Cool-kid Calvinism? [open thread]

This is Mars Hill pastor Mark Driscoll.  Go on, read the NYTimes story on him.  Looks like any other edgy contemporary pastor, right?

But he curses at the same time he preaches Calvinism.  He talks about masturbation as easily as he quotes Ecclesiastes 9:10 (look it up for a ha-ha moment).  And his cool-kid version of "everything is determined by God and humans are worms" reaches beyond Seattle to the world via facebook and youtube short videos (search for Mars Hill on youtube to check it out).

I would hesitate to claim this as a hack for Christianity: he removes the puritanical prohibitions of dress, piercings, and form.   But he embraces the Calvinistic theology and puritanical understandings of woman's place in society and rejects Jesus' non-violence.

Since I'm on an anti-purpose-driven-life kick, my Methodist upbringing obviously can't handle Calvinism.  Can you imagine Wesley writing this :
You are not captain of your soul or master of your fate but a depraved worm whose hard work and good deeds will get you nowhere, because God marked you for heaven or condemned you to hell before the beginning of time.
Yeah, me neither.  I walked out of a United Methodist event where we played a bible study by Mars Hill because the underlying theology is completely antithetical to Wesleyan company.

Anywho, this is an open thread.  Comments on Mars Hill and his idea of hacking Christianity?  What do you think about him and his ministry?  Read the article (bonus for UM Pastor Katie Ladd's mention!) and sound off!


Blake January 10, 2009 at 4:59 PM  

"They are sinning through questioning."

That quote incited a physical reaction from me.

Songbird January 10, 2009 at 6:23 PM  

From what I remember reading about Driscoll a couple of years ago, he raises my blood pressure more than seems safe when I have to preach in the morning.

Anonymous,  January 11, 2009 at 2:36 PM  

I started reading from the beginning about contemporary Christianity "emasculating" Jesus and the outline of Driscoll's hypermasculine idea of who Jesus was... had a violent bent. I had to shut the laptop immediately and nearly threw something across the room.

Anonymous,  January 11, 2009 at 10:49 PM  

P.S. I just happened across something he wrote called "Porn Again Christian." He may be right about porn being harmful to women, but he goes so far as to say that masturbation is wrong because it's "a form of homosexuality." Seriously? This guy is homophobic and grossly misinformed.

LevI January 11, 2009 at 11:34 PM  

Living in the Seattle area, it's been interesting hearing Mark talked about as being a "Postmodern" pastor which I've found highly ironic since most of the time it seems like Mars Hill is a church with loud music that preaches a pretty fundamentalist theology (which honestly...I don't find to be very post-modern :P). Unfortunately I've had a similar experience of hearing/reading things by him and either wanting to throw things or just cringing and when I've talked to friends who go to Mars Hill it is always an interesting discussion on their take as they say they like the church but most will say they struggle with their view of women if they are questioned about it. On the other hand, I may not agree with their theology, but there are some good things they do and they are engaging a section of the culture that in an unchurched/post-christian (if that's the right way to apply that :) area like Seattle, doesn't always get engaged. So I may cringe and get frustrated, but I do so knowing that there is a positive impact that is made by both him and the church.

Anonymous,  January 12, 2009 at 2:32 AM  

I actually heard that recent missive just the other day. I remember thinking, that he was completely right. But also completely wrong. Unfortunately, he has attempted to move into an area which, the understanding of, is not the privilege of the masses. Hearing, they can only become more confused.

chris January 12, 2009 at 9:05 AM  

I got confused there for second wondering how Rob Bell let a guy like this into his church.

To echo the rest of the UMC herd on here, Calvinism really, really disturbs me.

gavin January 12, 2009 at 10:22 AM  

my blood pressure raises every time i hear mark, so i refrain.. unless he is picking on joel osteen, cause then its funny on both sides

Jim January 12, 2009 at 10:54 AM  

I think Mark D. is like many other 'niche' pastors. He has found a way to wrap what he wants out of Christ and Christianity into his ministry and leaves out what he doesn't like. Like Osteen who ignores huge sections/chapters/books of the Bible in order to preach his image of what God should be.

I think Mark does similar things. Using the 'shock jock' style is just another way of distracting people from bad theology by making it 'cool'.

Anonymous,  January 13, 2009 at 5:04 PM  

I'm a Refomed charismatic, used to be a hyper-charismatic/Word of faith (hyper-arminianism really) and God's grace showed me the doctrines of grace before I heard any "calvinistic" teaching. Mark Driscoll has been an inspiration and a blessing to me. I have learn many things, good things from his ministry. I don't think either group needs to get into pride about what they believe, either that "God saved you" or you "Gave you life to Jesus" either way, Jesus is it. I attended a Methodist church after I left the hyper-charismatic/WOF movement and enjoyed it very much and it was even then that God was showing me how He saved me, He changed me, He did it all for His glory. I think what some of you are talking about is hyper-calvinism, which does exist and gives those preaching the Gospel of Christ through the "calvinistic" lens a bad rap. I haven't heard Mark Driscoll cuss, ever. I have heard that he did but of the 10+ sermons I have heard RECENTLY, he has never cussed in them. What's more imporant, getting all upset that someone said shit or going out and wining the lost, and yes I do believe in evangelism WITH the Sovereignty of God. :)

Your Reformed Brother in the Faith,


The_Light's_Herald January 20, 2009 at 9:35 AM  

He really is controversial, though I would say He should preach more about Christ than Calvinism.

I have to agree that Calvinism disturbs me. Why? What is the sense of sharing the Gospel then? What's the use of the church? Though I know that God foreknew who would accept Him, one cannot assume that He elects them.

Anonymous,  June 1, 2009 at 1:01 PM  

I'm Reformed Charismatic as well and found great comfort in learning the Doctrine of Grace through Driscoll, Piper, Grudem, etc...

Isn't it ironic that Apostle Paul was the key author teaching about God's Sovereignty and predestination and at the same time being so zealous to evangelize the world and plant churches???

P.S. comment to previous post: it doesn't says "God foreknew who will accept Him" but "whom He foreknew, He also predestined" talking about knowledge of a person and God's Sovereign act upon that knowledge ;)

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