Driscoll’s latest on the controversy he sparked and his later response is up. Like his last post, I’m impressed by the spirit he brings to this latest message. I have no doubt that he has experienced these few weeks much like he mentions from the Book of James. That is impressive. I have no doubt that he has seen the effects of his words and might temper them in the future. I get his desire to mature more slowly, and am fascinated by his thoughts about how his sort of ministry in the 21st century is impacting that.
Still, while there’s quite a bit admirable in this post and what he’s learned, there’s nothing substantively new here on the original matter, and so far as I can tell there likely won’t be. An excerpt:
I came to the meeting expecting God would speak to me through fellow Christians and had much joy because He did. I learned that my theological convictions, even the most controversial ones, are as unwavering as ever. But I also learned that as my platform has grown, so has my responsibility to speak about my convictions in a way that invites other people to experience charity from me, which means inflammatory language and such need to be scaled back. I was also sad and sorry to hear that various things I have said over the years have been received very personally by some people who felt personally attacked. A female pastor had a very good insight: as my platform has grown, so has my audience, and that in some sense I need to consider myself the pastor of two churches. In Mars Hill where I labor as a pastor who deeply loves his people, they are gracious with my faults and flaws because they know me and they know of my love for them. But outside of Mars Hill, for those who do not know me or my pastoral affection for people, the perception of me can be very different. Therefore, I need to learn how to function most effectively in a new role as someone given a broader voice to speak for Jesus. There is much to learn. To be honest, this is all new to me and comes quicker than I would have hoped for; I wish I was at this place in my fifties or sixties, following a longer period of maturing. However, Jesus obviously has something different planned for me.
Either he still thinks this is just about him singling out Carolyn Haggard, and thus he’s missing the larger impact of what he wrote and what it means to say about women, or he’s got that and actually believes it. Either way, I think he’s likely done commenting on it. I note, also, that he’s a good and clearly thoughtful writer, and in nothing he’s posted on his blog has be apologized or retracted what he wrote about wives letting go for their bound-pastor-husbands. But I’m ready to move on.
Also helpful is this blog entry from one of the pastors who recently met with Driscoll about this matter, Rose Madrid-Swetman. (h/t Scot McKnight) As she says, “We are all life long learners on this journey where confession, forgiveness, and reconciliation is one of our highest callings.” Amen and amen!
And I’ll reiterate what I said before: no one should protest a church’s worship service. I hope the concerns about that he expresses in this post don’t come to pass. Driscoll, Mars Hill, and those who are upset with him all have my prayers.