Patterson’s agenda to destroy Calvinism in the SBC by the use of raw political power rather than persuasion.

  10. Todd Burus Says:

    People need also to be clear about the swearing issue. That was a long time ago (2003 and before) and is something Driscoll openly repented of in front of his church in November of 2007. (You can listen to it on his “The Rebel’s Guide to Joy in Humility” sermon available at their church multimedia site.) It is a shame that Christians, who are supposed to be about redemption, are failing to let go of a fault that Driscoll has openly acknowledge and asked forgiveness on.

  11. I admire his desire to engage a hostile, bohemian culture with a Calvinistic theology.

    As for the off-color aspects of his preaching, I do have some issues. He appeals to the OT prophets in an attempt to “proof-text” his vulgarity. In this way, he takes something descriptive and makes it prescriptive. Not to mention that the vulgarity was not the real point of the passage. The danger is obsessing over how the “word” sounds and not gospel application. Second, the prophets are justified in their language because God was behind it. I’m merely quoting what God has already said. No embellishment from me is necessary.

  12. Jerry Says:

    My biggest beef was on the prominent mention of Calvinism, both that of Driscoll and that of MacArthur.

    It was unnecessary, and was placed there, in my opinion, to provide a “See what’s wrong with him? Wink, wink” opportunity.

  13. Mark Prince Says:

    NY-Times as reliable source?????

    BP should have done a more independent thoroughly researched article including interviewing Mark himself.

    I think Mark has progressed a long ways toward toning it down likely thanks to men like John Piper who lovingly have reached out to him. I continue to pray his sanctification will continue in taming his tongue. He has a gift at explaining theological concepts to the lost and young Christians that certainly doesn’t get lost in “big words”. You certainly get a since of his sincereness for his love of God, God’s Word and the need to teach and reach. I have benefitted from some of his sermons/conference talks.

    Having said that, I’m still reluctant to recommend people listen to him outside of maybe specific sermons that I have heard and the language from the pulpit seemed appropriate. And then I feel necessary to warn them about his style.

    My bigger concern are all the young men who try to “mimic” Mark rather than seek to find and utilize the personal gifts they possess as given by their Creator.

  14. mike Says:

    i think driscoll’s largest obstacle is simply the fact that he’s dealing with issues that the north american church has characteristically neglected, i.e. sex, addictions, alcohol, etc. from what i understand, he has admitted that he took his language too far and repented of it.

    that said, why doesn’t bp do an article about ed young encouraging people to have sex every night for a month! whatever happened to the moderation principle?

    and, why doesn’t bp do an article about macarthur’s quote that we make progress in authentic sanctification? yikes! sorry, but God sanctifies us when we accept Christ, not we ourselves.

  15. I read the article yesterday and I was really put off by the language used. Just because you aren’t using traditional swear words does not mean you aren’t cursing at them in spirit.

    I’ve read some other things from the authors who put this out, and I’ve seen some really hateful statements. Why the hatred? And why don’t I see attacks on the theology he preaches? Why do they focus on his methods and his personal character?

    Aren’t we supposed to be making disciples, not shunning fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. How many people can you share the love of God with if you approach them with a closed fist?

  16. Driscoll’s not Baptist and they are complaining about him? I’ve not been following the calvinist fight, so I’m not privy to the argument there.

    I appreciate Driscoll’s frank and open talk about sexuality. With so much other junk out there casting visions of sexualtity that are immoral cruel or disgusting, can’t pastors speak about it’s beauty in the context of marriage?

    Sex is awesome in marriage. I’ll tell anyone who asks.


  17. csheidler Says:

    I see things like this on Driscoll, and I pray. A lot. Speaking has someone who has listened to a good deal of his preaching (and who has been thereby challenged and refreshed and encouraged in the Gospel), I don’t want his passion or zeal to diminish one iota, but I think things like these speak more than anything else of a rashness and lack of maturity. I appreciate his honesty about sex and his desire to encourage his audience to surrender their thinking about sex to the light of the gospel, but I wonder if posting it in the way he did (for adults, but readily accessible to children) was all that wise or responsible. I pray God would continue to refine and shape him, and I hope others would do the same.

  18. BrianD Says:

    Terribly written article. Driscoll is not above legitimate, fair, constructive criticism (no one is), but this could have been written much more fairly.

  19. BrianD Says:

    They should have at least made a serious attempt to talk to the man directly. Driscoll probably would have accepted the request.

    Driscoll does have critics, so it’s not unreasonable to speak with a few of them. However, because he has many supporters and people who are influenced by him within the SBC, BP also needed to speak with some people representative of that group as well.

    BP could have written a feature on Driscoll and how and why he is so influential within the SBC, and easily touched on his “vulgarity”. Instead of dribbling inside for the sure layup (or dunk!), they knocked the ball out of bounds off their foot, then tried to pass it off like good basketball.

  20. ACF Says:

    The issue here is the article, and let’s be clear -this is not journalism. BP is essentially a PR firm not a legitimate news service. Were they really legit they would have tried to contact Driscoll or someone at Mars Hill or provide some kind of balancing viewpoint.

    More importantly, I think they would have done so if they were acting biblically. Instead they just basically engaged in slander and gossip. It was a hit piece on someone who espouses everything they fear – Calvinism, the Acts 29 network (full of drinkers and rock music), etc.

    It’s all so petty and silly and political – great reminder about why I jumped out of the SBC a few years ago…

  21. Matt Redmond Says:

    “God saves from witchcraft and the baptists.” – Matt Chandler

  22. Greg Alford Says:

    “In a December 2006 issue of Pulpit magazine…”

    This comment from MacArthur is old news. Actually it is three years old, so my question is why is this being dragged back up at this time? I would just like to know what the motive of BP is in writing and publishing this article at this time? Are they just trying to embarrass Dr. Akins and SEBTS because Mark Driscoll was invited to speak and a very large number of young students turned out to hear Mark?

    Driscoll also has gotten into hot water over the use of profanity before, at one time having the reputation as the “cussing pastor.” In that case, he repented, starting with a public apology for having become known for “good theology, a bad temper, and a foul mouth.

    “This is not what I want to be known for,” he said then.

    If Driscoll has repented then to continue to bring this stuff back up is unfortunate at best and quite possibly even sin. I am left to wonder if the BP, or even all Southern Baptist for that matter, actually believe in the doctrine of “Forgiveness”? If past sins for which I have repented are still grounds for disqualification from the ministry then brother “I am disqualified!” .

    “”If a pastor is preaching or teaching on an edgy topic just to get the attention of people in the community, and not to glorify God, then he has stepped over a line,”

    It would appear from this article that those who have an Ax to grind with Driscoll are quick to assign an impure to his preaching. Goodness I hope no one ever every says such a think about the current SBC Pastor… If my sources are correct I believe he has attracted the attention of quite a few people in his community as well… I sure hope he is not stepped over the line.

    This whole article is a sad case of the BP attempting to “Slash, Trash, and Burn” the reputation of Mark Driscoll and to try and stem his growing influence among young Southern Baptist. I predict it will fail miserably as most young Southern Baptist do not read the BP… ever!

    Grace Always,

  23. Dr. Paul Foltz Says:

    Greg Alford;
    As usual, you hit the nail on its head.. The BP,being part of the old vanguard,will soon move off the scene, and be no more. Also the dreging up of past sins confessed and repented of,is a very great heinous sin.

  24. Brett R Says:

    Did anyone actually listen to the Peasant Princess series (the sermon series on the Song of Songs where the sex questions came from)? I am about to be married and listened to the whole thing very carefully and cautiously almost expecting something crass. It didn’t happen. Instead, it was very helpful. He didn’t even talk about sex very much, most of the series deals with communication, dating each other, resolving conflict, dealing with past sins, etc. Driscoll has said dumb things before, but he has exhibited some huge growth. Let’s celebrate that. I was so impressed by the mature way he handled this subject with minimum joking (the ones he included were hardly vulgar). Before bashing Driscoll they should actually listen to the series for themselves.

    As for the online questions, they were posted on the blog so that he could actually answer real questions he was being asked weekly (mostly from newer believers), without having to do so in church. I think this was really wise. Also, if you read the Q&A you’ll find a lot of the BP’s accusations are just ridiculous. When he does reference the notorious website they drill him for, he says himself that they don’t endorse everything on the site, but on the particular subject they had some interesting information. What they failed to mention is how helpful some of these online resources connected with the series could be. This Q&A series involves questions that everyone wonders but are often afraid to ask; if they do ask, the last place they will is at the church, because of reactions like the BP is exhibiting. If they cannot ask questions about sexuality at church then that is very dangerous. Also, connected with this series, Re: Lit put out Driscoll’s “Porn Again Christian,” which is probably the most helpful resource for young men about porn and masturbation available today (I just finished taking a small group of college guys through it who were incredibly helped by it).

    I think this is yet another example of the good ole boys being the good ole boys. Instead of seeking to love and encourage a young pastor in a Paul-to-Timothy fashion the way John Piper and CJ Mahaney have, they are quite happy to throw many a baby out with the bath water. I don’t agree with everything Driscoll says and does, but he’s a brother with some incredible gifting and a sweet God-glorifying ministry. Let’s love, support, and learn together.

  25. […] I was surfing the web (boy, is that phrase out-dated) and came across an article entitled “Poll: Your Thoughts on Baptist Press on Mark Driscoll.”  This intrigued me since I had no idea what the Baptist Press had said, so I followed the […]

  26. Todd Benkert Says:

    Thanks Todd Burus for the info. I also appreciated Timmy Brister setting the record strait on his blog:


    In any case, sorry I was going on the media accounts. I stand by what I said in principle about those who swear as a form of “engaging the culture” but see now that Driscoll is no longer an example of that kind of contextualization.


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