Archive for May 28th, 2009

This is always a favorite game of mine: My dad is better than your dad. Sometimes boys play this when they are young. I heard a joke about it once. It had three boys arguing about whose dad was the richest or something like that. The doctor’s son. The Lawyer’s son. And the preacher’s son. It ends with the preacher’s son saying something like, “Well, my dad talks for 30 minutes per week and it takes seven people to carry out his haul.” That’s kind of what I thought about as I read this gem from Sam Guzman: Driscoll’s Jesus.

After informing us of his anger with Driscoll, Samuel writes this:

After opening to a random page and starting to read, I quickly gave up all notions of learning something of value.

Then he writes:

What’s my problem with Driscoll? He has a low and vulgar view of my friend, Jesus. To Driscoll, Jesus is not a conquering King, before whom millions of angels fall on their face day and night; He is not the glorious Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, before whom every knee shall bow; He would never be sitting on a throne high and lifted up; He could never knock you unconscious with a glance. In short, He is not worthy of respect because he’s just an average Joe. Joe the plumber Jesus. I wonder if Mark Driscoll realizes the Jesus of Revelation is Jesus in his humanity. The Jesus with flaming eyes is Jesus the man.

Sam, my friend, no one said you had to read the book. No one said you had to like Mark Driscoll. No one said you had to open to a ‘random page’ and start reading. But how can you, after ‘opening to a random page’ of one book begin to completely understand what a person believes about Jesus? Sam, you are fighting the wrong battle here. Driscoll, for all his weirdness, is on our side; he is preaching the Jesus of Scripture. There is no such thing as ‘Driscoll’s Jesus’ any more than there is ‘Sam’s Jesus’ or ‘Jerry’s Jesus.’

As the second member of the Trinity, Jesus Christ ruled from eternity past as God exalted in glory. He then humbly entered into history as a man to identify with us. The common jargon for the second member of the Trinity entering into history as a human being is incarnation (from the Latin meaning ‘becoming flesh’); it is a biblical concept.

On the earth, Jesus grew from infancy to adulthood, had a family, worked a job, ate meals, increased his knowledge through learning, told jokes, attended funerals, had male and female friends, celebrated holidays, went to parties, loved his parents, felt the pain of betrayal and lies told about him, and experienced the full range of human emotions from stress to astonishment, joy, compassion, and sorrow. Furthermore, Jesus experienced the same sorts of trials and temptations that we do, with the exception that he never sinned. Subsequently, Jesus lived the sinless life that we are supposed to live but have not; he was both our substitute and our example.

Significantly, Jesus lived his sinless life on the earth in large part by the power of the Holy Spirit. This does not mean that Jesus in any way ceased to be fully God while on the earth, but rather as Philippians 2:5-11 shows, he humbly chose not always to avail himself of his divine attributes. Thus, he often lived as we must live: by the enabling power of God the Holy Spirit. I want to be clear: Jesus remained fully God during his incarnation while also fully man on the earth; he maintained all of his divine attributes and availed himself of them upon occasion, such as to forgive human sin, which God alone can do. Nonetheless, Jesus’ life was lived as fully human in that he lived by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Mark Driscoll, The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World, pp 128-129, ed by John Piper and Justin Taylor.)

I’m not sure how this Jesus differs from the Biblical Jesus. I’m not sure what you are contending for if this Jesus written of by Driscoll differs from your Jesus whom you claim Driscoll is opposed to. What? I know. I’m confused too.

Driscoll then goes on to defend truth: “Since nothing short of God’s glory and human eternal destiny are at stake when it comes to matters of the truth, we must contend for it like Jude 3 commands.” (134) He then lists what he believes are ten theological issues we must contend for. Among them are 1) Scripture as inerrant, timeless truth. 2) The sovereignty and foreknowledge of God. 3) The virgin birth of Jesus [I would call this the virginal conception]. 4) Our sin nature and total depravity [we don't agree here]. 5) Jesus’ death as our penal substitution [and more!] 6) Jesus’ exclusivity as the only possible means of salvation. And 4 others.

So, Sam, out of curiosity, how is ‘Driscoll’s Jesus’ different from ‘your Jesus’? Contrary to your statement that this is ‘not about theology’, it is about theology. You write:

Your conception of God will transform everything about you, your worship, and your service. In his practice, in his speech, in his writing, in his whole demeanor towards holy things, Mark Driscoll reveals what he really believes God to be like. And it is not high and lifted up.

And you know this to be true because…You are either saying that Driscoll is a liar or that he is, well, a liar. No one, the Scripture says, can say that “Jesus is Lord, apart from the Spirit.”

Sam once again you are fighting the wrong enemy.

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