Hey, Mark Driscoll, Say it To His Face!

My one-time “soul” buyer Jim Henderson is buddies with William P. Young, the author of the Christian best-seller The Shack.

I don’t really know why that book sold as many copies as it did. I read it. It was a decent story, but not much more than that. I suppose it’s controversial in some Christian circles because of the “shock” revealed to the main character:

He enters the shack and encounters manifestations of the three persons of the Trinity. God the Father takes the form of an African American woman who calls herself Papa, Jesus Christ is a Middle-Eastern carpenter, and the Holy Spirit physically manifests itself as an Asian woman named Sarayu.

What? God’s a black woman?! Jesus is Middle-Eastern?! This is heresy!

I kept reading, hoping to find out what everyone was getting so worked up over…

Apparently, that was it.

(Leave it to Christians to interpret a work of fiction as if it were true…)

Anyway, one guy who couldn’t deal with this was Seattle’s apoplectic pastor Mark Driscoll:

Why people take him seriously, I will never know…

Anyway, Jim wants Driscoll to show up to an event he’s hosting with Young. Have them duke it out in person. Here’s Young requesting Driscoll’s presence:

Mark Driscoll has leveled some serious charges against my writing and by extension against me. He has publicly called me a heretic. I’ve decided to ask him to meet me in Seattle on Sept 10th, from 1-3 PM, and have an open discussion in front of a public audience about the different ways he and I view scripture.

Mark seems quite fond of telling his congregants to “man up” and I guess I am really asking him to do the same. I would like him to say to my face what he has spread around the world via Youtube, and you can be sure I’ll have a few questions for him as well.

I’m sure many ‘non-Christians’ wonder why someone like Mark can say things like this with impunity. When someone is able to garner 350K views on Youtube, or for that matter has sold almost 20 Million copies of a book, I believe the conversations have become public property.”

Like I said, I don’t know why anyone would take Driscoll seriously, but I love it when Christians call out other Christians for calling them unChristian.

So I hope this happens.

  • Secular Stu

    “God is not a man”, “God is not male or female, God does not have anatomical structure, understood” but “if we say God the Father is a woman, we’re not worshipping God”. Uh… what?

    I guess if you can contort yourself through the concept of the “Trinity”, you can believe anything. One of the dangers of insisting some guy who sold himself as the “Son of God” was also “God” at the same time, the retconning is tough.

  • Siamang

    I love how in the video he tells people not to read The Shack. In what other area but religion and totalitarianism do people go, ” I disagree with this book, please agree with me, but DONT read it!!!”

    Isnt the natural response “Read it and see if you agree with me”?

  • http://www.bigmama247.com Alise

    Driscoll’s popularity baffles me. Put his words coming out of the mouth of a guy in a cheap toupee and a 80′s grey suit and it would sound like the stereotypical street preacher. But he wears jeans and has tattoos, so somehow he’s “edgy.” I don’t get it.

    I seriously doubt that Driscoll takes up Young & Henderson’s offer. I can’t think of an upside for him in showing up. Though he does like cage matches so maybe if they sweeten the deal with some man on man violence, he’ll accept.

  • Karen

    The trinity isn’t even biblical. Someone made it up (like the rest of the book, but I mean later).

    I think there should be a new rule that pastors who don’t act like Jesus are going to hell. That ought to whip them into shape.

    They really ought to quit fighting among themselves. There are surely more important things to fight about (and for…).

    They waste so much time in so many ways.

  • pmsrhino

    I totally lol’ed when he went on about the equality but deference bullshit. Especially when he got to “a husband and a wife are equal, but a wife is supposed to respect the husband.”

    I call bullshit on your logic, sir.

  • adam

    Did he admit that he has three gods

    what this sounded like to me as an analogy was

    “They’re distinct they work together, the brain moves the hands to get the food, the stomach digests the food to give the body energy, there all working together but again the brain did not pick up the food that was the hands.”

    I don’t understand why they some persist with the trinity, they’re trying to make body parts look like separate entities while still having them joined together.

    You either have one god or three it can’t be both

    And when did we start honoring our politician?

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    Personally I can barely contain my enthusiasm for a debate between grown men about their imaginary friend. I may have to get popcorn.

    I like Jim Henderson though, I really enjoyed his book and I really enjoyed Off the Map and the basic idea that Christians should be good, decent people and not use their religion to bash people with. That Christians shouldn’t act like jerks when it kind of goes against their ideas that Jim feels are core to Christianity.

    I hated The Shack. I thought it was monstrous and that the particular portrayal of God was pathetic and that Mac should have punched each of the God characters in turn. Most of all I thought that the questions that anyone in Mac’s situation would want to ask were skimmed over or completely ignored. I thought that The Shack would help me to understand what it is in Christianity that others seem to find so compelling. Instead I ended up wanting to erase it from my memory forever.

    I’ve not heard of Mark Driscoll before but the video was 7 minutes and 47 seconds of yelling that his imaginary friend has magic rules and someone else has the same imaginary friend with different rules. Obviously that’s not right so the other guy must be wrong. Well maybe they both are. Maybe the absence of evidence about what “God” wants has allowed some people to make up their own ideas and other people have taken these all too seriously.

    Getting all het up about it just makes him look like the exact kind of jerk that Jim has worked so hard to try to get Christians to stop acting like.

  • http://www.fineartlampscapes.com Crodley

    So he says people shouldn’t draw an image of god, (sound familiar?) But it’s not a sin to use the dove as an image for the holy spirit because god himself does it in the scriptures.

    With that logic, since god killed everyone on the planet except for noah and his family, if I killed the entire population of earth except for one family…it’s not a sin! (where’s my icepick…)

  • cathy

    Why did I watch that whole thing? It made me think of this line from Billy Madison when I was through “At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.” THis video actually made traditional Catholic views look far better by comparison, that’s really, really sad. At least the Catholics have some mechanism of trying to rationalize the three in one while still claiming monotheism (the three leaf clover is the traditional irish example, each of the three leaves is distinct, but they’re still part of the same clover and each one is needed to make the clover). The ‘hierarchy’ without inequality bullshit was mindnumbingly awful as well. The more traditional view was that hierarchy was acceptable if it was based on how much God liked you (hence the extremely hierarchical Catholic and Orthodox churches). This man’s bad logic is even worse than old school medieval Catholicism, and that’s saying a lot.

    And damn does that guy hate women.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    What I find most entertaining about his blustering about heresy is that he’s essentially saying “this other guy is wrong to assert evidence-free knowledge about the being about which I have evidence-free knowledge.” Neither of them could possibly actually know that anything they’re saying is true, or even quasi-rational, and yet one knows the other is wrong. There’s something comical about that.

  • muggle

    I too was just amused. My dark side just finds it comical when Christians fight amongst themselves and leave the non-Christians alone for a change. Maybe it’s the relief.

    All this proves is that if they ever do get that theocracy they crave so badly, they’ll then turn on each other.

  • http://deviatehulk.blogspot.com Keith

    What a friggin’ ass-hat. I’m tempted to read this book, since I’m always interested in the different brands of crazy people are sellin’, if only for the entertainment value of it, but Driscoll just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I love that he says, several times, variations of “You have to think this through,” and “We gotta keep it clear in our heads,” as though he were appealing to rationality. If he or any other Christian took a completely rational approach to to the bible, they couldn’t honestly stay Christian anymore. It’s so full of “It’s true because I said so’s” and bat-shit craziness that it crumbles in the face of rational thinking. As others have said, though, I’m totally entertained that he’s picking on other Christians for awhile.

  • STM

    If it’s heresy to depict God as some old man… guess we better tear down the Sistine Chapel!

  • http://cafeeine.wordpress.com Cafeeine

    I remember Driscoll from a video he published about atheism, “Atheism, unyielding despair”. It made me comment on how some christians describe atheism when there is no atheist close by to call them on it.

  • http://godobscuresperception.blogspot.com godobscuresperception

    My mother once snuck a copy of The Shack in with a box of other books as a gift. Some birthday present. I got a third of the way through before I realized there was no hope of it becoming more interesting. It’s dull and even if I were christian I can’t imagine that would make it less boring.

    That’s a crime against literature not theology.

  • http://twitter.com/achura Rooker

    I’m always baffled at how the religious react to books and movies that deal with religion. The reaction to The Da Vinci Code was unreal. How weak is your faith if you think a work of fiction threatens it?

  • Rich Wilson

    How many of you have watched this video? If you haven’t, don’t!

  • jolly

    Can you imagine the fights between the disciples if they had been real people? No one could have got a word in edgewise.
    These two Christians have very close views about their god and they can’t agree. How can anyone continue to think these gods are real?

  • Tim

    Leave it to Christians to interpret a work of fiction as if it were true…

    You can’t imagine how much I like this sentence. =D

  • http://www.nadiawilliams.co.uk Nadia Williams

    My mom-in-law sent us the book, shortly after my husband and I deconverted almost three years ago (she didn’t know yet). He started reading it, and said: “Baby, you mustn’t read this book.”

    Because it was a book that triggered our deconversion in the first place, I spat out: “If you’re going back to Christianity, you’re on your own.”

    “No, no,” he said. “It’s got…(counts)… nine adverbs on this one page alone.”

    I’m a writer, and one of the first lessons of writing is that you cut out adverbs. It forces you to use stronger verbs. Micky is well aware of my obsession with adverbs, so he guessed I’d be apalled if I read this trash.

    I did in the end read some of it, but it was indeed the writer in me which recoiled in horror. ‘The Shack’ is poorly written. Even just sitting here I can feel myself get upset all over again that a book which made such amateurish mistakes as using all kinds of variations for the ‘said tag’ even got published (though granted, it was self-published, at least initially), never mind became a best-seller. It’s an atrocious abortion of words.

    It is only the controversial subject matter which got it where it is now, and what pride can you ever take in selling a dried-out cow-pat simply because you wrapped it in a pretty cloth? The pride of a con man, maybe, but certainly nothing more.

  • MH

    To me the arguments over the trinity seem like people arguing over the color of werewolf fur.

  • blueridgelady

    Hahaha! I like how he threw in the “god told you to listen to me” idea, you know, like it says in Hebrews!

  • Price

    This is the equivalent of someone writing “Fan-Fiction” releated to The Lord of The Rings and a “Hobbit-Nerd” just losing his mind over it. Hilarious!!!

  • ethinethin

    Menocchio had some unique ideas about God and the Angels, so the church set him on fire. This kind of thing has been going on for centuries.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    Price, that’s spot on. “NO! Frodo would NEVER do that! He’s too honorable! RRRGH!”

  • http://allusiveatheist.blogspot.com/ T Ray

    Driscoll is a hypocrite. He calls himself a preacher (or whatever bible “expert” title he chose) but doesn’t even know the ten commandments?

    Passage Deuteronomy 5:8: (New Living Translation)

    “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind, or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea.”

    So if we hold the bible as the inerrant and timeless word of god then we cannot make ANY graven images. No jesus, no American Gothic, ad infinitum.

    Would Mark have objected if Papa were a burning bush? What if the bush had no Y chromosomes?

  • http://www.savingthrowtodisbelieve.com Mandi

    Even as a Christian I was never a fan of Mark Driscoll. He’s chauvinistic, ignorant, and so totally full of himself that he wouldn’t know a good deed if it smacked him in the face.

  • John Perkins

    The most disturbing thing about The Shack, that people rarely bring up, is that it’s an allegory for William Young’s affair with his wife’s best friend. He wrote the book to justify forgiveness from his wife. There are myriad instances in the book that directly parallel his affair. It’s disgusting.

  • Phoenix

    The Shack, a rather tawdry poorly written work of fiction with no discernible reason for wasting ones time reading (I had to read it for a project…Yawn) has people arguing about it and christians fighting, I love it, this pathetic little piece of crap has them all in a flurry, it’s hilarious, they read the bible and think it’s for real and now they read Youngs book and do the same, give it creedence, Hilarious !!!!!!

  • all4jesus

    Mark Driscoll is a coward. He refuses to explain his irrational drivel in a neutral public forum. What a coward this phoney little man is.


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