Here I date myself. Yes, I remember Robert Conrad. He was a 70's tough guy actor. He did a battery commercial where he called all the other batteries wimps, then dared you to knock a battery off his shoulder... while he glared at you through the screen.
I don't know Mark Driscoll's preaching very well, but every time I do hear him I get Conrad flashbacks. He seems to glory in a tough guy preacher attitude and has made it his call to dare everyone to knock theology off his shoulder. I think this is behavior he will be embarrassed by when he gets older.
Doug Pagitt has offered a good response to personal attacks from Mark.... smile, wink, and walk away.
Here is your wink Mark (and here are a few others), I wish you well. I hope your heart changes soon; both to prevent your own scars and those you inflict on others.
I confess to having inflicted many scars. Even as I glance over most of my posts, I see that they are critiques... how to change?
I wrote this in response to something else on another blog, but it kinda fits here:
I have been a follower of Christ for about 24 years. My upbringing in the faith was within a church that was very focused on personal righteousness and drawing clear lines between, not only us and non-Christians, but also Christians who did not measure up. Due to years of bible quizzing, I had a lot of scripture at my command and did not hesitate to use it to point out the failings and shortcomings of others.
A friend of mind was heading off to a Christian college, as were a number of us, so we had a last get together. When he was leaving he shook my hand and held my gaze for a moment.
“Andy... You wound people”, he said.
“What?” I said defensively.
He smiled and left. There was no malice. He said it with complete compassion. He probably had wanted to say it for a long time.
It took years for what he said that night to sink in, but by the grace of God, it did. I have learned since then that Jesus didn’t just love people. He liked them. He really, really likes them.
I do not doubt my Christianity back then. I had been born-again. I had turned from a life of rebellion to a life of surrender. But like Paul said...without love, I was nothing but an irritation and pain to those around me. I was a modern day Pharisee. I was passionate for the things of God. But somehow, my contempt for non-Christians (and Christians who did not measure up) did not seem inconsistent to me. In fact, I used scripture to justify my attitude.
It is not enough to love God and be passionate for him. That was the mistake of the Pharisees. Over time you become jaundiced. Jesus said that loving your neighbor was like loving God. He was not willing to separate the two. They work in tandem. Jesus' love for people confounded the Pharisees. His love for people kept them from seeing who he really is.
A Pharisee is someone who loves God, but has contempt for people. I believe they are all over the church and I believe they are still God’s people. God just wants them to start over flowing with love for everyone like he does.