Stackhouse on Mark Driscoll

Over at his blog, John Stackhouse has a thorough and much needed demolition of Mark (and Mrs’) Driscoll’s half-baked (and oh so confidently held) view that a man who stays at home to look after his family is disobeying God and will be under church discipline at Mars Hill in Seattle where Driscoll is Pastor. All built on 1 Timothy 5:8.

Bizzare stuff.

Stackhouse concludes,

If instead, however, he persists in such troubling exegesis, theology, and preaching, the impressively innovative, faithful, and effective work done at Mars Hill will be compromised, perhaps fatally. People who find this sort of interpretation to be sexist, classist, and just plain uninformed will go elsewhere for competent Biblical preaching.

And they should.

21 thoughts on “Stackhouse on Mark Driscoll

  1. Patrick,

    Is Driscoll’s theology any worse heresy than the churches who try to convince parents to swallow a covenant stance on infant baptism?


  2. Its macho (if not misogynist) intragesis like this that means I’m heading to Dublin on the 13th to watch the Ireland v Samoa, rather than go to Mandate…
    As for the comparison with baptismal covenant theology (of which I am not a devotee), from an exegetical basis there’s not much between the two, but the practical implications of Driscoll’s drivel is potentially much more devastating… and as I was taught, all theology must ultimately be practical theology.

  3. So, how do we apply 1 Tim 5.8? Or is it one of those verses in the Bible that has no application in Ireland?

  4. Man you baptists can find a way to bring your craziness up in any conversation! šŸ˜‰

    I suspect that Mark Driscoll cannot be understood unless read through the lens of the deeply problematic evangelical culture in the USA…

  5. Been away all day, sorry for lack of response. Stepping over the flapping red herring that Norm threw on board :), Dave, I think John Stackhouse addresses your question directly in his post.

  6. That’s just the sort of thing that gives us complementarians a bad name. That is obviously the opinion of Mark Driscoll and his wife, and should be seen as such. John Stackhouse is right to point out the faulty exegesis of that verse – we should always beware when an isolated verse is taken out of context to prove a point. It is possible to come to the complimentarian view by looking at the sweep of Scripture (as I am sure is the case with the egalitarian position).

  7. I’ll take I Tim 5: 8 absolutely literally when I Tim 5: 10’s reference to washing the feet of saints becomes a literal requirement for the disbursement of church benevolent aid to seniors…
    What happens when the best way to provide for your family is for the man to take over domestic duties and let his better qualified wife get a job with better terms and conditions?

  8. Driscoll’s (alarmingly popular) views are not simply to be annoyed about, but something to be actively opposed. They are not only deeply insulting to women, they are contrary to the message of the gospel. Unfortunately however, it doesn’t seem to be a concern in the evangelical church; as long as you try not to look at the magazines on the top shelf and open the door for the ladies, you are respecting women, now move on to the next issue.

    Women need your help, men.

  9. Hi Deborah, welcome. What do you have in mind for how men can help? More actively to challenge the status quo? It seems to me for whatever reason that evangelicals here are much more conservative than in Britian on this issue (for example).

  10. Well, I think the men/women issue simply needs to be seen as important and no longer brushed over because frankly, both sides are missing out if they are not encouraging, empowering and spurring each other on.

    Why don’t we hold a conference on the issue? Or why don’t you men hold a conference on it – it’s very difficult to challenge men on the issue who won’t listen because you are shaped differently to them!

    My other half was simply unaware of how women were/are mistreated and had never considered what it was like for women until he met me. Perhaps Christian men simply need to be made aware of what it is like for women and how women are oppressed?

    I read some more of Driscoll today – I really shouldn’t have, he’s got my all riled up…

  11. Deborah, it should be said that there is a pretty complicated spectrum. Mark Driscoll is towards one end with his tight framework of gender roles.Now this may work well for Mr and Mrs Driscoll but such gender roles imho are not sustainable from Scripture and reflect a very specific contemporary western cultural context. To claim that they are biblical in the way Driscoll does is an misusing the very thing he claims to uphold – Scripture itself. I linked a while back to a very good post by Baptist theologian Steve Holmes on this.

    Though there are of course some to the right of Driscoll. I was talking with a woman today who grew up in the Brethren and was not allowed to speak in the youth group – she had to pass notes to a male friend who would ask questions for her. But I digress.

    It’s interesting you say the debate is brushed over. Within theology it has been going on for the last 30 years and seems to have settled into two broad positions – complementarians (who reserve preaching and / or elder role for men) and egalitarians practicing full equality in ministry. Tons has been written, the relevant texts have been analysed over and over.

    But what you say challenges me. I’ve studied and read and am convinced by the egalitarian arguments, but it easier for a man to come to that conclusion and feel that is the issue worked out and almost file it away. But it is new for every generation and needs ongoing reflection, discussion and debate if the church is to be always reforming.

  12. Hi Patrick (this is Debo by the way!)

    I am aware of the two positions, having read up a lot on the subject before transferring from a complementarian position to an egalitarian one a few years ago. I know there is a lot of information out there (although largely sourced from the States). But I am talking about it as an ongoing discussion in Ireland, or more specifically, the mainstream evangelical church in Ireland. When is the last time an Evangelical church has held an open debate on the issue? When speaking to Christian men in general, do you find that they are concerned about the issue, or even see it to be an issue at all? Are they “for” Christian women?

    My experience in general (beyond MCC) has been that many (but not all of course) Christian men (and Christian women) see no issue at all. They seem to listen to their pastor’s one sermon on the topic and take notes, download an article or watch a video on Youtube and settle comfortably into their assigned roles!

  13. Or what about a men’s conference on the topic taught by women? You and Hargaden would probably be the only men to show up and Claire, Wylie and I would be the only women willing to speak šŸ™‚

  14. Sounds like an idea!

    Thing is with evangelical churches and networks is that there is no central magisterium. So each church and network has its own stance which doesn’t tend to change very fast or very easily. I do think that much of what is done tends to be tradition and not very thought out theologically – there are all sorts of ‘assumed male roles’ in church life that have no particular rationale.

    My sense in the States is that there are well established positions but a big gap between them. I’d be interested to know where the ‘momentum’ lies. Anyone know?

    As you know, here in the Irish context the three Protestant denominations all in theory have equality with woman leaders – but in practice at least in the PCI it seems like there are fewer women ministers than some years ago. Charismatic churches here tend to be egalitarian. The independent, Baptist and Pentecostal churches are pretty strong on male preaching / elders. Though the African Pentecostals have woman pastors and prophets.

    In the end it comes down to how we read and interpret the Bible. For me the male only elder/preacher position builds a huge amount (back to Driscoll and fixed gender roles for example) on very shaky exegetical foundations. I think I’ll do some posts on this using Scot McKnight’s Blue Parakeet …

    • You asked where was the momentum and this is a question that has to be answered regionally in the US. On the coasts and in some of the larger cities a more egalitarian vieW is being embraced. In the mid-west, where I reside, complemntary might be a stretch.

      Upon completing my masters I was informed I had wasted my time and was unable to find work in my field despite my high academic standing and was asked to leave the church I had attended with my family for eleven years. When I began seeking a job the pastor of this church asked what qualifications I now had and was appalled when I listed them off.

      Other churches inthe are refused to even to accept applications or I went to interviews only to be told they were hoping to find a man but would keep me inmond if nothing better became available.

      Here in Oklahoma women are still expected to serve by caring for the kids, preparing meals for church dinners, occassionally provide special music, and socialize among ourselves.

      However, friends who left for other parts of the states report life is good and teeming with opportunity fir women.

  15. Thanks Emily, I guess ‘if nothing better becomes available’ captures the sense of second class citizenship that many women must feel.

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