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Archive for the ‘Mark Driscoll’ Category


On Nightline, there was a Face Off regarding the reality of Satan.  Mark Driscoll was one of the participants.  Mark did a great job integrating the reality of the Evil One with a presentation of the gospel.  He offered hope in the midst of our personal and societal struggles.

And then there was Deepok Chopra gave a bunch of ying & yang psycho-babble (quoting Freud, but in line with Jung’s work) about how “healthy people don’t need the devil.”   Bishop Pearson forsakes his calling based on a false stereo-type.  Nice.  Another “bishop” denying the teaching of Scripture.  I guess we solve the problem of evil by just not thinking about it.

Both of argue against the belief in the devil on the basis of wars- religious wars.  just because some nuts believe you can drop the bomb on the devil to destroy him does not make this a reason to deny personal evil.  It is a Straw Man argument, fallacious to the core.  The devil is not material, can’t be bombed, shot or drugged out of existence.  Only Jesus destroys the work of the devil (Hebrews 2, I think), which Pearson forgot to mention when saying Jesus would not be pleased by all that bomb dropping.  I’m pretty sure Jesus isn’t pleased with those who think dropping bombs (or flying planes into sky scrappers) is the way to defeat The Great Satan.  Now, legitimate governments bearing the sword against those who pose a threat against those they are charged to protect (Romans 13) is another story.  But the ultimate solution is only Christ and Him crucified to destroy, among other things, the hate in our hearts and the evils that flow from that.

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Bible Study Magazine and Mars Hill are giving away 20 copies of Mark Driscoll’s new book, Vintage Church. Not only that, but they are also giving away five subscriptions to Bible Study Magazine and a copy of their Bible Study Library software! Enter to win on the Bible Study Magazine Mark Driscoll page, then take a look at all the cool tools they have to take your Bible study to the next level!

PS- the Cavman uses Logos Bible Study Software, but could use an upgrade.

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Back to working my way through Steve McCoy’s Big 5 Books, today the Cross.  As Spurgeon once said:

“Endeavor to know more and more of Christ Jesus. Endeavor especially to know the doctrine of the sacrifice of Christ.” C.H. Spurgeon

Here are the best books I’ve read:

The books I have yet to read, and hope to:

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As I slog my way through Nehemiah- which has been every encouraging and convicting- here are the resources I’m using.

  • Ezrz and Nehemiah (NICOT) by Fensham.  It’s been very helpful from an academic standpoint.  Not overwhelming at all.  Sometimes authors in this series have been influenced by the higher critical schools, but this seems to be a solid, conservative volume.
  • The Messaage of Nehemiah (BST) by Raymond Brown.  Very good commentary with some use of the original language and some application.  I really enjoy using this whole series.  It is very useful for preaching and teaching.
  • Nehemiah: Building a City Within the City sermon series by Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill.  His sermons are typically about an hour.  At times he can belabor his point, but I learn alot about leadership from Mark.  Sometimes his jokes are funny.
  • The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 4 (edited by Frank Gaebelein) including Ezra & Nehemiah by Edwin Yamauchi.

Here are some good resources other guys in the study group are using:

  • Ezra-Nehemiah (WBC) by Williamson.  It comes highly recommended by Tremper Longman.  The Word Biblical Commentary series can seem overwhelming at times.  It works thru each passage in terms of Form/Structure/Setting and then Comment.  It includes lots of work in the original languages.  Some authors have been influenced by the higher critical school.
  • A Passion for Faithfulness: Wisdom from the Book of Nehemiah by Packer.  It is thematic rather than exegetical.  That has its place, obviously, but makes it more difficult to use when you’re approaching the text exegetically.  But … it is J.I. Packer so it’s got to be good!

Nehemiah is a helpful book to develop a heart for the city (please, don’t use it during a building program or to demonize those who oppose your ministry- 2 common errors pastors make).  There are lessons about handling conflict both from outside and within the church.  But the main theme is God’s glory- how our great and awesome God works for us, in us and thru us to accomplish the restoration of the city thru the gospel.  It should humble and encourage us seen that way instead of “be like Nehemiah.”  See instead what God has done in Christ.  Okay, off my soapbox……….

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I recently had a dialogue with another pastor about the office of prophet, priest and king in church leadership.  He had been re-reading Dan Allender’s Leading with a Limp, chapter 14: Three Leaders You Can’t Do Without (wow, how did I not blog on that chapter?!).  He wondered what my primary & secondary gifting were (prophet-priest if you’re interested).  One of these days I may try to put my more theologically oriented material into a leadership oriented book working through these issues.

In the meantime, I visited Drew Goodmanson’s blog and he had links to the Acts 29 regional conference in Raleigh.  He and David Fairchild had some seminars working through this triperspectival view of leadership.  I highly recommend them after listening to them today.  The first was on the foundations of triperspectival leadership, and the second was on the applications of triperspectival leadership.  David provided some background into their church plant, the struggles they had and how they have benefited from applying John Frame’s triperspectivalism to church leadership.

Here are some thoughts I jotted down in my notebook to keep track of them:

“When you plant (a church) you’re reacting to something you think you’ve seen wrong in the church, so you’re in this heavy, heavy deconstruction mode.”  David relating advice given by Mark Driscoll

There are differences between how Jesus exercised His office during the Incarnation and how He exercises it now in His exaltation (yes, still incarnated).  For instance, while on earth He preached directly to the people.  In his heavenly prophetic ministry, He worked through the Spirit to complete the giving of Scripture and works through the Spirit in the preaching of the same Scripture.  In His earthly priestly ministry He offered up His body as the perfect sacrifice for sin.  In His heavenly priestly ministry He lives forever to intercede for us (Heb. 7:25).

(more…)

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I listened to a great Q&A from the Resurgence Conference: Text and Context with John Piper and Matt Chandler.  It was an interesting dynamic.  Mark Driscoll was the one asking the questions, with some commentary.  John Piper is in his 60’s and Matt Chandler is in his 30’s.  They are in very different places in pastoring “successful” faithful churches.

They talked about the dangers pastors face, false gospels, TV (Piper hasn’t owned one since he was 18), accountability and relevance.  Some fun comments, and some great wisdom. 

Some quick quotes:

“Relevance is ultimate reality lived out with passion in front of people in authentic ways.”  John Piper

“Doug Wilson is one of the most careful and bright Reformed and postmillenial, objectivist theologians around and he’s got people around him that are dumb.  … Wrong on numerous cases, but wrong in a way you’d expect a Presbyterian to be wrong.  … I don’t know if his trajectory will be as faithful as is the present case.”  John Piper

“We want other ethnic groups to join us as long as they like to worship to Coldplay.  … I want to preach the death of an ethno-centric idea.  I don’t know how we get past this thing (wanting ethnic diversity on OUR terms).”  Matt Chandler

“Without a diverse leadership it is unlikely you will have a diverse membership.  … I grew up in South Carolina and was racist to my toe nails for the first 20 years of my life.”  John Piper

Mark: You insulted my band.  John: You care about insulting people?  Mark: There is a comeback, but this is where I practice on-going sanctification.

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I forgot Iain Murray’s book at home so my post on Revivalism will have to wait.  But while checking a few blogs I ran across this recent interview with Mark Driscoll.  In this section he addresses the question of revival and the remarkable growth experienced by Mars Hill and some other Acts 29 churches.

JV: Do you have a theology of revival? I guess many would see the rapid growth at Mars Hill (and some of the Acts 29 work) as taking on revival proportions. Is this how you would see it, or are you looking for something further (or do you even see revival as a helpful category)?

MD: I do. I have read both Jonathan Edwards and Iain Murray on this, for example. I have also studied many church movements such as the Methodists and Jesus Movement. I do believe that revival is akin to Nehemiah stacking the old stones that had lain unused for many generations. My city (Seattle) is still pre-Christian so technically I would say that we are more of a missions movement than a revival movement. But, as we spread through our campuses and church plants around the nation and world, I guess that is possible.

By God’s grace, we are multi-denominational and having what seems to be a positive and helpful influence on many churches, denominations and networks for which we praise God. In the end, we’ll see what God does. We’re off to an encouraging start but the game is far from over and maybe one day when I’m dead someone can write the report of what happened and see if it qualifies as something akin to a revival. For now, I’m just trying to follow Jesus, love my wife, enjoy my kids, pastor my church, preach my Bible, confess my sins, write my books and have my fun.

JV: Given your vantage point, what would you predict for the development of evangelicalism in the West over the coming 20 years?

MD: I would hope to see a robust gospel, love of church planting, and call for dudes to act dudely.

I appreciate his humility.  Unlike a revivalist, he’s not claiming he’s got a revival going on.  He is waiting for the test of time to reveal if what is happening is genuine.  It may be this humility that has opened the door for even more growth.  Earlier this year Mark publicly repented of the pride he saw charactizing his ministry, and by extension that of the church.  After the Resurgence conference he shared how Piper & C.J. Mahaney had a heart to heart with him.  And the gospel seems to make progress in this “missions” setting.

Adrian Warnock has Mark summing up Holy Week like this:

 “Something broke this weekend, spiritually. I’m not sure how to explain it, but God’s favor was evident everywhere. We had 8,070 people attend on Sunday, plus however many could not make it into the Eastside Campus or stand up outside the building to listen on speakers because there was no room in the parking lot or on the sidewalk. We had 3,648 for Good Friday services plus however many hundreds got turned away from the 7 p.m. service at Ballard. We had at least 11,718 people altogether this weekend, somewhere near 200 baptisms yesterday alone, and are still trying to figure out how many people got saved. . . .Yesterday, while singing with the congregation at each of the five services I preach live, I could not stop weeping. People were singing loudly with their hands in the air. They cheered all day as people came forward to give their lives to Jesus and be baptized. The pastors were up front laying hands on people, praying over them, and leading them to Christ by the dozens at every service. I stood off to the side during the singing to watch what God was doing, and multiple people walked up to me weeping and asked me to pray with them to become a Christian.”

Being a student of Edwards and Murray, I have a hard time thinking they are using the typical manipulative techniques advanced (but not invented) by Finney which fit in with his rejection of depravity, substitutionary atonement and other biblical teachings.  It will be interesting to follow this over time.  Hopefully Mark will remain humble, indeed increase in humility, as he watches God changes lives thru the gospel of His Son.

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