Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mars Hill in the New York Times

JT points out that Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll were profiled recently in the New York Times.

I found the piece pretty well done... ok, maybe surprisingly well done, since it is the NYT we're talking about...

Molly Worthen did not make many attempts to judge Driscoll and his Calvinism, and did not do an awful job of explaining it. But it is the NYT, so it was not free of undermining and subtle slights. But overall I think she does a commendable job.

One thing to note that I found interesting was one rather overt jibe which ends the article and lays bare the express misunderstanding of Calvinism (read: biblical Christianity) and the doctrine of Total Depravity in particular. In closing her article, Worthen says,
Driscoll’s New Calvinism underscores a curious fact: the doctrine of total human depravity has always had a funny way of emboldening, rather than humbling, its adherents.
In context she meant this as a poke in the eye, but what she, and many others, do not get is that this should be the exact response of a proper view of Total Depravity (not to mention God's Sovereignty). Because if I am completely and utterly sinful in and of myself - and it is in Christ that I am placing my own worth and my own merit for salvation, and I am united to Him by faith - then it isn't about me. I am emboldened, I am given tremendous confidence, I am empowered exponentially due to the fact that it is not me that is at the source of that confidence, but Christ - because it is He who is being exalted. In Him we are freed from all human fear and self-deprecating (when preaching and teaching the gospel) because it is not about the man preaching, but the message being preached. And if you believe in a God who is Sovereign over every aspect of your life than there is no aspect of your life that cannot be approached in utter confidence and comfort because our God has promised that "for those who love Him, all things work together for good." Not our definition of good - but His - the only definition that matters.

1 comment:

Aron said...

Exactly! And, "we do not preach ourselves" - but Him, and Him crucified. We preach "what has been given to us" - it's His Word, not ours. Good stuff. Thanks!