Driscoll Protest is OFF


Story on Seattle Times via Religion News Blog says 25 would be protesters turned up anyway.

– “Mark Driscoll” made top ten Technorati search on Saturday

– Seattle Times is looking for a new religion columnist. Any takers?

ORIGINAL:Paul says the protest is OFF as a result of their meeting with Mark Driscoll (read Rose’s account) and of Mark’s further apology. Background story here and here.


Things got a little ugly there. It was a shame to hear those on the protest side called “Liberals”. Why do people so quickly shove those they disagree with into that category? Before we move on from this episode, do you think there is anything left unsaid?

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Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • If some would not abandon this game of name-calling, perhaps we should spoil their categories by considering “liberal” as something good and speaking about it accordingly? There are some good aspects of political and religious liberalism, after all…

  • Virgil says:

    So is this an acknowledgment that you got to force Driscoll to agree with you, or is it an honest change of heart or apology on his part? Also, why is it OK for us Emergents to get it our way with protests and threats but it is not OK for evangelicals/conservatives to do the same thing?

  • Jose says:

    Doesn’t the Gospel push us to be more conservative than “the conservatives” and more liberal than “the liberals”.
    The Gospel calls us to be flaming liberals because of the liberality of God’s grace inherent in the Gospel.
    It seems to me that the emerging and emergent gals/guys desperately need each other. Here’s something prophetic: The one will not survive without the other in the future. It’s like centrifugal force and momentum. You need two points. One staying fixed and the other pushing out. You can’t get momentum without the two working together. These two movements working together are like a sling and rock that by God’s Spirit can slay the giants of the age. But let’s work together, we need to get beyond these liberal/conservative pejorative categories.
    I also want to commend Paul Chapman in publicly acknowledging his “applying the over-the-top and hurtful label of ‘misogynist’ to [Mark] while making this stand against using feminine language in hurtful ways. I am sorry for using pejorative language in denouncing pejorative language.”

  • Virgil says:

    Guys – I find it very ironic that you are openly calling Driscoll a “misogynist” yet you are crying for the name-calling to stop! If this is “Emergent” then I don’t want a part of it.
    We can’t only have conversations only on our terms, or only with people we get to force to agree with us under the threats of protests. Driscoll is as entitled to his views (whether misogynist or not) as you are entitled to yours.

  • iggy says:

    It did get ugly and it still is…
    Weird to me that the labels of conservative/liberal were used also…
    As i do not see Mark as a “fundamentalist” nor did I see Rose as a “Liberal” other than the broad brush of her being a female pastor…
    The real issue to me is that it almost came to a small skirmish… between brothers and sisters in Christ…
    One comment above even stated “Doesn’t the Gospel push us to be more conservative than “the conservatives” and more liberal than “the liberals”. Which on the surface I would agree, yet unless you mean that we being conformed to the image of Jesus… being neither Con/Lib, but moved by the Holy Spirit I will whole heartily disagree.
    I do not agree with Mark on many things… to me that was never the point or issue. In fact I see Mark doing good things and has made me as a man a bit uncomfortable by his standards… yet isn’t that what God does sometimes… makes us uncomfortable so that we seek the Comforter?
    I am not convinced that Mark will change… and I am not sure he should as if we bend knee to each other, we may not be bending knee to Jesus… and just appealing to the standards of this world…
    Yet, we are called to submit to one another in love… and that is the one thing I did not really see in all the rhetoric and name calling… I saw a genuine lack of love for Mark… and Mars Hill.
    So, it is good to see it was carried out respectfully, but it sounded a bit childish and selfish to me.

  • good call, iggy.
    and virgil – first you say “we emergents” and then you say you dont want to be a part of Emergents. sounds like you had too much coffee this morning. . .

  • Philip says:

    What Mark has written now is a further justification of what he did, not an apology of the crassness or the lack of accuracy of what he originally said.

  • Matt Wiebe says:

    Overall I’m happy with the way that this turned out. Mark seems to be displaying some humility and might learn to think before he speaks. This would be good. I’m also glad that the protest seems to be off. Christians protesting other Christians… doesn’t seem quite right.

  • Paul says:

    I, for one, am not offended by the term “Liberal”. I will happily claim it as applying to me, in politics, in theology, in life.

  • philip – i get what you are saying but maybe its a big step for mark at this stage.
    paul – some fundamentalists are quick to push people into the 1920’s liberal camp because in their mind they won that fight and it makes it easy to dismiss people without dealing with their argument.
    glad you were not too offended by them.

  • Adam says:

    First off, I have to disclose that I have not kept up with every bit of this story, so I could be off on this. However, I feel that people give Driscoll too much attention. This seems to be what he is going for. He says provocative things on purpose – and sometimes he goes too far (whether he knows it or not, I’m not sure) just to stir things up even more. I think this should be ignored. The attention doesn’t seem to help him in future situations (as far as thinking before he clicks “post.”)
    Just some thoughts – like I said, I haven’t kept up with this too much because I didn’t think it was worth it – so I could be off.

  • ryan says:

    I would add this quote by Tim Keller into the things that might be relevent to the whole situation here. I do wonder if it were not for the means of communication in which this fiasco played out if the rhetoric would have escalated so high and people would have resorted to name calling “liberals fundamentalists, woman hater” and so forth. We should all read Keller’s words here and reflect on them.
    “After several years of reading blogs I conclude that these sharp exchanges between people with different points of view almost always generate far, far more heat than light. Blogs seem to best for helping like-minded people to share information and to mildly revise one another’s thinking. Alan Jacobs (in an article on weblogs in May/June 2006 Books and Culture) said that blogs are ‘the friend of information, but the enemy of thought.’ I absolutely love blogs for getting news and opinion of all kinds, but the ‘dialogues’ are generally unhelpful. I’m sure everyone can point to one or two exceptions. But most of these interactions toward the pro- and anti-emergent caucuses usually just polarize people.”

  • david says:

    As some what of an impartial observer, being on the other side of the world to all this hullabaloo. I observer what people do all around the world. When passionate disagreement occurs we would prefer to crucify the person (always in the name of the lord) instead of obeying the command got and deal with your grievance face to face (or phone to phone) and if thus does not work, then go as a team. (Matt 19:15-20).
    We Christians would seem to prefer to gossip, back stab, manipulate, cause division etc, etc all in the name of the lord, instead of having the courage to sit down with someone and dialogue through stuff.
    Grace to let others grow at their own speed and the grace to pray and let God sort out his disciples seems to be lost to the Christian worldview.

  • Virgil says:

    and virgil – first you say “we emergents” and then you say you dont want to be a part of Emergents. sounds like you had too much coffee this morning. . .
    Andrew, what I actually said was: “If this is “Emergent” then I don’t want a part of it.”
    You left my “if” out of your statement. It is apparent that this conversation is taking a hypocritical turn for many involved in it, in that you all find it ok to call Driscoll names but you all threaten protests when he does the same. That is called “hypocrisy.”
    I am off to doing something more constructive.

  • Alex says:

    Actually, the model of reconciliation in Matthew was followed in this situation. Those who were offended called for personal meetings with Mark. They could not force him to accept those invitations. When he finally did (there was a conciliatory meeting with a group of believers on both sides of the issue last night) the protest was cancelled.
    I think you should be very careful about assigning motives such as “gossip, back stab, manipulate, cause division” to those who dissented. They did so because they too were worried about division in the church. They were worried about the harm Mark’s statements were causing many both Christians and non-Christians. They were worried about him misrepresenting the gospel. You may differ with them theologically but their motives were good.

  • ellie says:

    i would call myself liberal.
    i didn’t realise liberals weren’t welcome in these conversations.

  • becky says:

    Thank God the protest is off.
    After reading everything — I have two thoughts: 1. Driscoll is young. Let’s give him time to grow before we completely assasinate his character. (I’m young, too, so I get to say that.) 2. Why does the church so readily adopt the antics of politics? I just don’t see how protesting, or the threat of protesting, could possibly be done in love.
    I also appreciated Ryan’s comment.

  • ShariMac says:

    As someone who was planning to participate in the protest, I’m relieved that in the end it wasn’t needed. But I do think it noteworthy that the productive sit-down meeting that took place happened because of the imminent protest.
    I agree that much of the language on both sides was too harsh. (More than one person threatened the protesters with the wrath of God, stating that we would be sorry when we stand before God one day. Yikes!) At the same time, the problem of Mark Driscoll’s inflammatory language in regard to women is one that has existed for a long time, with no change, with no one stepping in an convincing him that he had to change.
    I’m glad that the protest was planned, glad that Mark Driscoll and his staff took notice, and glad that there has been positive movement in the direction of him speaking more carefully and graciously about women. I’m thankful that we live in a country where peaceful protests are allowed, and I’m thankful for the results of this one — even before it had to happen.
    Yes, Mark Driscoll is young and needs time to grow. I also believe that part of that growth will come from people holding him accountable for his words, which is what happened here. Much good will come of him apologizing and changing the tenor of his words about women. It seems like a very good thing to me.
    Many people were worried about what the world might see as a lack of unity in the church. But the world already knows that the church isn’t unified in many areas — that’s no surprise. I think the world is more concerned about the fact that meanness and a lack of graciousness in the Christian church generally goes unchecked. My hope is that the willingness of some Christians to stand up and say, “Please stop” in this situation will actually serve the church well.

  • Mike Clawson says:

    Ironically, Virgil, you seem to have no problem using the label “Emergent” in a perjorative way, while at the same time decrying everyone else for labeling…

  • He cant hear you . . . he is off doing something constructive.
    hey – “Mark Driscoll” made the top ten technorati search on saturday night.

  • a. “Liberal, and Proud of It.”
    b. for those of you who don’t understand the need for a public disagreement for the public use of language that is anti-women by a public figure, please keep in mind that local female ministers in Seattle regularly admister spiritual triage and long-term healing care to women, men, and marriages that have been scared by the teachings at MHC. This local, personal, first-hand experience with the pain provokes a different response from those who are intimately connected than from those who are viewing it from afar.
    c. Protesting injustice is done out of love for those who are being oppressed.

  • ryan says:

    Rachelle, I am sure the same could be said by pastors and ministers at MH. That they provide correction and defining marital and gender roles for people that have been confused and mislead by liberal pastors in Seattle. Careful, because that argument can work both ways.
    I have personally heard numerous stories from married couples at MH who joyously share that MH and what they teach about gender roles has been defining for their marriage and gender identity. I know it may seem to you that all of this may be illegitimate, otherwise I think you would be slower to use the word “oppressed” when it comes to what is going on at Mars Hill.

  • Mike Clawson says:

    “I am sure the same could be said by pastors and ministers at MH. That they provide correction and defining marital and gender roles for people that have been confused and mislead by liberal pastors in Seattle. Careful, because that argument can work both ways.”
    Of course, the key difference being that the leaders at MH are wrong. I mean, they can say that black is white and up is down all they want, but that doesn’t make it so. They can pretend that a theology of subordination is really “liberating” and that equality is really “oppressive” but just because they say so doesn’t makes sense of nonsense.
    If Mark and the folks at MH want to play those kind of linguistic games, fine, but postmodern relativism has it’s limits. Even Derrida has said the “justice is un-deconstructible”.

  • ryan says:

    Wow Mike “wrong” is a pretty strong word. It seems people have had quite a problem when Driscoll says that about the other side.
    Plus you might want to research a little bit more about the view of complementarianism that they teach at MH. Your description is completely inaccurate. The heart behind complmentarianism is not that women should just submit and obey, rather it is that a man will serve, love, and sacrifice for the well being for his wife regardless of what it costs him. Hoping that this marital relationship would reflect the union that Christ has with his bride, the church. Hope that helps.

  • Mike Clawson says:

    “Plus you might want to research a little bit more about the view of complementarianism that they teach at MH. Your description is completely inaccurate.”
    What “description”? I didn’t say anything to describe Mars Hill’s view of complementarianism, except to call it a “theology of subordination”. Do you disagree that it is? As far as I can tell MH does teach that women are to be subordinate to men. You describe the man’s responsibility to his wife, but what does MH teach about a wife’s responsibility to her husband? From what I’ve heard from Driscoll and his devotees, he does in fact teach that she is to obey her husband (and not vice versa), and that he is to ultimately be the final decision maker in the relationship. That is the definition of subordination.
    And how is “wrong” too strong? Are we supposed to pussyfoot around the fact that we disagree with someone? My issue with Driscoll is not that he tells people they’re wrong, it’s how he does it.

  • Mike Clawson says:

    I should also add that, while it very well may be that “The heart behind complmentarianism is not that women should just submit and obey, rather it is that a man will serve, love, and sacrifice for the well being for his wife regardless of what it costs him”, that belief is not exclusive to complementarians – egalitarians would say exactly the same thing. Therefore that point is irrelevant to discussion of whether or not complementarianism is wrong. If you want to have that discussion then you’d better focus on those areas where complementarians actually disagree with an egalitarian view. And, as I said, I think that is on the question of subordination.

  • Gary Means says:

    [deleted by request]

  • ryan says:

    Mike just to be clear you implied that his theological position was “oppressive” by contrasting it with liberating so I would say that is a stronger conclusion than just simple subordination.
    And I believe you are wrong that the idea of the man taking the role of leading in sacrifice, love, and service is not found in the same manner in egalitarianism. As I said before this marital form is to depict the relationship that Christ has with his bride. And last time I checked he first loved us, served us, and sacrificed for us. I would not call this irrelevant.

  • Mike Clawson says:

    Egalitarians teach mutual submission and sacrifice. If complementarians teach that only women need to submit and only men need to sacrifice, then that is a point of disagreement. Let’s not dance around the issue.
    And yes, in my opinion, the view that women should be subordinate to men is oppressive. Like I said, you can say that black is white, but that doesn’t make it so. You can say that subordination isn’t oppressive, but history, experience, scripture and clear reasoning (including the findings of the social sciences) all demonstrate that it is.
    As far as I can tell, the only thing that complementarians can say about this (without denying the evidence and calling black, white) is that God must have intended it to be that way. At least, that’s the interpretation I usually hear them give of Genesis 3:16.

  • ryan says:

    Social science does not agree with you Mike and I would like to seen any that are not from APA that support your point. Using your logic that complementarianism is oppressive, the church has been oppressing women for the last 1950 years! Pretty bold claim to make. Eph. 5 also speaks of redeemed relationships that model a complementarian marriage. Obviously Mike you and I can go round and round about this issue. My only point is to label complementarianism as oppressive is pretty narrow minded especially since there are many great NT scholars who hold it (blomberg, Moo, Carson, Mounce) and it has been the majority view in church history. Using labels like oppressive is just unfair and equivalent to me labeling egalitarianism “veiled feminism.”

  • Eugene Cho says:

    maybe someone knows because this already took place.
    i’d love to have either mark or lief moi make a public statement/summary/apology to the larger body of christ at MH. i know that their there’s an official post on the R Blog but thought it would be such a wonderful posture to share with the larger body at MH – some of them who have no idea what’s going on.
    my two cent.

  • Mike Clawson says:

    Using your logic that complementarianism is oppressive, the church has been oppressing women for the last 1950 years!
    Yeah, that sounds about right.
    Of course, the church oppressed slaves for its first 1800 years or so. No one said that we’ve ever been all that good at actually following the way of Christ or obeying the Bible.

  • ryan says:

    Well I am glad to know that such godly men and women that I listed last time are oppressive. Thanks Mike for the back and forth I think we just see things differently, cheers.

  • Mike Clawson says:

    We’re all oppressors in some way. That’s what sin does.

  • JG says:

    I believe Mark has said some quite unhelpful things and appears to have a tendency to use quite inflammatory language.
    But I have also been concerned about some of the things said about him which I feel have been equally unhelpful and inflammatory.
    The worst example of this has been highlighted by Jeff Wright at:
    I would be interested to know if others share my concern?

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