Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mark Driscoll's history of flip-flops on TD Jakes from 2007 to 2014--from word-faith heretic to on-our-team trinitarian to no mention of his name lately



Pastor Mark Driscoll
Jan 31, 2012

1. I appreciate godly friends who don’t want to defeat me publicly but rather help me privately. 

Two, I believed it was an important event and rather than talking about Christian leaders, the opportunity to talk with them is important as it models humble but forthright disagreement. In the acrimonious age of the Internet this kind of modeling is important. I know I too have been guilty of talking about people rather than to them, so I do not exclude myself from the need to learn and mature in this area. 


Some years ago when I was leading our megachurch with no formal theological training and having never been a formal member of any church let alone a pastor in any church, I was in a scrum with the emergent church and was completely full of myself. Dr. Gerry Breshears, former president of the Evangelical Theological Society, put an arm around me, built a degree program for me, loved me, served me, and helped me grow theologically. 

 How specifically tailored to Mark Driscoll was that program that Breshears built for Mark Driscoll? Because there's no illusion by now that the signal event at Elephant Room 2 was Mark Driscoll shaking hands with T. D. Jakes as though he were a traditional Trinitarian, is there?  There's also little doubt that Driscoll had made a point of saying that nobody should presume anything about Jakes until a person could get on a plane for Jesus.

Oh, but guess what?  This is a dead link now.

Well, conveniently enough Wenatchee The Hatchet discussed Driscoll's discussion of some of this stuff at the time.

From PastorMarkTV
...Admittedly, sometimes when speaking, a teacher presents a belief in a way that is inaccurate and unclear. So called “discernment” bloggers who are usually not connected to any noteworthy or respected evangelical Christian theologians, schools, denominations, ministries, churches, or pastors make their living taking what people said wrongly, transcribing it, and then falsely—or at least wrongly—accusing them of heresy when it is untrue.

The ear is more forgiving than the eye, and when we say something wrong, people tend to give the benefit of the doubt. But, when what is said is then written down, there is far more scrutiny as a statement is parsed like a Bible verse, which is unfair. ...

In closing, I want to thank Pastor MacDonald for putting together what could be an amazingly insightful event around the Trinity and many other issues that the Church needs to consider. I thank God that I have an opportunity to be involved and ask some questions. I want to encourage folks to wait until the event before making any final judgments about anyone or anything. And, I want to encourage all the men who are signed up to show up. We worship a Jesus who died for what he believed. The least we can do in his name is get on a plane for what we believe.

And it looks like this video content of Driscoll ripping on The Shack from his 2007 sermon series has been taken down, too. 
But there's this, for people who might want to see for themselves Mark Driscoll ripping on The Shack as though its primary goal was discussing the Trinity rather than abuse.  As noted at Wenatchee The Hatchet earlier, if Driscoll had been assessing The Shack as a literary work rather than a catechism he could have pointed out some of the problems in how the doctrine of the Trinity was depicted without treating the book as though it was "about" the Trinity.

In fact all references to The Shack by William Young have been obliterated from even the downloadable transcript.

For a sampling of how at least one member of The Gospel Coalition took all of Driscoll's statements and actions toward Jakes as a sign of a bad trend, here's something to read.

The second lesson Driscoll mentioned from his time at Elephant Room 2 is interesting.

2. I don’t want to just make a point—I want to make a difference by God’s grace. 

At an event hosted by Perry Noble, Andy Stanley gave one of the most helpful and practical leadership talks I’ve ever heard. He said as a leader we have to decide if we mainly want to make a point or to make a difference. 
If we want to make a point, we don’t need to pursue, know, or love someone. We can simply sit back, create a caricature of them, and shoot them. If we want to make a difference, we have to pursue them, get to know them, understand them, love them, and serve them. 
Making a point is easy. Making a point will get you a rabid online fan base who love it when there’s someone else’s blood in the water. Making a difference is hard. Making a difference will get you attacked by a rabid online fan base who love it when your blood is in the water.

7. Winning people is better than winning arguments. 

It appears that in January 2012 in an interview with Justin Brierley that Mark Driscoll was really living out by example the precept he was articulating in the wake of Elephant Room 2, at least as transcribed (it seems) over at cognitive discopants.
Brierley: Well, men. I mean, men come in different shapes and sizes. I mean, yah, both really. Men who are very masculine, men who are, I guess, on a spectrum, more effeminate. But I couldn’t say that there’s been a sort of dearth of men in the church since she’s arrived. I mean, Mark, I don’t want to get into a sort of argument.
Driscoll: No, no, you don’t want to sit in my seat, I understand. So does your wife do counseling with men? Sexual counseling? Does she talk about masturbation, pornography, the stuff that I do?
Brierley: Well no, she doesn’t.
Driscoll: Well, who does talk to the men about those things, especially the young men?
Brierley: Well there are other people that she can pass them on to. We have male elders in our church who, you know, would be able to tackle those kinds of questions. I mean, but would you speak with those kinds of issues to a female in your church?
Driscoll: Uh no. If they’re a married couple we might meet with them as a couple. But if it’s a woman, we would have women leaders meet with them.
Brierley: Sure, well it’s the same scenario in our church really.
Driscoll: Well except for who’s in charge.
Ah, yes, that's making a difference rather than a point, isn't it?  That's winning the person rather than the argument, right?

Then there's this little gem of weirdness.
6. Fear of man is deadly. 
Proverbs 29:25 says that fear of man is a trap or a snare, depending upon your translation. Fear of man causes us to live for the approval of our tribe and to fear criticism or ostracism from our tribe. Fear of man is a form of idolatry—living to please someone other than Jesus Christ. One day I will die and give an account and it won't be to a mirror or a blogger. 
We will all die and give an account, but it won’t be to a blogger or a mirror. Right now I’m working on my next book based on Ephesians, with the big idea of what it means to have our identity rooted “in Christ.” In God’s providence, this season of criticism has been met with a rich and rewarding extended time in God’s Word helping me to do what wise counsel and I believe is right in light of the gospel, regardless of the outcome. I’m more a prophet than a politician. 
Now aside the fact that the link in the quoted content above is dead, the idea that somehow a "prophet" is in any way a contrast to a politician in any sense, whether in biblical literature or even from the standpoint of any judicial/advisory role in the context of the history of biblical literature or even old pagan literature, is completely impossible to sustain.  If you want a fascinating and free monograph on Divination, Politics and Ancient Near Eastern Empires (HT biblioblogger Jim West) read on.  Chapter 5's proposal that Ezekiel's oracle about Gog and Magog subversively redeploys the literary genre of embodied chaos defeated by Marduk to subversively recast Gog as Marduk defeated by YHWH is intriguing, as is the proposal that ancient Hebrew biblical prophecy includes a strikingly high proportion of criticism of kingship and people that is atypical of prophetic oracles and divinatory literature.  If Mark Driscoll really wanted to lean hard on what makes biblical prophecy unique it would be to grant that harsh and even brutal intra-critical writings within the Judeo-Christian faith tradition are the rule rather than the exception and that the canonization process paradoxically made this tradition public and canonical rather than "private", which would all completely fly in the face of his first "lesson" from Elephant Room 2, wouldn't it?
To briefly deploy the kind of argumentation and rhetoric Driscoll might deploy for a statement like this if it had come from someone elsse, the only sorts of people who would set up a contrast been a prophet and a politician on the basis of biblical texts, history and associated archaeology would be a completely ignorant fool or someone who's willing to lie to you.  You can't even begin to discuss the books of Isaiah or Jeremiah without discussing ancient near eastern military campaigns and politics.  And since the Mars Hill taxonomy of prophets, priests and kings has practically referred to ideas and ideology about church governance it's not a huge surprise the link in which Driscoll opined he was "more prophet than a politician" isn't even up any more.  The fact remains that it was ever up to begin with.
Now some of you readers may be wondering why Wenatchee The Hatchet mentioned the date 2007.  That's a fair question.  The answer is that back in that session that is probably only known because it was the one where Mark Driscoll said "there's a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus ... ."
That was just in the Q&A section of a nearly three-hour session.  Wenatchee The Hatchet has been given the full audio and in addition to the semi-notorious quips about the Mars Hill bus and the woodchipper it turns out Driscoll mentioned none other than T. D. Jakes. If Chris Rosebrough had access to the audio of the Mars Hill bus quip he may likely have this little bit of Driscollian commentary on T. D. Jakes and word faith from the same session.  If not, well, may he have it soon.

Driscoll addresses a question from Tim Smith in an invitation only session from October 1, 2007
on word-faith teachers.

Yeah, those flipping wingnuts, that are word-faith, those are the guys that are on TV. They say that we are essentially little gods and as God spoke reality into existence we, too, with the power of our words, can speak reality into existence. I, I actually pulled up a quote from a T. D. Jakes sermon (I'm putting clips together for Philippians just to, I figure, I might as well criticize everyone) but there's this quote from T. D. Jakes saying (misquoting Proverbs) that the power of life and death is in the tongue and that you can create life by your words. That's a, that's a, that's a false god is what I become. I become God and I can, see, you and I, we don't do, we don't create God's word and we don't invent God's word we simply echo God's word. That's what a good preacher does. He echoes God's word. He says what God says in scripture. And then those guys give themselves permission for creating extra-biblical revelation that's authoritative like scripture--God told me this, God told me that, I got this vision, I got this, you know? All of that is false prophet.  It's all heretekos.
How and why all the content from the 2008 Spiritual Warfare series didn't somehow qualify as extra-biblical revelation is probably not something anyone connected to Mars Hill really wants to field right now seeing as they purged all that content in the last few months, but the main point of this blog post is to show that from 2007 through 2012 and beyond Mark Driscoll has flip-flopped on Jakes on a few things.  Or maybe he hasn't, maybe he's always considered T. D. Jakes to be a word-faith heretic since 2007 and has never waivered in that but decided that Jakes was a Trinitarian rather than a modalist based on some questions asked at Elephant Room 2.  One wonders where you could even find any of that audio or video content this days.

And, after all, the Phillipians series has been pulled.  It's as though after the public dog and pony show of Elephant Room 2 Driscoll and company would just as soon nobody remembered any of that happened. 


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