Driscoll’s “Confessions”: The Gospel of Masculinity

confessionsThis book review is part of a series. See Intro | Part 1 | Part 2.

“…I fashion myself as the self-appointed leader of a heterosexual male backlash in our overly chickified city filled with guys drinking herbal tea and rocking out to Mariah Carey in their lemon yellow Volkswagen Cabriolets…” ~ Mark Driscoll

As I read this book, I couldn’t help but think that Driscoll is–or at least was, in the early years of his ministry–terribly insecure in his manhood. His preoccupation with “manliness” doesn’t just border on obsession; it has set up a throne in the central district. He appears desperate to be seen as a man’s man in spite of his health and occupation: Continue reading

Driscoll’s “Confessions”: How to Grow a Church

confessionsSee my ongoing review in this series: Intro | Part 1

“I acknowledge that some readers may be turned off by my focus on numbers, even though we have a book of the Bible titled the same word. But every number is a person, so numbers do matter because people matter.” ~ Mark Driscoll

Driscoll wrote Confessions of a Reformission Rev. as a guide of sorts for other pastors to follow. So today, I want to talk about the church-growth philosophy and methods Driscoll puts forth in his book. Continue reading

Driscoll’s “Confessions”: Unqualified to Minister

“I have made so many mistakes as a pastor that I should be pumping gas for a living instead of preaching the gospel.” ~ Mark Driscoll

I have already read through Driscoll’s Confessions at this point–and I have to admit, I found it fascinating. I was, at turns, curious and concerned and thrilled and horrified. Rarely was I ever bored.

For me, one of the most fascinating aspects of the book is Driscoll’s profound lack of self-awareness. For example, he speaks at length about helping to develop new pastors and leaders for Mars Hill, and he repeatedly references and even quotes the biblical qualifications for leaders listed in 1 Timothy 3 & 4, Titus 1 and 1 Peter 5. Yet Driscoll never seems to realize that, by those standards, he himself isn’t qualified to lead a church.

To summarize, the scriptures say that a church overseer should be–among other things: Continue reading

Reviewing Mark Driscoll’s “Confessions of a Reformission Rev”

“If anyone buys my book, maybe some young punk will talk trash about me in a few years, and then I’ll know I’ve done something important enough to be criticized too.” ~ Mark Driscoll

Recently, I decided I would review Mark Driscoll’s book Confessions of a Reformission Rev. It is Driscoll’s second book, published by Zondervan press in 2006. As many of you know, Driscoll is the primary founder of the now-defunct Mars Hill megachurch in Seattle, WA–a church that fell to several scandals and allegations of spiritual abuse due to Driscoll’s actions.

Some may wonder why I would choose to review a book that is 10 years old and authored by a fallen pastor. There are a few reasons: Continue reading

What does the Bible say about purity?


Image by Bonita Suraputra on Flickr

In light of my previous post on Purity Culture, I want to delve a bit deeper into the subject and explore what the Bible really has to say about purity. Because it does have something to say, and what it says may surprise you.

The first surprising thing is how seldom the word “purity” appears in scripture. My Strong’s Concordance lists it as appearing only twice in the New Testament. Other scriptures (almost all in the Old Testament) instead speak of pureness, being purified, or purification. Notice that some of these words speak of purity as a process. It is not an initial state but, rather, a completed state.

Purity Culture, of course, promotes purity as an initial state. It also focuses solely on purity as chastity, or abstinence from sex outside of marriage. But that is only one meaning of the word “purity” in scripture. It more commonly refers to: Continue reading