even more language

Continuing this thread of posts, Nathan Busenitz clarifies a bit for us the difference between harsh language condemning sin or heresy and
“Flippancy, Frivolity, and Filthy Talk.”

It is a useful distinction. In addition, he has this to add about Mark Driscoll in particular:

As a young man myself, I understand why Mark Driscoll’s ministry is attractive to many within the next generation of evangelicalism. He is energetic, articulate, and bold. He has a zeal for impacting his community, and he’s willing to do so in ways that are creative and cutting-edge. (My wife is from Seattle, so I know the area well.) There is no question that he is a gifted and clever communicator which when joined with his evangelical theology makes for a compelling combination.

Yet there is one major asterisk that hovers over his ministry. And it is primarily seen in the “pomo bad boy usage” of the harsh language he sometimes employs.

Cultural contextualization is often cited as a justification for this kind of language, but contextualization is never justifiable if it takes us beyond the bounds of New Testament propriety. Moreover, the true power of any ministry is found not in clever speech (1 Cor. 1:17: 2:1–5), but in the faithful proclamation of the gospel (cf. Rom. 1:16).

As heralds of that gospel, we must watch our words carefully (cf. James 3). They represent not only us, but our holy Savior as well. Thus, we are called to conduct ourselves in a way that is honorable and above reproach. This includes modeling godly speech (cf. 1 Tim. 4:12; 2 Tim. 2:16). As Paul told Titus:

In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us. (Titus 2:7–8)


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