ACR Journal

Australian Church Record – Issue December 2008

The Australian Church Record, number 1895, December 2008, has been released.

His direct speaking hailed by some as prophet-like, Mark Driscoll’s visit to Sydney was certainly one of the most talked about events of 2008. The year before Sydney’s major evangelistic enterprise, Connect 09, it was no doubt timely to have the visitor from Seattle share his ’18 obstructions to effective evangelism’.

The ongoing discussion of these (and other) points from Driscoll’s visit will no doubt continue, given the attention that his work in Seattle is receiving.

Seattle first arrived in Sydney across the internet. The large crowds attending the various Driscoll ‘events’ (and that word can certainly be used) did not come to him cold. Already they were primed through hearing his sermons downloaded from the website of Mars Hill Church. It is not only Britney Spears (or whoever!) those preteens on the bus are listening to on their i-Pods. Driscoll’s ‘coolness’ and ability to call a spade a shovel has also attracted the late-teens and twenties to listen to his dulcet tones through their ear-pieces, or watch him on the church’s youtube on their computer screens, as they wonder how he can have so many friends on Facebook. And then there are the old guys …

The ’18 obstructions’ drip with unsupported assertions, generalisations, and hyperbole. To generalise a little in return: Some of them ring true. If you fire a shotgun a pellet or two is bound to hit a target. If it hurts, fix the wound. To generalise a little further: Some of them are seriously misguided. Many of those pellets have caused co-lateral damage that also needs fixing.

Sure, anyone can say anything, and there will be things to learn as we listen. 10 million downloads a year certainly indicates that a lot of people speak well of you. That’s for sure. But for those who are still interested in seeking to live by God’s truth, the careful evaluation of any claimed prophet needs to continue.

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