Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Another disclaimer

In case you didn't read this post, let me say again that I don't agree with everything posted on the blogs that I advertise on itothehills. I'm slowly but surely turning itothehills into my home page on the web. At Princeton, I hope to study full time online. My blogs will become the windows of my learning and my writing. You will be able to follow that learning through Shed on Shedd, Shed on Strong, and itothehills too.

So, in case you read Mark Driscoll, I just want to share with you my concern about the tone of his latest post. Those of you that know me, know that I've got serious issues with the Church of Scotland's law. So, I can understand Driscoll's views.

(I refer to the Kirk's law, because it appears to me that the Kirk is founded on what is effectively a combination of case law and law 'by committee report'. Faith, belief, and practice feel entirely separate from this 'legal' construction. Your attitude to the Kirk in general needs to refer to its law, rather than individual churches or members in the organisation. In practice, ministers have to uphold the law of the CofS above anything else.)

My problem is that Driscoll's post as a whole just plays to his audience, and presumably it aims to attract disillusioned mainliners. It's not surprising that Driscoll jnr agrees with his mega cool, mega manly, mega church pop star Dad, either. Driscoll's continuing success relies on the confusion (and the destruction?) of the mainline churches.

It strikes me that so many preachers and church leaders need some kind of foil. Why is that? Is it some Hegelian thing going on? Or is all just hubris? I used to preach in a style that assumed an opposing side, or an opposing argument, to everything that I was saying. I preached as if I was trying to win a debate - booorrrrrinnnggggg!!!!

I think preaching that majors on undermining or attacking 'error' lacks... well, something. I now try to tackle error and ignorance through the winsome declaration of truth. If people have problems or issues, that will soon enough become apparent in the ongoing pastoral relationship...

'Rev Shedden, I was wondering if you could defend the 4th point of Calvin's Famous Five for me...' Realistic - I think not. More to the point - 'Dave, I'm feeling really crap at the moment...'

This mega church story is hilarious. Poor Pastor Boyd's only left with 4000 members in his church.


Danny said...

Re: Driscoll...to use an 'Americanism' beloved of my children - he really does have a "bug up his ass"!! Or perhaps women really are the root of all evil...

Dave said...

I wonder if we have taken apologetics to the extreme, christians now think they have to be adept in refuting evolution, homosexuality, abortion, all the biggies.
Like you say most preaching is as if trying to denounce another argument, maybe a bit of a straw man complex?

When reading Jesus, paul, prophets etc, they did come against false worship, idolatry, worship of foreign gods etc, but it was the gospel, the message of the Kingdom of God that did this.
Jesus in Matt 5 does not begin ,cursed are the rich, cursed are the warmongerers. Instead he teaches the reality of living in the Kingdom of God.

i used to be very active in discernment ministries, then by chance I fell foul of a cult for a year (ouch that hurt). People would try to oppose the cult teaching with truth, but it always ended up their truth versus my truth, and in fact pushed me further into the cult.

So after all that I have come to this conclusion, if you want to correct error then teach the truth and nothing but the truth. Fill a person with the gospel and the wrong thinking will be changed.

Tell you what, it sure does make following Jesus a whole lot easier.