What Driscoll really said about God and hate

So thanks to work done by Alastair to transcribe Mark Driscoll’s talk (see Obscene Beauty: Does Mark Driscoll believe in a God of Love or Hate?) Peter has updated his response:
Gentle Wisdom » What Driscoll really said about God and hate.

Interesting and at least some improvement over what Adrian reported in Mark Driscoll Preaches on the Atonement in Edinburgh, Scotland.

I have been listening to one of Mark’s talks:

Sex—A Study of the Good Bits from the Song of Solomon by Mark Driscoll (right click to download MP3). [via Adrian’s Blog: Driscoll on the Defeat of Shame and the Scotland MP3s]

An interesting review of Church History, more akin to the Horrible Histories genre than anything else I have heard. Also what I felt was a rather unwarranted and unpleasant attack on Catholicism.

This is definitely not something you want to listen to if you are a single man. Mark totally ignores anything (in all I have listened to) about being called to singleness, about the singleness of Jesus, about Paul’s teaching. Instead he seems to blame singleness and issues with sex entirely on people he mocks from Church History. I have said before and I repeat again, IMHO if our preaching redefines Christianity so that the Church Fathers and countless generations of saints before us are suddenly not Christian then something is wrong. That does not mean they were right about everything, it does not mean they were perfect in understanding – but it does mean that we don’t mock their faith.

Going on a bit I have just heard the reference to Genesis 1 which Mark refers to as God creating man (clearly from his use of language Mark means male human) and it was good. He then jumps into Genesis 2 as that being the creation of women, thus he totally misreads Genesis 1:27,28.

He then reads into Genesis 2 that the man and woman were married. Huh, where does it say that? He says they were married before they became one flesh. I agree they became one but there is nothing in the text to refer to marriage in any way that we understand it.

In many ways I don’t have a lot of problems with the content of the sex manual based on the Song of Solomon. Except that as we would expect it is all couched in the mindset and language that there is a hierarchy in marriage, wives are to serve husbands. He continually focuses on what women must do in marriage to be sexually attractive to their husbands. He manages to blame strip clubs, pornography and adultery on wives and lectures them on how they should treat their husbands.

Mark is a gifted speaker, he can clearly captivate an audience. If only his theology could be less of "everyone else in the last 2,000 years has got this wrong, listen to me", if only he could connect with theology that takes scripture seriously enough not to change it.

8 thoughts on “What Driscoll really said about God and hate

  1. Alastair

    My wife and I loved this talk. Its a known fact out there in the world that the Church has historically made a real mess of its teaching of human sexuality. Mark is just being honest with his audience, which is a great way of connecting with them and getting some favour to be listened to.
    My only concern would be if some of his historical information was wrong — is that the case?
    Also, I didn’t see any emphasis on the wife merely serving the husband. If you listen to the entire preach, he talks alot about what the husband must do to please the wife. He has said more on that subject alone than any other preacher my wife and I have ever heard.

  2. Dave Warnock

    Comment received by email from Jon (typepad rejected his comment). Comment put here with no editing:
    Hi Dave
    Just read your recent post about Driscoll on your blog, and trying to comment on it, but TypePad thinks I might be spamming and suggests I contact the author directly. So I am :) Here’s the comment I was trying to post…

    You said: “Except that as we would expect it is all couched in the mindset and language that there is a hierarchy in marriage, wives are to serve husbands. He continually focuses on what women must do in marriage to be sexually attractive to their husbands. He manages to blame strip clubs, pornography and adultery on wives and lectures them on how they should treat their husbands.”
    Having just listened to it this morning, I didn’t catch a hint of hierarchy implied – if anything, he gently mocks the idea that the man should be the sole intiator of sexual activity. I didn’t catch any emphasis on women serving the man – if anything, there was more of an emphasis on the woman telling her husband how to please and bless her and the man acquiescing to her desires, albeit with the caveat that the husband probably won’t mind anyway! He seems to be at pains to redeem sexuality for women within marriage, encouraging them to not think of their desires as dirty, shameful or wrong.
    I also seem to have missed where Driscoll blames women for the things you accuse him of. He may be explaining why such things are attractive to men, and suggesting ways in which this need and desire can be met within marriage, but he doesn’t even come close to blaming women for men transgressing in these ways. As ever, Driscoll seems to me to be much more upping the ante on men and saying “If you’ve done these things, you’re wrong, sort it out!”
    Given that you’re clearly no fan of Driscoll before you heard this message, is it possible that you were negatively pre-disposed to mis-hear what he was saying? If so, I’d suggest you listen to it again and see if you still agree with your assessment of what he is saying, ‘cos I just didn’t get the same things out of it. Of course, given that I do like Driscoll’s teaching, particularly on this area of life, it’s possible that I’m augmenting this particular sermon with things that I know he has said and taught elsewhere!
    And, for the record, I am currently an unmarried man, and this sermon did nothing but renew my desire to be married so that I can love my wife in the best way possible – including, but absolutely not limited to, sexually.
    God bless

  3. 42

    More on Driscoll and Sex

    Fan’s of Mark Driscoll don’t like what I wrote in 42: What Driscoll really said about God and hate. That is fine. I don’t pretend that I am right on everything and I freely acknowledge that I have a bias

  4. Dave Warnock

    I am not questioning the facts of the history, I am questioning the way of mocking some great theologians.
    If complementarians go to a speech at a conference called “menmakers” then excuse me if I am not surprised that they do not notice a complementarian viewpoint – it is what they consider normal.
    You are now a living example of someone who now sees themselves as an incomplete single person caused by Mark not teaching a biblical view of being single. If you are called to lifelong singleness as Jesus was and as Paul described then how has this talk helped you?
    I notice nobody has commented on the way Mark uses Genesis. Is that because I am right?

  5. Jon Sidnell

    In response to your question, Driscoll’s message probably wouldn’t have actively helped me. Part of me wants to say that I don’t see this as a major problem, but I can see your point here and it may have been good for Driscoll to acknowledge the singles much more than just saying “All you singles, get together!”
    But, I don’t see myself as an incomplete single person, and certainly not as a result of this sermon. I happen to believe that God has marriage in my future, and am working, dreaming and hoping toward that end. But for as long as I am single, I am as complete in the grace of God as I need to be.
    Re: Genesis 1 + 2, I would want to go back and study those passages and then compare that with Driscoll’s comments before coming down on one side of the fence. I didn’t particularly spot anything objectionable to me in what was said, but I’m probably more favourably pre-disposed.

  6. ScotlandGuy

    Some interesting comments and, frankly, based on what I’ve read I’ll probably avoid reading Mark Driscoll.


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