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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pure Water

It is late summer. You are hiking through a wilderness in north eastern Siberia with a local guide. You come to a mountain stream and ask the guide if it is safe to drink. He tells you the water has been tested and it is ninty nine percent pure. Has the guide really answered your question? Should you drink the water?

In 2006 John Piper told us that he drew a lot of flack when he invited Mark Driscoll to speak at the 2006 Desireing God conference. Piper's defense has been repeated and quoted so many times that it should be inscribed on a brass plaque and mounted on front door of his church. The essence was that Mark Driscoll was "sound" on the essentials of reformed dogma.

I have been periodically sampling Mark Driscoll's teaching for over fifteen years. My question to John Piper: How much poison does it take to kill you?

Mark Driscoll seems to have a policy of mixing a little poison into each message. His argument is that our culture is addicted to poison and you will get a bigger audience if you mix a little poison with the water. This small amount of poison isn't going to hurt these people since they have developed a high tolerance to these substances. This is pragmatism, the worst kind.

Titus 1:9 NRSV: He must have a firm grasp of the word that is trustworthy in accordance with the teaching, so that he may be able both to preach with sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it.

In this passage the words rendered "sound doctrine" could also be translated healthy teaching. My question to John Piper: Is Mark Driscoll's teaching healthy?

Mark Driscoll's forays into marriage and family topics sound to my ears extremely unhealthy. It isn't just Driscoll's ludicrous misreading of the Song of Songs. His whole program for remapping the gender roles in the family is bad medicine which will kill the patient.

Driscoll is attempting to baptize the "traditional values" of the 1950s small town working class (blue collar) culture. That project isn't going to fly and a lot damage will be done in the process. I can remember the impact Bill Gothard had forty years ago promoting a similar agenda. Every time "Basic Youth" came to town, the mental health professionals would see a huge aftershock of confused, depressed and troubled people.


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7:54 PM  

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