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A friend passed along this transcript of the beginning of that sermon by Mark Driscoll on humility:

I believe that humility is the great omission and failure in my eleven years of preaching. I believe that this is my greatest oversight both in my example and in my instruction.

I therefore do not claim to be humble. I do not claim to have been humble. I am convicted of my pride, and I am a man who is by God's grace pursuing humility.

So in many ways this is a sermon that I'm preaching at myself, this is a sermon you are welcomed to listen in on as I preach to myself.

But I truly believe that were there one thing I could do over in the history of Mars Hill it would be in my attitude and in my actions and in my words to not only emphasize sound doctrine, encourage in strength and commitment and conviction but, to add in addition to that, humility as a virtue.

And so I'll start by asking your forgiveness and sincerely acknowledging that this has been a great failure.

And I believe that it is showing up in our church in the lives of men and women who have sound doctrine but not sound attitude. They may contend for good things but their motives are bad and their methods are bad and their tone is bad and their tactics are bad and their actions are bad because their attitudes are bad even though their objective is sometimes good. I see this in particular with the men. I see this with men young and old, men who have known Jesus for a long time and should know better, and men who are new to Jesus and are learning sometimes the hard way.

I will take some responsibility for this. Luke 6:40 says that when fully trained, disciples are like their teacher, and I am primary teaching pastor of this church and I can't simply look at the pride in some of our people and say that I am in no way responsible or complicit.

I'm a guy who is pretty busted up over this personally and it really came to my attention last December just in time for Christmas. The critics really brought me a lot of kind gifts of opposition and hatred and animosity. Merry Christmas. And some of those most vocal and nasty critics were Christians - some of them prominent Christians. So I was getting ready to fire back (my usual tactics). They hit you, you hit them twice and then blog about your victory. Which I don't have any verses for and don't say it was a good idea. But it had been a pattern in my life until a man named C.J. Mahaney called.

I'd always considered humility to be cowardice and a compromise. In the name of humility you give up biblical conviction and passion and the willingness to contend for the faith (Jude 3) and to fight false teaching. What he was describing was orthodoxy in belief and humility in attitude and that those two together are really what God desires. And so it got me thinking and studying and praying through pride and humility and repenting and learning and growing. So I would start by saying that I thank my dear friend C.J. Mahaney for his ongoing friendship and the kindness he has extended to me and the things I've been able to learn through his instruction.

Furthermore, I apologize and repent publicly to you, the church for whom I am responsible, for much pride in the history of my ministry that some of you have poorly imitated and for that I am deeply sorry.

And thirdly, to say that I'm not a humble man but as result of study I'm a man who is acknowledging his pride and pursuing humility by God's grace.

– Mark Driscoll, sermon on Philippians 2:1-11 (November 4, 2007), part 5 in The Rebel’s Guide to Joy in Humility (3:16-8:40)

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97 thoughts on “Driscoll’s Confession on Pride”

  1. Mason says:

    This is the single most encouraging posts I have read in a while. I praise God for His work in Mark Driscoll – I sympathize with him. O for grace.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Now, now, now, now, now….now I can finally respect the guy.

  3. Denny Burk says:

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Justin.

  4. Antonio Romano says:

    This was very convicting to read and I am very thankful to God for it. I like Mark Driscoll so much and I am so thankful for what he is doing for the Gospel. This, however, is the best thing I have ever read from him. We have a wonderful Christ and it would do us all well to stop before we react here. We could all ponder our own pride and our own sin as we consider God’s work in our brother. Let us desire the same humility and willingness to repent as our brother, Mark, has shown. Praise God for His amazing grace. He never lets us go and He will hold us in His hand until we behold His face. What a great post.

  5. David Wilson says:

    One of the most transparent and authentic confessions I have ever read.

  6. Jerry says:


  7. Zack says:

    Thanks for the post Justin.

    Driscoll is becoming one of my favorite pastors, and his steps into humility make it a lot easier to like him without feeling guilty

  8. SJ Camp says:

    Justin, have you actually watched or listened to the entire sermon online? Are you aware that “pastor” Mark specifically trashed Timmy Brister’s questions at the beginning of this message as he sarcastically sliced up Timmy and his questions on the regulative principle and the authority of God’s Word in worship referring to him as one who only lives deep in the woods; and who is an inmate who is running the asylum?

    In response to Mark’s arrogant statements, I posted this comment to Mark at his own “ask-anything” site last evening:

    “Timmy Brister is a wonderful man of God. His questions voiced here are profound and to the heart of Mark’s ministry philosophy. He asked it with grace, sincerity, charity, and true humility.

    Mark, I am addressing this here publicly to you for you made a derogatory comment about it this past Sunday publicly and indirectly about Timmy’s character and person. What made it very ironic, was that your sarcasm directed specifically to this brother’s question was in the context of a sermon on humility, the incarnation, humiliation, and coronation of Jesus Christ in your Philippians series. You confessed to your church body about the need in your own life for humility and the subsequent pride that has infected others (some men you mentioned) and that it has in turn hurt the church.

    While I appreciate your public contrition, it is hard to take it as genuine when just moments earlier you “had at it” with this tender brother in the Lord. His question is right on target considering you trumpet the “reformed” brand most anytime you speak at conferences and in interviews.

    I would humbly ask you to retract your words publicly this Sunday concerning this brother and his question. Treat it with the respect that he asked it. I would even go as far to ask you to edit out your previous snarkasm about him in last Sunday’s message. That would truly reveal a man in pursuit of humility and one is genuinely repentant over his pride.

    I say these things not as one who has arrived, but one who is in desperate need of God and His grace in my own sanctification. Please don’t let the frailty and imperfections of this servant to hinder you in any manner from doing the right thing.

    You have my prayers and Christian love…

    His Unworthy Servant in His Unfailing Love, Steve. 2 Cor. 4:5-7.

    Add to this, Mark thinks its funny as a pastor of a church, to wear a cartoon drawing of Jesus on a t-shirt depicting Him as a DJ Master P Scratcher. This doesn’t exalt the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, it rather mocks Him. And mind you, he is saying these things while trying at the same time to exposit the greatest NT passage on the incarnation, sinless life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ… and you think his own, self-aggrandized words about humility and pride are authentic?

    Lastly, Mark once again had to use scatological speech when referring to the bodily functions of Jesus in incarnation. Why? Why speak of God incarnate in such a demeaning, crass manner? This is not speech nor actions befitting an under-shepherd of Christ.

    I want to encourage you all, beloved, to do your homework before you believe the sound bites posted and throw out more knee-jerk-reaction-praise for someone who is content speaking about himself when it comes to personal issues of pride and humility.

    That in itself should be revealing.

  9. Antonio Romano says:

    Mr. Camp,

    I say, “Mr.” in all sincerity. I have all of your music, literally. I have the utmost respect for you and what you have done to maintain integrity in music ministry. You’re a great songwriter. I’ll probably never have the chance to meet you so, I just wanted to say that while I had the opportunity.

    What you quoted from Mark is disturbing. But, I thought these were the kinds of things Mark Driscoll was apologizing for? Isn’t this the kind of thing he was repenting of?

    Did he respond to your post?

  10. Adam Omelianchuk says:

    My goodness, are we looking for specks in each other’s eyes or what. Honestly, is “Timmy Brister” (who?) as offended as Mr. Camp is? If not, talk about being offended on someone’s behalf!

  11. Jayson says:

    Actually, I missed it the first time I listened but Mr. Camp makes a valid point. That being said, Timmy Brister wasn’t named by name but anyone posting legit, heartfelt question on Driscoll’s site would probably not take kindly to being labeled a “nut”. I’m trusting that Driscoll’s comment was little more than a playful jab at those who seem super-serious about their super-deep theological questions. The “regulative principle” isn’t exactly a household term. Maybe that would be a great thing to tackle at a pastor’s conference but not necessarily at a Sunday morning worship meeting. I think Driscoll is just poking fun at the theologians who are trying to hijack the series.

  12. Chris says:

    I don’t think Steve’s comment was anywhere close to “you have a speck in your eye.” Since Mark is publicly stating his desire to pursue humility, what better gift could a brother give him than to point out some glaring examples of the sin he has just publicly repented of (especially considering their close proximity to that confession)?

  13. Adam Omelianchuk says:

    What makes this a glaring example of sin? That begs the question. If you listen to the mp3 you will hear that it isn’t quite as nefarious as Steve makes it out to be. He makes it sound as if Timmy is standing on the stage next to him honestly pleading for an explanation about the Regulative Principle and he just trashes him. Not quite. He is jokingly pleading with his congregation to submit questions that have to do with weightier things than the rapture AND the regulative principle. Certainly his comments were intended as a joke. Seems a bit overwraught.

  14. Luther says:

    Did the Camp just call the kettle black?

  15. Antonio Romano says:

    Man, I don’t know. It sure does sound like Mark was just trying to be funny. I don’t know that he meant any harm against Tim Brister. In his context, I doubt anyone took what he was saying as an insult to Mr. Brister.

  16. Chris Hubbs says:

    Here’s the entirety of what Pastor Mark said on the subject. Judge for yourself.

    You could really help me out – starting in January we’re gonna do a nine week preaching series that will be answers to the top nine questions as voted on by you and the “pajamahaddein” online , so you can go to, click on “Ask Anything” until December 14th, vote upwards of ten times a day on your favorite of the top 50 questions that have made it to round two, and if you would be so kind, it would help me not to preach some of the ones that are there.

    Like right now it seems like only people who live really deep in the woods have been voting – so it’s all about the rapture and the regulative principle, so, help me please – the lunatics have taken over the asylum. So vote until December 14th, ten times a day, get all of your friends, both of them, to vote as well, we could really use it, it’d be helpful.

    There was laughter from the congregation a couple of times in there, too. My conclusion is that he was just trying to be funny.

  17. Mason says:

    Brothers – Be careful not write off Steve’s comment too hastily – especially about the t-shirt. Steve is from a school which believes men of God should carry a gravity about them. In this vein, some of the respected, older evangelicals have expressed concern about Mark. Of these men, their approach to correction/exhortation has ranged from calling him out at a conference to making personal trips to see him.

    Notice men such as Paul Washer or John Piper in the pulpit. There is no aire of levity in their sermons. They carry with them a sense of holiness – the kind of thing which commands your attention.

    Mark’s confession is encouraging. Nevertheless, the exhortation must continue – especially by the older generation.

    Dear friends, we younger evangelicals are often too flippant – playing marbles with the diamonds of God. We would do well to consider these things.

  18. Mike Riccardi says:

    Isn’t that disturbing in its own right, though? “He was just trying to be funny”? Sounds like he’s got an issue with knowing who is audience is.

    While I appreciate his acknowledging his shortcomings in humility, I think Steve makes a great point about the need to bear fruits in keeping with repentance. I also don’t appreciate the mocking shirt.

    Thanks, Steve, for saying these types of things even when they’re tough to bring up. I know this crowd is often quick to be “uncharitable” with those they deem “uncharitable.”

  19. Chris Hubbs says:

    Brothers – Be careful not write off Steve’s comment too hastily – especially about the t-shirt.

    Mason, I agree – the t-shirt is the one thing that I am uncomfortable with. Maybe that should’ve been a question I posted to the Ask Anything series – “don’t you think those t-shirts are disrespectful to Christ?” I’m sure his answer would be that he doesn’t think that they are, but I’d be very curious to hear his reasoning.

    Your point about Piper is fair, too (I’m not familiar with Paul Washer). However, I would note that there are plenty of God-fearing, older-generation pastors who have also been known to effectively use some humor in a sermon. Piper’s earnestness challenges me, but I’m not convinced that it’s the standard that God expects of all of us.

    Sounds like he’s got an issue with knowing who is audience is.

    Mike, I am quite sure he targets his sermons at the audience he has there at Mars Hill in Seattle. Given the laughter he received, it sounded like he hit his target pretty well.

  20. bart says:

    Mason, I enjoyed the Spurgeon quotes on your blog. Don’t forget your hero wasn’t above humorous remarks from the pulpit, and was no less a great man of God for it.

    Mark is no light and frivolous preacher. He proclaims the gospel with authority and fervour. And at times he punctures our pride by getting us to laugh at ourselves.

    We can all grow in taking God more seriously and ourselves more lightly.

  21. Steve H. says:

    I just love it how brothers beat up on each other in this blog site!!

  22. Chad says:

    Well, I knew someone would be able to find a speck in Driscoll’s eye even as he preaches a vulnerable, self-effacing sermon on his own lack of humility that took 50 times the courage that it takes to rip him apart online.

  23. Doug says:

    Where is the sense of proportion in response to this sermon? I can understand the misgivings about the t-shirt, and while the humor about the questions some had asked seemed mild to me, I can even see where that might seem a tad regrettable.

    Nevertheless, what I heard in that sermon was:
    1. a Christian leader admitting to a serious character flaw in a serious way, with what certainly seemed like a very sincere intention to repentantly pursue the virtue of humility
    2. an exegetically careful and relevant exposition of a crucial NT passage
    3. a lucid declaration of deeper theological matters, including the imputation of the righteousness of Christ and the authenticity of his incarnation (was SJ’s objection [above] to “scatological” language regarding Jesus a reference to Driscoll’s mentioning that Jesus went to the bathroom? I don’t see how that’s objectionable…in fact the objection almost seems docetic or gnostic).
    4. it was a sermon, preached to what I assume is a pretty post-modern group, that referred to Augustine, Luther and the deliberations of the Council of Chalcedon while at the same time taking aim at the worldly values of pride, and the disdain for humility evidenced in popular culture (e.g., via rap lyrics). The sermon was also counter-cultural by virtue of its being an hour-long ‘monologue’!
    5. The sermon was marked by affective warmth as well, repeatedly inviting us to consider how good and great Jesus is.
    6. It was filled with penetrating application — relevant to Christians as church members…and bloggers.

    So, all in all, the sermon strikes me as having the potential to be a very positive step in the life and ministry of someone who appears to be greatly gifted for kingdom work…and who recognizes that he needs to let some of the key Christian graces ‘catch up with’ his gifts.

  24. Mason says:

    “Mason, I enjoyed the Spurgeon quotes on your blog. Don’t forget your hero wasn’t above humorous remarks from the pulpit, and was no less a great man of God for it.”

    Thanks for your comment. I really enjoy Spurgeon on many things. (the quote is actually from my friend). I will not fight the occasional use of humor in the pulpit. Nevertheless, the difference in view is an atmosphere which lacks gravity. The t-shirt embodies my point.

    Nevertheless, our brother Mark is being shaped by God. And in this I will rejoice. I really don’t want to continue pointing out the negative. This confession, though incomplete, is something which should make us thankful.

  25. ryan says:

    For all the Driscoll speck pickers here just one question. When was the last time you saw a pastor be this vulnerable and honest about his flaws and failures without it being some type of sexual failure and a tearful resignation immediately following? Seriously. Take some time and read Bridges new book “Respectable Sins” and see that while you guys have a good time hacking Driscoll into little pieces, many of us see God bearing tremendous good fruit in his ministry.

    Last most of you writing about his contextualization and humor must not spend much time in Seattle. His humor is effective and also gives him incredible influence to speak to the lives of many of the people who show up to his church. The truth might be that some of us here are a little to sensitive. Besides when did mocking a question become equatable to a personal attack? Your smarter than that Steve Camp.

  26. Wielding the Sword says:

    I am so thankful for Mark Driscoll. I was thankful for him before, and I am even more thankful for him now. I cannot wait to hear this man preach when he hits 50 or 60. He has so much passion and is (as shown) growing humility as he reflects on the gospel.

  27. bonnie says:

    Why is there not as much comment traffic on the post about adoption?

  28. Dave says:


    We are complaining about a t-shirt?

    I have many issues with Driscoll (and probably very different issues than many of you), but one of them sure isn’t what shirt he is wearing.

    A band called Madison Greene has a lyric in a song that goes like this:

    how are you going to get to the spirit when you can’t get past the clothes you wear?

  29. TBR says:

    It seems Mark’s little jab at the question is his attempt to bring to light that the church needs to focus more on taking the gospel to world and being salt and light, than to have theological discussions of secondary importance. C’mon, the regulative principle? Even non-postmodern churches have settled many of the issues that are raised.

    From what I understand that point behind the questions is to address “front line” theological issues (i.e. penal substitutionary atonement). The regulative principle is, well just as he said, an issue for those living in the woods.

  30. iggy says:

    Steve J Camp,

    A man confesses and you trash him… really sad.

    You trash Mark yet hold up Luther who swore much worse and was an anti Semite… you are just a plain hypocrite over this.

    Respect where it is due… and though I am not a fan of Driscoll he has mine.

    So how is that cruise you are doing coming along… making lots of $ on that? I guess if it works for those CCM guys it should for you… it worked for Bob Larson also!

    Be blessed,

  31. Mason says:


    You are completely out of line. Your accusation is hateful. You should issue an apology to Steve, then hopefully this thread can be finished. Both sides of this discussion have great points.

    1 – This is encouraging.
    2 – There are still inconsistencies.

    Since the latter has already been stated, let’s rejoice in the former.

    And Iggy, I sincerely hope you will apologize to Steve for the tone in the latter half of your comment.

  32. bart says:

    Iggy, you should be ashamed of yourself.

  33. iggy says:

    Mason and Bart,

    Steve and I go way back and unless you know the story… don’t go there.

    And really you should aim at Steve’s tone and arrogance in HIS post against Mark…

    Steve is a hypocrite and I have no qualms in stating that… IF he repents then I will state I acknowledge his repentance… but really, before you cast stones at me… it is always better to get the whole story.

    Be blessed,

  34. cyd says:

    At one time the pulpit was known as the Sacred Desk, because men stood there alone before God and they trembled before His Word as they sought to give “the sense of it” to the people of God.

    Listen to the weighty charge the apostle Paul gives to any pastor:

    “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word…”
    2 Timothy 4:1,2a

    To the Driscollettes:
    do you really think it’s just about a t-shirt? No. It’s about the irreverence that t-shirt represents against the Person and character of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    But then again, when a man considers Chris Rock as “the best homiletics class he’s ever been to,” why would we ever expect anything more?

    Isaiah 66:2


  35. iggy says:


    A little info about Stevo…

    He likes cutting sarcasm… so stop the groupie spasm…

    Now, do the research on how much money someone will make on a cruise then read what Steve stated in his “Theses” and see the hypocrisy I speak of… many CCM artists do cruises so Steve has no room to condemn them if he does the same things himself.

    And again, go and read the “tone” and all the accusations Steve tossed out… what a farce… and shame on you both for defending him…you should repent.


  36. fascinated says:

    i was impressed that he took responsibility for sowing such pride/harshness in his congregation.

    would to God that Johnny Mac own the effects of his exigent carping on his own people.

    That church has a bad rep in their community even with conservatives because they’re so prideful

  37. iggy says:


    You have slandered me and the emerging church in you allegations against us. In the past, you have abused me in conversations without any sign of remorse or contrition. You hold up Martin Luther who used words like the “s” word and the “a” word and then turn and condemn Mark for doing even less than that. You accuse others of marketing the gospel then do cruises in which you charge at least $700 or more to those who can attend and make a healthy profit doing so.
    You also condone those who also slander and attack others with misrepresentation so their beliefs as with Team Pyro’s posters.

    You commend others for misrepresenting and slander of people like me and give no indication that you will apologize nor repent of you actions. This is hypocritical and put you in no position other than to repent and turn to God for His Mercy and Grace to help you in your arrogance and sin.

    God’s servant in Christ,

  38. Mike says:

    iggy wrote:
    “…put[s] you in no position other than to repent and turn to God for His Mercy and Grace to help you in your arrogance and sin.”

    Thank you for this statement. It is a reminder, not only to Steve Camp, but to me that I am in no position other than to repent and turn from sin and to God. That being said most everything else you have said is ludicrous and misses the point. Steve Camp does need to repent as does every single person on this blog.

    Rather than calling Steve Camp a hypocrite (which is beside the point–since everyone but Jesus falls in that category) perhaps try attacking the argument. Where I disagree with Mr. Camp is that it seems a little unfitting in the context of Driscoll’s repentance. Besides it is not for us to “accept or not accept” his repentance. His right standing is based upon the shed blood of Jesus Christ covering Him just as it does you and I. When Mark Driscoll repents and confesses his sin then he, like we, can be assured that the blood of Jesus covers him. Perhaps your letter to him is fitting…but I wonder what is to gain from making this comment here? To make sure that we do not accept Driscoll’s repentance? To keep us from listening to Driscoll? I do not see the point. You do make valid points.
    Mason, I believe, summed it up best in saying that it is encouraging and that Driscoll, like all of us, still has shortcomings. Rejoice in the former, pray for the later–in Driscoll’s life and ours.
    How ironic that in the midst of a post on Driscoll confessing pride there is so much arrogance in our comments!

    All in all I say all of these things to point out that our sin is great (Driscoll’s, Camp’s, Iggy’s, mine, everyone else who reads these words and posts on here) but our Savior is greater. Whether a man is drowning in 10 feet of sin or 100 feet, he is still drowning. Therefore, I praise God for rescuing us in Jesus Christ!!!!

  39. Anonymous says:


    All I have to say is that after reading your comments, that it is a sad, sad day for Christianity. I went further to try and understand why you seem so upset with such an angry tirade and after checking out your website and learning a little more about you, I sincerely feel sorry for you. What could have possibly happened to you to make you such a bitter, bitter person.

  40. khilljoy says:

    Good Afternoon,

    I found your blog via my Google Alert for Mars Hill Church…I would like to make a comment about Mark’s comments at the beginning of the sermon regarding the regulative principle…granted their are probably about 10 people in his entire congregation who didn’t have to look it up to know what it was…it is a topic that would not do well as a sermon subject on any level at Mars Hill…the demographic we are aiming to reach is 20 something males…Granted Mr. Brister asked a good question…it still remains that Mark was pleading with us on Sunday to make our voices heard…by seeing the topic of the regulative principle that high it is apparent that there were a lot of people outside of MH that were blogging and asking for these topics to be covered…I personally would not want to see that topic as a sermon but it might be interesting to cover in one of the Reformation Conferences…

    As a note on his sermon…I sat there almost in tears…It takes a lot to get up in front of your congregation and bear your sins before them…but I think it takes even more to get up there knowing that in a days time what you said will be blogged on some no name website (not saying that yours is, I have just seen a lot of them pop up lately) that goes out to hundreds of others where people with nothing better to do but sit there and pick apart every last syllable being spoken…I admire and applaud Mark…

    If it was not for Mars Hill, I would not have found Jesus…

    Everyone has their faults…Mark has his too…I have mine…each of you have yours…does sitting around blogging about he said she said really help to build the community of Jesus Christ?

    There is a time for rebuke and personally I don’t think any of you have the right to rebuke Mark…You may not like the way he said something but, the best thing you can do is to pray for him…

    God is doing amazing things at MH and I applaud God for using Mark even in his Pride and Aarogance…and that God is working on Mark’s heart to bring him into more correctly assessed relationship with Christ.

    Sorry this was so long and wordy…


  41. iggy says:


    I find it fascinating that people who do not even know me can cast stones and call me a “bitter” person…

    I am not bitter… most anyone who knows me will state this…

    I am also fascinated how anyone who states the facts and points out that Steve is no better than Mark can then cast stones on me…

    If all you read was my statement to people who stated slanderous attacks against me, then you still have no idea who I am.

    Steve needs to repent… Team Pyro needs to repent… Mark has and they and you still attack him…

    So it seems that those who claim Grace to you cannot give any.

    And that is the saddest point that is missed here.

    funny to me is that one person cannot even give their own name and has to post anonymous to attack me.

    Those Camp supporters stated in all their “niceties” worse things than I stated flat out.


  42. Hayden says:

    I listened to the sermon today and was blessed. Actually I have listened to this whole series and really enjoyed it.

    I started out many months ago a man that was critical and wary of Driscoll. What I knew about him I learned second hand. After listening to him a short while, I repented of my judgmental attitude towards my brother in Christ who may no ‘do’ everything the way that I do. Now, I listen to him as part of my weekly sermon listening and feeding time. (I am a pastor so I try to listen to people preach to feed me)

    All I can say is that he has really helped me to grow in my appreciation for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on my behalf. Mark says that he is a band with one song, “Jesus” and because of that I Am thankful for him.

  43. Chris says:


    I really shouldn’t, but…

    “A man confesses and you trash him… really sad.” Therefore, you are justified in trashing him back? Two wrongs don’t make a right, but I’ll bet it feels good anyway.

    “And again, go and read the “tone” and all the accusations Steve tossed out… what a farce…” That’s right, because your tone is so irenic here, and you have made no accusations of your own.

    “If all you read was my statement to people who stated slanderous attacks against me, then you still have no idea who I am.” Perhaps. But hijacking an unrelated comments thread to make accusations about Steve’s ministry cruise has communicated volumes about yourself, like it or not.

  44. Mike Riccardi says:

    Chris:Mike, I am quite sure he targets his sermons at the audience he has there at Mars Hill in Seattle. Given the laughter he received, it sounded like he hit his target pretty well.

    Chris. Exactly. His audience needs to be God. When God’s the preacher’s audience, all this nonsense about reaching a target audience and adapting and contextualizing and being funny and engaging goes out the window.

    Cyd:At one time the pulpit was known as the Sacred Desk, because men stood there alone before God and they trembled before His Word as they sought to give “the sense of it” to the people of God. … Do you really think it’s just about a t-shirt? No. It’s about the irreverence that t-shirt represents against the Person and character of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Amen. Thank you, Cindy, for your courage in saying this. Oh that the Lord would be pleased to grant us ears to hear.

  45. Julie R. Neidlinger says:

    “Actually, I missed it the first time I listened but Mr. Camp makes a valid point.”

    No, Mr. Camp does not make a valid point. Rather, he makes a valid point… for Driscoll. And for what Driscoll said.

    Mr. Camp was once referred to (by John MacArthur, I believe)as “Keith Green with theology” — that would make Keith Green, were he still alive, “Steve Camp, with humility.”

    I had a Steve Camp cassette tape once.

  46. Open 24 Hours says:

    To Driscoll,
    To Camp,
    To Brister,
    To Iggy,
    To Myself,
    To All,

    Why not rather be wronged?

  47. SJ Camp says:

    I continue to marvel that one of the unmistakable fruits of the Emergent/Emerging Church is to not respond lucidly, irenically, or biblically to valid issues and concerns raised as to doctrine and practice but to simply rant. This is precisely what I believe Mark was addressing in his message; that it is this kind of unteachable arrogance he has helped breed among others – especially young men. For that admission I am most grateful and he has my prayers and affection in the Lord as he presses on to Christlikeness in his life and ministry.

    The issue here is one that Cyd touched upon briefly: it is one of reverence in ministry.
    A godly sobermindedness when one is behind the sacred desk to exposit God’s holy Word has been forgotten today. When pulpit ministry is approached with a Chris Rock cavalier adolescent frivolity it is not consistent with the holy calling for any pastor.

    As the prophet Isaiah rightly said, ““But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word. “

    As Watson one time said when speaking of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ: “Jesus Christ is the sum and quintessence of the gospel; the wonder of angels; the joy and triumph of saints. The name of Christ is sweet, it is as music in the ear, honey in the mouth, and a cordial at the heart… the Mediator of the covenant, the restorer of lapsed sinners.”

    May those words mark all of our lives.

    Thank you Mason, Mike, Mike R., KhillJoy, Chris, Hayden, Cyd, and others here who actually took the time to engage on the theme of this thread and the concerns raised.

    May we continue to “provoke one another to love and good works…” amen?

    His Unworthy Servant in His Unfailing Love,

    2 Cor. 4:5-7

  48. Julie R. Neidlinger says:

    Sounds good. Let’s do it.

    (I’m not in the emerging church, though. But anyway… let’s be wronged. Let’s be humble. And, if our refusal to enter a never-ending conversation that can’t be “won” means it sounds like we are refusing to “engage” — let’s go back to being wronged.)

    Note on engagement in conversations and debates: short engagements are still engagements, and are sometimes known as “succinct.” Verbosity is merely lots of words.

  49. iggy says:

    This has been very interesting…

    I am told i am just ranting… yet Steve then give no biblical concerns on doctrine… instead he calls me names.

    i am

    1. unteachable
    2. Arrogant

    Now, if you knew me, the people who do would totally not even know who you are talking about… and these kind of accusations against me are always met with laughter by those who do!

    He does not even bother to address thing biblically himself but takes some self righteous high road to attack me in his abusive manner. So how is name calling a discussion on biblical doctrines?

    As far hijacking this thread… Steve made some accusations and my point is that he is in no position to demand anything from anyone. So I am guilty of stating that Steve need be less worried about someone else who was not as offended as he was… and worry about his own ministry that has just as many contradictions in it. Pushing Luther as “godly”, a man who would freely use the “s” word and then have a separate standard for Mark… that is hypocrisy… plain and simple.

    So in the context of this thread, Steve hijacked it in his demands that are unwarranted and uncalled for.

    I am not a Driscoll fan at all, yet I have more respect in this act of contrition than any doctrine Steve spouts out them contradicts in his actions.

    I too USED to own many Steve Camp tapes… I do not anymore.

    By calling me names does not make Steve more humble and quoting Isaiah and Watson does not prove anything other than he can cut and paste Scripture. Again… he talks about biblical doctrine and its importance but then falls short in actually following through on acting on it.

    I have been attacked by MacArthurites for the last few years now… I used to think JM was a good person, but I see the fruit from those who attack me and shudder…

    They justify judging others and teach we are mandated to inspect fruit… if one understands that we are all bad tree with bad fruit… and no one is “good” except God alone… then they will understand all fruit we produce is bad. Only God can produce His good fruit in and though us… we just bear it. Yet, MacAruthur teaches we somehow have our own fruit magically changed into good fruit… and that anti biblical.

    John MacArthur adds to the Gospel works by demanding one must become a disciple at conversion… he also teaches that if one used the word “Lord” they magically are more saved than others who do not…

    But Jesus said not all that call me “Lord” will be saved… so JM is teaching a form of easy believism he think he is teaching against.

    Steve condemns those in CCM as being all about money… yet does things like cruises and I bet makes more money in that endeavor than most ministers do in a year.

    As far as who I am… i am nobody… other than a victim of the abuse of those who follow John MacArthur.

    The theme of this thread changed when Steve demanded Mark to apologize to for offending (and we do not even know if the one so called offended was or not) someone else… I never changed it but followed Steve in his hijack by attempting to show that Steve is in no position to demand anything from any one as we are all sinners saved by grace and it is by God’s mercy we are allowed into His Kingdom.

    So, Steve, please do not patronize me with you false humility and arrogant display of self righteousness… in fact I see you, a mere man, pass judgment on others and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? And that you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?

    No one is worthy Steve… and to play “unworthy servant card” is truly sad. For i am worthy in Christ and proud to stand on His blood and boldly go before you in His Power as Paul did to Peter.

    I am more than willing to go head to head biblically with you… for i am not standing on my own power but Christ’s alone.


  50. iggy says:

    24 hours,

    I agree and have been wronged… but I see that God stands against those who do injustice… and slandering one’s brother is injustice. I am warning people about and against people who commit abuse against their brothers and sisters.

    This is biblical as Paul stated at times certain men had done him great harm and warned others to stay away from them.

    Be blessed,

  51. candyinsierras says:

    It is too bad that nobody mentioned the graciousness, patience, and humility with which C.J. Mahaney took the time to minister to Mark Driscoll. Mahaney accomplished much more in his fellowship and personal time with Mark than the numerous blogs that have pointed out Mark’s faults. Blogs may have been instrumental in pointing out some of Mark’s flaws, but Mahaney took the extra step and actually met with Mark to work on some of the issues,and he obviously did so with gentleness and humility.

  52. JT says:

    Great point, candyinsierras.

    I sincerely pray that some of Mark’s harsher critics–the kind who seem obsessed with him and never let an opportunity pass without critiquing him–would have C.J. Mahaneys in their lives. Even if they don’t, I hope that they will be asking godly brothers or sisters in their lives, “Who is my tone? Am I expressing arrogance? Am I seeing evidences of grace? Am I expressing brokenness over my own sin? Am I stirring up trouble? Am I balanced? Am I expressing arrogance or a haughty attitude”?

    At the end of the day, I think it is usually the path of wisdom to ignore divisive people, which I’m trying to do.


  53. Napoleon says:

    53 comments in less than a day, many less than edifying to anyone. I felt like I was watching a soap opera or reading National Inquirer. Justin, why don’t you just stop the madness and end this before it gets more out of control?

  54. Napoleon says:

    Justin, let me clarify what I said. By saying “stop the madness”, I mean can you just not allow any more comments on this post? Not claiming that you are promoting the madness…just that you are the only one with the power to stop it. Well…I guess God could remove your blog or just break people’s fingers while they are typing, but I think you get the point. Thanks!

  55. Anonymous says:

    Driscoll had some wise words in that sermon that I think we would all do well to remember here:

    “Laugh… You are ridiculous.”

    This is true. I am ridiculous, and it’s good to keep that in mind.

  56. iggy says:


    I want to say that if i offended you I apologize. I know I stated some pretty strong things about Steve Camp here.

    My intent is not to attack Steve or even MacArthur, rather to show that there is nothing good enough for these guys. Even a heartfelt confession is not enough.

    It is like when Ken Silva was going after Dan Kimball and Dan showed Ken that he was orthodox… and Ken stated that since he was part of emergent, he was a heretic…it did not matter what the facts were or what it was some guy deciding that the other was wrong and gave no grace or chance for reconciliation.

    I hold that open to Steve, but doubt he will do anything for that.

    I am not a MD fan much at all… and I was shocked to hear Mark had done this and very pleased!

    I guess what bothers me is how some critics just do not have any grace nor care to. They just want to spout off to all what they think is wrong and offer no chance for reconciliation. They minister the ministry of death and condemnation and show contempt for the kindness of God.

    I am also glad that there are men like C.J. Mahaney who are out there ministering Grace and to others.

    I see that some act holy and it is just that an act… and these men are quick to judge others and care little if their facts are even right… in fact, they don’t even care to really check facts and seem to assign beliefs to others and not listen to what we do believe.

    They are more interested in living under the teachings of 16th century theologians and doctrines that came about in the 1860’s than trying to see that others understand the wider historical context of our faith.

    Mark has a great calling, and though again I am not a fan, i have even spoken out against his language and a few other things I am drawn in to defend him at times against those who choose to judge him and attack him while their own house is just as bad or truly worse.

    I again did not mean to disrespect you and hope you did not see that in my comments here and again truly apologize if you felt I have.

    This is not a war, it is a cancer… that brothers in Christ will deem another part of the body not as worthy as they are themselves and attack the Body of Christ. I see those of True faith need stand up to these bullies for their own doctrines and in a strong way let them know they are out of line… admittedly I still am working on that. LOL!

    Be blessed,

  57. Kyle says:

    Iggy said:
    “I guess what bothers me is how some critics just do not have any grace nor care to.”

    ….let he who is without sin cast the first stone!

  58. Erin D. says:


    please stop. just stop! please? you do not have to prove you are right or always be the one with the last word. you conduct yourself like this throughout the blogosphere, always fighting and arguing with others. stop stirring up problems and wounding people. enough is enough!

  59. Jeff Patterson says:

    Ryan [11/09 03:39pm: “When was the last time you saw a pastor be this vulnerable and honest about his flaws and failures without it being some type of sexual failure and a tearful resignation immediately following?”] — Well said! My generation needs that. We don’t need simply polished and “right” preachers. We need humble, passionate, God-centered ones.

    My thoughts: There is a tendency to polarize people, particularly visible preachers, and ones who take a stand — especially ones who are in the process of sanctification while very much in the public eye. If one is not in “my camp” (seriously, no pun intended), I can justify lobbying bombs over at them. When I listen to the entire sermon and watch the video I am encouraged and convicted. Like Driscoll (who said he was preaching this message at myself, and we are welcome to listen in) I need to listen to it for myself. Humility and Orthodoxy. Let’s keep those two together, married, and allow God to get the credit. I confess that while I am always bent on being orthodox, I have not attained humility as the bent of my life. To quote C.J. Mahaney, I want to be on that “trajectory” in and towards godliness.

    By the way, I literally live out here in the woods in the Pacific NW (without even mobile phone service at my home, and I cannot even see my neighbor’s home), appreciate the “Regulative Principle” question, and am an avid reader of Timmy Brister and his irenic and insightful attitude. I have consistently voted for his question (we need some good dialogue about it, I think), and also other questions like — What can traditional/established churches learn from “emerging” churches?

  60. iggy says:


    I know I am a bit in your face… but to say what you are saying is not true at all…

    In fact the only people I “fight” with, I stopped going to their sites, like Christian Research Network and and such as there is no conversation and if there is one you must agree with them… or you are mocked and attacked.

    As far as getting the last word in and being right… I am less concerned about ME being right than showing Jesus is right… And as far as the last word… I respond to people who address me… as now… and you are free to respond… this usually happens until the conversation ends… and most often I do end it… but that is not about “getting the last word in” as many have gotten their words in against me well after I stopped going to their site.

    Now, what bothers me about your telling me to stop is that it is after I apologized and then confess my weaknesses… which is what I stated earlier, that even confession and apologies are not enough for some or you.

    You say i am wounding people? Who? I see that those I talk to thank me more than anything else, except those in the MacArthur crowd who seem to hate me… and many others and abuse people all over with lies and slander… like this.

    So tell me who is wounding who… and then tell them to stop wound people like me with things like this which is a gross misrepresentation and slanderous lies as to what people like me are about and doing… but if you support them in that and do not see them as abusive and harming others… then in my best postmodernist voice i say… “whatever”… And I thank you for caring how much these people have harmed me and others like me.

    Now, you can have you last word, I am done… sorry again J.T. if I have gone too far…

    Thanks for posting this on Mark… it is very encouraging.

    I am done… have your say… I again applaud Mark.

  61. donsands says:

    “I’m not a humble man but as result of study I’m a man who is acknowledging his pride and pursuing humility by God’s grace.”

    That’s a good statement. Humility is sweet, and it’s the easy yoke and light burden we can carry with our Lord.
    Pride is a heavy burden. I deal with it’s grip every day, and sometimes it wins, and this sin is one with a “Catch 22″.

    But the Lord is fathful to discipline His children. His children will be humbled. As we cry out as Paul the Apostle: “O wretched man that I am! who will deliver me from this body of death!?”
    God will show us Christ! The Savior on the Cross is our heart’s humility come to fruition.
    When we see the crucified Lord and Friend, then pride lifts it’s grip, the devil flees, and nothing else matters but Christ.

    But this battle will be until we die, or the Lord comes.

    As far as reading all the accusations against Steve, Teampyro, and John MacArthur; it made me uncomfortable and made me wonder, does accusing belong here.
    I Pray the Lord will bring this conflict to a quick resolve. Amen.

  62. Anonymous says:

    I have perused this comment thread for about 20 minutes now.

    I am deeply saddened. This is not the place to slander anyone – be it Driscoll or Camp.

    We are brothers and sisters in Christ, and ought to be VERY cautious in publicly critisizing anyone – especially those who are leaders in the Evangelical world.

    A few ideas of how to conduct ourselves in the blogsphere:

    1. Type less, and listen more.
    2. Pray for humility and wisdom before typing anything – especially regarding controversial issues.
    3. Give others the benefit of the doubt.
    4. Discern whether your words are beneficial for the audience and the topic discussed. Perhaps some of these comments could be left for our wives’ ears and for the throne room.

    For the sake of the gospel, let’s be humble.

  63. Anonymous says:


    No need to respond to this. I just wanted to say that after looking into some of the issues that you have been upset about I do see and understand your concern… and agree with much of it.

    I think it was appropriate for you to apologize to Justin and the blog audience and I’m glad you did. Next time you find yourself in the middle of one of these chaotic discussions it would greatly benefit you to leave out the bits about the personal attacks and do your best to bring up things objectively.

    Seeing that you were so adamant about it all I went ahead and did some of the research into the discussions between you and Camp yet many others will just write you off as personally offended because you “got corrected” instead of the legitimate concern that it actually is.

    So be encouraged and be weary. There is still grace for you and I am actually glad that you brought my attention to some of these things. Although other matters certainly should have been a private conversation between you and Camp. Be blessed!


  64. Julie R. Neidlinger says:


    “Mahaney accomplished much more in his fellowship and personal time with Mark than the numerous blogs that have pointed out Mark’s faults.”


    I’ve said it a few times on my blog, to myself and others, exactly what you essentially said: That personal interaction is more than all the wild and accusatory “God” blogging can accomplish.

    Excellent, excellent point. Glad you said it.

  65. bart says:

    For those who had concerns about Driscoll’s remarks about the regulative worship question, Mark just posted on the Ask Anything site:

    Off to Scotland after preaching tomorrow. But, for the record, I do think this is a good question and kindly stated. Especially with some Emergent type churches incorporating icons, labrynths, prayer walking etc. it raises the issue of where a line is drawn between pagan and Christian worship practice. So, I do see this question as allowing me to speak broadly about how Scripture regulates our corporate worship as well as define worship in general as a life lived in totality under God’s rule over all. And, the man who asked the question is a man I have never meet and so I have no personal troubles with him at all. One of our Acts 29 planters I believe does know him and speaks very well of him as a great and thoughtful brother. Perhaps one day we will meet, and I suspect before then I will be preaching his question and I sincerely look forward to doing so as it is worthwhile. Off to pack…

  66. Anonymous says:

    I know that Timmy wants the focus put onto Jesus.

    It might help whoever is involved in this conversation to read this.

    Here is the conclusion:
    I am asking that this chapter come to a close that we might get our eyes back on Jesus. Let us “resolve to take our distempered hearts to be cured by Jesus Christ” and humbly live in view of our exalted and risen Lord.

  67. cyd says:


    Is it possible that your financial relationship with Mark Driscoll as a newly contracted Crossway author has colored your judgment here?

    I have been following this discussion as it has unfolded. I see several people here who have graciously pointed out concerns with Mark Driscoll, in a tone of Christian love and respect. These kinds of questions should not be ignored. Men of God do not ignore what is divisive. They deal with it biblically and forthrightly. Why is it then, that you choose to ignore and label those voices expressing concerns here as being divisive, yet post things about Driscoll that are in fact, very divisive in and of themselves? Many of us who like your blog are deeply concerned when it comes to Driscoll, for the same reasons that have been mentioned here in this thread.

    When a man of God has truly been humbled by Him, he does not go out immediately announcing his struggle with humility to the church. Why? Because that man is left quiet under conviction. The one who has been truly humbled is silenced under the heavy hand of God Himself; his mouth is shut regarding himself, and joyfully opened in praise and adoration for his God. Others will see and speak of the change and the man of God will not announce his propensity toward pride or his pursuit of humility as if it were some sort of huge revelation. Such public disclosure is simply masked boasting. I pray that Mark grows down in humility and up in adoration. I also hope he gets rid of his collection of Jesus tee-shirts. They mock the Son of God and contradict whatever the spoken message may be. This is offensive, and I am baffled by Christians who excuse a pastor who habitually flaunts his low view of Jesus on a t-shirt. Word and conduct must coincide.

  68. Anonymous says:

    You wrote “I sincerely pray that some of Mark’s harsher critics–the kind who seem obsessed with him and never let an opportunity pass without critiquing him”…perhaps Driscoll is simply reaping what he has sown.


  69. Anonymous says:


    First, let me say that I am not a Driscoll fan.

    However, Driscoll did say that God revealed this to his A YEAR AGO. So he has waited a year (hopefully in prayer) for this topic to coincide with his preaching schedule and then publicly admitted his struggle so his people would no longer emulate him in that way. I just think your assessment is a little off.

    Also, there have been people that graciously pointed out concerns about Driscoll, yet some of these people have also been very ungracious. Some of them have been divisive and some of the supporters of Driscoll have been divisive. It is wrong to assume that JT’s comments were aimed only at the ungracious people towards Driscoll… he probably means both sides. I think that it is heart in the matter… not taking sides.

    Additionally, Piper and Grudem both work with/for Crossway from time to time (or frequently really) but JT has pointed out within the past several months when he disagreed with one of them on the whole paedobatist vs. credobaptist debate (I don’t remember which was which because it was all very confusing). And he also point out the discussion between Piper and Grudem when Piper was being corrected for some uncharitable language he used. So to assume that there is some sort of coloring from financial gain (which, let’s be honest, Crossway and Justin will be fine whether Driscoll publishes anymore books with them or not) is unfair as well.

    Lastly, if the Jesus tee-shirts offend then he probably should not wear them. However, I find it interesting that we all immediately recognize these as “Jesus” tee-shirts when it is a white guy in a robe. It’s possible Driscoll wears them as subtle way to point out our false American conceptions of what Jesus looked like during His earthly ministry. Unless his shirt is made of mixed fibers the Bible has nothing specific to say about his tee-shirt. Would we all be upset if it was a picture of Jesus playing a lyre? If not, then why get upset about a turntable. They are both instruments.

    I’ve sat here and watched people nitpick about things (whether it be against Driscoll or Camp or each other’s comments) but we all really need to lighten up. If the Lord has convicted Driscoll of his pride (and we’re not too judgmental to pretend like we know better just because he announced it from the pulpit) and He doesn’t like Driscoll’s tee-shirts, then He will probably convict him of that as well.

    Besides, what is JT supposed to do? Come on here and correct us or the subjects of his blog every single time one of us has a concern about one of the multiple posts he makes each day about a variety of topics?

    The point of JT’s post was to encourage us to be humble… not to deal with all the side issues that come up every single time he does anything on HIS blog.

    Just some thoughts. None of this was written with a sarcastic intention and I do not profess to know better than you or be better than you in any way. I simply see things differently. I hope I have not angered you or anyone else.


  70. Carla Rolfe says:

    I don’t often read here, but a friend suggested that I do, and so I did. I must say that after reading through the comment thread I was more than a little disheartened by several statements. Although, this doesn’t surprise me personally because this is the sort of thing that I see happening just about any time someone has a negative or critical word to say about Mark Driscoll.

    I have not be able to download his sermon, but after reading the transcript I can say that I’m glad he said all those things. I only hope that the Holy Spirit is truly working on this man’s heart and that the fruit of that will soon be evident. I can say the same for myself, and every other professing believer.

    One of the things mentioned here that are of a serious concern to a lot of people (and something my Sunday school teacher spoke so articulately on this morning), is the seeming lack of reverance and holy fear, coming from Driscoll as it pertains to the calling of pastor. The fact that he steps into the pulpit and starts cracking jokes and using off-color language to describe the things of God, the people of God, the unsaved, and just about anything else, is quite common for him (see the question [currently #7] about his ‘joking’ at his “Ask Anything” site).

    It’s not as if having a sense of humor is a bad thing at all, but there is a time and a place for it and Driscoll doesn’t seem to have much discernment when it comes to laying aside the jokes when standing to deliver the word of God.

    Not just picking on Driscoll here, but it seems like far too many adult evangelicals in the age range of 35-50 are in the same perpetual-adolescent category where they can have more in-depth discussions about the latest Simpsons episode (or any other worldly, culturally ‘hot-topic’ item) than they can about the weightier matters of Scripture. This is my generation and I have to say it’s rather embarassing that so many don’t seem to want to grow up and put away childish things.

    My own two cents, for what it’s worth.

    Carla Rolfe

  71. SJ Camp says:

    Cyd and Carla:
    These are two very accurate, well-thought out, grace-filled, Christ honoring comments.

    The issue that you both touched upon is the same one that I have been burdened about for sometime with Driscoll and others within the “emerging, contextualized church” IS the reverence of the Lord Jesus Christ in ministry. All other concerns pale in comparison.

    When a pastor continually makes light of the character of our Lord by speaking in scatological tones about the Son of Man’s bodily functions in incarnation or wearing T-Shirts that rather mock the King of Righteousness rather than glorify Him, then something is terribly awry.

    Mark is an excellent promoter of himself; but I do pray that one with such influence with so many young men around the country would take seriously the call, role and office of a pastor and bring reverence to the pulpit at MarsHill Church. It’s not the culture nor himself that he serves; but the Lord Jesus Christ.

    2 Timothy 4:1-2a says, “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the Word; This is the holy and sober charge given by the Apostle Paul to young Timothy for the ministry. He brings the nexus of pastoral ministry to the cliff’s edge when he commands, “preach the Word…” There must be godly fear associated with that duty and privilege.

    It should be a concern for anyone here when a man considers his greatest influence in homiletics one like Chris Rock; for it is the fruit of that adolescent sway that is breeding the cavalier, casual approach to pastoral ministry. That does not exemplify humility and does in fact inflame pride.

    As to Mark’s constant infatuation to wear T-Shirts that portray our Lord in the most demeaning, silly, and insulting ways, I wonder if someone came out with a line of T-Shirts depicting Mark, his church, and/or his worship team in the same way he has depicted the Lord Jesus would the Driscolletes here consider it just as funny or would they be offended and cry foul?

    Sadly, we all know the answer to that question and therein lays the concern.

    Thank you again C and C for not ignoring this issue and having the courage to speak the truth in love.

    In His Sovereign Grace,
    Col. 1:9-14

  72. webbo6 says:

    I’m new to Driscoll & cringe at some of the things he does. The T-shirt was not a good thing. However Mark seems to me to be growing in grace & humility. The sermon was dead on. It caused me by God’s grace to examine my own filthy pride. Come on ya’ll give the guy some room. I used to be a pastor of a pentecostal holiness church. I preached & taught so many things in sheer ignorance & God was gracious to me to lead me out by those who faithfully taught God’s word. I was so far from even being able to understand the glorious truths of theology, the big issues of our churches was whether a woman could cut her hair or wear pants or go to a baseball game.
    I just saying brothers & sisters lets praise the goodness of God for what he is doing. Mark could have very easily been a Brian Maclaren or a Doug pagitt but there he stands faithfully declaring the truth of God’s word despite his rough maybe very rough edges.

    I love all of you. Many of you in these blogs have been helpful in my growth as a Christian. Justin T, Steve Camp, John Mac, Pyroteam, iggy and all my reformed brothers & sisters I’m just happy to be here!!!!! As Rodney King said “Can… can’t we just get along!”

    Soli deo Gloria

  73. Anonymous says:

    Brothers and Sisters,

    I am not claiming to follow Driscoll, Camp, Macarthur, etc…I am a Christian and all teachers in the body of Christ are mine and I am God’s. My heart feels so saddened by the responses on this blog from Steve Camp and Iggy. This is not the place to carry on this kind of conversation. Both Camp and Iggy seem to be trying to get in the last word, though I do not claim to judge the motive behind this. As C.J. Mahaney often says we need to recognize the evidences of grace in peoples lives. Steve Camp let me ask you a question. This question does not come from any accusation or assumption I truly want to know your answer. Have you ever thanked God for the work that He is doing through Mark Driscoll? I don’t agree with a lot of what he does/says, but the way to correct him is not by rebuking him when he is seeking to be transparent about his struggle with pride. Many of Job’s “comforters” were speaking theologically accurate statements, but the timing was inappropriate. Camp there may be a time and a place in which you will be able to speak into Mark’s life, but I don’t think this is it. Iggy, I hurt for you and for the pain that brothers and sisters in the body of Christ have inflicted upon you. Oh, how grievous it is when God’s people hurt each other with their words and actions. I doubt that the things that Steve Camp has done toward you have been done maliciously although they might have. The point is welcome each other as brother’s in Christ. Oh, please allow the kingdom of God to break in, in this area. Oh, how the disarray and confusion that is manifest on this blog, should make us long for the new heavens and the new earth when all the former things are done away with. Oh, for the time when brothers and sisters dwell together in perfect unity worshiping around the throne and serving in the new heavens and new earth. Iggy and Steve and others the issues being addressed in this post seem to be a matter of allowing each other to stand before the Lord and pray that the Lord would enable them to stand. Oh, how I am grieved by the effects of sin in my life and in this world. I am sure that even with the best intentions that I have for this post, that I will have offended someone or done something to push someone’s buttons. In advance, I apologize for this. This has not been my intention. If I knew what things would offend needlessly I would remove them from the post. I long for their to be unity in the body of Christ. Please, please, please brothers and sisters allow the cross and resurrection to be a reality that comes to bear on this discussion. I find myself disillusioned with division and disunity in the body of Christ. At times I feel like stepping away from the Church, and I am a leader in the Church, but then I realize that grace is really only found in the body of Christ. And when this grace is expressed toward one another it is a beautiful and soul satisfying means of nourishment that God provides for his people. L

  74. Steph VG says:

    Unbelievable. If I was outside of Christ and His Body, after reading this conversation, I wouldn’t want in.

    This man freely opens himself up to our (often unfair) scrutiny because he’s trying to obey the Lord in a wholly new and difficult way. And don’t say the, at best incomplete, scrutiny of strangers is indeed fair because he’s a public figure. He is that, but he’s also a man, with a wife and children, who, as one commenter said, is in the process of sanctification while very much in the public eye. We most of us have the luxury of being pruned and refined relatively privately. Driscoll understands he is accountable before God for the insidious sin of pride in his own life, and more than that, as a pastor, he is accountable before God for the problems he’s seen arise in his congregation, and he’s taking responsibility. Good for him for doing the hard but necessary thing! We should be praying for him and for Mars Hill, because now that the issue is out in the open, now that they will be rowing against the current, now is when the hard work actually begins.

    If I was an unbeliever reading here, I would see very little of Christ in many of the responses (what little there is would be camouflaged by some of the very unChristlike remarks), and would want nothing to do with any so-called Body that should be known by its love for one another, but instead attacks itself in such a way.

    Where is Christ to be found in this conversation? Shame. on. us.

  75. REM says:

    Irony of ironies in light of this:

    Also, Timmy doesn’t sound that broke up:

    Driscoll’s opponents now hang on everything he says. At some point, you have to charge Wil E. Coyote with being the Road Runner’s biggest fan. Attention can be a sanctioning thing.

  76. Lynn Michaels says:

    Steph VG said:

    “Unbelievable. If I was outside of Christ and His Body, after reading this conversation, I wouldn’t want in.”

    Steph, the Grace of God is irresistable and is not dependent upon the actions of a man or men to save men and women. When God draws a man or women, nothing can interfere.

    While some of what has been written is a little harsh, I do not thing what has been written is as bad as you make it sound.

    You said: “Where is Christ to be found in this conversation? Shame. on. us.” I believe there has been more said to bring God honor and Christ glory than you are willing to see and admit. Many have spoken the truth in love here, there is just strong disagreement and some are just more passionate than others.

    If you are troubled so much by what is written here, I would respectfully encourage you to stay away from blogs and not read on this topic. Mark Driscoll himself admits that he is controversial. He also stated on a Desiring God promo video that he goes too far sometimes and steps over the edge. He also talks about bringing punk and Indie concerts (non Christian) into his church where one performer stripped and another lit a marijuana joint up in the middle of the sanctuary. How do you expect others that may disagree with this to just ignore it? It is not unloving for men and women to discuss their agreement or disagreement with what he does and says. Good people are allowed to disagree with the minds that God has given them.

  77. Anonymous says:


    It is true that God’s grace is irresistable. However, it is equally true that God ordains the means as well as the ends. To say that “nothing” can get in the way of God’s grace is a true statement. However, it is not the entire truth. Because of our actions or lack of actions people may reject the gospel. We are responsible to adorn the teaching of our Lord and Savior to make it attractive to others. Dr. John Piper once said that if we (the Church) does not send missionaries then their will be people that go to hell because of our (the Church’s) disobedience. Dr. John Piper has also stated that He is a full-fledged 5 point (7 point: Best of all possible worlds and double predestination)Calvinist. I think your understanding of irresistable grace is being misapplied in this situation.

  78. Steph VG says:

    Lynn, thanks for the balance. I wasn’t directing my concern at most of the comments that spoke directly to what Mark Driscoll said, or addressed inconsistencies in His ministry; perhaps I could have made that more clear.

    The point of JT’s post wasn’t to lift up Mr. Driscoll as a paragon of pastoral virtue or the example of how to minister in American culture; it was to direct our attention to an example of public confession and repentance seldom seen in American Christians.

    I wasn’t intending to get into a discussion of Mr. Driscoll’s ministry practices. I was talking more about the vitriol some of the commenters used one with another about one another, and even some of the remarks about Mr. Driscoll. While rooted in issues that should concern the Body of Christ, concern was expressed too harshly at times, and without the caution that should come when most of us don’t know him personally. When reading all the previous comments one after another, I was dismayed at the overall tone.

    My comments about unbelievers were not related to salvation as much as our responsibility to be ambassadors of Christ. We are to look like Him and sound like Him, and I was dismayed by the name-calling and ungracious speech I read here. The issue wasn’t salvation, but rather how we were reflecting the Christ we lift high.

    I wasn’t intending to sanction or condone any unBiblical or unGodly practices in Mr. Driscoll’s ministry, nor was I implying that an unbeliever’s salvation would rest upon what they read here. Thanks for helping me to clarify.

  79. Lynn says:

    anonymous said:

    “It is true that God’s grace is irresistable. However, it is equally true that God ordains the means as well as the ends. To say that “nothing” can get in the way of God’s grace is a true statement. However, it is not the entire truth. Because of our actions or lack of actions people may reject the gospel.”

    Huh? With all due respect it seems you contradict yourself here. People reject the Gospel, whether we act or do not act, because they were predestined to reject the Gospel. I also disagree with Dr. John Piper. People will go to Hell because they are depreved and have rejected Christ, not because the Church failed to send missionaries. God has already predestined those to salvation whom He has chosen to save irregardless of the actions of men or women. It is God who saves and God who ordains the means and methods whereby those He has chosen will be saved. NOTHING will interfere with that process.

    anonymous also said:
    “I think your understanding of irresistable grace is being misapplied in this situation.”

    I think I am understanding correctly what you are trying to point out but respectfully disagree with you. I do not believe I am mistaken in what I am stating.

    Steph VG,

    Thank you for your gracious response and clarification. I agree! We are to be godly ambassadors for Christ. Please do not forget that there are many like Peter within the Body of Christ and God uses them despite their harshness and quick swords.

  80. Anonymous says:


    I should have clarified. Obviously the ultmate grounds for why someone rejects the gospel is because they were not chosen by God. The judicial grounds for their judgment is their own depravity. What I think Dr. John Piper is getting at is that because God ordains the means if we as the Church (universal) disobey the clear teaching of Scripture to actively take the gospel to the nations that we will have culpability in our failure to act. As such the command to adorn the gospel is not an empty command. People will either be repelled, repulsed, or indifferent to the greatness of our God because of us. Obviously, not ultimately because of us, but penultimately.

  81. Nick says:

    Lynn said:
    “Please do not forget that there are many like Peter within the Body of Christ and God uses them despite their harshness and quick swords.”

    Sounds an awful lot like Mark Driscoll to me. As for the using of crudeness in his sermons… Galatians 5:12-13:

    “Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!”

    That seems fairly crude to me, but it sure does make the point! Does that mean we’re to disregard everything that Paul says because he uses vulgarity?

  82. donsands says:

    “Paul says because he uses vulgarity?”

    I wouldn’t say the Holy Scriptures are vulgar.

    The Apostle Paul was writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to the church at Galatia, especially the elders, who had perverted the Gospel.

    Paul said in the begining of his epistle that anyone who perverts the Gospel should be accursed. They should cut off and condemned.

    Soit is very hard language, and that’s fine at times, especially in a letter to a church that is twisting the good news of Christ and the gospel of grace.

    Although I like Mark Driscoll, and I really appreciate his heart, especially now, he has said crude things in the pulpit that were ungodly for the listeners to hear, and that’s something that’s wrong for me.
    Others disagree, and don’t seem to mind crude and off color language in the pulpit, but I do.

    Mark has been a little crude in his books as well, and that is also a different setting, though as a pastor he is called to an “above repoach” calling, and will answer to the Lord in a harsher way. (James 3)

    I pray that the Lord will continue to bless this man, and that the Word of God, which is His truth, will continue to set him apart for the glory of the Lord in all godliness and grace. Amen.

  83. Anonymous says:

    I’m a little afraid to comment on this for I don’t want to be personally attacked – but here goes anyway.

    I have read through the entire comment thread here and noticed two interesting things: 1. those voicing concern over what Mr. Driscoll is teaching and the way he teaches did so with grace and not with venom which I appreciated. 2. Those who disagreed with them usually made personal attacks about them rather than address the concerns they were expressing.

    I personally found comments from Cyd, Pastor Mason, Steve Camp, Don, Mike, Carla and a few others to be very edifying and helpful. I asked my pastor about this issue and he shared with me similar concern over Mr. Driscoll’s ministry. He likes Mark, but sees also a lack of reverence in how he approaches teaching the Word of God.

    Thank you for listening and may the Lord be glorified in our words toward each other.

    With hope,

  84. Steph VG says:

    Lynn, you said:

    “Please do not forget that there are many like Peter within the Body of Christ and God uses them despite their harshness and quick swords.”

    Yes, that is true, and I praise God for His sovereign work in His creation, regardless of the flawed instruments. But let’s not forget that Christ had to supernaturally go back and undo the damage of Peter’s harshness and quick sword. And Paul had to publicly correct Peter for his harshness and cowardice because of the damage it was doing in the Body and among unbelievers. Defend the person, yes. Peter was a great servant of God who did great things by His strength and for His glory. But though God used him despite the harshness and quick sword, He also graciously would not let him off the hook when those characteristics surfaced.

    Sorry, not meaning to hijack the conversation in another direction.

  85. bart says:

    Josh Harris reacts to Driscoll’s confession on his blog.

  86. Jim from says:

    It’s not uncommon for me to get “Iggy is slandering you on XYZ blog” notices, and with his mention of me above, I have landed here. Now that I’m here however, I’m glad to have had the chance to read everyone’s opinions.

    I just want to say that I appreciate what Steve Camp has said and done in his comments above. He is not trying to be divisive or unkind; on the contrary – he is expressing love, not only for Christ but also for those sheep who might not be aware of some of Mark Driscoll’s pastoral characteristics.

    Yes, we all make mistakes, and it’s good to admit our faults, but there are certain qualities in which the church might say “those are not characteristics of a pastor; perhaps you need to be sitting in the (pews) rather than preaching towards them right now”. So while I am fully prepared to accept Mark as a brother in Christ, and I think his sentiments against Pride are admirable, I question his readiness to be a pastor, for the reasons that Steve mentions above as well as on his blog.

    Steve is also right to hold up as examples – the qualities of past preachers such as Thomas Watson and others, who would have never spoken of the Lord Jesus Christ in the manner in which Mark Driscoll does on a regular basis.

  87. Anonymous says:

    As long as Camp is judging everybody here, we can count on him on going to Hell.

  88. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations SJ Camp, you can type. Maybe there is a job that can use your skills and you’ll get money for. In other words, GET A JOB.

  89. Anonymous says:


    That is bitter, hateful talk. Stop it.

    Steve Camp has expressed genuine, biblical concerns here. Thank God for men who still hold to Truth regardless of culturally relevant popular opinion.
    Do not speak against him like that. It is ungodly.

    You have entirely missed the point of this discussion.

  90. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Steve for being a blessing to us. Continue to uplift the name of the Lord Jesus Christ in all things.

    Stay teachable and open to others constructive criticisms as well.

    In His grace,

  91. SJ Camp says:

    Thank you Jim for your gracious and encouraging words. We all need to guard the trust (1 Tim. 6:20) these days of constant theological vacillation and doctrinal uncertainty. Biblical truth and the methods by which we use to communicate the gospel are both important.

    There are many things that I do appreciate about Mark’s ministry and have commented on them on my own blog and others as well. I guess they don’t receive the coverage or attention that from time to time posting a concern will.

    I appreciate all that you do at May the Lord continue to richly bless your valuable contribution to the body of Christ.

    To the anonymous angry commenter
    I want to thank you for taking the time to post your feelings here. Though hurtful and unproductive, the Lord will use them in my own sanctification today and for that I am grateful to you.

    I’ve been in ministry for 30 years now–may not sound like a job, but the Lord has been faithful to meet the needs of ministry and family these many years. Though I do not have riches in terms of worldly things anymore, I am rich in the Lord for all He has done for me. And that is only by His grace for I am undeserving of any of it.

    I will pray for you today that the Lord will encourage you in His Word and to walk faithfully in Christlikeness. If you post your actual name and/or email address I would be delighted to interact with you and serve you in the Lord in any way He sovereignly might allow. I am sorry for whatever offense my comments might have caused within you to react in such a way.

    I remain,
    Yours for the Master’s use,
    Steve Camp
    Col. 1:9-14

  92. Bruce says:

    Don’t think I have ever been to this site……

    I have read through all the verbiage……..

    I am reminded why we as pastors are not more open and honest. If we show openness and honesty we get ripped. Better to live in our walled cities than be abused like Mark Driscoll has been here.

    I am no Driscoll fan. I have plenty of issues with his doctrine, practice, and personality. BUT, he was being honest and open and he has paid for it.

    Some need to remember “where” they have come from. Perhaps then they will not be so quick to rip apart another frail, feeble sinner, even if his name is Mark Driscoll.

    Blogosphere allows us to attack each other far to easily. In real life these things wouldn’t happen. If we wouldn’t speak face to face in this manner why do we think it is OK on a blog?

    Honest discussion and debate is good. Treating each other like we are in a winner take all cage fight is not good.

  93. donsands says:

    “I am no Driscoll fan. I have plenty of issues with his doctrine, practice, and personality.”

    Seems you just ripped him a little yourself. Not to mention judging others that they haven’t spoken with Mark, or at least interacted with him.

    Actually I have no issues with Mark’s doctrine, nor his personality, but his practices can be crude at times, but this sermon we are all discussing has a lot of merit, and I’m encouraged, and humbled.

    Blogs are wide open for all to come and see, and there’s love here on this blog, first for the Lord and His gospel, and then for His Church, and for the lost.

    Speaking the truth in love on blogs is a good thing.

    Now the anonymous haters of Steve Camp, you could have noted them.
    That’s ripping and attacking with no backbone.

    I just don’t think people here are talking behind Mark’s back, and I truly believe when we discuss how famous pastors, such as Mark, are walking and talking the Gospel, it can be beneficial for the Body of Christ.

    It may hurt, but that’s the way we grow. That’s the way i have grown by hearing how I do this wrong, or how I am inconsiderate, or whatever the shortcoming may be, it’s usually a knee-jerk reaction when I hear that I’m doing something wrong, to say, “Hey who do you think you are, where’s the grace bro!”
    But it’s God working in me to cleanse my wicked heart, and renew my carnal mind.

  94. Bruce says:

    There was no “ripping” of Mark Driscoll in my post. My only point was I Disagree with him but I am willing to accept his words about humility at face value. Others, who have posted here, disagree with him also, but they do NOT accept his words about humility at face value.

    Instead they tear apart his honest confession. There is no Christian charity in that.

    I must of missed on the “love” in this discussion thread. If we do not love our fellow man then we do not love God. (on these two commandments stand the law and prophets)

    Once again. blogs allow us to say things about people we would not say to their face.We are safe. Some of the things said here, if said face to face probably would have resulted in a sanctified can of whoop ____ being opened.

    There can be disagreement, but it can be done with love. Is Mark Driscoll a fellow believer? If yes, then he should be treated with love and respect.

    We all think we have the “truth” and as a result we attack any and all who disagree. I suspect when we get to Heaven someday we’ll all find out how big of a heretic we have been.

  95. Daniel says:

    I haven’t read the full transcript or listened to the whole message, but I presume that Driscoll’s confession is very likely piggy backed on exactly the kind of pride that he is confessing – just as Steve Camp has pointedly, and zealously identified.

    But I can’t say I would jump on the finger pointing band wagon myself, as I have never yet experienced perfect repentance on the day of my confession. Sometimes these things take years for God’s Spirit to prune away. There were some things in my life that God pruned immediately, but others followed over time. Some that I have been blind to, that had such deep roots in me that even when exposed, it was still a profound struggle. Like the Israelites entering into Canaan, I don’t imagine God to drive all my sin out in a day – but little by little, as I struggle trusting in God alone for the victory, and acting in accord with knowledge, He eventually overcomes sin in me. But not all in a day.

    Perhaps Mr. Driscoll is a big faker who isn’t really going to repent, and as such we do right to stand morally aloof and point at the frailty of his repentance with judgment and say “Aha!” – but on judgment day we will answer for how we treated our weaker brother. Yes, he ought not to use coarse language, yes, he ought not to be proud, yes, he ought to have more grace for others – but we are not to model ourselves after Driscoll when we respond to Him, we are to obey Christ within, and Christ within does not repay in kind, but in grace.

    I know that our prayer and encouragement will be rewarded on judgment day but I can’t say the same about dressing up condemnation as “discernment” – that is, we do better to pray for and encourage Mr. Driscoll towards repentance than to merely condemn him for how imperfect his repentance is.

  96. MerryKate says:

    I know I’m coming into this late, so I don’t know that anyone will read this, but I do have to respond. I cannot believe you’re making such a mountain out of the t-shirt and Chris Rock comments. You’re entirely missing the point of Mark Driscoll’s ministry.
    He and his co-workers in Christ are reaching a segment of the populace in Seattle that wants nothing to do with Christians. And whether we find it off-putting or not, by using a stand-up style of monologue to speak to his audience, Driscoll reaches them. They will listen to someone who works that way; they will not listen to a John McArthur, not matter how persuasive he might be to people who grew up in the Christian ghetto.
    Mark Driscoll speaks the language of this generation, and has shown himself willing to “become all things to all people” for the single purpose of leading them to Jesus. His every sermon is about Jesus and he continually calls people to repentance.
    I grew up as a Christian and have heard a lot of good preaching, and Mark Driscoll’s sermons really hit me where I live. After listening to his sermons on itunes for a few months, I rededicated my life to the Lord. Not because Mark Driscoll wears Jesus t-shirts, or uses video feeds and encourages indie-style praise songs. All those things are off-putting to me. But his preaching convicted me, because he is someone who is clearly sold out to Jesus Christ and makes it his first priority to point people to Jesus.
    He’s done a difficult thing in confessing his sins publicly. Rather than arguing about his methods of ministry, you should be supporting him for his transparency. Yes, he needs to grow theologically, but who doesn’t? Have any of us arrived at perfection? With all his faults, Mark Driscoll is head and shoulders above many preachers who wear the right clothes and pray in King James English.
    In short, his mission is to a people who do not respect christianity. He is doing his best to reach them for the Lord he clearly loves. Pray for his ministry and for his growth, and by all means, stop quibbling over silly things like t-shirts.

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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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