Mark Driscoll says "no evidence for post-mortem repentance"


Mark Driscoll Responds to Rob Bell Controversy on Hell

In this Christian Post article, Driscoll is quoted

Driscoll seems to see people in stark black and white:

If God is “intolerant of those who sin against Him”, is anyone excluded from that number? Do we not all sin against Him?

Frankly, Driscoll’s doctrines in other areas are unsafe for women esp. ( BJ “Evangelism” for example) But he seems to see himself as on the white horse fighting for right. . .

However, I agree with him that evidence for being able to repent one’s way out of hell is lacking.

Personally, I think “hell” is on earth and the “lake of fire” is a type of baptism faced at judgment, where carnal man dies once and for all, (for those who have not submitted to the cleansing of the baptism of fire on this side of death).


The gifts of God’s grace and the calling invitation to Salvation] of God are irrevocable [never under any circumstance, nor by any thing in Life or Death, in Heaven or under it - revoked, repented of, repealed, canceled, rescinded, withdrawn, annulled, or retracted].

Romans 11:29

(KJV) For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

(EMTV) For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

(YLT) for unrepented of are the gifts and the calling of God;

(CLV) For unregretted are the graces and the calling of God.

(Lefein) For the graces and the invitation of God are irrevocable.


As for the sex thing, I can’t help but feel as though sexuality between a husband and wife is being abused by Driscoll in all of this - namely for his own self-service, or the self-service of male’dom.

I can understand his misgivings about the Song of Solomon being an allegory for Christ and the Church…quite honestly it creeps me out too with that sort of interpretation. And I can see how he might gather that certain things are “biblical” as far as sex is concerned. After all, if I recall what (gasp!) Rob Bell said in one of his Nooma videos; this one - Jewish fathers would not let their sons read the book until they reached a certain age due to its graphic content.

But in the face of this, I feel as though Driscoll is abusing the intimate encounter between a husband and wife, which is meant to be a thing of mutual edification and romantic expression, either in wild fire or passionate burning of a sweeter and softer flame. As much as the female should “serve her husband” the male should; being the one who should love his wife as Christ loves the church; be all the more eager to serve her with his body - meeting her needs before meeting his own, or else having his need being to meet her needs, and the needs of her heart in womanhood. Surely the intimacy between a husband and wife should not be abused under the gross disguise of “for the Kingdom” - if anything it must rather express the ideals of The Kingdom, out of loving nature not utility, and do so beautifully in mutual and edifying service to one’s spouse, considerate and kind, without shame, and without selfish utilitarianism - but for love as Love designed it.

Here I can only say that I feel as though the wife (if I read correctly in skimming it, as I do not like to dwell for long on this subject) in the anecdote who “pulled down the trousers to win her husband to Christ” was little more than treated like a temple prostitute! A whore for the kingdom of God - which under The Law was forbidden. And that to me is a greater heresy than Rob Bell’s “Love Wins” ever possibly presented itself to be. To use a daughter of God, a new-Christian no less, which is in tantamount to a new-born (born again from above) daughter of God as a temple prostitute is to abuse the very child of the most high. What is heresy if it is not but the abuse of God and Godly things? Are the children of God, especially his new-born daughters not precious in his sight as Godly little ones? It would be better for Driscoll to have an iron millstone tied around his neck and thrown into the fiery-molten sea for remedial chastisement and repentance than for him to offend one of God’s beloved princesses.


Unless of course Grace comes out of the fog and holds his feet to the fire first. :wink:


Not a shred of evidence, eh? I’ll have to address that in the email.

As for the sex bit, I’m glad a high-profile preacher is addressing this because most churches seem to thrive on repression. I consider these people who banned him to just be religious. I haven’t listened to those sermons but I know that whenever I’ve heard him refer to the Song of Solomon he’s talked mostly about guys performing oral sex on their wives. Oh noes, he’s talking about the “S” word! :astonished:


I don’t mind him talking about sex - I think that is an exceedingly important issue to address that unfortunately the Church has not done a good job at (hence the younger generation like myself having to basically fight the young man’s battle on our own, or else with pat answers that serve no remedial purpose other than to frustrate us when we fail, and enflame our insecurity and fear).

I just didn’t particularly like it when I was presented with the idea of using sex for gaining converts to the Kingdom. It didn’t sit right in my innerself.

But, since it has been brought up; in the face of fighting one “difficult subject” (Salvation of all mankind) it might be a good idea to have some Christlike, and clean discourse on sexuality. In my experience there are two things that riddle the Christian experience with “unpleasantness” - Hell, and Sex.

If it were so, I would want Purity to be represented also. I can’t help but feel that it is almost one sided when the Church does talk about sex in an honest way. They always address the general theme and discussion around those who have already had it, or have been “impure” - but it hardly ever seems that the virgin crowd (however small it may be, and infact it almost feels as if the virgin crowd [or faithful secure marriages crowd] is underestimated in size due to the over-emphasis on the non-virgin [difficult marriages] congregation) is ever given more than a “keep up the good work” sermon.


Again, without having watched the sermon (which I easily could, although I don’t know which one it is and I’m busy) the article just said that she did “win him over” to Christ with it, not that she was encouraged to use that method - just that she was admonished to by scripture (is admonished even the right word for that? whatever). Obviously since Driscoll is Reformed he believes that salvation only comes through God’s sovereignty. But let’s say that a guy is strongly leaning toward becoming a Christian but just feels like there’s too much repression and so forth in it that would keep him enslaved to a system of strict morality. His Christian wife lavishly doting on him like that might set him free to see that it’s not quite what he conceived it was. To say that he was won over by “oral sex” would really cheapen something like that. It would be more accurate to say that he was won over by the spirit of freedom in Christ, which covers all kinds of ground, much more than just that one tiny specific issue, although that could have been the proverbial chink in the armor for him.


Ironically, as Driscoll quotes C.S. Lewis, I believe C.S. Lewis has postmortem salvation in The Great Divorce (please can someone give me a quote for this?). Also, as far I can tell, up until Calvin, belief in postmortem salvation (for at least a few) was mainstream (see below for evidence, mainly from Mercy And Judgment by Canon F.W. Farrar). As you can see, one of the reasons given was:

Which implies there are some things that can be forgiven in the age to come.

Augustine"]As also, after the resurrection, there will be some of the dead to whom, after they have endured the pains proper to the spirits of the dead, mercy shall be accorded, and acquittal from the punishment of the eternal fire. For were there not some whose sins, though not remitted in this life, shall be remitted in that which is to come, it could not be truly said, “They shall not be forgiven, neither in this world, neither in that which is to come.”

St. Justin Martyr"]And He descended to them (the dead) to preach to them His salvation.

St. Irenaeus"]Christ descended to preach even to those (who were under the earth) His advent.

Tertullian"]Christ did not ascend to heaven till He descended to the lower parts of the earth, that there He might make patriarchs and prophets partakers of Himself.

Hippolytus"]Who has been manifested as King even of those under the earth – of those under the earth, because He was numbered even among the dead, preaching the Gospel to the souls of the Saints.

St. Clemens of Alexandria"]Did not the same dispensation also occur in Hades that there also all the souls, on hearing the proclamation, may either manifest repentance, or that their punishment was due to their unbelief?

Eusebius of Caesarea"]Bursting open the eternal gates of the dark abode, and opening a way of return to life for the dead there bound in chains of death.

Athanasius"](The devil) sitting by the gates sees all the fettered beings led forth by the courage of the Saviour.

Gregory of Nazianzus"]Until He loosed by His blood all who groan under Tartarean chains.

Firmicius Maternus"]The crowd of the just was so collected by Him that the iniquity of death might no more have dominion over them.

Victorinus"]From the lowest depths Tartarus poured forth its chiefs, and the blessed fathers Arise.

St. Ambrose"]Christ….bursting open the bars and gates of hell, recalled to life from the jaws of the devil…souls bound in sin.

St. Hilary of Poictiers"]He knows…that even to those who were in prison and had once been unbelieving, the exhortation was preached.

Epiphanius"]To liberate the captive Adam and his fellow captive Eve from anguish, goeth her God, and Son.

St. Jerome"]From those seats of hell no one has been freed by his own merits, but only by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. … The land of the dead, which is torn asunder and emptied, when by the death of Christ the souls bound in hell are set free.

Synesius"]And descending under Tartarus…And setting free from their pains The holy choir of souls.

St. Cyril Of Alexandria"]And wandering down even to Hades, He has emptied the dark, secret, invisible treasuries. … t_ch3.html Canon F.W. Farrar"]It would be useless to heap up the masses of later testimonies; but this one from Theodore of Jerusalem, which is found in the Acts of the Second Nicene Council, may suffice. He says that he believes in Christ,

Theodore of Jerusalem"]Who despoiled Hades, and set free those who had been imprisoned from eternity.
Further discussion of the topic:
Post Mortem Reconciliation?
Even Augustine taught post-mortem salvation


Doesn’t sound like “freedom in Christ” to ME! Sounds like Mark Driscoll laying a horrible guilt trip on this poor young Christian wife over an extremely personal matter! And if her husband came to any god because of Driscoll’s advice, it wasn’t the God I know

Sorry, but every time I see Grace, I picture her husband standing over her, dropping his trousers daily and saying
“YOU MUST. . . [his lust of the day]. . . OR YOU ARE A TERRIBLE SINNER

FORCING or guilt tripping a wife to do sexual things which she finds distasteful (whether it be a certain act, or whether it be because she is exhausted from a hard day or doesn’t feel well) is not “love”. It’s selfish and that wife is not going to feel nourished and cherished. She’s going to feel like a prostitute and Driscoll would pin it on God. :unamused:

Talk about scripture twisting of 1 Peter. Read it. It talks about a wife’s “chaste conversation”=pure behavior winning her husband to Christ. According to a counselor I know with expertise in sexual abuse, the DEMAND for oral and/or anal sex is not about marital intimacy but comes out of a desire for CONTROL and its a symptom of porn use because that imagery is common in porn. Complying with such DEMANDS only feeds the monster.

(not to be confused with anything a couple** mutually **enjoys)


Thanks for the verse.
I’m more inclined to be convinced if I see evidence in** Scripture** than from “church authority” figures.
Although I did order a CS Lewis collection including “The Great Divorce” at the same time I ordered “Love Wins” and “Evangelical Universalism”. I’m still looking forward to their arrival. :slight_smile: I’ve heard that Gregory MacDonald has a lot of Scripture in his book.


Alright, thanks for the transcript. I agree with you on that count. At best his delivery was wrong and at worst there’s an element of dominance and machoism that he needs to be convicted of. Given his view of the role of men and women, I definitely would think the latter.

I also don’t like how every little thing deserves “repentance.” I think that makes repentance rather trite and sometimes all that’s needed is a different viewpoint without someone having to be judged. Sometimes Amy and I haven’t gone to community group and one of the regulars asked her, “Don’t you feel convicted?” I mean, seriously? I used to live with those guilt trips all the time. All it does is serve to entrench one’s self-obsession and lead one away from God. :frowning:

My church doing a talk on Hell

I hope you won’t be too disappointed if MD won’t listen to you, or even tramples your pearls underfoot. Your efforts at thinking through things won’t go to waste. I have a feeling that MD will not budge until his ezer comes out of the fog, puts a stop to anything abusive, and uses her mouth to “help” him. Then, he still has a choice and he might very well choose divorce over listening to his wife (women are easily deceived, dontcha know, so any marital problem will be laid at Grace’s feet).

Song of Solomon is really quite lovely. The problem is that so many preachers seem to miss the obvious. Solomon cannot possibly be set up by God as a role model for how to conduct a good monogamous marriage. My husband agrees with me on this; he says it is a cause for stumbling to have it preached as though Solomon is a good role model. Solomon lived a porn user fantasy in real life with 300 wives and 700 concubines at his beck and call. We think the best way to understand it is with three characters with Solomon as the villain attempting to seduce the faithful woman away from her shepherd lover. I’ve heard James MacDonald preach it this way on the radio. Andy Bannister has a great outline of this interpretation online. You and your beloved might enjoy this, Justin: (click here).


Discerning words!


There’s a wonderful bit in Ecclesiastes where the Teacher (supposedly Solomon) complains about old age, specifically “the grasshopper drags itself along and desire no longer is stirred.” His grasshopper has lost its bounce, poor fellow. Imagine the humiliation for a great king, with 1000 women all waiting in line… Wouldn’t the gossip mills be turning!

Serves him right, the lecherous old coot.


One verse that people don’t take literally is “encourage one another daily”. Ask them if they called folks to encourage them daily and are they convicted if not!