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Feb 13, 2009

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scott shaffer

Peter,

I haven't worked all of this out in my mind, but some of the questions I have include:

1. Should academic institutions, even seminaries, only invite speakers who (and I struggle for the right description here) are "like-minded"? And, if they do, should the school disclose their concerns to the students in advance?

2. Does having Driscoll speak imply endorsement?

3. I think we should hold pastors/elders to a higher standard because scripture does.

4. Some of his defenders keep pointing out that his coarse language is old news and that he has repented; therefore, we should forgive him and get over it. In fact, I may have said something to that effect myself. However, see point #3, and if you look at some of his recent material, I'm not convinced he gets it yet. Apparently, he was on CNN last night. You can check it out HREF="http://theologica.blogspot.com/2009/02/mark-driscoll-on-cnn.html">here. I don't think he gets it.

scott shaffer

Oops. I messed up the link. Click here to watch the video.

Romans 1:26

Sodomy! How is the promotion of sodomy and instruction as to how to engage in sodomy "relevant" to the Christian gospel?! This is morally repugnant!!!!! This is an outrage!!!!!!! This is not Jesus Christ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

scott shaffer

Another thought on this:

I'd wager that if you went back through church history, you'd be hard pressed to find orthodox ministers of the gospel discussing sex in the same manner Driscoll does. Yet, the topic has always been relevant to mankind. So, are we to believe that MD is the first gospel minister to get it right?

Jim Champion

Well Peter, it probably comes as no surprise to you that we are going to disagree again.

A couple points - would you rather his church members - and now the general population of blog readers get their answers to these questions from playboy or cosmopolitan magazine (or pornographic web sites - and no I dont include Pastor Driscolls web site in that description) or from Pastor Driscoll with answers from a biblical perspective.

If Pastor Driscoll was advocating sex outside of marriage and would be as hot about this as anyone - but he is giving honest answers to honest questions to married people.

Number two, as the father of a teenage daughter (who is in a Christian school, and is very active in our church youth group), people need to be able to turn to the church for these answers. There is so much garbage out there, and there is no one immune. Some of the kids that I never expected to wind up with teen pregnancies did. I hope that Pastor Driscolls frank talk helps some parents talk with their kids.

I think that Pastor Driscoll recognizes that our society is so overwhelmed with sex in media - his answer is to take the problem head on. I for one am glad he did.

Jim

Darby Livingston

Some polls have as high as 50% of Christian PASTORS confessing looking at pornography. Porn is rampant in Christian circles. And any pastor who thinks otherwise is just not getting into their people's lives. It's sad that it has come to this, but it's true. Take a stroll through the average southern baptist youth group. They're hookup groups. Generalizations? I'm sure I'll be accused of it. "Not my church." "Not my youth group." "Where's your proof?" We should wake up and realize that Driscoll isn't doing anything but giving the proper context for what much of Christianity in America is already enthralled with, and most pastors, hiding behind a facade of prudishness, refuse to deal with.

Dave Miller

While I may not agree with everything he says on his sex-topics blog, I think it is a reasonable thing for a pastor to address these issues.

I think the main issue I would have is the fact that this is open and out there for everyone. He has warnings, but those do little to stop people who shouldn't be reading this.

Peter, are you upset THAT he addressed these issues directly, or at WHAT he said when he addressed them?

peter lumpkins

Scott,

Thanks, brother. As for academic institutions only inviting speakers who are whole-heartedly agreeable to the institutions' doctrinal position, my own answer is that institutions should have a measure of liberty--within our trustee guidelines, of course--to invite guests whom they deem would intellectually stimulate the student body without sacrificing the moral, spiritual, or doctrinal health of the student body toward whom, under God, they have received stewardship. In other words, I am not principally opposed, in an academic setting, to guests being less than entirely "like us."

The derailing comes, however, if or when an institution (I am not implicating SEBTS necessarily;this is a general statement) somewhere in its soul begins to lose its once established "like us" identity and flirtatiously envisions a "like others" future. As I recall, such a description is applicable to pre-CR SBC academia.

Pertaining to having Driscoll speak necessarily implying endorsing Driscoll, the answer is yes and no. Nevertheless, the issue we face with SEBTS is, no question remains as to precisely where they stand. They have taken bold steps to assure no misunderstanding--Mark Driscoll should be supported and defended.

With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

Romans 1:26,

As much as I agree with you, please do not comment again anonymously. Here, if we cannot link comments to real people, comments will not stand.

Email me with what I can determine a legitimate reason why you must remain anonymous, and I may oblige you. Nonetheless, as the bloghost, I still must know your identity. Sorry.

With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

Jim,

You assume far too much.

First, you set up a false dilemma--playboy or Driscoll.

Second, you assume that apparently the local church is entirely absent it showing any involvement in teaching biblical sexuality. I can assure you, that is a false assumption.

Third, you assume Driscoll gives valid biblical counsel. When you can show me where's there's biblical support to affirm sex toys and sodomy, we'll address this one, Jim.

Fourth, you assume the info Driscoll gives is to married couples. It is not. It is offered to all over 17. Even more tragically, it is available to anyone with an internet connection.

Fifth, you assume parents will want to talk frankly with their kids as a result of Driscoll's series. Would you talk frankly with your daughter about sex toys and sodomy, Jim? You don't have to answer: Neither would I.

Sixth, you assume Driscoll's material is qualitatively distinct from the garbage out there. That's an arguable assumption. More significantly, even granting for arguments sake Driscoll's advice is better, being better does not equate to being biblical. Again, is recommending that a husband pray about sodomizing his wife a biblical notion, Jim?

Seventh, you assume Driscoll sees sex-saturation and tackles it head-on. Just as easily one could arguably assume Driscoll sees sex-saturation and exploits it as church-growth methodology.

Like I said, Jim: you assume far too much for your view. A real test for you is this: think about your little girl and ask, would I want some dude treating her like Driscoll advocates?

I too am a dad, raising a son and two daughters. My little girls are all grown up now--both married, one being a mother of two.

Know this, Jim. If I knew either of my s-i-ls was sodomizing my girl, I can readily imagine myself inviting them over for dinner. Later, I can envision sending my sweet daughter shopping with her mother.

And, while they were away, I'd take a rubber mallet and beat the fool out of the no-good who defiled, degraded, and dehumanized my beautiful virgin daughter he received with our blessings many years ago.

With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

Dave,

So many of your contributions, Dave, attempt--and many succeed, I might add--to walk the middle way. There is some virtue in such an approach, I have to admit. Know, however, Aristotle was the master of middle-way ethics, not Paul. There comes a time, as heart-breaking as it is, to shift to one side or the other. Biblical absolutism requires such.

Having said that, you write Driscoll's subjects--presumably those to which I linked--qualify as "a reasonable thing for a pastor to address..." O.K., Dave, here it is: I challenge you to get up Sunday morning and mention these "reasonable" things to your congregation. Talk about sex toys as one subject and follow up by encouraging the husbands to prayerfully consider sodomizing their wives for greater "intimacy." By the way, make sure you emphasize the disgusting details as does Driscoll.

Please know: I am not being sarcastic. I am dead serious. If Driscoll's subjects qualify as a "reasonable thing for a pastor to address..." then do it.

As for "being upset" either because of Driscoll's sex-talk or the content of Driscoll's sex-talk, I'd have to say both pose particular problems from my perspective. First, his biblical understanding of sexuality is shallow, at best, drawing more from culture than Scripture. Second, his sensationalistic announcement of all-things-sexual as the preferred venue for teaching "biblical" sexuality betrays, at least for me, respect for pastoral office.

Given the biblical profile for pastoral requirements in The Pastorals, were I apart of the ordaining church which commissioned Driscoll, I'd personally lead the church to defrock him--'lay hands on no man quickly...'

With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

Darby,

Since I haven't a clue what your focus on the statistics cited have to do with the post here, I cannot comment.

However, I can comment on this: "We should wake up and realize that Driscoll isn't doing anything but giving the proper context for what much of Christianity in America is already enthralled with, and most pastors, hiding behind a facade of prudishness, refuse to deal with"

First, Darby, the "anything but" betrays an irrational assessment of what's been offered here. To reduce Driscoll's perverted opinions about sex toys, M______n, and sodomy to "proper context" qualifies as unmitigated nonsense.

Secondly, to blow smoke in "most" pastors' faces by suggesting they are "hiding behind a facade of prudishness, refuse to deal with" is argument without evidence. In addition, it's the old-bait-and-switch strategy--that is, get the attention off Driscoll and on the failings of an unidentified mass of other pastors.

My advice, Darby, is to stay on point.

With that, I am...

Peter

Todd Burus

Peter,
Let it go.

One of the popular criticisms leveled against Driscoll has been his alleged "cussing," which, supporters insist, Driscoll has long ago put behind him. While I am unsure about such, let's, for the sake of argument, accept their defense.
I profoundly disagree with what can only be legitimately described as a white-washed description Professor Reid gives toward Driscoll's alleged potty mouth. If there is truth to it, then pulpit use of the "F" word must solicit significantly more than merely language a "little edgy for my tastes."

This has gone beyond arguable and is just sad. Peter, with Calvinism you simply misrepresent people and speak without (apparently) understanding. With Driscoll though you show a whole different level of vileness. You have tossed charity out the window and joined with the fear-mongering, hate-driven separatist wing of the SBC in your rhetoric.

You don't get it. Pride is puffing you up to not see what Reid means by "a Pharisaical legalism that expects conformity in nonessentials." This is the same message Matt Chandler was hammering at FBC Jax by asking those who fought so hard in the battle for inerrancy to stop fighting over issues that are secondary in nature to the gospel. Quit picking fights over gossip and personal, extra-biblical opinion. When I first started coming here I disagreed with what I saw as your comical understanding and representation of Calvinism. Now I am just saddened by how far you have let the ugliness of your feelings towards another brother take you down. Please consider what I am saying before ripping me over how this is just my opinion and that no one else sees such a problem here.

I'm not perfect either, but I charge you, if you really care about reaching people, to stop trying to slander someone who is doing God's work faithfully in a place and time where not many other people are. Your messages have gone from attempts to inform to attempts at driving a wedge of hate between people. Enough is enough.

Chris Poe

Todd,

This Calvinist couldn't disagree more. Peter has not engaged in any misrepresentation of Driscoll in these posts. I find it ironic that Calvinists of all people make excuses for someone simply because he gets visible results and seems to have most of his doctrinal ducks in a row.

The last time I looked, the pastoral ministry entails more than simply getting visible results and preaching what is for the most part sound doctrine. But maybe your Bible reads differently than mine.

scott shaffer

Peter,

Is it just me, or does it seem like most of MD's defenders are the young Calvinists? (This is coming from a long time classical five pointer, so I no longer fit into the "young" category.) So, is he getting a free pass by Calvinists because he is a Calvinist, and especially by the younger set because they identify more closely with him? Just wondering.

Bob Willits

What I find most upsetting about all of this is that you clearly go to Driscoll's website with a personal agenda that is abnormal and unhealthy, and says a lot as to where you are in your life.

Go to Mars hill's sermon content section and you will find dozens of topics and hundreds of sermons. The book of Ruth, 1 Peter, Jesus Life, Nehemiah, The Book of Titus, and on and on...

You could be downloading sermons and listening for years and never even get to the one series that offends you. You intentionally look for something titillating and you found it. Good for you. That speaks volumes on your secret life. The rest of us download hundreds of hours of good teaching and appreciate what MD has to say. What you found and linked to is something you had to go out of your way to unearth.

Listen to the 30+ hours on Nehemiah and write a report on that next. What you are doing is akin to reading Song of Solomon and reporting that all the Bible talks about is sex. There are 65 other books to read but you hone in on the juicy stuff.

Darby Livingston

Bob,

It is the nature of fundamentalism to find the vice in a sea of virtue, and then build a characterization of a person based on the vice. There's simply no time to write a report on anything positive because there's so much negative to fight against. I suppose that's why the church I was baptized in had the "fighting fundamentalist" as they're school mascot. I've seen it my entire Christian life. And of course, anyone who calls a fundamentalist on this peculiar trait is considered carnal and worldly.

selahV

Peter...as a woman, I find Driscoll's suggestions to husbands to sodomize their wives to be thoroughly repugnant and not productive in creating anything but perversion in a relationship. This whole thing is turning my stomach.

I wouldn't listen to anything this man has to say relating to biblical instruction anymore than I would Haggard, so there is no need to go to his sermons at Mars Hill, in my very biased opinion. selahV

peter lumpkins

Dear Todd,

O.K. Have it your way. The problem is not Driscoll's encouragement to prayerfully consider sodomizing one's wife. Instead, it's:

--my misrepresenting Driscoll
--my lack of understanding
--my vileness
--my lack of charity
--my liaison with fear-mongering, hate-driven separatists
--my rhetoric
--my not getting it
--my pride puffing me up
--my picking fights over gossip and personal, extra-biblical opinion
--my comical understanding of Calvinism.
--my ugliness of feelings towards another brother
--my not really caring about reaching people
--my slandering someone who is doing God's work faithfully
--my driving a wedge of hate between people

Does that just about cover everything in your very thought-filled contribution to this discussion, Todd? If I left anything out, just let me know.

With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

Scott,

I think there may be some truth to what you suggest. Note, however, Chris Poe's response to Todd's enlightening contribution.

With that, I am...

Peter

Todd Burus

All,
Listen to Chandler and Reid again. This is not a Calvinist v. Non-Calvinist divide here, it's a young v. old. The problem is, the young are winning, but the old still hold the keys to influence in the denomination, so all of the bright young faces are getting frustrated and driven away. We can make all the excuses that we want about soteriology, comprimising, blah blah, and yes, not all young people agree with Mark's side, not all old people are against it, but by and large this a generational divide and what you are now seeing is young people saying, "I don't need this fighting about stuff that's non-essential to spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ," and then packing their bags and heading to another denomination or church planting network. Hence Dr. Reid's comment that he is "tired of talking good younger men off the ledge from leaving the SBC."

This has been a good thing, the SBC has had a blessing from God over it for many years, but now the old guard is letting their extra-biblical infatuations kill it. Please see this before it's too late.

peter lumpkins

Bob,

You're exactly right. Dricsoll taught that stuff way back in December, 2008, a whole 2+ months ago. How careless of me. And, what a huge waste of my time surfing so long--and so deep into his ministry!--to get such insignificant fodder.

With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

Darby,

Unfortunately, the comments you make here engage nothing in this post. Please do not fill this thread with broad-brushes about nothing. Thanks.

With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

Todd,

Read the note I left Darby. It also applies to you. I desire not this thread clogged with unprovable accusations--his about fundamentalism and yours about vague generational gaps.

And, for the record, unless you can demonstrate how sodomy is an "extra-biblical infatuation" I suggest you drop the point.

With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

SelahV,

My deepest apologies to you and every woman reader of this post. For me, I took no pleasure in openly speaking about such mundane matters.

I honestly believe mainstream Southern Baptists, upon learning about Driscoll's radical, culturally-driven hermeneutic, which pulls from the immediate cultural context, models for proclaiming Scripture, rather than focusing on Scripture's own model, will sigh in utter disbelief--especially when they connect the dots to precisely what such a hermeneutic produces: in this case, a sexuality not unlike those produced by atheistic hedonism (the ethical philosophy which embraces pleasure as its highest value).

Grace, SelahV. With that, I am...

Peter

Bob Willits

To me the time table is irrelevant. It doesn't matter if it was 2 weeks ago, 2 months ago or 2 years ago. The fact is, it represents a minuscule portion of a very large, broad base of teaching yet is seems that it is the only part you are willing to focus on. I don't understand why.

Have you ever reported on any other of his hundreds of sermons on other topics? if not - why not? When he went through I Corinthians, did you do a feature on that? How about his incredible series on Nehemiah or on Ruth? What other Driscoll series have you done a critique of?

A first time visitor to MHC is going to presented with a boatload of sermon content to download and unless they go there looking for sex, they aren't going to naturally end up where you did. His church is full of young single people and he tackled a difficult topic that needs to be tackled occasionally. He's not preaching to seminary kids or kids who grew up in church and christian school.

He begs his people to be pure sexually, faithfully in their marriage, and abstinent until marriage. He takes heat for that and then from the other side he takes heat from Christians who don't like his marriage bedroom advice. It's a lose-lose for him.

Dan

Peter,

The language in the pulpit issue is dead. It is repented of and covered by the blood of the Lamb. To rehash it without citing any sermon in which he uses a foul word subsequent to his confession is, well, sin.

Driscoll addresses some bedroom issues that are not directly addressed by the Scripture but are questions people in our culture are asking. For example, sodomy is always condemned in the Scripture in the context of homosexual relationships. To say Southeastern is endorsing everything Driscoll does seems, to me, to misrepresent the responses that I have read and the scholarship attributable to their faculty, e.g. Dr. Akin's very solid teaching on the subject in God on Sex. At the end of the day, husbands are to be about the business of pleasing their wives and their wives only. Wives are to do the same.

Anyhow, sounds like we would share many agreements on the text of Scripture, the exculsivity of salvation in Christ, and many other matters. Just relax for a moment, and resist the urge to make a blog or a response say more than it says. While I did not visit Driscoll's site, I did read the questions you posted from the site. None of them struck me as out of bounds to be addressed by a pastor - these are the quetions people are asking.

In Christ alone,

Dan

peter lumpkins

Bob,

When you have something relevant about this post to offer, I'll be glad to engage.

With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

Dan,

First, you write "The language in the pulpit issue is dead...To rehash it without citing any sermon...is, well, sin." Read the title of the post.

Second, you write "sodomy is always condemned in the Scripture in the context of homosexual relationships." Granted. Are you then suggesting moral liberty to sodomize in heterosexual relationships?

Third, you write "To say Southeastern is endorsing everything Driscoll does seems, to me, to misrepresent the responses that I have read and the scholarship attributable to their faculty..." Show me one statement where I necessarily implicate Southeastern as endorsing everything Driscoll does.

Fourth, you assert "At the end of the day, husbands are to be about the business of pleasing their wives and their wives only. Wives are to do the same." That is biblically incorrect. At the end of the day, husbands are to be about the business of pleasing their Lord and their Lord only. Wives are to do the same.

A healthy biblical focus caters to the Lordship of Christ. Human relationships must wait their turn. But aren't human relationships important to fulfilling Lordship to Christ? Yes. But human relationships are only properly fulfillable in conjunction with, not contrary to, the Lordship of Jesus. Question: does the Lordship of Jesus in a man's life solicit from him prayers to heaven concerning sodomizing his wife? I think not.

Fifth, you exhort, "resist the urge to make a blog or a response say more than it says." O.K. Where have I colored outside the lines?

Sixth, you conclude, "I did read the questions you posted from the site. None of them struck me as out of bounds to be addressed by a pastor - these are the quetions people are asking" (my emphasis).

So, let me get this straight, Dan: instructions on sodomizing your wife doesn't qualify as :"out of bounds." Interesting. Could you please give me some historical figures--perhaps Reid's history of imperfect heroes may offer some examples--who counseled their flocks in such a way?

Nor is it necessarily the case that Christians are asking questions like Driscoll's, questions he feels obligated to answer. Have you any studies to cite that appear to show your conclusions, by the way? If not, you are making assertion without any evidence whatsoever. Simply moot.

Yet, even if we did grant that Christians obsess with such mundane questions, soliciting an answer from their pastor, such does not necessarily imply the question deserves an answer. Calvinists--with their strong sense of human depravity--knows this perhaps more than anyone else.

Thus, Dan, my own advice is, stop defending the morally indefensible.

With that, I am...

Peter

Chris Poe

Here's a word for those who ask "Show me in the Bible where it says you can't do x." IMO they have it backwards. John Milton had an answer for this:

"License they mean when they cry liberty."

Chris Poe

I wonder how many people will go to a site like the one Driscoll linked, and once having their fill of that and finding it doesn't satisfy, eventually a site that, shall we say, pushes the envelope even more? There are a multitude of "Christian" sites that attempt to defend such practices as polygamy from the Bible. And depravity being what it is and the fact that we are never free from sin in this life, it's not much of a leap for some to go from a site like the one Driscoll linked to one that allows one to gratify their lusts to the full.

What's wrong with sodomy? Simply, it's against the law of nature and contrary to design. I'll save the hip contextualists the trouble of pointing it out and admit I'm going into Jesse Helms mode here. If sodomy ended today, the AIDS epidemic would largely disappear as well. That's only among homosexuals you say? The greatest devastation from AIDS has been in Africa. It's primarily spread there among heterosexuals who resort to the practice as a form of birth control.

On the page in which he links to the site, Driscoll goes into a number of disclaimers and warns of potential health risks, etc. Having to go to all that trouble to warn of the risks just might be an indication that the practice is something that ought not to be done.

Todd Burus

Peter,
Thanks for just ignoring the generation gap issue. You're right, it isn't provable so let's not focus on the fact that irregardless it is still happening. Would you like to tell Alvin Reid and Matt Chandler it's not worthy focusing on also?

Now, I was wondering, since you see sodomy as an offense worth beating your son-in-law with a mallet over, I was wondering if you would share with us the verses you use in justifying this (being against sodomy, not the mallet)? This isn't to take a stance, so please don't read one onto me, but I would like for you to give a defense for why you have gotten so bent out of shape over this.

Oh, and even though you told Dan to read the title of the post when he told you to quit attacking the language issue, that still doesn't answer for why you mentioned it at least twice in the article. Please hold yourself to the same standard you are holding other commentators to.

Doug

Peter,
I am a 49yo white conservative SBC Pastor. I can barely bring myself to say the word "sex" in public because of my upbringing, cultural conditioning and my "shy" nature, so I was expecting some pretty heavy stuff when I clicked on your link to Driscolls page. Did you really "*" out even the word "sex" on your link??? I thought I was a prude! Thanks for a great laugh. I did read some of his responses and followed a link or two. Not exactly company conversation, but then again, isn't sex supposed to be private? I am afraid you are making a "mountain out of a molehill" and you surely look foolish in the eyes of many. I think you would make a great candidate for the SNL"s "Church Lady"! LOL

Chris Poe

Todd,

I'm younger than many of the so-called "younger leaders," FWIW. I think it's more appropriately termed a Discernment Gap issue than a generation gap issue. Thank you for inspiring me to come up with that phrase. :) It's quite useful and appropriate to describe what's going on, and I think I'm going to base at least one if not a series of blog posts on my observations of the SBC around that theme.

mike

i didn't know what to expect when i checked out some of driscoll's question-and-answer stuff about sex . . . but after looking, give me a break. these are honest questions that lots of folks have, and at least he's not avoiding them. also, he's not making stuff up - he says things like, "the old testament forbids this, but the new testament never discusses it," and so on. if you ever pastor a church long enough to establish some trusting relationships, people will swallow their pride and ask you questions about sex, alcohol, etc. etc. if they don't ask you, they don't trust you, so don't say "not MY congregation."

the trust is that God gives quite a bit of direction and instruction concerning sex in the Bible. also, some people have committed themselves to turning to the Bible as a standard for living. kudos to pastor driscoll for not being too embarassaed or too legalistic to dismiss questions that real christians have.

since you're dealing with the article, why don't you address macarthur's quote that driscoll's students will not be able to "make progress towards authentic sanctification"? am i the only one who sees how doctrinally unsound that line is?

Chris Poe

Perhaps so, Mike. If you disagree with the MacArthur quote, I suspect you may have a quietist approach to sanctification and perhaps have missed the point of Philippians 2:12-13. Do you not believe that the believer has a responsibility to actively pursue obedience? Is it your position that the believer has no responsibility in pursuing sanctification?

peter lumpkins

Todd,

Not interested. You do not want my biblical understanding, you want to tit/tat. I suggest you get some good, standard commentaries on Romans, focusing on Romans one. There you will learn much. In fact, learn to defend sodomy all you wish. As for the "two times" Todd, you are unbelievably selective in your reading. Please...

Doug,

I am glad I gave a good laugh. Thanks for letting me know...

Mike,

If you think Christians routinely ask about sodomy between husband and wife, you must have some evidence. Are you able to cite it?

In addition, the Old Testament forbids bestiality. The New Testament never discusses it. Are we, therefore, morally free to pursue intimate relations with animals?

The superficial understanding of biblical/Christian ethics is astounding.

With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

Dan** & Doug,

Either identify yourself or refrain from commenting. Sorry.

With that, I am...

Peter

**Sorry Mike. I mistakenly placed your name instead of Dan on the original comment...

Dave Miller

Peter, disregarding your armchair psychoanalysis of my blogging tendencies, let me respond to what you said.

I would never address issues like this on a Sunday morning or in a regular group. However, I think that many Christians today, living in a sex-saturated society, want to know what the Bible says about some of the sexual issues of the day.

They need a balanced approach - one that upholds the sanctity of marriage, but also addresses questions about what is proper between a husband and wife.

peter lumpkins

Dave,

No "armchair psychoanalysis" here, bro.--whatever that's supposed to communicate.

I simply--and sincerely, I must add--took your assertion and applied it. You wrote, "While I may not agree with everything he says on his sex-topics blog, I think it is a reasonable thing for a pastor to address these issues." You never qualified a venue, Dave.

However, even if you now do qualify the venue, your assertion about the topics under discussion states "it is a reasonable thing for a pastor to address these issues." Fine. So, you agree Pastors who encourage husbands to prayerfully explore sodomizing their wives is a reasonable thing to address?

With that, I am...

Peter

mike

peter,

thanks for the response. i think using "bestiality" in the discussion clearly falls under the slippery slope fallacy, meaning it's not the issue, so why bring it up as a distraction? saying "it could lead to this, which will lead to this, and then to this" doesn't clear up anything with the original issue.

i have no idea why someone would want to inquire into sodomy, but if they do, shouldn't we attempt an answer? or do we dismiss a christian's question without telling them why? at least driscoll is trying to answer the tough questions, and in so doing he's saying at least the question itself isn't off limits. my personal answer would be this - clearly humans aren't built for it, and many christian ethics books discuss the physical damages caused by it (feinberg & feinberg, if i remember correctly)

so, i might disagree with pastor driscoll's answer, but i can't condemn him for at least hearing the question (from what i understand, those questions on his sight aren't merely hypotheticals).

and about sanctification: i do believe we should pursue a deeper commitment to God in our words and works. but, in the OT, vessels and people are "set apart" & "made holy" (qadosh & other words)as instruments to be used in the things of God. i think it works similarly in new testament theology - we are sanctified when we are saved, i.e. set apart for God. i think the terminology is important and worth discussion, so i would say we should strive to live morely holy, knowing that we are already sanctified because of Christ & through the Spirit. i can't increase my sanctification any more than i can increase (or preserve my own) salvation.

thanks for your response. i understand where you're coming from, but i respectfully disagree about pastors being willing to answer tough questions about sex. thanks for your discussions

peter lumpkins

Mike,

To to the contrary, you are the one who positively cited Driscoll's interpretative principle. You said, "he's not making stuff up - he says things like, "the old testament forbids this, but the new testament never discusses it," Thus, to suggest my comment on bestiality "clearly falls under the slippery slope fallacy" makes no sense whatsoever, for bestiality precisely fits the principle--forbidden in the OT, never discussed in the NT.

Now, I'll ask again, Mike: since the Old Testament forbids bestiality and the New Testament never discusses it, are we, therefore, morally free to pursue intimate relations with animals?

That's a simple question and perfectly consistent with your positive portrayal of Driscoll's ethical principle.

With that, I am...

Peter

Dan

Peter,

I did read the title of the post, but then I kept reading! You write, "One of the popular criticisms leveled against Driscoll has been his alleged "cussing," which, supporters insist, Driscoll has long ago put behind him. While I am unsure about such, let's, for the sake of argument, accept their defense." What are you unsure of? And, if you are "forgetting" the "cussin'" you sure did a great job of bringing it back up for absolutely no reason. Of course, once was not enough, you had to mention it again later in this sentence, "If there is truth to it, then pulpit use of the "F" word must solicit significantly more than merely language a "little edgy for my tastes."

I appreciate you granting that sodomy is in all cases referring to a homosexual act in the text of Scripture. While I don't think urging married heterosexuals to pray about incorporating this is necessarily the wisest practice, I do not see, textually, how I can rebuke a heterosexual, married couple who does so. Scripturally speaking, it is none of my business or yours.

Your misrepresentation of Southeastern occurs in both what you write and what you omit. You sensationalize by noting that the seminary's filters would probably eliminate Driscoll's site. You are probably right. They probably also eliminate searches on "breast cancer." This really is not pertinent to the argument. Filters are designed for the universe of searchers. Driscoll intends his site for Christian married couples coming from a culture where the questions he addresses are a part of the common vernacular. Also, you omitted the fact that Dr. Akin has written a book entitled "God on Sex." In light of the topic in question, this omission seems more than mere oversight. The positons of the seminary faculty are more likely aligned with what he writes in that book than with any other source.

At the end of the day, husbands are to be about the business of pleasing their Lord and their Lord only. Wives are to do the same. Uh, Peter, I fully affirm that husbands and wives are to relate to one another under the mutual submission to the Lordship of Christ. I do not affirm, however, that pleasing the Lord and pleasing one's mate are dichotomos. The Lord wants marriage to be pleasurable for both, and He wants husbands to please their wives and vice versa. A man who says, "I'm just gonna please Jesus" while thinking that means he doesn't need to think about pleasing his wife is a Biblical egg head.

"A healthy biblical focus caters to the Lordship of Christ." I think this is your own corrective to your overstatement above; I hope so.

It is clear you are not comfortable with sodomy. I have no problem with that. Indeed, we're on the same page. But, I cannot find a shred of Scripture to condemn a married heterosexual couple that does engage sexually in this way.

"Where have I colored outside the lines?" Well, many places. But your strong implication that Dr. Reid and others who have taken issue with the steady stream of Driscoll bashing are guilty of selling their "moral soul[s] for a bowl of nihilist pottage" should suffice as evidence.

Sixth, you conclude, "I did read the questions you posted from the site. None of them struck me as out of bounds to be addressed by a pastor - these are the quetions people are asking" (my emphasis).

So, let me get this straight, Dan: instructions on sodomizing your wife doesn't qualify as :"out of bounds." Interesting. Could you please give me some historical figures--perhaps Reid's history of imperfect heroes may offer some examples--who counseled their flocks in such a way?

Peter, the sarcastic allusion to Reid's blog is precisely the sort of thing that irks me about your post. When I was married 9 years ago, I was pointed in the direction of some great books on sex that include some more racy topics. I've never regretted that pastor's suggestion. I would never say that his/his wife's recommendations for me and my then fiance were out of bounds. The difference is, of course, that those were books. They were not on the web or information distributed publically by the pastor - only suggestion in individual counseling.

I do not need a Gallup Poll to demonstrate that Christians are asking questions about sex. Good grief. If a typical lost person in Seattle gets redeemed tomorrow, s/he will have been listening to a steady stream of sexual advice from the world. They will, obviously, want to know how that advice jives with the Lordship of Christ. Does it all go out the window, or are the parameters changed (e.g. one man with one woman for life, one flesh, equally yolked). Of course, if you need a more scientific poll, witness the rising number of adulteries in the church.

I'm not a Calvinist. I affirm the radical depravity of man, depraved in every part. I do not, however, believe the best pastoral approach is to dismiss a young adult beleiver's questions about sex. Maybe answering them on the web is not the best approach, but I can stomach that more so than I can baptizing babies or proposing that a Baptist church accept for membership people who were baptized before their conversion.

Dan

Dan

Peter,

Not to speak for Mike, but beastiality is forbidden by one man, one woman for life which is reaffirmed and strengthened by Jesus in Matthew's gospel. Clearly, two human beings becoming one flesh rules out beastiality.

Daniel

mike

peter,

you asked me, "Now, I'll ask again, Mike: since the Old Testament forbids bestiality and the New Testament never discusses it, are we, therefore, morally free to pursue intimate relations with animals?"

my answer - see leviticus 18. then see song of songs (though it's a lot steamier than driscoll, maybe too much for you lol). also see romans 1. obviously bestiality is wrong. and the NT does address this by reinforcing that marriage and sex are between a husband and wife, male and female. by establishing this principle, obviously bestiality is wrong.

wow, how did i end having to prove to you that bestiality is wrong?

oh, and comment, loosely put, that something is forbidden in the OT but not in the NT was about intercourse while a woman was menstruating. driscoll was right - forbidden for ritual purity reasons in the OT, but not addressed in the NT. so, like i said, he's at least trying to answer questions from people biblically. funny, nobody asked him about bestiality on the sight!

above i wrote i "respectfully disagree" with you on this subject. i really mean that. i really tried to hear what you have to say, but in my opinion driscoll's willingness to address tough questions about sex is admirable.

and for the record, i personally would tell people that sodomy clearly goes against God's design for our bodies. like cigarettes, the bible doesn't address it (at least bwtn a husband and wife). but, like cigarettes, it physically damages the human body, among other things.

again, thanks for the discussion and responses

Chris Poe

Take a look at this comment. It's one of the best I've seen at describing the problem in a careful and comprehensive way:

http://bkingr.wordpress.com/2009/02/14/missing-the-moment/#comment-588

Dave Miller

Peter, I would disagree with Driscoll on that issue, I think. But I do not believe that one disagreement does not negate the quality of the rest of his teaching.

All in all, he upholds the standard of sexual activity only in marriage and is strongly against lust, porn, etc.

I guess that we disagree about how this one thing colors the rest of his teachings

peter lumpkins

Dan,

Read comment #38.I meant what I said. You posted two more comments about which I would gladly restore and answer if you identify yourself. If you post again without identity, your IP will be flagged.

You can contact me via email if you wish.

With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

Dave,

Thanks for the return...

Mike,

Unfortunately, the same hermeneutic you employed to argue against bestiality argues against Driscoll's position, Mike; and, through the backdoor, proves my point, not yours. Thank you!

With that, I am...

Peter

Dan

Peter,

In what way am I to identify myself. I've given you my name and e-mail address.

Dan

peter lumpkins

THIS IS LONG. MUCH LONGER THAN I WANTED. YET DAN HAD SOME HEFTY CHARGES I HAD TO ADDRESS

Dan

You write, " if you are "forgetting" the "cussin'" you sure did a great job of bringing it back up for absolutely no reason. Of course, once was not enough, you had to mention it again later in this sentence, "If there is truth to it, then pulpit use of the "F" word must solicit significantly more than merely language a "little edgy for my tastes."

Fair enough, Dan. However, your assumption that I mentioned it in the body "for absolutely no reason" is just that--an assumption. The fact is, the defenders, almost in unison, have kept bringing it back up, and my statement you quote acknowledges such--"which, supporters insist, Driscoll has long ago put behind him."

You further query, "What are you unsure of?" I suggest you read the thread on the first post I published on this issue. There you will find several attempts to insist Driscoll repented. The only commenter who offered a source, I checked. If that's the alleged public repentance source for that about which I wrote, know that is the basis of my lack of certainty. If that doesn't satisfy, Dan, what can I say?

As for the second time I "brought it up," once again it was in direct response to a recent defense--namely, Alvin Reid. If the level of vulgarity is correct, then to describe it as "a little too edgy for my tastes" cannot be taken as anything less than white-wash. If you do not agree, Dan, I give you my express permission to do so.

You further write: "While I don't think urging married heterosexuals to pray about incorporating this is necessarily the wisest practice, I do not see, textually, how I can rebuke a heterosexual, married couple who does so. Scripturally speaking, it is none of my business or yours."

First, to place such an act in an "unwise" category rather than a moral one, Dan, is both strange and entirely inadequate. Are you suggesting there is no moral reasoning, embedded in biblical sexuality to warrant boundaries in this area?

Second, you conclude, "Scripturally speaking, it is none of my business or yours." Begging pardon, if it is none of my or your business, would you agree it's none of Driscoll's either?

If what you say is so, Scripturally, a large portion of the entire series Driscoll has online is Scripturally none of his business. Hence, if it's Scripturally none of his business, perhaps you need to say so, publicly admonishing him to take those things down which are Scripturally none of my, your or his business. Are you willing, Dan, to make such an announcement?

Next, Dan, you accuse me of misrepresenting SEBTS "in both what you write and what you omit."

First, how I can "misrepresent" when you actually state " You are probably right" is a new kind of criticism from which I rarely hear. I'm "probably right" nevertheless, I "misrepresent." Ummm...

Just because you can think of terms that will not pass the SEBTS filters any more than something found on Driscoll's site has jack squat to do with whether or not what I was suggesting was so or not. I quote you, here--"[I am] probably right."

And, while you could have simply pointed out such, instead you raised the stakes and chose instead to make your point a blatant charge, insisting I "misrepresented" SEBTS which, in my view, is drawing unwarranted conclusions.

Nor, Dan, is it relevant to anything I've written here to suggest I somehow "misrepresented" SEBTS because I overlooked a book Dr. Akin has written. I suppose I was also unfair to SEBTS because Reid wrote a book and I didn't mention it.

To suggest someone "misrepresented" another by what they did not say has got to be one of the silliest suggestions someone has offered to me of late, Dan. Sorry. By the way, for the record, I neither knew about nor have read "God on Sex."

You conclude, "The positons of the seminary faculty are more likely aligned with what he writes in that book than with any other source." I do not doubt this. Why, then should you not join those who've raised questions about Driscoll? Since you were aware of Akin's work and you've concluded SEBTS staff is undoubtedly in line with it, would it not be helpful to suggest the apparent discrepancy?

Let's move in a different direction. You quote me and then give your commentary: "'At the end of the day, husbands are to be about the business of pleasing their Lord and their Lord only. Wives are to do the same.' Uh, Peter, I fully affirm that husbands and wives are to relate to one another under the mutual submission to the Lordship of Christ. I do not affirm, however, that pleasing the Lord and pleasing one's mate are dichotomos. The Lord wants marriage to be pleasurable for both, and He wants husbands to please their wives and vice versa. A man who says, "I'm just gonna please Jesus" while thinking that means he doesn't need to think about pleasing his wife is a Biblical egg head."

First, Dan, why you chose to not take the entire section I wrote, but chopped it apart I find curious. Perhaps you didn't understand what I wrote and unintentionally butchered it. Or perhaps you were just overzealous in wanting to respond to me that you got a bit carried away. This makes some sense since you later commented on your "hope" of my alleged "corrective."

Whatever the case, my statement got butchered just the same, strangely leaving out a section in your commentary, a section detrimental to my point!

So, allow me to cite my entire comment--minus your annotations--in its entirety:

DAN: "At the end of the day, husbands are to be about the business of pleasing their wives and their wives only. Wives are to do the same."

PETER: "That is biblically incorrect. At the end of the day, husbands are to be about the business of pleasing their Lord and their Lord only. Wives are to do the same. A healthy biblical focus caters to the Lordship of Christ. Human relationships must wait their turn. But aren't human relationships important to fulfilling Lordship to Christ? Yes. But human relationships are only properly fulfillable in conjunction with, not contrary to, the Lordship of Jesus. Question: does the Lordship of Jesus in a man's life solicit from him prayers to heaven concerning sodomizing his wife? I think not."

Now let's take your annotations in turn:

1) " Uh, Peter, I fully affirm that husbands and wives are to relate to one another under the mutual submission to the Lordship of Christ. I do not affirm, however, that pleasing the Lord and pleasing one's mate are dichotomos. The Lord wants marriage to be pleasurable for both, and He wants husbands to please their wives and vice versa."

First, I was not alluding to "mutual submission" to the Lordship of Christ. Instead I was referring to individual submission to Christ's Lordship. Hence, the number one priority in a husband's marriage is the Lordship of Christ and the number one priority in a wife's marriage is the Lordship of Christ. If you have a problem with that, Dan, I think you need to take it up with Someone else. My pay-grade just doesn't climb that high.

Secondly, you affirm--in your own mind, I suppose--contra to me, that pleasing one's mate and pleasing the Lord are not "dichotomos" [sic]. I did not say they were. Nor did I remotely imply pleasing one's spouse is not indicative of proper Lordship.

In fact, I even made sure it would be clear (I thought) by prognosticating the question: "But aren't human relationships important to fulfilling Lordship to Christ? Yes. But human relationships are only properly fulfillable in conjunction with, not contrary to, the Lordship of Jesus."

Why you chose to overlook this in your annotations, Dan, only you know. Whether you intentionally or unintentionally gutted my meaning, it was gutted nonetheless.

Thus, the caricature at the end, remains just that--a caricature of what I actually said: "A man who says, "I'm just gonna please Jesus" while thinking that means he doesn't need to think about pleasing his wife is a Biblical egg head." Please read carefully before drawing such ridiculous conclusions.

2) "A healthy biblical focus caters to the Lordship of Christ." I think this is your own corrective to your overstatement above; I hope so." No, Dan. It was not a corrective at all. It was an attempt to be clear. Had you not prematurely ripped it from the final apart of what I wrote (which you omitted from your annotations) you would have had no reason to question whether I was offering a "corrective."

Moving on in the concerns you raised, you write, "It is clear you are not comfortable with sodomy. I have no problem with that. Indeed, we're on the same page. But, I cannot find a shred of Scripture to condemn a married heterosexual couple that does engage sexually in this way."

First, it is not about being "comfortable." We're not speaking of things that solicit embarrassed faces. For the record, Dan, I pastored over 22 years. I've counseled on sexual issues and, believe it or not, I've publicly read and preached the Song of Solomon from the pulpit.

Funny Mike seems to think I am some sort of sexually backward buffoon because I left some letters out of the links I posted. Interesting. For that too I "prognosticated" based on my experience with the internet community.

The truth is, no matter which way I posted those links, I predicted I'd get slammed for it. If I left them up, someone says, "You're promoting what you're condemning! Gotcha!" If I left some letters out, another comments, "Baptist preachers have got to be the corniest, culturally ignorant guys! Gotcha!" For me, it was really only who would first say something. Mike gets the prize!
Enough about me.

I write the above to say, for me, it's definitively not about "comfort." Nor is it about preference. Nor is it about proper (though decorum surely is in the mix). For me, it is moral. And frankly, Dan, that you can't find a shred of Scriptural evidence to "condemn a married heterosexual couple that does engage sexually in this way" assists in where you--and others--are coming from.

We've got two different interpretative grids at work here, which is not going to be settled on this post. In addition, there may be two different understandings of sola scriptura at work as well.

Suffice it to say, from my understanding, to attempt to work out every moral issue by doing a concordance search for an explicit Bible verse to back it up is a woefully inadequate hermeneutic.

As for the implication I "colored outside the lines" by employing rhetorical images may fit your coloring book, Dan, but it doesn't mine. Actually, I was asking for misstatements of facts, etc. Besides, I do not agree with your interpretation that critics have pumped out a "steady stream of Driscoll bashing." Hence, if you and Driscoll's defenders consider what I write as "Driscoll bashing" while coloring inside the line, how is it coloring outside the lines because I lament selling ""moral soul[s] for a bowl of nihilist pottage"?

The real problem, however, is not the above. Instead, it's your reading of what I'm actually writing. This is twice now I've had to correct you on this, Dan. Please be careful to understand what I actually write. I'll repeat the formula I used in your first misquote of my words:

PETER: "Fifth, you exhort, "resist the urge to make a blog or a response say more than it says." O.K. Where have I colored outside the lines?"

DAN: "Where have I colored outside the lines?" Well, many places. But your strong implication that Dr. Reid and others who have taken issue with the steady stream of Driscoll bashing are guilty of selling their "moral soul[s] for a bowl of nihilist pottage" should suffice as evidence."

The truth is far from what you say I said or implied, Dan. Here is what I actually wrote: "Neither I did sign on to a Conservative Resurgence then, or will I sign on to a Great Commission Resurgence now, which would sell its moral soul for a bowl of nihilist pottage."

First, this was the trailer to a larger point I was making in conjunction with Dr. Reid's very well-put focus. Though a staunch supporter of the Conservative Resurgence, Dr. Reid rehearsed all the things he did not sign onto such as "witch hunt," "Pharisaical legalism," etc, rightly suggesting this was not the CR's agenda. I agreed.

The point I took from Dr. Reid was not personal; he mentioned things persons do or believe--persons hunt for errors and persons believe moral legalism.

My point was exactly parallel to Dr. Reid's. As Dr. Reid made his list about what the CR was not supposed to be, I too made my list about what the GCR was not supposed to be--scuffed moral lens, unconscious antinomianism, sincere conscience, etc.

Thus, my cash point, I left at the end: "Neither I did sign on to a Conservative Resurgence then, or will I sign on to a Great Commission Resurgence now, which would sell its moral soul for a bowl of nihilist pottage." Note carefully, Dan, just as Reid was referring to signing on to a movement in his criticism, so was I referring to a movement in my criticism.

What you did, Dan, was fundamentally change my meaning. You charge, "your strong implication that Dr. Reid and others who have taken issue with the steady stream of Driscoll bashing are guilty of selling their "moral soul[s] for a bowl of nihilist pottage" should suffice as evidence."

In short, you replaced my point about not signing on to an impersonal movement, selling "its moral soul" with a personal condemnation toward Dr. Reid & others for selling "their "moral soul[s] for a bowl of nihilist pottage." You, sir, are dead wrong.

If you're going to quote me, please quote me accurately. Even more, don't change the meaning of what I write. In this case, you've made me to explicitly charge Dr. Reid & others of selling their souls. I most certainly did not do any such thing.

Incidentally, you've offered me the perfect illustration about precisely why I refuse to allow anonymous commenters on this site.

This post is getting much too long. I'm going to speed it up.

I acknowledge, Dan, that you don't like my alleged "sarcastic remarks." Reid's history is a perfect source to offer the illustrations for which I asked. Nor do I recall even attempting to be cute or "sarcastic" when I wrote it.

For me you do need a Gallop poll (or some evidence)--IF--you're going to make blanket statements about what Christians ask, and then make sweeping conclusions here.

In addition, you write,"I do not, however, believe the best pastoral approach is to dismiss a young adult beleiver's questions about sex." Nor do I. However, you've may have some tension with this and what you earlier suggested: "Scripturally speaking, it is none of my business or yours."

Last one: "Maybe answering them on the web is not the best approach, but I can stomach that more so than I can baptizing babies or proposing that a Baptist church accept for membership people who were baptized before their conversion." False dichotomy, Dan. There is a third way...

I hope this helps. With that, I am...
Peter

Chris

Peter, Thanks for bringing this to light. It is to our shame if we are not watchman in this day and age. You have herald the call weel my brother.

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