Thursday, April 12, 2012

City of God: Mark Driscoll, Roman Catholic

There’s that old Jesuit quote that goes something like “give me the boy until he is seven and I will give you the man.” I’m not sure that it holds in all cases but in some fascinating instances a person might depart from the content of the teachings of their youth only to retain the forms in some mutated way. Some people point to Kant as an example since he rejected Pietism, but came up with an ethical system that seems to be a sort of continuation of Pietism by other means.

Now Driscoll is no Immanuel Kant (I think fans of either would strongly agree with that), but has a similar thing happened with Driscoll? It’s easy to forget that Driscoll was raised a Roman Catholic – and not just in the sense that that’s the box his parents checked off on the census, he was an altar boy and everything. It struck me first when looking at the way Mars Hill expresses concepts like church discipline can seem very, um, Catholic. The requirement of a comprehensive confession, the threat of excommunication, the role of a small group leader as a sort of confessor. All of what seemed kind of obtuse to many Protestants is just how things seem to go in Catholicism.

Dan continues a little further and concludes with the following:

Driscoll, whatever the church bylaws might say, is the unchallenged head of a de facto denomination that is ordered in a hierarchical fashion, demands strict adherence to its particular teaching of Christian doctrine and controls its members through a process of confession and discipline. Sounds like a bad caricature of Rome.

As another proverb puts it, you can take the boy out of the country but you can't take the country out of the boy.

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