Driscoll "You Are in Danger"


Friend posted this on FaceBook: youtube.com/user/mhcseattle# … icnbW06fbk


I wonder what pastors, leaders he’s speaking of that have the lights, cameras on them and deny people that don’t know Jesus will go to hell? Not too many of them that I know.

What does it mean to come to the Father, to have faith in Jesus?..Driscoll acts like goodness is not a product of faith and that it doesn’t matter to God. I’m having now to unlearn this, as I was taught this all growing up. Goodness does matter, God is concerned with our hearts.

Jesus’ name, his way, but what does this mean…you have to endorse penal substitution? It certainly isn’t putting our faith in God’s love to save us all, by His grace, and trusting him for real goodness. Do we really have faith in Jesus if we don’t even know Him?

It’s difficult for me to see all of his emotion and not question if he really grasps what it means that God is love. Now that I understand wrath more, too, it just makes no sense that God has wrath for us that is not for the purpose of restoration.


Okay, I now have a severe fundamental divide with Mark. Universalism concerns the distant future which we don’t know much about and are not too much to be blamed for being wrong on, I think; but seriously? whether those who haven’t heard of Jesus go to hell or not? This directly concerns the nature of God as we see it right now. Has he never read Romans 2? I’m confused as to how he’s so… behind.

Despite being completely 100% culturally relevant, he seems to be stuck way in the past theologically. I don’t mean that in the sense that current trends are always better but that he seems to cling to unrighteous theology that as a body I thought we’d generally moved past (and circled back to original Christianity). It almost feels like candy coating a hurtful, dangerous message.

I wonder if he’s pondered the point of whether Christ is a person manifested by a spirit or just a name? Or whether he thinks that the spirit will always be tied to the name and only that no matter what?

Also, about hell being the default? rrrggghhh. Grace is the default, and we weren’t originally tainted by sin. He’s even said that hell wasn’t made for us specifically.

He’s 100% convinced. That’s obvious. And given that, I think according to his own conscience he’s doing the right thing. But why he hasn’t ever seen fit to seek an even higher mercy is beyond me.

Amy and I kinda talked about visiting other places on weeks we’re not helping in the nursery and I talked about trying out a house church. I dunno, maybe something will develop in that direction. :neutral_face:


hahahaha, you know what’s funny? At first I thought maybe he was talking about Billy Graham, who did say in an interview somewhere that perhaps some of those who have never heard of Jesus’ name would receive salvation and we’re not the judges. Which is ironic given Billy’s persistent calls for salvation at the feet of Jesus.

Then when he finished talking about that I realized he meant Rob Bell. Facepalm! :laughing:


I find it funny how he says to people, “Don’t change the subject!” and yet that’s what he does! Instead of talking about the people who haven’t heard, he makes it personal to the person/people he is talking to.

To be fair though, if people are coming to know Jesus through his ministry, then fair play, and I’m cool with it. I believe God can handle that.


Yeah. I think he puts off struggling with the tougher questions because frankly, he’s a practical kinda guy and just wants to deal with the salvation of the people he knows. But to me this illustrates well the weakness of hierarchical leadership; instead of others having a role in coming to terms with doctrine, and others even in his own church would likely do much better on some issues, one guy gets to figure it all out. How does that make sense, or how is it even right? That’s an effective way to subjugate the Spirit, imo.

They definitely do, and like I’ve said before: Jesus told us that the servants who didn’t realize what they were doing wrong will get the lighter beatings. There’s no doubt in my mind whatsoever that his love for God and others is strong and kicking and that his faith is real and what he says is sincere from the bottom of his heart.

He’s still wrong. :wink:


Yay! I’m not the only one who has issues with it! I’ve felt for a while that this kind of leadership creates a divide between those in leadership and those under them… the “lower class” strive to “make it” with the goal being to become a leader. Even though church leaders deny it, it’s still there if you look… in my opinion. Anyway, this is going off-topic.

That had me properly laughing out loud!! :smiley:


I wrote this on the postmortem thread but relevant to discussion of stellar & Driscoll.


Although it’ll probably be unpleasant, Justin, rather than quietly walking away from Mars Hill, I think you should try to gently but clearly, raise it as high up the leadership as you can reach :neutral_face:


Yep. Ever heard of Frank Viola? Your intuitions are correct, good sir. frankviola.wordpress.com

Actually, he probably hasn’t written on the topic for awhile. This is his main site: ptmin.org

:mrgreen: Hey, it feels good to say it bluntly like that sometimes.


So does he forget about the Cross here? I’m so confused. This is what I wrote in a comment:

“That chasm already separates us from God in this life, and the only thing that can cross it is the Cross. Jesus bridged it for us. What’s the difference between this life and the next? At least in the next it’s easier for the eyes to be opened. That’s the point of the parable.”

When and if I do finally make that decision, perhaps. I considered awhile back emailing the true meaning of this parable in anticipation of him getting to this chapter, but finally felt that, judging from the way he typically deals with these things, that he’d just write it off. If it doesn’t seem completely vivid and requires some in-depth theological precision, he seems to just do away with it or write it off as wishy-washy. :neutral_face: And I didn’t know how else to present it. I dunno, maybe the blood’s on my hands. :cry:

I really want to email him with more general universalistic arguments, and try to make them as clear and to the point as possible - although it’s difficult because universalism is such a thematic doctrine that requires a great deal of deconstruction.


Is Mark Driscoll* really* 100% convinced about what he’s saying? I’m not sure that he is, especially when he uses so much shouting and repetition as an alternative to weighing the merits of different views. Ironically I think EUs can agree with a lot of what he says here, although we would hopefully not put it so crudely. I wonder if Mark is aware of the EU view that although many are indeed “destined for hell”, this will not be their permanent destination, its purpose being restorative rather than retributive? His target here seems to be inclusivism, whereas most of us EUs are exclusivist - salvation is only in Christ.

I was also interested in the comments about the danger when the pastor puts himself or is put by others in the position of being the one guy who has got it all together and sorted out. This is a danger and a responsibility I am very aware of and I have recently taken steps to protect myself and my church members from this danger.

  1. Instead of preparing Bible Studies for our home groups on the passage I preached on last Sunday, I now encourage the groups, including the two I participate in, to study the passage we’ll be looking at next Sunday. I restrict myself to providing background information and “helps” - rather than giving them a set of study questions loaded to lead them to the conclusions I think they ought to reach :slight_smile: This open dialogue is a great help in my sermon preparation. As a result I’m told my preaching is improving and of course people are arriving on a Sunday morning better prepared to engage with the passage in hand.

  2. I have started to meet regularly with prayer partners who understand where I’m coming from, but can also challenge me and help keep me honest and accountable.

  3. I also seek dialogue about theological issues with my Bishop, Archdeacon and other leaders in my denomination at every opportunity.

Being a Church of England vicar in Spain means I’m in a tiny minority and my nearest colleagues are a long distance away. This has given me a lot more freedom to rethink my theology than I had back in England - which is why I am here on this forum :slight_smile: But it has also confirmed to me that I don’t want to be an “independent” church leader. I need to stay plugged into something bigger, in which the responsibility for truthful interpretation and honest, loving leadership doesn’t just rest on my puny shoulders.

I apologise if this is all “off topic” but it might help some on the forum. I really feel for those of you who are struggling to find a church where you can fit in and I wonder if any of you have tried your local Anglican/Episcopalian church? I’m not saying the Anglican Communion doesn’t have major problems, but in my experience it is a broad church where people holding very different beliefs on some key doctrines can remain friends and worship together.

Peace, Andrew


Using a parable as the basis for a theological doctrine?? I’m never happy with that… unless the point can be backed up from other parts of Scripture. Plus he only uses one other verse in his critique, conveniently leaving out verses which speak of the contrary. I appreciate that his answer was only brief, but still, it’s not a fair argument.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on it! (PM me if you want)

Has he read “The Evangelical Universalist”? I only got to page 90 because it was so in-depth theologically and almost fried my brain! I’ll read it again soon, hopefully getting to the end, but I from what I’ve read so far, I think it presents an incredibly good case for Universalism. The people I’ve encountered write off universalism because they make assumptions about it which are not true (such as all roads lead to God). When I try to explain it to them, they don’t want to give the time to listen and would rather view me as a heretic for suggesting the idea.

Now that’s interesting. I am in an Anglican church and the Bible studies are all about what was preached last Sunday. I think the idea is that the home groups can then discuss the sermon. But the issue is that the study notes are, as you say, loaded to reach certain conclusions. In my group, we often don’t agree or point out passages which seem contradictory. We get to discuss it, but very little, if anything, seems to get back to the rector. It’s interesting actually, at the moment he’s going through Grudem’s “Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know”… we think this is just to get the church to fall in line with what he believes!

I had a chat with our curate a couple of weeks ago. He said that he feels the church congregation expect “the preacher” to read through various arguments for and against the sermon topic, and then to present the view that he feels is right (through prayer, etc… but I take that with a pinch of salt sometimes). Now I know that whoever is preaching has done their research from when I have tried to have a dialogue with them. But that’s the problem: I try to have a dialogue… often a question I have gets flattened with a Bible verse, much like Driscoll’s Hebrews 9:27 in the above youtube link.

I’ve already rocked the boat a bit within the church, and dialogue seems to be out of the question. Maybe I’m too young for them? Any thoughts/ideas would be most welcome.


Nope. You are not the one holding him in captivity. Not even the explanations of Jesus Himself could penetrate the blindness of the Pharisees.

(And, personally, I have a feeling he will not have his wake-up call until his wife comes out of the female doormat fog and rises up to be his ezer. You dudes recognize their hierarchy emphasis. Can you even imagine being a woman in that context? BLECH!)



Just give your Curate or Rector a copy of what I wrote in that post. I’m happy to discuss it with them. Anglican churches and their leaders are actually a very mixed bag. They can be more conservative than Driscoll, more liberal than a very liberal person or more catholic than the Pope! Most are somewhere in between these extremes and something precious is keeping them “in”.

I am actually feeling very liberated by this new (to me) approach to sermon prep. It takes a lot of pressure off me in terms of time spent and feeling I’ve got to know it all. And I am convinced that biblical truth is more likely to emerge from prayerful communal seeking, than it is from my little 3 pound brain and the books I choose to have in my study.

As for the frustrations of your position, I would say it is important that you only express your concerns within the leadership team, bearing in mind your responsibilities as a junior member of that team. It becomes a different issue if you sow or encourage discontent among the membership.

God bless,


My pastor told a story of a man dying of cancer who begged the doctor to save him. The doctor told him that there was on option but it would be very costly. The doctor leaves and comes back in five days disheveled and spattered with blood holding a vial of medicine. When the man asks what happened to the doctor, the doctor tells him that he has just left the hospital where his son has been killed in a car accident. The blood on his coat is his son’s. He then hands the sick man the vial and the man takes the vial and pours it out on the ground and yells, “doc, you have to save me.”

I think you get the parable. How many people would actually pour the vial out, but more importantly how many have actually been given a similar choice about salvation?


Hi Amy,
I think that the matter of “goodness” is an interesting one. Certainly, “goodness” does not establish a relationship of discipleship with Jesus. Or one could ask: what is goodness? How much of it does it take to get into relationship with Jesus? Are we going to merit God’s favor by our goodness? No way.


Holy cow. So many responses shooting off in different directions! I’ll have to get to them all later. But for now:

Here’s my take after starting that email last night:

He’s right in a sense but just needs to take it a step further. I know that I know that he believes that everyone will see Christ as glorified, but for some reason he’s not thinking a millisecond in the future ahead of that where righteousness is developing in them. He sees the absolute hopeless condemnation; but he doesn’t see that it’s to the flesh, to the old creation, and not the new, and that there is always hope for the new creation!

He’s seeing infinite time where he should only see eternity. This is where I crossed over in my belief in the first place. I thought, since Jesus demonstrated that there is life on the other side of death with the resurrection, couldn’t we also see something more on the other side of destruction? After all, if Jesus went to hell…

But for some reason he’s asking people to avoid that. I don’t think we should. We’re meant to allow our flesh to be destroyed, and sooner than later, or the worse it’ll be!

Anyway, I’m gonna incorporate that somehow into the email.


Hi Roofus,

I was not meaning to imply that we need goodness to get into a relationship with Jesus, but that we underestimate that real goodness, from the heart, is to be the result of such a relationship. By downplaying goodness so much, at least in my upbringing, I got the impression that what God cared more about where the ideas I gave intellectual assent to, rather than whether I actually loved others.

Last I remembered, perhaps wrongly, Driscoll was leaning toward Calvinism. He’d think, then, that hell is made, not for believers, but for the unelect. I feel as if I cannot reason or even make a case for love with someone that so blatantly feels comfortable with a doctrine that is so unloving. God is capable of doing the work necessary so I guess I shouldn’t give up.


I merely explain it as Christ’s Spirit is at work in ways that we’re not aware of.

He’s Reformed, but doesn’t follow alot of the typical doctrines, either. Like I just posted in the other thread, he doesn’t believe in limited atonement (I think he describes it as unlimited/limited atonement, though I don’t remember exactly what that means). He also incorporates free will into the overall predestination package. I think it may be along the lines of believing that God picks those who are willing or ready to accept Him, which I agree with but just take a step further - everyone will eventually be willing!

And no, he did say that hell was prepared for the devil and his angels, so he definitely has that open-ended aspect to his belief in predestination.


Luke, also an Anglican minister, has said the same thing to me before :sunglasses: