Someone recently asked me a question about Mark Driscoll. The person wrote,
“Frank, I read Driscoll’s review of your book Pagan Christianity and thought it was horrible. I’ve read your book twice and Driscoll’s review was so filled with misrepresentations that I lost a lot of respect for him. Have you or Barna responded to it? Also, I recently read about the accusations about Driscoll’s plagarism. Apparently he stole from Dr. Peter Jones and D.A. Carson verbatim even without giving credit. What do you think about that?”
Thanks for your question.
First, as for your last question, “what do you think about that?” — my answer is, “I try not to.” 🙂 It’s really of no interest to me.
I don’t know Driscoll. We’ve never met and we’ve never spoken to one another. In addition, I don’t follow his ministry so I have no idea what he’s doing or saying. In fact, I’ve never read a Driscoll book nor heard a Driscoll sermon. And I have no current plans to do so.
Second, I am aware that there are tons of accusations against him, both personal and non-personal, some quite severe and damaging, but I give no weight to any accusations on the Internet against those who are serving the Lord today because most of them aren’t true and most constitute gossip (which is a sin the last time I checked).
So my default setting is to treat others the same way I want to be treated (that’s somewhere in the NT, I think ;-)) and disbelieve any negative word about another human being unless I can verify it by multiple credible witnesses or the person admits it themselves. A.W. Tozer taught this principle perhaps the best of anyone I’ve ever read.
Thus if you want people to give you the benefit of the doubt when you’re being criticized or accused and to believe the best about you, then treat others the same way (Matthew 7:12).
Third, since I have no relationship with Driscoll, it’s not my place to give any opinion on the recent allegations of plagiarism or any other allegation against him. If they are true, I expect that Driscoll will admit it, disprove it, or there will be multiple respected voices showing that the allegations were true or false.
Regarding his review of Pagan Christianity, I’ve already addressed this years ago. Here’s what I wrote:
“Apparently Mark published a critique of Pagan Christianity some months back. I had no idea it existed except for the fact that people began telling me about it and asking if Mark had contacted me. Sadly, Mark never came to me or George to look at the critique before he published it.
For his own sake, I wish Mark had come to me and George to openly dialogue about our book before he reviewed it. One of the reasons is that every argument in his critique had already been answered and refuted by Jon Zens in his response to Ben Witherington. Click here to read it.
Mark’s review is simply a rehash of Witherington’s critique. (You can also view my response to Witherington’s critique of Reimagining Church by clicking here.)
If you know people who have read the critique that Mark Driscoll published on Pagan Christianity and are wondering if there’s a response to it (or are open to read one), feel free to send them to this blog post. Unfortunately, it’s impossible for our response to be placed on the actual critique because no comments are allowed on it. So no one can expose the errors in it on his site.”