mark driscoll: the sad gospel of male chauvinism and female denigration

date header separator

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

mark driscoll: the sad gospel of male chauvinism and female denigration

i just spent literally an hour writing this blog post and when i got done, i decided what i wrote wasn’t helpful, at best. so, if you want to read it, you can do so here, but otherwise, here’s a much more helpful post:

basically, i came across this video today that was posted by mark driscoll (pastor/founder of mars hill church in seattle; author and speaker who is adored by his “charismatic calvinist” cronies throughout the country; general scripture-twister…). it is of a q&a session he and his wife did and he decided to specifically post the video of this question and answer. it is another example of how he has a couple pet issues that he pushes down everyone’s throat in the name of god and in the name of “de-wussifying” the world. apparently the god and scripture he speaks of is a different god and a different bible than i’m familiar with.

when i saw this, it really made me angry, but moreover, i was very saddened because this man has so much influence over people—many of those people are friends of mine, unfortunately. let me offer a few points of clarification on the crap he’s feeding in this video (and elsewhere).

1. much like many of the other anti-egalitarian things that driscoll pushes as truth are products of his hyper-literalism that he uses to interpret the bible. i’m drawing a blank now, but there’s an interpretive term that describes this very thing. in essence, it’s the idea that every narrative detail of the bible is completely normative in nature. (the discussion of the concept of “all narrative isn’t necessarily normative” is one that deserves a lot more time and attention to detail that i may consider.) that is, to say, that cultural implications inherent in scripture are obsolete. so, when driscoll claims that women shouldn’t speak in church based on his proof-texting of passages found in 1 timothy or 1 corinthians, he completely strips the social and cultural implications of the narrative.

2. driscoll is famous for claiming that those who disagree with him do so because of false cultural arguments. not just in the sense that i described in point #1, but from the perspective of current culture. so, when he criticizes people for saying that issues of gender roles are culturally toned in the bible, he’s basically saying that we’ve sold out to the “oprah culture” and turned our backs on the “literal truth” of scripture. i would argue the exact opposite. i believe that driscoll interprets this stuff from a very distinct and modern cultural viewpoint that has been prevalent in the church for a very long time. within american church culture, unfortunately, it is much more acceptable and culturally “normal” to disenfranchise and diminish women’s roles than in the “mainstream” culture. driscoll has chosen to strip the bible of its beautiful and wonderful jewish/ancient cultural implications and replaced them with american church culture.

3. driscoll does what many of us do—myself included—in various areas of life. he has transferred his experiences and his particular life circumstances into biblical standards. when you view this clip, you’ll see that he talks about his family and the way his family chooses to live. while this could certainly be a “chicken or the egg” situation, it appears from driscoll’s larger body of work (sermons, teachings, biography, etc.) that this is a trend for him. i have no doubt whatsoever that mark and grace driscoll are followers of jesus who are pursuing a life for their family that honors god, but it’s also clear that he chooses to teach people to be disciples of jesus and mark driscoll.

so, anyway, here it is.