friends ride in

Timmy Brister has posted a round up of reactions to the Baptist Press article on Mark Driscoll.

I found three of them to be particularly interesting.

First, Ed Stetzer writes that Friday is for Friends and he says, in part:

So, some don’t like Mark, and they point to his past as justification. But we need to realize that Mark has repented for the “cussin’ pastor” reference and continues to grow (and I hope this is true of all of us). And I can tell you that first hand.

You see, I personally confronted Mark about his language, and Mark responded clearly. God was and is working in Mark’s life. He has mentioned his growth and his repentance frequently.

Mark explained our discussion in a blog post a few months ago:

A godly friend once asked me an important question: “What do you want to be known for?” I responded that solid theology and effective church planting were the things that I cared most about and wanted to be known for. He kindly said that my reputation was growing as a guy with good theology, a bad temper, and a foul mouth. This is not what I want to be known for.

Now, I am not saying that everything Mark Driscoll does is right. And, I am not really interested in having that discussion on my blog.

He reaches a lot of people, teaches the scriptures, and has a passion for planting. I like that. But, there are also areas where we disagree (and, I sat on his front porch and told him so).

But, let’s remember that to bring up someone’s old sin flies in the face of Scripture and contradicts grace. And let me also say, I am so thankful I am not continually evaluated on the basis of my past mistakes.

emphasis added.

JD Greear chimes in as well:

Mark and I are friends, and in many ways he has been a huge help to me in ministry. He has spoken truth into my life personally, as well as really challenged me to keep the focus of our church on the Gospel and the Scriptures. Mark and I disagree on some things, and sometimes strongly (we both are often wrong but never in doubt)… but at the end of the day he is a Bible-believing, theologically ultra-orthodox, Gospel-loving brother and God’s hand is all over him. That doesn’t excuse his (or my) errors, just that we see that God honors the preaching of His Word and Gospel above all other things. Mark believes in salvation by faith alone, that Jesus died as a penal substitution for sinners, the inerrancy of the Bible, that you should reach people with an offensive Gospel and baptize them after they make a decision, that men and women are distinct with different roles, that God’s primary instrument in the world today is the local church, and that preaching ought to be central in the church. He has influenced a whole generation of Christian leaders away from uber-trendy emergent liberalism back into the fundamentals of the Gospel. Baptists, in our book, he should be a GOOD GUY.

The third reaction deserves its own blog post which will come next.

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