Prior to the Mars Hill and Driscoll media storm, Driscoll was in the process of publishing his new book: Resurgence: Will Christianity have a Funeral or a Future? I haven’t read any of Driscoll’s stuff since he released Vintage Jesus but I have to confess, the title jarred me. It jarred me because the title is ridiculous. Christianity is safe in the hands of Jesus, with or without the ‘Resurgence’. The Lord said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” There is also a degree of tragic irony in the fact that just some months ago when Driscoll was asking if Christianity would have a funeral or a future, many have now written their own personal obituary for Mark Driscoll. There is a common thread which runs through most of the ‘hand-washing’ posts relating to Driscoll. Many of the posts talk about Driscoll as if he is finished. There is talk of ‘the rise and fall of Mark Driscoll’, and ‘Mark Driscoll’s Fall from Grace’. We have Challies weighing in and saying, “I doubt we will see another Mark Driscoll anytime soon.”
Is Mark Driscoll finished? Has he ‘fallen from grace?’ No, I don’t think so. Although, he has certainly fallen from the evangelical celebrity pedal stool. And poor church leadership structures and decisions have certainly caught up with him. However, one cannot help but wonder how much of the ‘hand washing’ by those who previously endorsed him, and were associated with him, are doing so out of self-preservation rather than a genuine desire for biblical correction? With the present media storm, Driscoll is not a name that any credibility seeking evangelical leader or movement wants to be associated with.
Will Driscoll’s ministry have a funeral or a future? That remains to be seen. Mars Hill isn’t finished yet. It’s inevitable that bloggers (myself included) are commenting on the scenario, and stating whether we have positioned ourselves as having washed our hands with Driscoll, or standing by him– however– all of us who know Christ (and especially those of us who have endorsed Driscoll at one time or another) have a responsibility to pray for Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill church. As I’ve said before, I’ve not been following his teaching since around 2008. I think the church structure at Mars Hill is unbiblical and unhealthy (as are many contemporary evangelical churches), however, I do believe Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill have been uniquely used by God, are probably still being used by God and may still be used by God in the future — with or without the approval of the evangelical celebrity mainstream. Will Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill have a funeral or a future? It remains to be seen, but let’s remember that the God we serve is more gracious than men, and is in the business of healing the terminally ill– and even raising the dead. Before we start to write our eulogies, just remember –it wouldn’t be the first funeral that Jesus has spoiled.