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Battle on Mars Hill…

The blogosphere’s been abuzz the last few days with Mark Driscoll’s most recent comments at the Convergence conference at the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.  He talked about different streams of the emerging church today:

The Relevants – Evangelical folks that are being innovative in their methods… he names guys like Donald Miller, Erwin McManus, and Dan Kimball.  He’s okay with this crowd.

Reformed Relevants—the theologically conservative and reformed crowd that are still missional – citing himself, those in the Acts 29 network like Matt Chandler, and C.J. Mahaney

Revisionists—those associated with the emergent village who are reinventing church and theologically liberal – naming Brian McLaren, Doug Paggit, and Rob Bell.

I’ve seen this breakdown before by Driscoll in the past, but the new name added this time around was Rob Bell’s.  He jokingly said that he was still in therapy due to their churches sharing the same name, Mars Hill.  I predicted a year ago that Driscoll’s Mars Hill Seattle would pick a fight with Bell’s Mars Hill in Michigan.  I guess it was long overdue.

What’s interesting is that Rob Bell couldn’t preach this week, and had Doug Paggit cover for him, further fueling his association with the emergent dudes, even though he’s never used the label himself.

I’ve learned tremendously from all of these guys, from Mclaren to Driscoll.  Only problem is the reformed crowd almost makes me feel embarrassed when I say that.

Here’s the audio

Great conversation at Bob Hyatt’s blog on Mark’s comments

Thoughts on a tale of two movements

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Yu September 27, 2007, 5:51 pm

    Doesn’t this attitude always suck? That’s my main ish with Driscoll.

    I know there’s been a few instances where some in the emerging camp purposefully tried to seek coffeeshop-style dialogue with their conservative counterparts (ie. Jones/Pagitt with Piper).

    I would love to see more of those dialogues, or perhaps a more organic version of ‘listening to the beliefs of emerging churches’.

  • Shawn September 27, 2007, 7:24 pm

    We must have been separated at birth. I posted on Driscoll today too. Spooky! Although your post is better

  • Lon September 28, 2007, 11:14 am

    Hey Yu, it’s interesting isn’t it? One end of the spectrum wants to dialog, and the other end thinks it’s things like ‘conversation’ that lead people to sin… craziness.

    Shawn, haha, maybe, my brother from another mother! I’ll be reading your post in just a moment

  • Todd V October 1, 2007, 12:07 pm

    LON – I tried to post this on your other site but couldn’t so Ill put it here to Thank you for the Peacemaker PDF.

    But SINCE I am commenting HERE – I would just like to quoute the great Peacemaker of all time, Rodney King.
    “Why can’t we all just get along?”

    I mean seriously. I am not impressed with Driscoll’s “categories”. He did that in his Radical Reformation as well.

    It seems like we are trying to leave an old fractioned bitter denominated culture… for what? To start a NEW one? Why the labels? I have learned alot from Bell and Driscoll… I dont want to HAVE to choose sides.
    My original comment
    THANK YOU for the Calling All Peacemakers PDF! This stuff is great!

    I love your site — I am a very confused “rehabilitating professional christian”.

    I know I love Bell’s stuff and Driscoll (even though Driscoll doesnt seem to like anyone these days) … but JUST want to make sure I am not losing my faith.

    Although I have really just lost faith in the “Church Inc.” system, I believe.

    What is wierd is that I have this GUILTY feeling for liking so much of what Bell is for. Maybe it is because Environmentalism and the Peace movement have been hijacked by people with political agendas (those Very different from my own) …. But these issues are GOOD issues! And I just love the fact that Bell has the guts to dare talk about them.

    Anyway — enough rambling… thanks SOOO much for the site and the resource!

  • Lon October 1, 2007, 4:06 pm

    Hey Todd, thanks so much for tuning in! I’m not sure what’s been going on with my other site, hopefully commenting glitches will be fixed up in the next week.

    You’re right on, just because some people create labels, even those we respect, it doesn’t mean we need to fall under them.

    “Church Inc.” can really suck sometimes… Bell and others who are speaking on issues that matter continually re-fuel my faith in the future church.

    Glad you liked the site and resources, feel free to continue dropping in and continuing the conversation!

  • Todd October 1, 2007, 5:11 pm

    I will Lon, thanks!!!

  • brad grinnen October 10, 2007, 8:29 pm


    driscoll is driscoll. i think he gets off on the controversy and on being right. if he’s theologically correct or not…he seems to have a lot of pride issues. i think i recognize this because i have pride issues…lol.

    the great thing is, i’ve heard directly from rob bell’s mouth that he refuses to label himself as this tends to bring about more pain than good/usefulness. if driscoll is picking a fight, it’s one i’d like to see. i’m sure i would be blown away with the simplicity, intelligence, and loving replies of bell (loving doesn’t imply weak here). anyway, thanks for the post.


  • Lon October 11, 2007, 4:23 pm

    Hey Brad, yeah it was classic driscoll. part of me would love to see them duke it out too… but I’m just not sure how pretty it’d end up being…

  • Tyler April 10, 2008, 2:12 am

    Driscoll attacked ad hominem over and over and over in the lecture.

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