Advance09 Day Two

Today was day two at Advance09 here in Durham, NC.  It was another good day.  To catch up you can find all of the uploaded audio for you to download here: Advance09 Session MP3’s.

Order of Events

  • Ed Stetzer – Keys to Understanding Church and Kingdom
  • JD Greear – Planting is for Wimps: Revitalizing a Church Around the Gospel
  • Eric Mason – The Ultimate Shepherd
  • Mark Driscoll – Ministry Idolatry
  • John Piper – Let the Nations Be Glad, Part One
  • Q&A Panel

Ed Stetzer – Keys to Understanding Church and Kingdom

How do I say this?  Ed rocked the house with this presentation!  Is that contextualized enough for you?

Ed gave a brief history lesson on why the Kingdom seemed to fall off the map in recent times.  The two main reasons he gave are dispensationalism and liberalism.  He mentioned how dispensationalists are coming around.  They are calling themselves progressive dispensationalists which he said is like baptists calling themselves united baptists.

He was in Matthew 16 today.  He offered three main points.

  1. Church needs to recognize the centrality of Christ.
  2. Peter’s confession is the foundation of the church.
  3. The church is God’s tool for Kingdom mission.

I appreciated his message in calling churches to focus on Jesus.  He ended with a few bangs.  Americans have a low view of church and are often Americans first and biblicists second.  He called for men to get over their man-crush on Mark Driscoll and to love their own church/people.  Get away from this type of ministry pornography.  Don’t try to show your people cool. Show them Jesus.

Ending with a quote by Augustine: Te church is a whore, but still my mother.

JD Greear – Planting is for Wimps: Revitalizing a Church Around the Gospel

Greear decided to change his topic after listening to the day one presenters. I might have missed it, but I do not know what he changed his topic to.  He did speak on revitalization while focusing on our problem of being religious in our churches today.

He opened with a great illustration about his “success” being God’s work and nothing he accomplished.  He said it’s like a woodpecker pecking on a telephone poll.  Along comes a bolt of lightening.  It hits the telephone poll and splits/explodes the poll. The woodpecker jumped back just flapping it’s wings next to the poll.  Now everyone wants the woodpecker to speak about how it did that to the telephone poll.  Love it!

Greear gave six timeless characteristics of religion using Matthew 23.

  1. Love recognition. (Titles, praise, honor)
  2. Substitute religious rituals for God. (Checking boxes when done with certain deeds.)
  3. Elevate religious tradition over God. (Speech, dress, altar calls)
  4. Elevate religious things over loving other people. (Judgemental)
  5. More aware of others’ sins than their own. (Good vs. bad)
  6. Think the sermon is always about someone else. (Repentance)

Even though I wish he would have gone into detail on the “hows” of revitalizing a church, of how he did it, I think his message was important.  It’s important for pastors to hear, sure.  Probably moreso for congregations to hear which is why I think the pastors at the conference would have benefitted moreso from hearing how to “fix” these things.

Eric Mason – The Ultimate Shepherd

Mason also changed his topic.  He changed it from The Ultimate Shepherd to Credibility of Church.  What he actually did was exegete Ephesians 3:20-21.

I’m not sure I really got how the new topic fit with Ephesians 3:20-21.  I did appreciate some of the things he said about the church.  The churches credibility needs to be embedded in Christ.  We’ve got to point to God.  God shows Himself off through the church.

An interesting point was he thinks that Reformed people sometimes make an idol of out Total Depravity.  “I’m a worm. I’m a fart.”  We do this so much that even our confessing about how bad and unworthy we are becomes about us.  It sure is something to think about.

Mark Driscoll – Ministry Idolatry

Excellent presentation.  He laid out 20 points of idolatry. These were in groups of 4, 5 and 11.  He touched on all aspects of life.  They will apply to you whether you are a pastor or not.  Very convicting.  It would make a nice list of which to evaluate your life.

He ended by dropping a grenaide.  He said that repentance is not what you preach it’s what you practice first.  Quoting Packer that the first part of the Gospel is repentance and if you don’t repent you’re a heretic.

“Some of you guys are heretics.”

John Piper – Let the Nations Be Glad, Part One

Piper basically went through his book Let the Nations Be Glad.  Not verbatim, but it’s never tiring to be reminded of our mission with the Gospel.  Piper’s passion really comes through on this topic.

He ended speaking about those who’ve never heard the Gospel and how they are judged.  I heard some conversation around me and they seemed confused as to how to Piper’s position.  I’m sure he’s written elsewhere about it and another listen will help.

Q&A Panel

Interesting questions.  The questions will be posted at

Piper said something that we might miss at times.  He said preaching is as important as praying. We pray to have the Holy Spirit open the eyes to see what is preached.  The Holy Spirit doesn’t go where the Gospel is not.

This reminds me that if we are to pray for someone’s conversion we must present the Gospel to them or else what will they be converted to?

One more from Piper was his answer to not idolizing people like him.  He said to talk to his wife and see how sinful he really is.  He admitted failure in one-on-one conversation with the Gospel.  It’s easy to do before a large group,sure.  He falls short in many places.

We need to hear admissions of short coming from the highly thought of pastors.  Knowing that Piper too struggles with one-on-one sharing the Gospel shows us that he too is human.

For what it’s worth…


tagged as , in Church Issues,Culture,Evangelism,Gospel,theology

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 frank turk June 6, 2009 at 11:55 am

I’m listening to. Driscoll a second time, waiting for him to repent of the masturbation joke on Hughley.

2 Mark|HereIBlog June 6, 2009 at 10:48 pm

Just to give folks the context. In this video starting at about 3:35. A loose transcript.

DL – What does the Bible say about masturbation? Would it be considered birth control?
MD – It doesn’t say anything. No the Bible doesn’t say anything.
DL – (talking over) Really? Thank, God.
MD – I had one guy try and tell me it did. He quoted Ecclesiastes where it says ‘Whatever your hand finds to do do it with all your might.’ But that’s about working a job.
DL – Well, that is the Scripture I would use.
MD – Yeah, it’s a good verse, but it doesn’t apply to that question.

I have no idea if Driscoll has repented. Does he feel he needs to? I don’t know.

3 kevin griggs June 6, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Enjoyed the trip with you Mark.
God used these men through the preaching of His word to really pierce my heart this week. Their messages are still weighing heavy on my heart, especially Driscoll’s message on idolatry. Flesh and blood did not reveal that to him.
I encourage your readers to check out Driscoll’s message on before any comments are made in response to your notes, which you so graciously provide 🙂

4 Mark|HereIBlog June 6, 2009 at 10:53 pm


I enjoyed the time as well. The message on idolatry reaches layman and pastors alike.

We had some great discussions. I appreciate you guys stretching my thinking!

5 kevin griggs June 6, 2009 at 10:55 pm

Why is this (i.e., masturbation) even being discussed right now, all because one reader brings it into limelight, after hereiblog provides edifying notes from a conference that has challenged/ministered to many young and old ministers/ leaders. The gospel was celebrated this week and brought back to the limelight of many men’s ministries. I don’t think we should lose focus of that celebration and the word/message that God used to cause us to celebrate His gospel.

6 kevin griggs June 6, 2009 at 11:04 pm


Exactly. There is no joking but rather a correction of an errant interpretation.
That’s all I’m saying about this. God bless, kevin

7 Mark|HereIBlog June 6, 2009 at 11:08 pm


I’m just asking “if” and giving the context so there is no confusion. I didn’t say he should.

The Gospel was certainly proclaimed many times. Much of the conference is still weighing heavily on me.

8 Mark|HereIBlog June 6, 2009 at 11:09 pm


We’ll hang out again soon, Lord willing.

God bless.

9 Jacob June 6, 2009 at 11:57 pm

The question becomes, what is he repenting of?

Has he sinned in his exchange with Hughley? If he has not, Frank Turk is promoting Legalism. If Driscoll has, he needs to repent.

You would be hard pressed to find his words sinful in that exchange. It may not have been the most appropriate, but that certainly does not make it sinful.

I agree with what Matt has said about this being brought up. Is it because Driscoll has listened to the counsel of men who are willing to approach him in person instead of in a cowardly way across the blogosphere and the only attack on him now is one from the past? Sounds like some need to come to the Mens conference at the Journey Church in Atlanta on August 1. Time to man up.

10 Frank Turk June 7, 2009 at 8:13 am

You know: if this was a private conversation that occurred in the men’s room of some bar, or if it was a private telephone conversation which I accidentally overheard, I’d be scandalized by it (imagine for 60 seconds hearing John Piper say such a thing if you can sustain the idea for 60 seconds; the incongruity would probably make you dizzy), but there’s no sense in making a big deal about it.

But this happened on national television — and it’s not the first time. This is what Driscoll does; it’s his schtick. This is how he gets on national television, and gets written up in the NY Times.

And I go back to what I said parenthetically here: you can minimize his actions by saying “it was just” this or that, but you could not even reasonably imagine a universe in which John Piper or even Matt Chandler or Darrin Patrick would say something like that on national television. And afterwards, if they did, there’ be a specific public statement of retraction, regret, and repentance — no question.

Add the incongruity of Pastor Driscoll preaching three times in the last 4 or 5 weeks at conferences in which, if we make the context of those talks his active unwillingness to repent of being a crude and lewd joker, he decries the very thing he has done in other -and- those who have criticized him for being unrepentant, it seems to me that it’s hard to be edified.

It seems to me that the repentance has to be sized to the offense. You can’t call someone to make a national apology for something that happened in private, but you can’t expect that someone who enjoyed doing something like this on national TV is “repentant” when he won’t say so with the same degree of public acknowledgement that the original joke presented.

When Joel Osteen couldn’t get the Gospel right on Larry King, his -supporters- called him on it, and he publicly apologized for frankly flubbing it — within 10 days. Pastor Driscoll makes a lifestyle out of dancing on the edge of vulgarity, and never says, “this was wrong, and it shouldn’t have been said, and I repent and apologize,” and he gets a free pass.

I can’t believe we as people who claim to have the Gospel as our center, and we believe in sanctification coming from justification — meaning our lives change, and we hate sin, and do war against sin — don’t take a dim view of this man who is allegedly in our camp frankly defacing these essential truths by his actions. If he said something racist or was taking money illicitly, I am sure we could all see the problem. But he says something pornographic, and it’s a little thing.

It’s not a little thing.

Frank Turk’s last blog post..Weekend Red Meat

11 Frank Turk June 7, 2009 at 8:25 am

I am enjoying being called a legalist, btw. Can anyone imagine CJ Mahaney making this joke on national television? How about Justin Taylor? And they would do what they do because this joke was only “inappropriate” but not actually a sin? That’s an interesting repositioning of, for example, Eph 5 or Paul’s warning to Timothy and Titus about how the Elder should speak.

However, I am a fair man — usually more than fair, as Mark (our host here) will attest to. Here’s my thought: if you can get any of these men to publicly endorse that joke as merely “unedifying” but not sinful, I’ll publicly retract my criticism of Mark Driscoll over at — a far more public venue than the comments of this blog.

The specific question I would ask them is this: “Given the text of Mark Driscoll’s joke on Hughley’s CNN show, would you receive that joke as not sinful but not edifying, or would you say that the reason it is not edifying is because it is sinful or causes others to sin, or is there a third choice which more accurately describes this manner of speaking?”

Honestly: if they would endorse this joke as not sinful, I’ll drop the subject. I might actually have to give up blogging because frankly it would prove to me I know nothing about the Christian faith or the men leading it whom I admire.

Thanks for asking.

Frank Turk’s last blog post..Weekend Red Meat

12 Frank Turk June 7, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Matt —

Then the younger generation has, plainly, abandoned the Scripture regarding propriety of speech.

Here’s the problem: if you are a person who cannot refrain from coarse language — and let’s be clear that I am a person who cannot refrain from coarse language — then I sympathize with you, and I pray for you, and I do as Paul does for those who sin (which is to turn your eyes to Christ who has saved you and is saving you for your hope for future grace). But, if you are a person like me, the question in this case is not, “are you saved, really?” but “does the Bible say whether or not you are qualified to lead the local church?”

The Bible is, in fact, clear about that. You might be a sinner still being sanctified, as I am. I would hope you hate your sin as I hate my sin, and that it makes you cringe every time you hear the words come out of your mouth.

But that’s different than being someone who leads the church who cannot repent of sin. Avoiding vile talk is a qualification for an elder. The world’s definition of vile talk is not what we try to consider here: the Bible’s standard is.

And that said, if you’re going to make vile language a floating target, you’re going to have a hard time making other qualifications for elders a more fixed standard. What does it mean, for example, not to be prone to violence? Is an MMA fighter someone who ought to be leading the church? (no offense Mark)

Frank Turk’s last blog post..Weekend Red Meat

13 Frank Turk June 7, 2009 at 8:36 pm

I do not see the need to ostracize a man and his ministry for his one major shortcoming.

What if it was adultery? Or stealing? Or covetousness? or lying? You know: Driscoll himself said in Day 2, quoting J.I. Packer, that those who eliminate the need for repentance from the church are heretics — because the Gospel is predicated on repentance. If you don’t repent, he said, you’re a heretic.

The funny thing is that he was talking about guys who don’t want to repent of Sunday School — which, of course, he is right about. But where are we going when we can see the idolatry of sunday school but not the idolatry of the faddish and the vulgar? Where ar we when we have idolized Chris Rock in the same way others have idolized C. H. Spurgeon? DOes the message not apply?

Does he really not have to repent — can he really just get away with the general, vague, “I’m the chief of sinners, too”?

If we casted out mens ministry every time they have a fault and dont repeatedly apologize publicly for it not even Piper and MacArthur would be left standing.

“Repeatedly”? I don’t mean to be intransigent here, but how about once? Moreover, I need you to draw your analogy here out a little more clearly and factually. Name some standards violation given to us by Scripture for the elders of the local church which either Piper or MacArthur (or Mahaney, of Dever, or Chandler, or etc.) have allegedly “repented of” and then repeats over and over? I can’t think of one. If you have more information there than I do, I am really ready to hear it.

Frank Turk’s last blog post..Weekend Red Meat

14 Aaron June 8, 2009 at 8:20 am

Frank, I respect where you’re coming from on the need for propriety in our language, but wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that we need to be biblical in our language?

God inspired some incredibly “improper” words, especially regarding our sinfulness (see large parts of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, & Hosea) and self-righteousness (such as Phil. 3:8).

I’m all being proper with our words, as long as that includes using the words God uses.

Regarding Driscoll repenting, if you’ve listened to some of the latest Mars Hill sermons, at least two have what sound to be genuine statements of repentance.

Aaron’s last blog post..The Persevering Prophet: I Know the Plans I Have for You

15 Frank Turk June 8, 2009 at 9:18 am

As we say at my blog, “AHA!”

Here’s what you’re really saying, Aaron: that the joke on Hughley was of the same prophetic and moral value, for example, as Ezekiel 16 or 23? That somehow conveying a joke about masturbation is in the same league as calling the idolatry of Israel lawless whoring?

I hate to tell you this: I agree with your principle, but I think you might be more serious about how you apply it. There’s a gigantic difference between what Ezekiel did, or even what Paul did when he spoke to the Galatians, and making Ecclesiastes into a joke about sexual misconduct. Moreover, isn’t your principle actually a call for restraint where the Bible is restrained — as in the Song of Solomon?

I think God’s ministers ought to be ministering God’s word as if it was the fire and hammers which God says it is in Jeremiah 23 — that is, as something which breaks down all our idols, and breaks our stony hearts. I’m pretty sure, however, that we don’t do that when we are actually appealing to the stony places in people’s hearts — such as their stony use of vulgar language, and their prideful immodesty about their own sexuality.

Frank Turk’s last blog post..Weekend Red Meat

16 Aaron June 8, 2009 at 9:51 am

Definitely not making the same application re: the Hughley joke. I was not clear in where I was coming from, and I apologize.

What I’m saying is that what I see too often is an unbiblical restraint in language and a misapplication of this same principle to the opposite extreme.

I’m not making excuses for Driscoll’s bawdy language; he’s the one who has to give an account to Jesus for those things in the end, not me. I am saying that we can and should take into consideration that maybe our understanding is skewed sometimes, too.

I say foolish things far more often that I’d like, and probably more than I’ve consciously repented of, to be perfectly honest. I would suggest though, that while it’s right to call people to repentance, we should be careful to not do so from an arrogant posture (which many of the calls regarding Driscoll have been nothing short of); let’s be honest about our own sin, especially when we bring the sin of others to light.

Aaron’s last blog post..The Persevering Prophet: I Know the Plans I Have for You

17 Frank Turk June 8, 2009 at 11:00 am

I would suggest though, that while it’s right to call people to repentance, we should be careful to not do so from an arrogant posture (which many of the calls regarding Driscoll have been nothing short of); let’s be honest about our own sin, especially when we bring the sin of others to light.

I think that if you and I each separately produced a list of 10 watchblogs whiuch we should simply ignore because they are imbalanced and unhelpful, they’d look alike. If we exclude those blogs/sources from consideration, there’s nothing left here to say except that if Mark Driscoll has a proclivity for vulgarity, and he has not repented of it in the same way he demonstrated it (public vs. private; obvious vs. veiled; clear vs. vague), then we’re talking about the same thing and the side discussions are interesting but not necessary.

At the suggestion of the commentors here, I am going to re-listen to the most recent MHC sermons to find the repentance they has has been made — and when I find what they say is there, I’ll be glad to revise my own statements and take my own advice.

Frank Turk’s last blog post..Weekend Red Meat

18 Matt short June 8, 2009 at 4:34 pm

It was a joke, just that. Those who listen to Mark have heard it before. It is who he is. Grow up people Matt

19 Frank Turk June 8, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Matt Svoboda —

I think if he cannot repent, he is certainly disqualified based on the criteria in Titus and the letters to Timothy. Everybody makes mistakes — even gross errors. Some things are forgiveable — if there is repentance.

My express and singular point is the point MD made at the end of he second talk at Advance: if he cannot repent, he is violating the Gospel’s requirement of repentance. You may call that what he calls that — and therefore demonstrate that he ought to step down.

Frank Turk’s last blog post..Weekend Red Meat

20 Frank Turk June 8, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Matt Short:

If Mark Driscoll made a racist joke, would he be disqualified from ministry if he did not repent?

Frank Turk’s last blog post..Weekend Red Meat

21 Frank Turk June 8, 2009 at 6:27 pm

As a guy with a pretty broad reputation for having a sharp tongue, “strong language” is not what’s at stake here: “vile language” is what’s at stake here. That is: speaking in a way which the Bible condemns — because there is a manner of speaking which the Bible actually condemns, isn’t there?

Right now I’m listening to the “Trials” audio from MHC called “Humble Pastors”, and around the 56th minute, Pastor Driscoll says something worth reviewing:

God opposes the proud! think about that! To be proud is to fight God — losing battle! And God gives grace to the humble — grace to the humble! grace just cuts to the front of the line. What we don’t need is pride: we need grace. And grace comes to the humble. God can’t give grace to the proud because their hands are closed — they need nothing. They’re absolutely self-sufficient. The proud – they oppose God. And the Humble – they beseech him for grace. “God I need help! I need a savior! I don’t need self-esteem – I need an identity in Christ. I don’t need to self-actualize – I need to worship. you. Live for your glory to my joy. I need to get out of myself; I’m addicted to myself. I think about myself; I love myself all the time. And only myself.”

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: there are tiems and ways that I have failed you. I have -failed- you. This is utterly condemning. Arrogance, hautiness, boastfulness. I have failed you. I have said this before and I’ll say it again: I deeply regret ways I have acted, things I have said. I ask your forgiveness. I’d ask us all to follow the example of Jesus. I hope by God’s grace to grow in this.

Now, here’s the thing: that’s a fine general confession of being human, right? Who couldn’t make that confession? It’s the base-line of every-day, Gospel-informed living: I’m a sinful dude.

If I made that exact same apology for (as an example) belittling my wife in public, would it be sufficient? Does it actually cover what I did, or is it the least I can do — the kind of apology you make when you don’t want to apologize because you don’t think you did anything wrong?

Is this the repentance for making the joke on Hughley which has been part of his repertoire since his “Confessions” book? I can’t take it as a confession that he’s sorry for anything in particular — because it is no such thing.

That’s all I have to say about this for now. The rest of you are welcome to the last word here, and I apologize to our host, mark, for coopting his blog for this matter.

Frank Turk’s last blog post..Weekend Red Meat

22 William June 8, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Thanks hereiblog for the writeup for Advance! Really beneficial for those of us halfway around the world that can’t make these events. Was it a specific-denomination conference?

William’s last blog post..Damien Rice’s “Cold Water” – an exegesis

23 Jennifer June 9, 2009 at 1:55 am

To just comment on what Frank said – it reminded me of something we got from my son’s school a while back. Originally it was from something called “Peacemaker Ministries”, but I have found it helpful in identifying true confession and seeking of forgiveness (in my own life as well as the apologies that come from others).

The seven A’s of confession were Address everyone involved
Avoid using words such as if, but and maybe
Admit specifically what you have done wrong
Acknowledge the hurt caused
Accept the consequences
Alter your behaviou
Ask for forgiveness.

I In this instance I think the point Admit specifically what you have done wrong is relevant.

I found the post “Spring Cleaning” to be also lacking in these qualities.

24 Mark|HereIBlog June 9, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Thanks for dropping a comment, William. I’m glad someone benefited from my note taking and my tired typing late at night.

There was not a specific denomination. A few speakers were Southern Baptist, atleast one Presbyterian and others non-denominational though being credo-baptist.

25 Jacob Hall June 9, 2009 at 1:43 pm

I find it interesting that the only references. Made to speech are from extra Biblical sources. A handout from a school is not scripture. Neither is the comment “ask any 7 year old what is Ppropriate and isn’t”. Your ideas of what are appropriate and not are defined by your culture, the same as Driscolls. The difference is that driscoll is not trying to apply his cultural norms to you, like you are to him. In the grand scheme, these comments are coming from cowards and watchbloggers. Man up, if it’s worth putting on your obnoxious blog, it’s worth addressing in person. Man up or shut up.

Btw, mark your blog looks pretty good on the iPhone, I guess I don’t need to get the kindle version….

26 Russ June 9, 2009 at 2:21 pm


I’m humbled by your note taking ability while being soaking wet and sitting in a lobby! Great recaps.

Watchbloggers. LOL..that is funny, especially when Stetzer said it.

Russ’s last blog post..Greetings and Re:Launch

27 Frank Turk June 9, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Wow — “Cowards and watchbloggers” and “man up”.

You e-mail Mark, Jacob, and he’ll give you my phone number. You call me and “man up”, because I am sure you’re right and I’m not the guy who, in 2007, took a lot of flack for calling Mark Driscoll “the next Billy Graham”.

Oh wait: that was me, and I did say that. Apparently I drank the hater kool-aid someplace.

Frank Turk’s last blog post..Paul Washer, too?

28 Mark|HereIBlog June 9, 2009 at 10:47 pm

Man, I don’t know how I did it.

Thanks though! It was funny when he said watchbloggers. Then again, why is he watching them? 🙂

29 Mark|HereIBlog June 9, 2009 at 11:54 pm

(I shouldn’t allow myself to make this long of a comment.)
What makes this comment thread tough for me is that most of the folks commenting are friends. We are all Christians too as far as I know. So now what? We have disagreements and they ain’t going away tomorrow.

First I will vouch first hand for Frank. He has the same type of language problem. I understand Frank’s initial question of repentance. He just listened to Driscoll call-out pastors he doesn’t know after listing a long line of idols that are made in ministry. Matt is also right. We don’t know if he’s repented. It would have been a great time to show humilty and explain that he has, if he has, repented. Perfect time to be an example.

I understand Kevin’s comment. We did just come back from an edifying time of learning and fellowship. It seemed like the wrong time for Frank’s comment. Sometimes you have to strike when the irons hot or it cools and does nothing. In light of the edifying time though this could also have lead to us slowing down and really considering Driscoll’s masterbation joke.

I have trouble with the joke. I do. And I also understand it. He was relating a story and even corrected the original comment. It seems though the affect of the joke was to get laughs and Hughley did laugh. Where was the focus? I don’t know. *IF* I had to name one, the biggest problem I had with the interview is the “Dig Jesus” comment. What does that mean? He could have contextualized better than that. 🙂

I even forgive Matt S. for misreading me and thinking I was asking Driscoll to repent when I was just giving the context. I was asked the context on twitter so I figured I’d give it.

I disagree with Jacob that Frank was espousing legalism. Frank was applying, agree or not, the qualifications of a pastor. Or it could be a wisdom issue. Again, there is a misconstruing of what happened in contacting Driscoll. It wasn’t just across the blogosphere. Either way, Driscoll has also publicly criticized folks. Pass! Right? Right. If two people approach you for the same issue and you only listen to one of them because you don’t like the approach, etc. of the other, you probably need to listen to Driscoll’s message and repent of some form of idolatry. I’m not sure what “man up” means in this context.

Frank comes back with a valid point. If it were one of my Christian bros I hung out with consistently talking like this I’d say something. If my pastor was going to be on TV and I had my family watch I would expect different comments than what was given on Hughley’s show. Not sure my wife and daughter would be ROFL.

Note to Matt: I am Driscoll’s age. I don’t understand why it seemingly has to be the f-bomb or nothing.

Can a joke be a sin? A masterbation joke? A racist joke? What if the N-word was used in a joke? A sexual joke? Should anyone ever have to repent of these types of jokes, or any, since they are just jokes?

Frank quotes Driscoll on short comings and repentance. I agree that every Christian would be able to say what Driscoll did here. I actually think it’s more of a problem if we can’t see specific things we struggle with and if we don’t/won’t repent of them.

I like Jennifer’s “Seven A’s” list from Peacemakers, thanks.

Jacob, in fairness to Jennifer she wasn’t trying to answer Driscoll. She was kindly offering something to help us remember those aspects of our walk. Shall we go through Driscoll’s presentations and look for only biblical references and disregard all extra-biblical items? There wouldn’t be much left. The problem also is that Driscoll is applying his cultural norms to us. To everyone. The Advance09 conference was about the South. Yet, he came dressed in clothes and language from Seattle. And guess what? I understood him! 🙂 I can show you some real watchbloggers if you like.

Man up? Again? I know that Frank would have absolutely no trouble sitting down with Driscoll and talking to him about this issue. Nor would I to tell him I’m torn on it. I’m not sure even his own flock has that kind of access to him. Our odds are pretty slim then. I’m glad you like the blog’s new look.

Frank has defended Driscoll in the past. On more than one occasion. I hope you two get to talk.

Again, I’m torn on this issue. Maybe I’ll pick some tulips and pull the pedals…repent, repent not, repent, repent not….

30 Matt Gumm June 10, 2009 at 12:11 am

jM: I’m glad you addressed the age thing. Like you, I’m MD’s age, and don’t feel the need to use coarse language. In my more snarky moments, I would argue that it’s not a generational thing, it’s a maturity thing. Except that even when I put my snark away, I still think that.

Matt S. & I have had a couple of conversations already about where this leads; he doesn’t see any disqualification, I see it as being immanent, if it hasn’t happened already. But I give him props for being consistent; he said he wouldn’t have a problem with his own pastor using the same sort of language and illustrations as Driscoll. Haven’t seen many other Driscoll supporters that consistent.

Finally, despite Jacob’s tone, I think he’s hit upon a brilliant idea. Frank is the ideal guy to go try to talk some sense into Pastor Driscoll. I’m going on record with a pledge of $20 toward Frank’s trip to Seattle.

31 Jacob Hall June 10, 2009 at 12:25 am

The issue does come down to legalism because we are discussing repentance for a joke that Noone has actually proved to be sinful. I think anyone who calls someone to repentance over a blog needs to man up. But part of that is because of my low view of blogs in general. (nothing personal of course). I don’t have I’ll will towards frank or anyone else who has posted, but emailing or blogging about something is NOT approaching them. That’s the issue, online contact isn’t approaching them. Driscoll also usually calls out types of people, not individual people. Furthermore it’s an awful comparison to compare this joke that is in opposition to masterbation and racism. Two totally different categories.

32 Frank Turk June 10, 2009 at 5:18 am

I am sure Driscoll didn’t mean Joel Osteen (again) when he knocked preaching ‘your best life now’ and the ‘Advance’ audience laughed in approval. I am also sure he didn’t mean John MacArthur when he knocked people who called misuse of God’s word ‘Rape’.

Right, Jacob? Nobody called out by Driscoll ever.

As to proving the joke is a sin, it’s a plain violation of the command not to let filthy jesting in Eph. 5. The acid test is whether one would make that joke over dinner in a public place. Except for getting laughs on Hughley, I can’t think of anywhere that joke doesn’t offend.

Looking forward to your call, Jacob.

33 Russ June 10, 2009 at 10:18 am

LOL. I don’t know!

Russ’s last blog post..Advance09 – Recap

34 Mark|HereIBlog June 10, 2009 at 11:43 am

No problem my friend. I appreciate yours as well.

35 Mark|HereIBlog June 10, 2009 at 11:45 am

Is this a disqualification? I’m just not sure. I do think it is a maturity issue at some level. There were older guys at Advance09 wearing suits. lol

36 Mark|HereIBlog June 10, 2009 at 12:52 pm


Is there ever a time when a joke/language is sinful? How would you “prove” that it were so? Is there ever a time where a joke/language would disqualify a pastor? How would we discern this? Have an example?

This is not about legalism. Frank has not said Driscoll will lose or improve his justification by repenting. *IF* a pastor ever does become disqualified to hold that office that would not mean he is not a Christian.

Jacob, I don’t really care if you have a low view of blogs. (No offense.) Maybe Driscoll should stop blogging, huh? 🙂 Do you have a low view of all forms of one-way communication? Newspapers, letters, videos, mp3 sermons, etc.? A blog is just another way of doing this and they usually have avenues of instant feedback like the comment here.

There is a certain problem in this age of technology. If someone like a super-pastor does offend you how can you contact them? If their own congregation can’t even get to them how will you?

I don’t know if Driscoll should repent of this joke. But I’d love to see the answer to my first questions above answered.

37 Greg Allen June 11, 2009 at 10:41 am

“Ultimately, it is up to the elders of his church whether he continues. I would also say that it could be an instance where he is disqualified until such time as he deals with the issue, as opposed to being permanently disqualified.”

At Mars Hill Church, the elders have largely been called into service by Driscoll, not the other way around. He started the church and populated the elder board with men of his own choosing. Under these circumstances, does anyone really believe the elders will vote to remove him from the pulpit, much less rebuke him? There is precedent for what happens when elders challenge him.


38 Mark|HereIBlog June 11, 2009 at 10:30 pm


It is slightly disturbing. Though I don’t know all the details. That’s what happens when a story like this gets published. It’s got to be condensed and many details get left out. I wonder this – How did this story get into the paper to begin with?

39 Matt short June 15, 2009 at 11:44 am

Mark D. loves Jesus and is being greatly used. Most of you guys just need to get saved. Matt

40 Mark|HereIBlog June 15, 2009 at 12:09 pm

Matt, which one of us needs to get saved? That’s a pretty strong charge. Does this mean you think that some here don’t love Jesus and aren’t being greatly used?

What makes you think Mark Driscoll loves Jesus and some here to not?

How do you know Mark Driscoll is being greatly used and those here are not?


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