Sunday, April 05, 2009

Mark Driscoll's explanation

Mark Driscoll is the teaching pastor for Seattle's Mars Hill Church (not to be confused with Rob Bell's church of the same name in Michigan). A Google search of Driscoll's name makes it easy to find critics. Theological conservatives don't like his non-traditional methods, while liberals don't like his strict adherence to the bible as the final answer on everything.

ABC's Nightline did a special in which they invited Driscoll and 3 others to debate the question: "Does Satan exist?". View the entire episode (including parts that were cut from the broadcast) here: http://abcnews.go.com/nightline/faceoff

I learned about this event after the show had been broadcast. I read about it in a religion blog where the writer complained that the 4 panelists were not intellectual enough. I couldn't disagree with him more. Driscoll in particular laid out the basics of the Gospel very well in his introduction, and made it clear why the existence of Satan is an important part of the need for Jesus to do what He did.

To all those who complain that the discussion lacked true intellectuals, I'd remind you that those who Jesus spoke to most harshly were the intellectuals. The perceived need for someone with a pedigree or credentials comes from an undue and undeserved elevation of man's thinking above that of God. As if someone smart enough can decide whether or not Satan exists.

But putting aside that question, I love all that Driscoll said during this hour. He never berated those who disagreed with him. He let it be known that he loved them and wanted them to experience the Gospel on a personal level. Most important, he made sure that Jesus, not the devil, was the center of all that he said.

If you can't spare an hour to watch the entire thing, click the link to watch the opening clip. Driscoll's closing statement in the closing clip is special, too.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Putting God in His place

Psalm 7


v.1 O LORD my God, in You I have taken refuge; Save me from all those who pursue me, and deliver me,

--when he says “O Lord”, he is just acknowledging what’s true: the Lord really is the Lord. This is fact, and it applies to everyone. But then he follows it with “my God”. This is the first of two personal declarations of God’s authority over him. The second comes right after it: “in You I have taken refuge”. In both of these, he is making a stand about who he (David) belongs to.

It occurs to me that this attitude is very un-American. We don’t want to be “owned” by anyone. We have no problem asking God to help us, but we still want command of our lives, our bodies, and our life decisions. David is having none of that. Although he’s king and can certainly make decisions that stick, he’s choosing to identify himself as a subject of another, better, kingdom.

David’s not willing to play the “God is my co-pilot” game. One doesn’t go to a co-pilot and ask for refuge and protection. When we are truly yielded to God, we see through the lie that is co-pilot theology. We see ourselves as under His umbrella, and gladly accept all that comes with it.