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Mark Driscoll’s ‘Discernment’

August 24, 2010

Some time back I wrote on Mark Driscoll as scholar and exegete after his ham-fisted abuse of Targum Neofiti in a talk we shall loosely describe as a sermon.

Today we get a look at him as, uh, a preacher… I guess. Anyways, he feels the need to warn his congregation about Twilight because he wants them to be ‘discerning’.

I am reminded of the line in Princess Bride, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Did Driscoll convert to Pentecostalism or something? Did he read This Present Darkness? And exactly how does he know so much about Satan and demons and what they are doing?

I have neither the time nor desire to fully deconstruct it, because let’s be honest, there is a ton of things I could write, but let me help with your ‘discernment’ for a couple of minutes.

  • There are no such things as Vampires and Werewolves. Don’t worry
  • A demon did not start Mormonism
  • There’s no apple in Genesis one ‘pastor’ Mark
  • The real problem with Twilight has nothing to do with ‘demons’ or ‘Mormonism’; however, literary criticism and critical thinking are hard (impossible for Driscoll?) so he goes the easy ‘demon’ route. The actual problem with the book, and I say this as a father of two girls one who is a teenager, is the unhealthy dating models and hyper-infatuation that is supposedly ‘love’ that young girls are being exposed and inculcated into. Bella is a whiny loser who allows herself to be terribly treated, and puts herself in danger for an infatuated relationship. Lessons I do not want my daughters to learn.
  • If you go into a bookstore you will find this in the ‘fantasy’ genre. Get a grip.
  • Of course, this sort of criticism comes from the same guy who suggested Avatar is the most satanic film he has ever seen. Could you actually be more non-discerning? There are competing meta-narratives that create meaning and understanding for some people, but any of these meta-narratives that are different than mine are satanic. Well played Mark.


19 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris E permalink
    August 24, 2010 9:10 am

    This was actually worse than I thought it would be – though he has form on taking sermons and stretching them into soapboxes.

    Doug Wilson’s review of Twilight in CredendaAgenda was a perceptive take, this wasn’t.

  2. August 24, 2010 9:20 am

    why these loons get worked up over FICTION is just beyond reason. twilight, potter, etc. they’re make believe. how is that different than lewis and his fantasy or the hobbit and all that stuff.

    come one. driscoll just wants more publicity. like so many mega church megaphiles, he’s a publicity whore.

    • August 24, 2010 9:54 am

      I was reading this post with interest (since I’m a worship pastor in the A29 network) and truthfully I understood some of Scott’s critique (though I think harsh and a bit tongue in cheek) but this comment is really pathetic. Ironic to see this comment on a post critiquing discernment that you’d level that kinda of lame, weak accusation…”publicity whore”. It’s like reading a pastoral critique from TMZ. Nice. I’m due back at the big kids table now.

      • WenatcheeTheHatchet permalink
        August 25, 2010 4:02 pm

        It’s too bad Driscoll’s sermons lend themselves so well to the soundbite/sketch clip idiom, though, because that is what makes the accusation of attention whore s0 unfortunately credible. I am not sure how many people remember the actual sermon content in which the Avatar rant happened. Driscoll himself may not actually be an attention whore … but if he’s not the editors of the clips of his sermons do nothing to dispel this suspicion. 😦

        Furthermore, if we consider how Driscoll himself is glib and dismissive there’s a very real sense in which Jim’s comments are just an example of Driscoll reaping what he sows. This is one of the most troubling things for Driscoll fans to accept but as some pretty conservative guys like Steve Camp (and probably John Macarthur) have shown, when the shoe is on the other foot Driscoll fans don’t like Driscoll being talked about the way he talks about other people.

      • August 26, 2010 1:22 pm

        they let you at the big kids table? that’s surprising.

    • brgulker permalink
      August 31, 2010 12:58 pm


      You’re wrong, I think. Mark really does believe what he’s saying. Your critique is completely off base.

  3. August 24, 2010 10:20 am

    I pointed this out elsewhere. He dismisses the book The Sorceress based on the title. Does he do the same for The Magician’s Nephew?? Or does the fact it was written by C.S Lewis trump the title?

  4. August 24, 2010 11:35 am

    Mark Driscoll is a gifted guy. But some of his staunch attitudes strike me as spiritual abuse rather than ‘spurring one another on to love and good deeds’.

  5. August 24, 2010 12:32 pm

    Wonder what he’d say about my Demonoid account?

  6. August 24, 2010 1:37 pm

    He’s actually got a nice amiable speaking style, too bad he is commenting on material he obviously hasn’t read. Perhaps we could call him the friendly face of neo-fundamentalism – his message certainly puts him in the isolationist camp. Sad.

    • WenatcheeTheHatchet permalink
      August 24, 2010 3:07 pm

      This may be a habit of his, commenting on material he hasn’t actually read. A few people weren’t sure that Driscoll actually bothered to really read The Shack before launching a campaign against it from the pulpit. My concern over the last ten years is not so much that he didn’t read The Shack himself but that he read it and has a tin ear for poetry and allegory.

  7. August 24, 2010 2:56 pm

    first-crush age (which is where they seem aimed) is not, I think, noted for discernment in any respect. I’ve only seen the first of the films, not read any of the books, but the only thing that worried me was a sense of terminal boredom.

  8. WenatcheeTheHatchet permalink
    August 24, 2010 6:18 pm

    As far as spiritual warfare stuff goes Driscoll has commended William Gurnall’s The Christian in Full Armor in the last few years. He may or may not have picked this up by way of J. I. Packer. Driscoll’s fondness for the Puritans might have led him to Gurnall anyway but I do know he’s commended the book to church members for studying the subject of spiritual warfare.

  9. Michael B permalink
    August 25, 2010 6:37 am

    Maybe I’m just looking for things to be cynical about (which is pretty par for the course on the Internet), but what was the point of the several minutes of book covers? Was there a point beyond preteen girls have bad taste in literature? It felt more like an opportunity for Mark to get exasperated for the sake of some laughs.

  10. A Reader permalink
    August 25, 2010 11:45 am

    May his tribe decrease. The last thing the church needs is more people like Driscoll. Tyrants/demagogues in pastors’ clothing.

  11. Headless Unicorn Guy permalink
    September 7, 2010 8:18 pm

    Seems to me “Discernment” in Christianese means “DEMONS! DEMONS! WITCHCRAFT!!!!!!!”

    And “Discernment Ministry” means “Witchfinders-General”.

    Ten years ago it was Harry Potter.

    Twenty-thirty years ago it was Dungeons & Dragons.

    Fifty-sixty years ago it was EC Comics.

    • WenatcheeTheHatchet permalink
      October 20, 2010 1:36 am

      Ironically I know a few guys at Mars Hill who play DnD and have played it for years.

  12. phil_style permalink
    September 8, 2010 9:46 am

    Oh dear driscoll. His flannel shirt is more evil than those books. I’d rather he disputed this stuff becasue it’s crap literature… not becasue it’s inspired by some kind of devil.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy permalink
      September 30, 2010 10:38 am

      When all you have is a hammer…

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