Sunday, October 01, 2006

DGC06: Session 4 - Mark Driscoll

Session 4 || Saturday Afternoon || Mark Driscoll – The Supremacy of Christ and the Church in a Postmodern World

"Many Christians simply thought that postmoderns were a new kind of Christian. But, I believe postmoderns are simply not Christians. Anytime you have a hyphenated Christianity (i.e. New Age Christian, liberal Christian, etc.) then you have negated the Christianity. For postmoderns the issue is one of authority/power as they see all leaders and all texts as means by which someone exercise authority/power over another. They see all authority and power as inherently bad and prefer experience over truth, relativism over absolutes, and tolerance over judgment to varying extremes.

The result is that they will reject any singular interpretation of Scripture arguing that it is your perspective and that there are other perspectives and none are true, so we should be tolerant of all. They will reject any leadership and shun away from what they call “organized religion” and prefer to have their “personal relationship and experiences with God.” …This is because we are dealing with common sins that have simply now been given a philosophical name:

1.) Like Adam and Eve in the garden, we want to be God and decide right and wrong and play with what God says rather than obey it.

2.) Like Romans 1:18, they suppress the truth they don’t like because they want to sin and live their life as they please; so it is never a philosophical hang-up, but a hard heart that is truly the issue.

3.) They think being spiritual is good enough, but James says even demons believe in God, so being spiritual is never enough.

4.) They will use the name Jesus like the cults do, which is confusing, but it is a different gospel and a different Jesus ala 2 Corinthians 11:4.

...They use God and His people to play with the truth and live as they please."

NOTES (stuff that grabbed me):
The main issue separating Reformed from Emergent perspectives is one of Christology (that is, what you believe not merely concerning the hisorical facts about Jesus, but His very nature and being). The incarnation of Jesus is especially important within Emergent circles, stressing the humanity of Jesus and his immenence as a man. Reformed circles stress the divinity of Jesus, that He is God. What we need is not an over-emphasis on either side, but a balance of Christ's immenence (example, experience) and His divinity (authority).

Driscoll stressed 9 non-negotiables. Christian people everywhere should contend for these truths:
  • Contend for Scripture as an authoritive metanarrative (reaching beyond the immediate and historical, providing the framework for our lives and expereinces).
  • Contend for the sovereignty of God (that he not only has the power and the right to govern all things, but that He does govern all things) - must be defended against Open Theism.
  • Contend for the virin birth of Jesus (this sounded almost random at first, but Driscoll referenced a question posed in Rob Bell's Velvet Elvis - basically asking would it really be so bad if we found out if Mary was not a virgin in Jesus' conception. Bell does not believe this is the case, but simply poses the question, implying that even if you take a few bricks out a theological wall, the wall still stands - a line of reasoning typical in postmodern Emergent circles. Discoll's response was less than flattering of Bell's musings. He emphasized that were this the case, it would not just be "removing a single brick" - it would undermine OT prophesies concerning Christ, etc., thereby undermining the very Word of God. He also emphasized the warnings of Scripture regarding adding to or taking from the Word of God - this does matter; God did that for a reason. Driscoll concluded, "Don't mess with Jesus' mother. I doubt He'd take it kindly.")
  • Contend against Pelagianism (Briefly, Pelagianism is the assertion that there is no original sin. Man has the capacity to sin, but it is not inheirent in his nature. This is clearly contrary to Scripture's emphasis that we are born dead in our sins.)
  • Contend for the doctrine of Penal Substitutionary Atonement (maintains that Christ died on the cross as a substitute for sinners. God placed the guilt of our sins to Christ, and He bore the punishment that we deserve. This was a full payment for sins, which satisfied the wrath, the justice and the righteousness of God, so that He could forgive sinners without compromising His own holy standard.)
  • Contend for the exlusivity of Jesus (there is no other means to salvation; nothing may be combined to or subtracted from Him.)
  • Contend for biblical male/female gender roles
  • Contend for the doctrine of Hell (Hell does exist, and you do want to be saved from going there. Interestingly, Driscoll pointed out that secular marketing does this far better than the church does - presenting your "personal hell" as allergies, backache, etc., then offering you a "savior" to get out of it.)
  • Contend for the Kingdom over the culture (we tend to look at the Kingdom of God as something that is coming, which it is; but Scripture also presents the Kingdom as being present. We live in the tension of the "already" and the "not yet" but must keep a balance. To simply focus on culture while forgetting that the Kingdom of God is both present and coming is to have too small an aim.)
Mark also emphasized the importance of contextualization - relaying an unchanged, unobscured Gospel in a context that is relevant and appropriate to different people groups. Read more here.

No comments: