The Run Down on Baptist Press and Mark Driscoll

For those of you (like myself) who like to have a listing of the notable articles written over the last several days regarding Baptist Press and Mark Driscoll, here you go (will update when necessary):

Monday, February 9, 2009

* Melissa Lilley of BSCNC writes a cover story of the 20/20 Collegiate Conference at SEBTS entitled “Driscoll, Mahaney – Culture Warriors of a Different Sort

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

* SEBTS press release by Lauren Crane published, “Gospel Comes to Life, Young People to Seminary Campus

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

* Baptist Press runs hit piece on Driscoll, “Driscoll’s Vulgarity Draws Media Attention
* Timmy Brister posts an online poll where 74% voted that the BP article was shoddy journalism

Thursday, February 12, 2009

* Baptist Press revise their article by adding paragraphs 5 & 6 as an attempt to correct their errors
* SEBTS via Between the Times shares their deep disappointment in BP in “Mark Driscoll and Southeastern Seminary
* Timmy Brister writes, “My Take on Baptist Press Throwing Mark Driscoll Under the Bus
*Baptist Press publishes SEBTS’ press release previous written by Lauren Crane

Friday, February 13, 2009

* Alvin Reid writes at Between the Times, “I Have a Problem
* Ed Stetzer comes out to defend his friend, Mark Driscoll, “Friday is for Friends
* Jonathan Merritt responds to Baptist Press in The Biblical Recorder, “Unfair, Unbalanced and Unacceptable
* J.D. Greear, Acts 29 and influential young SBC pastor responds, “Baptist Press joins NYT in Driscoll Bashing
* Baptist 21 begins a multi-part article on Driscoll and the generational gap in the SBC with thoughts by Nathan Finn
* Scott Thomas, director of Acts 29, responds with an article, “Let’s Move On

Saturday, February 14, 2009

* Baptist21 continues with part 2 of the generational gap in the SBC with Nathan Finn

[Note: I recognize that there several more articles about this out there (I’ve read some 20-25 over the last couple of days), but for brevity’s sake, these I’ve determined to be most significant.]

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17 Comments on “The Run Down on Baptist Press and Mark Driscoll”

  1. scott shaffer Says:

    While everyone else has been busy writing about Driscoll, he was busy on CNN last night. You can see it here

  2. Dr. Paul Foltz Says:


  3. scott shaffer Says:

    Dr. Paul,

    That has to be one of the lamest arguments I’ve ever heard. Yes, it is easy to cast stones from the sideline, but if we followed your advice, we’d never voice disagreement with anyone’s conduct, and that is not biblically defensible. Let’s see, maybe we shouldn’t criticize Dr. Patterson for his efforts to purge SWBTS of Calvinists (assuming this is in fact what he is trying to do)?

  4. […] ed stetzer, friends, friendship, grace, jd greear, love, mark driscoll, repentance |   Timmy Brister has posted a round up of reactions to the Baptist Press article on Mark […]

  5. […] one, generational warfare, mark driscoll, relevance, unnecessary fussing |   The third of the reactions posted by Timmy Brister is a longer read that gets to the heart of why I think this fight matters and why it is even […]

  6. JohnW Says:

    If Baptist Press is going to write an article warning their Southern Baptist readership about the negative influences of listening to a popular non-Southern Baptist preacher like Driscoll, perhaps they should do a follow-up series on preachers like Joel Osteen, John Hagee and the TBN crowd.

    These guys have much worse theology than Driscoll, and probably a greater influence on the average SBC/Baptist Press reader than Driscoll does.

  7. Chris Poe Says:


    The responses you linked amount to this: Saying the critics may have a point, but ultimately dismissing the concerns, blaming the messenger, and warning that the “young leaders” are upset by all this fuss and if it keeps up, they might just pick up their toys and go play elsewhere.

    The repeated assertions that BP printed “inaccurate” information or “old news” seem to clearly indicate that those making such assertions either didn’t read the BP article at all, are pursuing an agenda of their own in which the truth is a casualty, or that they have no problem with Driscoll’s actions in this instance. (And there are ample examples of the latter which could be cited.) After all, people are getting saved aren’t they? Look at how he packs ’em in! Why nitpick over these little peccadilloes?

    When “young leaders” are more alienated by editorial judgment than they are by Driscoll’s actions, then I submit that it isn’t Baptist Press who has the problem. Regardless of what motivation lay behind BP’s article, they printed the truth, plain and simple. Yes, the two paragraphs were added for the sake of clarity, but as it stands the article is not inaccurate, and it wasn’t inaccurate when it was first published. The additional paragraphs merely add context to the ongoing saga of Driscoll’s continued pattern of crossing the line. Those who claim the article is inaccurate keep harping on the critics having an agenda. But I ask, who’s playing politics now? I would think that Calvinists of all people should know that there’s more to the ministry than having most of your doctrinal ducks in a row and getting visible results.

    As for your poll, come on. How would you like a poll of SBC church members (or pastors) on the question of whether or not Calvinism is shoddy theology? Of course I don’t think it is, but I think my point is clear.

    Now for a word on the issue raised by the BP article, the website Driscoll linked to. I wonder how many people will visit a site like the one Mars Hill has linked right now, and once they’ve had their fill of that and find that it doesn’t satisfy them, will eventually move on to harder core sites? Depravity being what it is and the fact that we are never free from sin in this life, it’s not much of a leap for some to go from a site like the one to which Driscoll links to one that allows one to gratify their lusts to the full.

    See here for an excellent take on this issue:

  8. Chris,

    What’s up with you commenting on every single blogpost written about Mark Driscoll this week? Are you kidding me? I have read dozens of blogposts from popular to the most obscure, and you are on every single one of them firing away. For someone who apparently is obsessed with Mark Driscoll, it appears that there is little to nothing anyone can do to dialogue with you or get you off your blog campaign. Please, get over it, and go about preaching Jesus. That would be a much more profitable use of your time.

  9. Chris Poe Says:


    Given the fact that you confess to having read all of these blog posts, it would appear that you are just as guilty of the alleged offense wasting your time on blogs that you have accused me of. I’m not obsessed with Mark Driscoll. That’s much less of an issue for me than seeing people who ought to know better continue to defend the indefensible. I wonder what Jeremiah Burroughs, Thomas Watson or any of the other Puritan worthies that you have expressed such a love for would think of “Christian Nymphos.”

    As to your accusation that I’m a poor steward of my time, you may be interested in knowing that due to being diagnosed with epilepsy last August that wasn’t controlled until mid December, I have had to leave two jobs because I am unable to drive and won’t be able to do so until at least June. So currently I’m stuck at home a lot with a lot of time on my hands. What’s your excuse?

    Unfortunately you have only proven my point in that yet again you are unable or unwilling to grasp the issue at hand and instead resort to criticizing the messenger. You assume that dialogue with me is impossible, but it’s pretty hard to have a dialogue when my concerns (which represent the concerns of many fellow Calvinists, some of whom perhaps have better sense than to enter the blogosphere) are met time and time again with such simplistic knee jerk reactions.

  10. Grace and peace, Chris.

  11. Erik Says:

    Wow! It’s getting quite tense in this comment post. 😉

    For what it’s worth Timmy, thanks for taking the time to supply us with these links. They are quite informative. Much appreciated.

  12. […] would have to some degree no matter how BP responded. Snowballing blog commentary is summarized by Timmy Brister’s’ annotated list of selected […]

  13. RP & NA Says:


    Let me first say that we at Baptist21 appreciate your comments on our website. While we may disagree on some viewpoints, we respect your decision to post your thoughts here. We hope you’ll continue to visit our site and dialogue with us on any issue you feel necessary. That being said, I would like to respond to your posts with a few things:

    (1)Let me first say, that the BP article is filled with poor journalism at best and dishonesty at worst. Some have already noted that men were asked leading questions that they did not know they were answering about Driscoll. You can read about that here. To defend that kind of journalism seems awfully imprudent. Some of the folks quoted have come out to say they were not referring to Mark Driscoll. Even Ed Stetzer made a clarification: “A LifeWay employee is mentioned in one of the articles. I work at LifeWay, I think it is important to note that Bret Robbe (quoted in the one article) was commenting on handling delicate subjects. He was not commenting on Mark Driscoll. And, his comments are right on. Thanks, Bret.”

    (2) Driscoll Ministers in a city that is much different than places where we are. Seattle is one of the most unreached cities in America. It’s culture runs rampant with sexual promiscuity and paganism. That’s not to say America doesn’t, it does, but his city is much different than where I minister. He shepherds his flock in a way that will bring about God’s glory in marriage and love. If we believe that the marriage bed is undefiled, then we must trust that Driscoll is leading his folks into sanctification by providing resources that will ultimately help them, not harm them. I can’t criticize him because I don’t really know what he knows about his people. Some are criticizing those that have written blogs to chastise BP and are saying the use of cussing and vulgar language is not “old news”. The fact is the cussing accusation is old news and the idea that the language he uses about sexuality being vulgar is up for debate. It is not as cut and dry as folks try to make it appear. I remember while growing up, “fart” was a bad word in my house. It’s totally different in our culture. Language changes from city to city and culture to culture. I don’t know what families are okay with in the city of Seattle. In addition, this is what young people want to know about, and I mean godly young people who want to discern the bible’s teachings on sexuality. There are people right now in the church who want to know what the Bible says about masturbation, oral sex, and anal sex. If I do not tell those I lead what the bible says about these things, they will ask their peers or they will search the Internet and find it out. Should I, or Mark Driscoll, not speak on these things? Would it be wrong if I made a document and put it on my churches website with the answer to these questions for my church?

    (3) If by chance, a child were to go to his website, and then somehow navigate through all the pages, or just so happen to search the right links and stumbled upon the page with the informational questions for married or unmarried folks about sexual things, would it be bad for the child to see that? Yes, it would not be good for a child. The truth is, how many children are going to go to that churches website and find that? Probably not many! In addition, children could get into any number of inappropriate websites online if their parents do not monitor them. Parents always need to be involved in their child’s time online. Should Driscoll not post this information for any one of his 8,000 members who may be struggling with these questions (which a good percentage probably are) because a couple of children may, somehow, somewhere stumble upon them because a parent is not watching their internet involvement? I think they are valuable questions for such a time as this in our culture.

    In all honesty, I’m afraid that you have been tainted by the criticizing of Driscoll and have never given him a fair hearing. I do encourage you to go listen to his series at SEBTS or his recent post on Mar’s HIll about the Spiritual Discipline of love making (It’s great!). I certainly don’t agree with everything he says and does, but he is doing some things right in terms of helping a mostly pagan culture turn to Christ and make things right with the Lord. He’s helping young men and women discover what it really means to be in love, enjoy your spouse, and find completely satisfaction in only one spouse for the rest of their life. I’m all for making marriage and sex as fun as possible. I believe that’s what God wants for our lives and I believe people in our day have lots of questions about what is and isn’t permissible in the marriage bed. Lots of people in Seattle and in the world get their understanding of sex and love from watching pornography. They have very contradictory views than the Bible has. When they come to Christ, they have all sorts of questions that need to be answered and Driscoll uses his website, from an autonomous local church, to inform as a resource. Stay off his website and out of his church if you don’t like what he is doing. I for one am thankful!

    In the end, as we said before, this is not an endorsement of all things Driscoll. This is a call to stop the “bombing raids” on good brothers who are doing the best to protect and sanctify their flock. The BP did a poor job in reporting. You can say it is a “take my ball and go home” mentality among the younger generation, and you may be right. If that is the case we at Baptist21 do not support that. It does not change the fact that it is the case, as you can see from a recent comment on this site, people are fed up with fights over non-gospel centered issues, plain and simple! That is what is going on here. They just see a fight because a man wants to shepherd his congregation toward biblical sexuality and his language may be a little too edgy for some to stand. That is what our post is about. It is not a Driscoll defense. It really is a hope that we will stop the petty squabbles and care about the Gospel. Anyway we cut it, this kind of fight just shows what many, regardless of age, are tired of.

  14. Rusty Says:

    Timmy, I just wanted to say that I come to this blog occasionally and usually I find that you and others are having further troubles with the happenings within the SBC (this could be because of limited visits, but needless to say you have over the last several years voiced your concerns). That is fine and well, we need people to be on the look out, but I think you and many on this blog come with ideas and when you read something those ideas drive your understanding, again no real problem with that, but don’t allow yourself to be shocked when the otherside does the very same thing. Keep up the good work…

  15. […] 17, 2009 by Chris Poe From reading some blogs, you’d think that the response in the blogosphere to the Baptist Press article on Mark […]

  16. Ed Franklin Says:

    Sad to see a reasoned, gracious post like Chris Poe’s get trashed because he disagrees with you, Timmy.

    “Get a life” your best shot at someone who takes an opposing view? Maybe he got too close to the bone, huh?

  17. […] to the issues of the Mark Driscoll controversy which recently rolled through the Southern Baptist blog world. Driscoll and Justin Fatica, founder of the Catholic ministry group Hard as Nails, are in a sense […]

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