Archive for September 25th, 2007

Ok, so last year it was Our Lady of the Pizza Pan, and last year Jesus in the Ultrasound to go with other things like cheese sandwiches, panes of glass and underpasses.

Now, they’re selling pieces of a dead Pope’s robe as ‘holy relics’? Perhaps there is some jealousy that environmentalists are starting to sell indulgences, and the Catholic church thought it had a corner on that market? What is it with these people?

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In the comments there’s been a lot of talk about Driscoll’s speech in which he criticizes several recognizable names in the e/e movement. I just wanted to crack open a new topic to centralize the topics, as well as to make some observations of my own.

Me on Driscoll
Driscoll rubs a lot of folks the wrong way. He comes across to a lot of people as crude, and overly macho, and in this particular incident as stabbing people in the back. While I think the first two assemssments may be fair, the third is not. He came across as really not wanting to say these things, but feeling that he had to. From his speech this is certainly not the first time he’s said these things, and (perhaps other than Bell) he’s said them before to these individuals.

Driscoll on Bell
This was by far his weakest point. He re-hashed Bell’s handling of “what if the Virgin Birth isn’t true”. While I disagree with Bell over the implications of that, Bell teaches the virgin birth, and believes the virgin birth. I don’t see this as the crisis that Driscoll does.

Driscoll also brought up Bell’s reliance on first century Rabbinical teachings. His argument was that all teachings about Christ should start with the love of Christ and these Rabbis didn’t have that love. Bell does refer to Rabbinical teachings quite a bit, but Jesus was a Rabbi, and came out of a culture in which Rabbis were, to say the least, influential. While it is possible to become overly reliant on Rabbinical teachings, its also an error to ignore them completely. Again, I don’t see this as a crisis (or even problematic).

The rest of Driscoll’s condemnation of Bell comes from a guilt by association style of argument, largely fisking footnoted and referential works.

Driscoll on McLaren
Most of the serious questions Driscoll raises about McLaren again come from bringing out the weaknesses in works McLaren refers to.

I agree with Driscoll that McLaren has made some questionable comments. Mostly on the subject of homosexuality. Driscoll did bring some of that up, and I do tend to agree. Rarely, what is brought up critics though is that McLaren’s influence has waned since he stepped down from working at his church and took his current advocacy position.

The elephant in the room
Driscoll spoke highly of certain emergents, and the “new reformers” who he says are needed for the sake of orthodoxy and for the sake of maintaining the church. He then quotes several statistics (including that 80% of churches out there are dying) and speaks highly of the “new reformers” because they’re willing to sit at the feet of older theologians like Piper.

We’ve got an entire cottage industry that has sprung up to absolutely crush both the e/e movements and younger Christian leaders who are determined to abandon the failed techniques of the past in favor of something that actually works. What I never hear though is a condemnation of the leaders of the previous generation. You know, the guys who are directly responsible for 80% of churches out there dying. The guys who have lead 3600 churches a year to fail (both statistics Driscoll cites and states is a shame, but apparently just happened on its own, no one actually caused this to happen since Driscoll never acknowledges that it might be someone’s fault) . When is the church going to stand up and say that an entire generation of churches preferred to preserve their style of church over being faithful to the gospel. This is reprehensible, and shameful, and instead of acknowledging it and moving forward we’ve got a lot of the church not just justifying it, but holding it up as an example to pursue in the future.

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In this episode we review Little Miss Sunshine and Stranger than Fiction and bring out some of the themes found in them. And then eventually get around to discussing Christians and movies. This one’s a bit longer, because its our only one this week.

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