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You make a very good and valid point. I read the same comment thread. I guess even asking a question of Dr. Akin, or challenging anything that he says, is looked upon as disrespectful and angry???? I read the same comment that you did...that Sam asked...and I saw nothing disrespectful and angry about it.

It will be a sad day if we cant challenge our SBC entity heads, and cant ask the tough questions, without being labeled disrespectful and mean.



Peter, I know this is not the main point of your post, and is really a quibble on my part, but I have to ask:

Is it sinful to use Driscoll's rhetorical device? If so, why? Based on what Scriptures? And does that make Dr. Akin wrong for merely discouraging its use? But if not, can we simply agree that this is based on cultural preferences? But I must admit, though I cannot say it is inherently sinful to use the rhetorical device Driscoll used, I dislike it and would not use it myself if I were preaching.

For the record, I saw no disrespect or anger in Sam's tone. I believe it was a legitimate question that was probably not well received by some because sometimes it is difficult to measure exactly what feeling behind it served as its inspiration. I do think there's another word for what Sam is doing, though. It's call nitpicking.

Dave Miller

I appreciate the ministry of RC Sproul while disagreeing with several of his interpretations of scripture.

I appreciate Paige Patterson's ministry while I am strongly opposed to many of his more recent actions.

I appreciate Morris Chapman while I thought his comments at the SBC this year bordered on the ridiculous.

I appreciate Mark Driscoll's ministry, his theology and his passion, while disagreeing with his rhetorical style.

We are all sinners. None of us is perfect and sometimes we live in gray areas.

I do not have to agree with everything a man says or does to appreciate his ministry or learn from it.

When I started reading the strong criticism of Driscoll, I started looking at his website and listening to his sermons. I gained an appreciation for him, in spite of some of the problems that have been raised. (by the way, the man making all those criticism eventually repented for his treatment of a Christian brother).

We are all products of our raising, our experiences and our culture. The work of Christ is to conform us all to Him, not to make us all like one another.

I could never be Mark Driscoll, but I am glad he is out there ministering and leading people to Christ. I am also thankful that he has the humility to listen to those who criticize him and to change as the Spirit directs.

He's an imperfect man in the process of being made like Christ. But I think he is a very effective minister - I have learned from him.

Dave Miller

In other words, like just about every time I hear or read him, I thought Danny Akin was dead-on.

Bart Barber

Dave Miller does well to remind us how many times all of us learn from those whom we do not entirely approve. I hope that I do well in reminding us all not to fall into the trap of moral equivalency, as though all imperfections are the same. Yes, we are all sinners. No, that does not mean that we are all equally worthy of emulation in ministry.

But, then, none of that is really the point of your post, is it, Peter? It seems to me that you are putting before us the question of which things is the most offensive, Mark Driscoll's "man rant" or Sam's question? If we are taking a poll, I'm going to vote that Driscoll's video embedded into this post is far angrier and more offensive than Sam's question, and therefore that anyone able to look the other way regarding Driscoll's preaching certainly ought to be able to tolerate Sam's question.

Did I catch the main point of the post correctly?

cb scott



A couple of things:

I have never known of a "preaching" class student at SEBTS ever saying what Mark Driscoll said. (And I have listened to a lot of student preaching at SEBTS)

I also believe that the guys who teach preaching at SEBTS would not put up with a student preacher addressing an audience like that. And although I do not know Danny Akin that well, I believe he would really chew a student preacher at SEBTS out if he heard one say that from the pulpit or if he found out that it had actually happened.

Peter, SEBTS is the very best seminary we have for men to learn to preach biblical, expository sermons. Actually SEBTS is head and shoulders above the rest in that regard. It is definitely a "preacher school." I can tell a SEBTS grad in the first three minutes of his entering the pulpit.

Peter, there is no question as to how cussing during a sermon would be handled at SEBTS. None. It simply would not be tolerated.

Now, Peter because I want to finish well my race, I want to be perfectly honest with you about what Mark Driscoll said in the "clip" above.

First, let me say I wish he had never said the things he said in the SoS series. It was stupid at best. In my opinion, he may be a little naive about the depravity of human males. (I realize he is supposed to be really knowledgeable about the ways of the world, but I can't help but believe he does not understand some things about how low some men can be relating to sexuality. Therefore, I believe he made a grave mistake in judgement in that sermon series.)

Peter, you already know my position concerning the use of beverage alcohol so I don't need to go into that.

Now for my thoughts about the "who the hell do you think you are" statement.

I listened to the clip twice. To be honest with you Peter the topic he was addressing is one that I have addressed many times through the years.

I don't think I have ever asked "who the hell do you think you are" from the pulpit when preaching on the topic of sorry, low-down, scum-bag men.

But I must admit that I have asked several that question up close and personal through the years when dealing with some guys about the way they treated their wives, daughters, girlfriends, or women, girls and children in general. And truthfully, I have beaten "it" out of a few of the worser sort of that kind of guy just to make sure they understood my point.

So, Peter, I am not trying to defend Mark Driscoll here, or justify him. (or me for that matter) But, I have to say I understand his passion relating to this particular subject of how some trashy men treat women and children. Sometimes a fellow just gets really sick of sorry men, especially if he has recently had to deal with some putrid situation where some woman, or child has been severely abused by a low-life man. That may have been the case with Driscoll just prior to delivering that sermon. Of course, I do not know that and I definitely do not know his motivation. I just know how I have felt from time-to-time through the years after having to deal with some broken woman or child.

Also, I want you to know for sure that I do not believe Danny Akin or any faculty member of SEBTS would tolerate a student cussing in a sermon. And I do not believe Danny Akin or any SEBTS faculty would allow Mark Driscoll to cuss from any pulpit at SEBTS.

Lastly, Peter, I want you to know I admire your grit and support you in may things and will stand with you knowing you are a true and noble brother in Christ.

I just wanted you to know my position on this particular matter.


Dave Miller

I agree with you, Bart.

I think that the root of disagreement here may be whether advocacy of moderate alcohol use, "spicy" (or inappropriate) rhetoric and frank (or prurient) discussion of sexual issues constitute disqualification-level offenses.


you take akin's commenters to task for taking "sam" to task for taking akin to task for NOT taking driscoll to task.

i'm just sayin', man, this quickly got weird.

Bart Barber



That's GOLDEN. Made me laugh out loud.


Mike...you're not taking Peter to task now, are you? :) selahV


Dave & Bart

Thanks. I posted a reply to Dave's first comment but quickly pulled it after I saw your exchange.

The fact, is, Bart is much closer to the point of the post. Nor is it necessarily about 'disqualification-level' offenses. Instead it's about whether gnats and camels exist and, if so, whether the two are applicable here. Does Jesus' proverb fit circumstances A (MD) and circumstances B ('Sam')?

For me, I cannot imagine how it does not apply. That's all.

Grace, guys.

With that, I am...



Thanks brother for sharing your heart. I am well aware of your love and support for SEBTS. Nor do I doubt any detail whatsoever you mentioned concerning either it, the preaching department, or Dr. Akin.

Indeed my agreement with you is what made this post so excruciatingly difficult to write. I proudly wear the derisive badge of the so-called "company man" for I unashamedly love my "company." And, SEBTS is part of my "company."

Even more, it's why I'm utterly confused by what I honestly perceive as "swallowing camels" a part of my "company" appears determined to do.

We all need a mighty move of God to descend upon us.

Grace, my brother C.B. Pray for me.

With that, I am...


Dear Mike,

I too got a giggle from your funny. Thanks!

More seriously, no "taking to task" in this post. I trust I more described than prescribed.

With that, I am...

Steve G

I agree with the intent of Driscoll's message but feel that the anger and abusive manner in which it was said negated the power of that message to bring transformation to a person's life. As with CB, I agree that the content of such statements need to be made to some men up close and personal (without the agro Gal 6:1 "Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so you won’t be tempted also.", or you'll undo the process of rebuke, repentance and restoration)... rather than from a distance (using the pulpit as a cowards' castle).
It would instill a whiole lot more fear of GOD in the men of the congregation if the knew that MD was gonna see them personally in the spirit of Gal 6:1 (when they least expect or want it), than that he rants from the pulpit.
And yes, I was concerned at the overblown reaction of DA to Sam. perhaps it might be justified if there has been some long term history between the two.. but I didn't really read his comment as disrespectful. Perhaps the comment was expected to be phrased with a recognition of the high and exaltedness of DA's position?
"Oh most high and reverenced Prince of the South East.." perhaps :) Please smile... I did wonder if that was the problem.

cb scott


Thanks for understanding my position. And I certainly understand yours.

And again, let me say, I was not defending or seeking to justify Mark Driscoll and I was certainly not trying to justify myself.
(I have said and done some really stupid things in my life during efforts to do the right thing. So I guess I empathize with Driscoll some, especially due to the subject matter he was addressing.)

It is simply that I consider you as my friend, a stand-up guy and a brother in the Lord, so I want to be honest with you in all things.


Wayne Smith


Did you miss this post?





If you're not sure Paul suggested such, why would you leave such a comment here? Are you really so void of literary etiquette? Please don't do that again.

With that, I am...

Chris Johnson

Brother Peter,

Accurate post! Whatever Mr. Driscoll was doing in the video clip...one thing is sure, it was not preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Preaching the gospel may not have been his objective at this topical seminar. The video is a good example of exactly what should not be done. Also, he claims it was the Holy Spirit that was speaking to the assumed accused in his audience. I've heard those claims before from many wanna be pastors from the pulpit. Again, there was no gospel....just the ole classical rant, assumptions, and a plea for change without the Holy Spirit.

This is the only time I have heard this man speak,.... and the clip probably has more context to it (surely Mark has more to give than this)... but this reminded me more of an coach in Major League baseball discussing an assumed bad call with the umpire. There was no value!

You make good sense in your analysis in this post.



Forgive me, but are we seriously getting angry with a guy who told men in his church not to sleep with a woman before they were married because he used language WE have decided is inapproptiate? I had a greek prof tell our class @ SWBTS one night "Words have no meaning other than that which the author subscibes them." Peter is the issue Mark's mouth, his drinking...which is not out of line in Scripture just in the SBC, or the fact that he is a calvinist? I am becoming more and more aware of the fact that as a 5 point calvinist, young (31 thats still young right?) complentarian, who believes that while I abstain I will not call someonelse who has a glass of wine with dinner a sinner is no longer (have we ever been) welcome in the SBC. Perhaps Ed Stetzer could do a study for us on the effectiveness of Acts 29 church plants and NAMB church plants? Then again, we may not like those stats either...



Thanks. And, I hear you: I had a preaching professor say almost the same to me. Do you think it's true?

As for your other stuff concerning MD, I'm unsure how any of it relates to this post.

With that, I am...


Peter, Forgive me for not responding in a timely manner. Actually I do agree with the idea that words have no meaning other than that which the author ascribes to them. May I offer one illustrations: Some time ago you and Brother Mckissic had a issue where you said something about eating cornbread and buttermilk. You were taken to task by some as being racist. However, you issued a statement that you in fact did not intend your statement to be anyway racist. The words you used, in some context, were racist and inappropriate. However, you meant them not in a racist context and therefore I deem them to be totally appropriate.

With fear of beating a dead horse, would you kindly answer my questions please.

1. Who is to decide what unwholsome talk is? You? The Church? Society?

2. Where in Scripture do we have a list of words? Or is Scripture talking about the heart of the speaker and the words he chooses?

3. Is your biggest problem with Driscoll his drinking? His Language? Or is the real issue his calvinism?

Again, sorry for the delay in response, and thank you for taking the time to interact.

peter lumpkins


Thanks, and no problem about getting back sooner.

I'm confused how the example you gave demonstrates "words have no meaning other than that which the author ascribes to them." If DM possessed a meaning and I had a meaning, that's at least two meanings!

I think perhaps what the prof may have meant was, the author had a particular meaning in mind. It's up to the exegete to glean his particular meaning.

In short, words do have what we can call prima facie meanings. If this were not the case, you could NOT read this comment with any comprehension whatsoever. Why? Because every word would need to be defined. But if every word would need definition, what words could we use to state the definition? Each word in the definition would also need definition, infinitely regressed.

However, words also sometimes have many usages. I'm glad. If such were not the case, we'd be a boring bunch of creatures. Good communication understands both propositions in seeking genuine understanding. At least, the way I see it.

As to your questions:

1. Who is to decide what unwholsome talk is? You? The Church? Society? The moral hub you inadvertently left out, I'm sure, is the Bible. The others could be seen as spokes, if you will. In short, all of the above with varying degrees of authority.

2. Where in Scripture do we have a list of words? Or is Scripture talking about the heart of the speaker and the words he chooses? There is no list of words. Why would we need one? As for the "heart," we both agree the "heart" is a necessary but insufficient moral barometer, do we not?

3. Is your biggest problem with Driscoll his drinking? His Language? Or is the real issue his calvinism? The public issues I've raised concerning MD stand alone. Why would MD's Calvinism be an issue with me?
I've been consistently forthright on this blog that I have no "issue" with Calvinism per se, other than normal theological dissent.

In other words, when all is said and done, I simply say, Calvinists have a right to be wrong if they want too! What's for breakfast?

I cannot hide--nor have I ever attempted to hide--my major problem with Founders Calvinism.

Since 1982, Founders has criticized and disrupted SBC churches and Southern Baptist non-Calvinists in their public attempt to calvinize the SBC. To reform the SBC into the theological convention they believe existed in 1845 is their publicly stated vision and goal.

My relentless objection to Founders vision has wrongly been confused with my real but completely innocuous disagreement with Calvinism's theological grid. I am decidedly a contra-activist in the first but perfectly acceptable (so far as fellowship is concerned) to the second.

With that in mind, MD offers no problem for me in the second.

With that, I am...

Daniel Kreps

"“…on the whole I believe Mark has much to teach us about missional living..."

For example?

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