Saturday, July 04, 2015

Chris Rosebrough on Driscoll repenting of criticizing Joel Osteen but not, apparently, apologizing for his stunt and spin at Strange Fire

Driscoll may have (or may not have) reached out to Joel Osteen's camp and as yet nobody from Joel Osteen's crew has confirmed that this even happened.  So given that Mark Driscoll told Christianity Today he and Grace were virgins before they started fornicating with each other; and given that Driscoll couldn't even remember there were, in fact, kids at the start of Mars Hill, it's increasingly difficult to believe how accurate or credible Mark Driscoll's stories about himself may actually be.
We can't forget, either, that Mars Hill PR asserted a relationship with Lifelong AIDs Alliance that turned out to not really exist, which The Stranger covered.

All that is to say that an Osteen-side confirmation that Mark Driscoll said or did anything is necessary in order for Driscoll's claim to even be believed at this point.  Still, with that in mind, Rosebrough's point stands, if Mark Driscoll's been willing to make nice to a Joel Osteen he may have never met, has Driscoll apologized to John MacArthur and others for his stunt at Strange Fire?

What Mark Driscoll decided to do in the wake of Strange Fire was invite MacArthur to talk with him, even though back in 2009 when MacArthur's side was actively reaching out to Driscoll he was snubbing them.  Though it seems a bit clunky, let's revisit what Wenatchee The Hatchet has already written:
That's the Christian Post link for you there.
.. As a Bible preacher, I rejoice in that. I actually considered attending your school myself after I finished my undergraduate work, but I was newly married and could not afford any seminary at the time. [
As Bible teachers, we both know that people often arrive at the wrong conclusion when they extract a line out of an ongoing discussion, ignoring the context, and then wrongly impugn someone’s character. I am guessing the security team and pastoral team were not entirely rowing in the same direction, and that security thought they were just doing their job.

Mistakes happen. I understand. And since no one owes me anything, I am grateful I got to hang out for a bit and meet some of the pastoral staff and your son. I would’ve been glad to have met you as well.

Maybe that can still happen?
At this point, I believe what would honor Jesus is for us to sit down and talk. So, I am formally inviting you to Seattle to join me on stage for our national Resurgence Conference on November 5–6.
I will pay for your travel. I will give an honorarium to you or any ministry you choose. And, I will cover the travel costs of any of your pastoral staff you’d like join us, as I would actually like to see them again.

Originally, I was going to have a company live stream our conference online for people who paid an access fee, but I recently tore up that contract. We’re now going to show the conference free online for the world in an effort to open up our important discussion to as many people as possible. I would also post our discussion in its entirely—without any editing—for free online.

I am working as an unpaid volunteer for this event, and I believe the loss of live stream revenue is worth it for an investment in the Kingdom. I assure you, I will be very kind and gracious and respectful. Ours will be a dialogue on very important issues, and I pray by the Spirit’s power we can model some graciousness and clarify terms while striving to state what we believe to be biblical truth.
I believe this could be a very profitable discussion—especially for young leaders who will be tuning in to learn as we model how to handle disagreement. In our day when online misquoting and Internet flame throwing hinder real progress, I truly believe we have a great opportunity to model a different way of dealing with important issues for God’s glory.

So now there's a public invitation of an all expenses paid visit from Mark Driscoll to John MacArthur.  As usual Driscoll talks about how single lines taken out of context can be used to impugn someone's character.  But the thing about John MacArthur and Mark Driscoll is that the breach between Mark Driscoll and John MacArthur has been close to a decade in forming and when the shoe was on the other foot MacArthur has already publicly informed us that when it was his idea to get in touch with Driscoll to talk about disagreements Mark Driscoll had no interest.

There's nothing about MacArthur's criticism of the November 18, 2007 sermon in Scotland from Song of Songs that seemed to take any lines or even entire sermons of Mark Driscoll out of context.  In fact Mark Driscoll mentioned somewhere or other that in light of criticisms of the sermon it seemed wise to take the sermon down.  But let's let MacArthur speak for himself a bit.
April 17, 2009

7. Why did you single out Driscoll and connect him with the "sex challenges"? Why call him out publicly? He has already repented of his unguarded speech, and he is being privately discipled by men like John Piper and C. J. Mahaney, who keep him accountable. Did you consult them before calling Driscoll out by name? If the problem is as serious as you claim, why haven't they said something publicly about it?

In the sermon that prompted this series, Mark Driscoll (speaking specifically to wives in the congregation) made several comments that were far, far worse than the seamiest sex challenges. Furthermore, Driscoll's edicts to married women were not mere "challenges" but directives buttressed with the claim that "Jesus Christ commands you to do [this]." That material has been online and freely circulated for more than a year. But you’ll be hard pressed to find even a single Web forum where anyone has demanded that Driscoll explain why he feels free to say such things publicly.
Nevertheless, I have written Mark privately with my concerns. He rejected my counsel. As a matter of fact, he preached the sermon I have been quoting from seven weeks after receiving my private letter encouraging him to take seriously the standard of holiness Scripture holds pastors to. Here is a small selection from the six-page letter I sent him ... [emphasis added]

So MacArthur has explained that he wrote to Mark Driscoll regarding some concerns and that, it seems on a plain reading, that Mark Driscoll preached the November 18, 2007 Scotland sermon on Song of Songs seven weeks AFTER receiving MacArthur's letter.  Not only did Driscoll not have any interest in responding to MacArthur in 2007 he preached one of his racier sermons just a couple of months after getting the letter

So it looks like Mark Driscoll kept ignoring MacArthur's efforts to work out differences privately until the Strange Fire stunt.  Then, all of a sudden, it was like Mark Driscoll suddenly cared what MacArthur thought enough to invite him.  That MacArthur declined wouldn't have been a surprise at all.  Why take someone seriously who spurned years of efforts to talk in private if he only makes a public offer to talk things out after he'd just been shown to have been dishonest about how a stunt he pulled crashing a cessationist conference turned out? It seems improbable that MacArthur or his crew would disagree with, say, a Gordon Fee the way they'd disagree with a Mark Driscoll.  There's a scholarly consensus that Gordon Fee knows the biblical texts. 

Of course if Mark Driscoll wants to talk about pastors he's reached out to who he may have harmed there are people far, far closer to home that should have been contacted by now. 


Adam Dolhanyk said...

Mark apologized to Joel because that was what was required to get into his new club.

Mark has 'partially confessed' to go with the 'partial restoration' that the charismatic see fit for him.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

even at the time of the "offer" some pointed out MacArthur's schedule probably already didn't allow it. In light of subsequent questions that emerged about who paid how much for what, it's also not even entirely clear whether Driscoll would have paid directly for that invitation or whether it would have been on an organizational dime. That was shortly before the house more in the Chelan area got purchased, if memory serves.

It's worth noting Driscoll has not changed the substance of his positions on anything. He's expressed regret about his tone, basically, and Grace said for him that she never saw him as a misogynist. The Houston interview features a newer variation of "my heart was in the right place and I'm basically right but I regret my tone."

If he'd reached out to MacArthur's camp we'd have heard something by now, right? If Driscoll's reached out to anyone at Repentant Pastors or Joyful Exiles that'd be news. As it stands there's no assurance Driscoll's actually done anything, just that he's said he's done something, something for which confirmation is necessary. After all, if he said he was a virgin to CT ... .