Friday, June 06, 2008

Praise Where Praise is Due!!

I've got plenty of faults and flaws!! Being outspoken may be most certainly one of them - and I am sure I have offended some for stating my nervousness about going to "Together on A Mission" this year because of the main speaker - one Mark Driscoll. But I do hope - and I do try - to admit it when I have got it wrong and ask forgiveness off those I've offended. And also give praise where praise is due! No - I haven't changed my mind on Brighton ... yet. But I am reading; "The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World" edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor and have just hit Mark Driscoll's chapter.

I read this;

"If we were to see Jesus today, we would not see Him in His state of humble incarnation (I would add - neither would we see Him hanging broken and bleeding on the Cross). Rather we would see Jesus as both Isaiah and John saw Him - enthroned in glory as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This Jesus rules over gays and straights, men and women, young and old, rich and poor, black and white, simple and wise, healthy and sick, powerful and powerless, Republicans and Democrats, married and single, Christians and non-Christians, angels and demons and the living and the dead.

The sovereign, unprecedented and glorious exaltation of Jesus is typified by a throne. The imagery of a throne is used roughly 196 times in Scripture with 135 occurences in the Old Testament and 61 occurences in the New Testament.

The central piece of furniture on the stage of the heavenly scenes is the throne. Seated upon the throne over all peoples, times, places and cultures is Jesus Christ. Throughout Revelation, all truth, authority and judgement proceed from the One seated on the throne. All praise, worship and gladness proceed to the One seated on the throne from all created beings, including men, women, angels, beasts of the field, birds of the air and fish of the sea.

Perhaps my favourite picture (and that of my young sons) of the glorious exaltation of our great God Jesus Christ is what we like to refer to as Ultimate Fighter Jesus. In Revelation 19:11-16, Jesus rides ... on a white horse with His steely eyes blazing red like fire ... the supremacy of Jesus Christ as our sovereign and exalted God is our authority for mission ... indeed the authority of our mission rests on nothing less than the authority delegated to us by the exalted Lord Jesus Christ who rules over all".

Awesome!! Wonderful!! Maybe if that had been the first thing I had read or heard of Mark Driscoll, I may have been first in line booking to go to Brighton!! The Church needs to restore this divine perspective of "Christ's Ministry Today" (as I posted a few days ago). Of course we never cease to preach Christ and Him crucified. Maybe some never want to move on beyond the old rugged Cross. But let's also never lose this vision - that this exalted risen and reigning King Jesus delegates authority to us - His Bride - to go forth in mission!!


Anonymous said...

Give "Confessions of A Reformission Rev" a try. It is a provocative book and well worth a read.

I am about to start "Vintage Jesus" will let you know how I find it.


Jon Sidnell said...

Hey Dan

Given where God has been leading and teaching you recently, I can definitely understand your hesitance about Driscoll!

Personally, I do like what Driscoll does and says, even if I don't agree with 100% of it. But one of the key things I love is that when he's talking about Jesus, this sort of standard really is the norm! He is just utterly captivated by Jesus and His mission in this world. Which is awesome :)

dave bish said...

I do think you'd like his books. Confessions and Radical Reformission are good, and Vintage Jesus is also.

I wonder if we are dividing unnecessarily. Eternity is all about The Slaughtered Lamb on the Throne.

The cross and the risen and reigning Jesus together. The power of the throne is the slaughtered lamb sitting on it.

Dan Bowen said...

Thanks to you all! I must admit this chapter has opened up my hesitance to reading more of Driscoll ... I will indeed start with Reformation Rev or Vintage Jesus as it's the one most mentioned! I will look forward to hearing a review and thoughts Eutychus ... thanks!

Jon ..

"He is just utterly captivated by Jesus and His mission in this world. Which is awesome :)"

That's so so true. So what if not everything matches up 100%. So what if I don't like his language or jokes or whatever 100% ... passion for Jesus. That's a major plus!!

Dan Bowen said...

I've just had a thought - I see quite a bit of similarity between Mark Driscoll and Todd Bentley. Both are young, a bit uncouth but hearts sold on Jesus Christ! So what right do I have to defend Todd Bentley and his tattoos and piercings against those who don't like him, and then point the finger at Driscoll and his crude jokes and language etc?!

God uses - who He uses.

dave bish said...

Even us.

Anonymous said...

Interesting point... What counts is the heart for God.

I'd rather have a Driscoll or a Bentley on fire than a dull grey man in a suit preaching a systematic series on the minor prophets, theologically on the nail but with no fire and no heart.


Dan Bowen said...

"I'd rather have a Driscoll or a Bentley on fire than a dull grey man in a suit preaching a systematic series on the minor prophets, theologically on the nail but with no fire and no heart".

Amen!! Amen!! I do think that in the coming days, its going to be men of passion that cause waves across the earth - cerebral head knowledge is all well and good, but I will never forget some non-Christians coming to my home church in Dunstable and hearing my senior pastor - doctor of theology thanks very much - preach a top sermon.

And they walked out utterly unimpressed - saying why was he preaching on joy, with a dour face?

The world is watching us. And it's time we started living in the fullness of the glory of the message we preach!! I love an analogy Rob Rufus gives when the excuse is given, "It's not my culture to be passionate".

He says - what would happen if I slammed your hand in a car door? Your reaction would be proportionate to the experience you received!!

T. More said...

You are right about still being uncomfortable about Brighton. There is something dark about what is going on with Driscoll but just cannot really explain what it is. Check out these vids and see if you get that same feeling:

Dan Bowen said...

Hi T. More - thanks for the comments. I've seen quite a few Driscoll videos to make me profoundly nervous. If I wasn't so nervous, I would be booked into Brighton without a second's thought. The cost of missing the awesome Spirit-filled worship with Kate Simmonds and Simon Brading, the potential for powerful prophecies, and the preaching from the Newfrontiers guys like Dave Holden and Dave Devenish?

It's heart-breaking. But they've given Driscoll three main sessions and loads of seminars. It will be hard to avoid him and his presence!

I made a decision when I first knew that Rob Rufus was going to Brighton in 2006. Wayne Grudem was also there and I wanted to hear him too. What swayed my decision was that I sensed there would be an impartation that wouldn't be obtainable on the CD's.

It's just a hunch but I think I will be able to hear Driscoll's CD's and benefit as much as I will be able. That being said - he's a passionate guy and a heart for the gospel. No doubt. But as you say T More - I just cannot put a finger on the hunch that something's wrong.