Brian McLaren’s new book

Kevin DeYoung thoroughly (pdf 12 pages long) reviews all ten premises of Brian McClaren’s new book A New Kind of Christianity here. Kevin’s describes his approach at the outset:

I want to be fair with McLaren. I want to understand his ideas and evaluate them based on their merits. If I misunderstand a point or misconstrue what McLaren teaches I want to be corrected. Further, I have no desire to engage in ad hominem attacks. I want to discuss McLaren’s theology without vitriol or sophomoric putdowns. I will not assume the worst about Brian McLaren. I will try not to say anything in the cozy confines of the blogosphere that I would not say sitting across from McLaren over a beverage of his choice.

It’s not wrong to ask a reviewer to be charitable, so long as the love does not have to be devoid of the truth.

So what I will not do is pretend that the issues McLaren raises are non-essential issues or that his mistakes are little mistakes. I will not refrain from serious critique because this is only a “quest” or merely an attempt to raise questions. Moreover, I will not attempt to find a middle ground with teaching that I believe to be heterodox. I will not look for a third way when I see Christianity going down one path and McLarenism going down another. I will state my disagreements with this book strongly and warn other Christians strenuously. I am not ashamed for having convictions, and I am not afraid to write as if I understand (truly though not exhaustively) what the Bible teaches and understand that what it teaches is incompatible with A New Kind of Christianity.

No one deserves to reviled. But some books deserve to pilloried.

and then he promptly and calmly proceeds to pillory what needs to be pilloried.

Tim Challies also reviewed the book. His review is shorter and more brutal.

It wasn’t too long ago that I wrote about Brian McLaren and got in trouble. Reflecting on seeing him speak at a nearby church, I suggested that he appears to love Jesus but hate God. Based on immediate and furious reaction, I quickly retracted that statement. I should not have done so. I believed it then and I believe it now. And if it was true then, how much more true is it upon the release of his latest tome A New Kind of Christianity. In this book we finally see where McLaren’s journey has taken him; it has taken him into outright, rank, unapologetic apostasy. He hates God. Period.

Both of these men have done us a service. Books such as McClaren’s need to be deconstructed and called out for the heresy that they are. As Mark Driscoll says, we have a duty to shoot the wolves.

doctrine

Big new book from Mark Driscoll is coming soon.

Doctrine, What Christians Should Believe

Looks good. here is the table of contents:

Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1 – Trinity: God Is

Chapter 2 – Revelation: God Speaks

Chapter 3 – Creation: God Makes

Chapter 4 – Image: God Loves

Chapter 5 – Fall: God Judges

Chapter 6 – Covenant: God Pursues

Chapter 7 – Incarnation: God Comes

Chapter 8 – Cross: God Dies

Chapter 9 – Resurrection: God Saves

Chapter 10 – Church: God Sends

Chapter 11 – Worship: God Transforms

Chapter 12 – Stewardship: God Gives

Chapter 13 – Kingdom: God Reigns

atheism’s despair

Mark Driscoll with an excellent rundown of the hopelessness of an atheistic worldview:

Here is a related example from via challies:

Indifference to the Disappearance as the Months Pass

Not every atheist was horror-stricken at the O’Hairs’ disappearance. Frankly, some — those who disapproved of Madalyn O’Hair’s combative and vulgar style — were relieved that she was no longer atheism’s most visible and vocal spokesperson. A Texan atheist wrote:

The disappearance of the O’Hairs in September 1995 gave hope that more positive atheist initiatives might develop…That’s why atheists should worry about the revival of Madalyn’s American Atheists, Inc. under the leadership of Ellen Johnson, who assumed the office of President in a questionable Board of Directors meeting. Ellen Johnson is also a die-hard Madalyn fan who continues to present Madalyn as an atheist heroine. What atheism doesn’t need is a continuation of Madalyn’s negativity.

By the time Bill Murray learned that his mother, estranged daughter and half-brother had vanished, board member Tyson was living in the O’Hairs’ home. Instead of sharing their concerns and assisting each other in the search, Madalyn’s son and the American Atheists traded insults in the media. Each accused the other of caring nothing for the O’Hairs, and seeking only to make hay out of the disappearance for the publicity it would bring. “One of my mother’s employees moved into her house…and began to sleep in her bed. Her close “confidant,” Ellen Johnson, immediately flew to Texas from New Jersey and set up a new board of directors to take over the property and bank accounts of the family’s atheist organizations. Not a single “friend” reported any of the three missing to the police,” said Murray.

Go read the rest of this interesting story.

Driscoll in Austin

Mark Driscoll started the Austin Song of Solomon conference yesterday evening. It was an excellent way to spend a Friday evening with my lovely wife of 20 years.

Tim Hawks the pastor of Hill Country Bible Church kicked off the festivities by welcoming everyone to the church.
Mark Driscoll at HCBC

Mark spoke for the next couple of hours.
Mark Driscoll at HCBC

and then Mark and his wife Gracie answered audience questions.
Mark Driscoll at HCBC

Another perspective on Calvinism

Here is Dolan Cummings on Calvinism here in Calvin’s 500th year. Its effect on Scotland and modern manifestations. It doesn’t appear that Mr. Cummings is a Christ follower which makes his bit on Mark Driscoll especially interesting.

One of the most successful and dynamic emerging churches in the US today is Mars Hill in Seattle, founded by pastor Mark Driscoll, who stands firmly in the reformed tradition. As he explains in his book Confessions of a Reformission Rev, ‘If you don’t know what that means, the gist is that people suck and God saves us from ourselves’ (5). Driscoll is a twenty-first century Calvinist. Seattle is far from being a traditional bastion of the Christian right, however, so the success of Mars Hill is significant. Driscoll started the church in his own home in 1996, but has since built it up into a multi-campus megachurch with a congregation of thousands, drawn in large part from Seattle’s grungy art and music scene, and now including many young and not-so-young families. Driscoll describes the church as culturally liberal and theologically conservative, and there seems to be an appetite for that.

Driscoll has written a series of books branded ‘A book you’ll actually read’, each designed to be read in an hour, but he could not be accused of dumbing down or softening the message. He begins his book on church leadership by warning the reader, ‘You will not read a bunch of cute stories about bunny rabbits giving their lives to Jesus and such, because I do not want to waste any of my words or any of your time’ (6). That book is an attempt to explain the idea of religious authority to a generation more used to thinking of Jesus as a hippy than an authority figure, and likely to be uncomfortable with the idea. Meanwhile his book on ‘Who is God?’ explains, ‘Because there is both a Lawgiver and Law, we are able to rise above the incessant postmodern pluralism that says there is no Law but only cultural perspective on morality’ (7).

Driscoll offers a sense of moral surety in a society more often characterised by prevarication and obfuscation. More than that, his church offers moral leadership to a generation used to being flattered by authority figures. While schools and even other churches seek to boost self-esteem by telling kids they can achieve whatever they want (or conversely that they should be happy not to achieve anything), Driscoll’s Calvinism tells them what they already know: deep down they’re not so great, and that’s not good enough. In fact it’s a message that appeals to all ages, because whatever you achieve, it never stops being true.

from Joe Carter at First Things blog who adds:

For the past twenty years the seeker-sensitive model—making church more appealing to the un-churched—has been the dominant approach to church growth in evangelicalism. But as Mars Hill and other Calvinistic churches are proving, the old “You’re a sinner and need Jesus” can be quite effective too.

Driscoll coming to Austin

The Resurgence Blog is and has been in the blogroll. I encourage you to check it regularly. Lots of good articles and series by Acts 29 church planters all over the country.

Recently, Mark Driscoll announced that he and his lovely wife were coming to Hill Country Bible Church here in Austin to talk at a two day conference about dating marriage and sex.

here is the announcement:

On October 2–3, my high school sweetheart and I will be teaching in Austin, Texas, for the Song of Solomon Bible Conference at Hill Country Bible Church. Our topics will be dating, marriage, and sex, in that order.

I have had the pleasure of speaking at a few of the Song of Solomon Conferences around the country, but this will be the first one where Grace joins me. I will be preaching Friday night and Saturday morning. Everyone in attendance will be welcome to send in anonymous questions via text message, and Grace will join me on stage to help answer them. The price is super cheap, ranging from $25 for students and soldiers, to $35 for those who register by 9/21, and $45 for those who decide to join us at the last minute. Additional discounts for groups of 10 or more can be arranged by calling 800-729-0815. Complete information can be found here.

We truly are looking forward to coming out, meeting lots of folks, and seeing the Holy Spirit do a gracious work in the lives of many people. So, I’ve polished my boots and will see you in one of the world’s greatest nations, Texas.

and here is the conference page with more information and registration information.

and here is a video from Mark making the announcement

Hour of Power

you have got to check out Mark Driscoll wearing a tie and preaching the Gospel to the crowd in the Crystal Cathedral on the Hour of Power.

Resurgence blog post about it here.

Direct link to video here.

transcript here.

Think about the message that Mark is bringing in the forum managed by Dr. Robert Schuller. Maybe spend some time with Michael Horton’s 1992 interview with Dr. Schuller here or here to get a feel for how amazing it is that Mark Driscoll got the chance to bring this message in this forum.

small sample of the interview but please go read the whole thing. (MH=Michael Horton, RS=Robert Schuller)

MH: But isn’t it because faith is the instrument through which we’re justified before a God who otherwise would take account of us for our sins, not just our “not trusting…”

RS: We are not justified by faith.
MH: No, it is by grace through faith.

RS: By grace through faith, that’s right.
MH: But what I’m asking is this. Justified from what? The wrath of God?

RS: Oh! I’ll never use that language
MH: But the Bible does.

RS: Yes, the Bible does, but the Bible is God’s book to believers primarily. Listen, and then call me a heretic if you want to, but I’m interested in attracting people, and not driving them farther away. There is language I can and will use and there are times, if we are wise, there is language we will not use….If God is a God of love, how do we handle this concept of wrath? At the outset, on the surface, it appears to be a contradiction; maybe it is. I tell you this, I have come to the conclusion that I haven’t stepped into the center of truth until I’ve dared to step into contradiction. The Bible is a contradiction: Old Testament–Law, New Testament–Grace. Jesus is a contradiction; totally human and totally God.

MH: Of course we would say that that the dual nature of Christ is a mystery but not a contradiction.
RS: It is a contradiction, but you know what? Contradictions are ultimate points of creativity…