Mark Driscoll has hit the headlines in the UK again. The difference now is that the secular media have picked up on his ministry and his so-called ‘controversial’ new book. See the report from The Mail here. I have to warn you that this Newspaper (if I can call it that) does not exactly have a reputation for fair and balanced reporting! Regardless, they have picked the story up. As per usual with Driscoll he has polarised the blogosphere with his new offering, entitled: Real Marriage: The Truth about Sex, Friendship, and Life Together. I am not going to link to it and I am not going to review it simply because I have not read it. Challies has written an excellent review of it here which if nothing else gives a summary of the book plus some of the areas of concern for him. Read his review here. My mate Steve Utley (beloved brother) has also posted a little something on his blog here.
Personally, I have read pretty much everything Mark Driscoll has written and read The Resurgence website from time to time and so the sex stuff comes as no surprise. He is, normally, explicit and purposely (in my view) seeks to be controversial to elicit media coverage. It would be naive of us to think differently of a person who is promoting his book tour to every single piece of social media available to him! As the saying goes, ‘all coverage is good coverage’. Just ask Rob Bell! It wouldn’t surprise me if they end up doing a TV show in Hollywood together 🙂
Sex is a major topic in our culture but then again, sex has been a major topic in every culture. I sometimes wonder if people really have read and understood much of the background and cultural context to large swathes of the Bible. Corinth, as one example, was a sexual hothouse and yet I haven’t found anywhere where Paul felt it necessary to instruct believers on the merits of anal sex (or not)! He was driven by the gospel and not by the cultural agenda. Even Paul, the great contextualiser, didn’t go that far! I suppose I just get worried by Christian’s attempts to either sweep the topic under the carpet or sensationalise it to show everybody how hip and cool we are and how funky and relevant the Bible is! Consider, for example, Ed & Lisa Young, church leaders from Texas who will spend 24 hours in a bed on their church roof and live stream discussions on sex. Their intent? To bring sex back onto the agenda of the church (I am sure it has nothing to do with a new book they are promoting on the topic at the same time!) Read about it here.
Niddrie is like everywhere else. People have sexual urges and people engage in all sorts of sexual deviancy, including bestiality. We have to have an answer to these issues and we have to be able to deal with them sensibly and biblically. Ironically, I came across this interesting little article on The Resurgence website concerning the issue of dating. Some may find it offensive and/or explicit but I found it helpful. Read it here and see what you think. The notes seem fairly balanced, although I am somewhat dubious about his absolute certainty that Song of Songs is not allegorical. He also makes a couple of points which I think are overstated. All in all though, he makes some fantastic points. This is the frustration with Driscoll. I started off back in the day, when he was a fresh voice, as a bit of a fan. But recently, for me at least, he has become a bit tiresome and much of what he is saying and doing seems intentionally to court controversy for the sake of media coverage.
More to follow on this topic.