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.