dealing with Driscoll's "I See Things" clip
OK, I'll stop thinking out loud now...
Maybe there is a third way to approach this topic.
I've been stunned by some of the online critiques of Christian speakers and writers <i>on Christian sites</i>!
Now perhaps this betrays a horrible naivety on my part. But I am stunned by the lack of thought, and what I can only interpret as malice, behind these critiques. Comments are regularly taken out of context and <i>then</i> given the worst possible spin imaginable. If all these critiques were to be taken seriously, we should have to wonder if there were any orthodox Christians left on the earth!
Now in this context, <b>is it even possible to constructively critique another Christian's theology online?</b>
In this environment do all theological critiques sound as if we are trying to cast other Christians out of the kingdom?
PS: In case I sound like a pot calling a shelf of kettles black, my concern about the "Christus Victor" sermon was two-fold. One, the seemingly casual and reckless use of the gift of prophecy. This horrified some of my more charismatic friends. It certainly seemed to obviate Paul's advice in Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 14.
But my second concern is founded on the whole sermon, in the context of Pr. Driscoll's ministry. It was not based on the clip that "Pyromaniacs" made notorious. <i>Pr Driscoll develops a method of exorcism based on his own personal experience</i>. This method is then offered to the wider Church.
Now that does not rule him out of evangelicalism - far from it. But it does not seem to be consistent with the "New Calvinists". Calvin had little sympathy for any kind of demonology that was not based directly on Scripture. Phillip Sampson (in "6 Modern Myths"(IVP:2001) pp140-141) points out that Calvin's critique and corrective of demonology helped bring Witch Trials to an end.
OK, here's another way of looking at this (after a few weeks reflection):
am I expecting too much from the New Calvinism? Does it have to be a coherent movement? Can it be beneficial as a loose network of alliances?
If so, is there really a problem if some speakers go "off script"?
The comments need a response, but I think a number of leaders need to consult on the direction Driscoll is taking "New Calvinism." At the moment a comment like "We've seen the comments. They concern us. We'll be dealing with it, and getting back to the public soon."
The problem is that there isn't any room for dialogue here. Driscoll can't really be mistaken. He can't now claim that these events did not happen.
(My greatest concern, however, is his demonology and methods for exorcism. These are based on his experience, and not on Scripture.)
But rather than a blog post which is open to discussion, I think a simple statement reassuring readers that the whole "Christus Victor" sermon is a matter of concern, and that leaders will be dealing with it would be the safest option.
It would put my mind at ease. The silence is deafening, and worrying!