A (Very Short Because It’s Late and I Have a Sleep Deficit Already This Week) Tale of Two Libras



I just learned that Mark Driscoll and I share the exact same birthday, October 11, 1970. The more I read, though, the more I get the sense this is about as close as we’ll get.

All over the site of Mars Hill is the phrase, “Knowing culture, loving people, and seeing lives transformed to live for Jesus.” I guess that sounds pretty good, but what does it mean?

I hear various Reformed voices regularly celebrate Driscoll-o-sity. I always hear something about an explicit Calvinism which characterizes his ministry (can someone without accredited theological training and churchly ordination really have a ministry though?). But the “What We Believe” section reads a lot like my old IFCA church, complete with that red-flag phrase “Eternal Security.” My three-point Calvinists (two-point Arminians?) were also somewhat fixated on this point of doctrine. I’ve never really understood why would-be Calvinists hover around this one so much, but that full-orbed Calvinism never really comes to be associated with those who have a five-and-dime version of the fifth point of doctrine seems instructive. And the “FAQ” section, is that for real? I know it is not the thing to say, but the only thing worse than a bad question is one entertained. And, evidently, if I want more about this thing called “doctrine,” and the Gospel Coalition Confessional Statement isn’t enough I have to watch a sermon series.

It seems to me that Driscoll and Mars Hill is more or less what you get when you accept the odd notion that soteriology saves, so to speak. The First Great Awakening gets all sorts of passes because its soteriology was supposedly Calvinistic. At the risk of employing a Bushism, so what? It is almost as if those who would that they are Reformed conceive of the three marks of the true church in some weird, disproportionate relationship. The first mark is way up over here, while the second is kind of way down over there, and the third is, well, it was here a minute ago. But whatever, the first mark is what really matters.

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9 Responses to A (Very Short Because It’s Late and I Have a Sleep Deficit Already This Week) Tale of Two Libras

  1. folknotions says:

    Both links above forward to the “Media FAQ’s” page, which did not seem to be the pages to which you wanted to connect.

  2. Zrim says:


    Arg. Told you it was late last night. I thought I had caught that mistake. I wish I were more transformed than sanctified.

  3. Chris M. says:

    I guess to start… Happy belated birthday. Anyway, I also am weary of folks treating the church as another entrepenurial endeavor. “I’ll stick my shingle out for all to come & I dare you [Confessional Reformed/Presbyterians] to challenge my credentials and my doctrine when I pick & choose what I want to call & define myself.” Maybe Mr. Driscoll would consider coming into a fold.

  4. mboss says:


    Do you suppose what you argue is also true more generally of today’s Reformed “lecture circuit” pastors with whom Mr. Driscoll is often associated? That is to say, bringing a conference of Reformed/predestinarian pastors into town is kind of like havin’ a revival without all the week to week churchy stuff.


  5. sean says:

    I liken this sort of ecclesial structure to the “faculty lounge accountability group” think that goes on at seminaries when they want to send up trial balloons about what “is” is. Pull a paycheck, take a vow, get ready to be held accountable by somebody other than yourself and your hand selected “elders”. And if you won’t have it, us lowly congregants may just do our talking with our checkbooks, ask west. east about how that works.

  6. Zrim says:


    Thanks. “I got a rock.” Well, he scored the opportunity to interview D.A. Carson and was himself warmly interviewed on the WHI once. I suppose that is a good substitute for actual credentials and ordination.


    To your question, uh, yah. (I have no idea, but wouldn’t those with actual credentials and ordination sitting next to Mark feel a bit like a dentist at a dentist’s conference sitting next to my grandpa who once tied a string to my tooth and slammed a door shut? True enough, grandpa’s efforts worked, but, well, you know.)


    You’re generous. I was thinking it has more in common with old-fashioned celebrity.

  7. Chris M. says:

    I heard the interview on WHI and am confounded how he (and the vampire author lady… forgot her name) gets a pass over what the WHI hosts are usually properly carrying on about (the right marks of the church, means of grace, etc.). Since I came from revivalistic pietistic, charismatic word-faith, start your own church-ism, I remain skeptical, even if one has a Calvinistic soteriology, is interviewed on WHI, and is able to interview D.A. Carson. I’ve taken the Dr. Clark approach, until you subscribe to a confession and join a church, the rest doesn’t really matter. I sincerely hope that doesn’t discredit or misrepresent Dr. Clark. The start your own independent church crowd continues to appeal to people and their needs, not to Christ and His historic CHurch.

  8. sean says:

    “I was thinking it has more in common with old-fashioned celebrity.”


    It does, but I saw an opportunity to squeeze off a round.

  9. Zrim says:


    Yeah, whaddya gonna do.

    I think you’re referring to Anne Rice.

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