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When Relevance Becomes Irreverence – The Curious Case of Mark Driscoll

January 17, 2009 by  
Filed under Radio Program Hour 1, Radio Show


Guest: Cathy Mickels

Being “relevant” to your audience is the big buzzword in Evangelical and Emergent churches today.  Whether it’s dressing down to look like “one of them” or playing “edgy” music or using Hollywood movies as sermon examples or preaching “30 days of sex with your spouse”, being relevant and “contextualizing” your message is seen to be as important as sound doctine (if that’s important anymore).

One of the more curious examples of this rush towards relevance is Mark Driscoll, popular author and preaching pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle that attracts 7500 attendees to seven church locations each week and who also has an enormous following world-wide.  Why Driscoll is a “curious case” is that he describes himself as “Emerging Reformed” which I would define as sort of merging Reformation theology with urban culturalism.  So what’s the big deal?

Well, you can read for yourself what author Cathy Mickels from Seattle reports in a memo this week highlighting concerns about Driscoll’s so-called relevant ministry and the association well-known church leaders like John Piper, Erwin Lutzer, Alistair Begg, and others have with him as part of “The Gospel Coalition“.  You can also click on the links below to YouTube videos of Mark Driscoll (viewer warning advised).

When is “the line” crossed between relevance and irreverence?  How are the younger generation and the unchurched to be reached without someone and some message they can relate to?  You won’t want to miss Hour 1 of The Christian Worldview this Saturday.

Follow-up radio program on March 28, 2009:  The Pornification of the Pulpit. Guest: Phil Johnson

Mark Driscoll: Is He Qualified To Lead?

“Sound Doctrine, Sound Words” by Phil Johnson, Shepherds’ Conference 2009