I am dismayed

… at this.

In light of this, this, and especially this.

Dismayed. Disappointed. Disheartened. Discouraged.

Let’s say Chris Anderson has just been busy and hasn’t had time to read the recent news. Even so.

What excuse could there be for positively referencing the crass crude and vile Driscoll even two weeks ago, before the latest outrage? With only the mildest of disclaimers… “I don’t agree with much of what he says…” Is that all?

don_sig2

Comments

  1. Jim says:

    I believe you are looking for something to criticize.

    Do you not see how your words and attitudes mirror those of Elijah (1 Kings 19)? Elijah’s view of that situation was wrong, too.

    The headline and the article’s arrangement emphasize Driscoll, but Chris comes nowhere near an endorsement of the man or his ministry.

    The article lists several resources and references for help in understanding the Emergent Church, of which Driscoll’s talk is only one.

  2. You know, I can’t imagine any reason for a fundamentalist to recommend Driscoll for any reason.

    I also can’t imagine how you think I am mirroring Elijah. I represent the views of more than myself. (I’m just more outspoken than some!) I am not dismayed or discouraged in the sense that I think I am alone against the world. I am dismayed and discouraged to see men who stand in fundamentalist churches or schools who will offer mild disclaimers when recommending men whose views and behaviour are so antithetical to pure discipleship. I find it amazing that a pastor would send any of his church people off to listen to Driscoll at all. Ever.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  3. Dear Pastor Johnson,
    Thank you for your stand for fundamentalism. Keep being outspoken! There is still a remnet out here (all be it small) that still stands for the fundamentals of the faith and for separation.
    God Bless You!
    A friend from Weirton, West Virginia!

  4. Larry says:

    Quite frankly, Don, there are a number of reasons to “positively reference” Driscoll, particularly on the issue of the EC.

    First, his critique of the EC is correct. To put it simply, he is right. And if you are going to reference someone, you should at least reference someone who is correct.

    Second, his critique of the EC comes from someone who actually knows something about it, unlike many who critique it out of pure ignorance. Let’s face it, I believe that the vast majority of those who critique the EC are critiquing based on someone else’s report about what someone said that someone in the EC said. That’s not a good basis for critique. Driscoll knows firsthand what he is talking about.

    Third, I don’t know of anyone who believes that a citation of someone is an endorsement … that is, until I read your comments.

    Fourth, what is your objection to “I don’t agree with much of what he says”? You think he should agree with all of what he says? Or do you think Chris should have used profanity or something to express stronger disagreement? Your objection makes no sense at all. You yourself agree with much of what Driscoll says (as does Chris). All Christians do. It is impossible to be a Christian and disagree with Driscoll on everything.

    Lastly, you could learn a lot from Driscoll about the EC, and it would serve you well to do so. He knows what he is talking about much more so than most of the people out there writing on it or talking about it.

    The fact that we benefit from someone’s ministry doesn’t mean we endorse or approve of what everything in that ministry. As fundamentalists, we should at least be able to think. If anyone should be able to eat the meat and spit out the bones, it should be fundamentalists.

  5. Larry, thank you for your comments.

    No, I don’t think Chris endorsed Driscoll. But how mild in his disclaimer. How about this: “Mark Driscoll is a purveyor of many errors. No one should read or listen to anything from him without a great deal of discernment. If you listen to many of his messages, you will be very offended at his language and suggestive descriptions. Handle with extreme care.”

    It is really irrelevant that I agree with much of what Driscoll might say. I agree with a good deal of what almost any human might say. The areas of agreement are not what are significant, it is the areas of disagreement.

    Have you read Steve Camp’s post on the most recent Driscoll outrage?

    Can you not see the complete revulsion a Bible believing Christian ought to have for such filth?

    Would you recommend that your people go read or listen to Driscoll because of some good article or some such? What if they then came across his message of a couple of weeks ago? Or any other offensive material? How would you explain that recommendation in the light of that?

    I can’t, and I am astonished that some fundamentalists can.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  6. Nate says:

    A couple of questions:

    Chris Anderson, a FINO sighting?

    Does Chris Anderson call himself a Fundamentalist?

    Does Chris Anderson handle the NT texts on separation in a traditionally Fundamental way?

    Does Chris Anderson practice separation on multiple levels, particularly in his response to evangelical brothers who fail to separate from false gospel?

    Last, is blogging “FINO sightings” a PTDYGFF (Practice That Distances Young Guys From Fundamentalism?)?

  7. Well, Nate, I am not quite sure what you are driving at with all these questions. So perhaps you can answer them yourself.

    Now, about that category, “FINO Sightings?” Please note the question mark. But, I must admit, that is a bit of a cheap shot, isn’t it? So I’ll delete the category. It’s over the top and I made my point well enough with the original post.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  8. Larry says:

    I don’t think Chris’s disclaimer was mild, and I don’t understand why you do. I don’t think you have to use profanity or heavy emotional appeals to make a disclaimer. What Chris said is true: He can be very offensive and should be read or listened to with great discernment. Which part of that is a problem? That’s what I don’t get.

    I had already listened to the lecture that Chris referenced, as well as a similar one at SEBTS. Both are very good for people who want to understand more about the EC. If all you know about the EC is coming from Slice and her friends, then you are woefully misinformed. There are a few good resources about it. The top of the list currently is R. Scott Smith’s book, and Driscoll is probably second. Driscoll has the advantage of having been a part of these guys and separating from them over doctrine.

    Here’s a funny story: The recent five views book about the EC (Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches), one of the complaints about Driscoll’s part of the book was that he used too much Scripture. Many fundamentalists have never been accused of that.

    Yes, I read Camp’s comments. I don’t put a lot of stock in what Camp says to be honest. I think Driscoll’s comments were completely wrong, but I understand what Driscoll was saying. He was mocking those who say that the SoS is about Christ and the church. If you read the SoS as an allegory about Christ and the church, then it is hard to avoid the conclusion that Driscoll was referring to. And if you understand what he was referring to, the comments make perfect sense. If you think the SoS is about Christ and the church, the picture Driscoll gave is difficult to deal with. I think he shouldn’t have said it as he did. I think he could have communicated the same thing in a better way. But it wasn’t blasphemous so far as I could tell. It was exactly the opposite … it was pointing out the blasphemy of taking a story about marital intimacy and making it about our Savior and our relationship with him. However, I haven’t actually heard it (and probably won’t listen to it), so I won’t say more than that.

    Lastly you ask would I recommend him. Yes, I would and I have. I have read his first two books. I have heard him speak in person several times, and I have listened to him online several hundred times. I have not listened to him as much in the last few years because he got away from verse by verse exposition and because I think he started believing his own press and it caused him to push the envelope even farther.

    I would recommend people listen to him with extreme discernment, the same as I would to anyone. Driscoll tries to hard to be funny. He doesn’t spend enough time actually preparing his message. He says he spends 30+ hours studying the text and then just gets up and talks. I think that is a bad way to go about it and very dangerous (as he has demonstrated).

    But here’s the point: If you want to learn about the EC, Driscoll is a very good resource. You should use him, with great discernment.

  9. his critique of the EC comes from someone who actually knows something about it, unlike many who critique it out of pure ignorance. Let’s face it, I believe that the vast majority of those who critique the EC are critiquing based on someone else’s report about what someone said that someone in the EC said. That’s not a good basis for critique. Driscoll knows firsthand what he is talking about.

    So should we go out carousing, so we can firsthand speak out against public drinking and drunken parties? Should we all try adultery at least once, so we know what we are talking about when preaching against it?

    That would be pretty foolish! We don’t have to be involved in sin and compromise in order to speak against or expose it. We can compare what that person teaches or does with the Bible – and see where the Emerging Church falls short of God’s Word and will.

  10. Larry, thank you for your further comments.

    I don’t see this as simply citing a man who is a good resource with problems. The problem is much deeper than that. I posted a reply to Chris just now on his blog that explains a bit more of my view. I’ll also make a new post of it here.

    ~~~

    Here is what I said on My Two Cents:

    ~~~

    Good morning fellows.

    Let me make another attempt at describing what is going on.

    You are suggesting that there is a moral equivalence between my citation of CT (and others) and Chris’ citation of Driscoll.

    So… I cite a notorious new-evangelical rag and Chris headline with a photo and a RECOMMENDATION that you listen to a man who makes a joke about Our Lord Jesus Christ making homosexual advances to his redeemed saints, and somehow we are talking about the same category?

    Well, just one question, men:

    Do you believe the Word of Our Lord in this passage or not:

    ESV 1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler–not even to eat with such a one.

    It seems to me that the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ should simply shun this man. He shouldn’t be invited to Desiring God conferences, or encouraged and supported by leading preachers, or recommended to the saints as one worth reading or listening to about anything.

    But you all know better than me, so I’ll leave you to it.

    ~~~

    These are serious times, brethren. We can’t be less than serious about the enemies of the faith.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  11. Larry says:

    Don,

    I think you missed the joke. The joke should not have been made. But it was not about Christ making homosexual advances towards his church. It was about Christ not making homosexual advances toward his church. It was about an interpretation of a book of the Bible that could lead to that conclusion.

    It was a joke that should not have been made. Period. But you have the joke exactly backwards, it seems to me.

  12. “I don’t agree with much of what he says, obviously, but he offers a thorough and serious critique of the movment [sic].” Pastor Chris Anderson at mytwocents…

    Most people of the pew and pastors would look at Chris’s language above and draw this conclusion:
    “Pas. Chris Anderson does not agree with much of what Driscoll says, so much of what he says must be in conflict with what Chris understands Christianity to be, so if I listen, I should do so with Pastor Anderson’s warning in mind. After all, everything he has written, and spoken seems to be in line with an orthodox, biblical stance.”

    As I read the comments, I come away with two interpretations of the author’s concern:
    First, the author seems pessimistic that most all Christians could draw the above conclusion upon reading Pastor Chris’s waiver, and so Chris never should have included the limited recommendation–in fact, he should not have included Driscoll in the discussion at all.
    But, second, as the comments rolled by, the author also seems pessimistic that most all Christians could draw the above conclusion upon reading Pastor Chris’s waiver, and so Chris should have made his caveat more like this: “Mark Driscoll is a purveyor of many errors. No one should read or listen to anything from him without a great deal of discernment. If you listen to many of his messages, you will be very offended at his language and suggestive descriptions. Handle with extreme care.”

    So…which is it?

    As regards to FINO? (even with a question mark)–that feels like more than “a bit of a cheap shot.” Often, YFs (in the SI tradition) are credited as being too forgiving and too slow in reacting to someone’s doctrinal/practical drift—in general I agree. But, in listening to our extant, more senior thinkers (McCune, Ashbrook, etc.), you will find that they all promote some measure of caution about raising a public (vs. private) question regarding someone’s errors. (I.e., the sense I get from them is that they would recommend a public statement be made about someone’s errors only if there was a chronic, habitual problem, not an acute problem.) And in Chris’s situation, in parsing his words, they do not reach anywhere near the threshold of “acute” let alone “chronic.” It seems that the author’s concerns, especially in light of “FINO?” would have been better to be dealt with privately?

    Serious times? Certainly. Publicly questioning Chris’s gospel commitment as being suspect, especially when the author wrote a proposed non-“mild” caveat himself? Seems seriously inconsistent, Don.

    FWIW, I have appreciated your stance on many things, but this time, not so much. I’ll have to compose a caveat re: oxgoad, for my congregation I guess? :D

    Sam Hendrickson

    re: http://mytwocents.wordpress.com/2008/09/30/fino-ridiculous/#comments

  13. Pete Simms says:

    Yes, you stepped in it this time Don. You were a bit fast to speak and slow to think. It is hilarious that you complain about Chris recommending Driscoll without a strong enough disclaimer and then you recommend reading Camp with NO disclaimer. Very careless Don, seeing Camp is the one with the “profane” music.

    Don, your reaction is going to be to try to come back with some defense. Do yourself a favor and don’t. Just come back with a sincere apology to the people you have offended and you will be doing yourself and fundamentalism in general some good. Your fire-throwing style is neither Biblical nor likely do do much other than drive the young fundies farther away.

  14. Larry,

    My problem is I don’t get the joke? No, that’s not what this is about. My problem is that it seems we can blithely carry on a path recommending people who are consistently, constantly and flagrantly disobeying the word of God. But we are still good fundies…

    ~~~

    Sam

    Which is it? I really think we should not be endorsing a Driscoll in any way. But even so, if you feel you must, it should be with a much stronger disclaimer. But bottom line, we shouldn’t be giving him a platform at all.

    As to your comments regarding my tag, I appreciate the rebuke as to it being more than a cheap shot. Those would be weasel words, attempting to self-justify. I have retracted the tag, and will write to Chris about that point.

    I will point out, however, that I am reacting to more than merely one post. There are a whole series of posts where high praise is given to men of questionable associations. This particular fellow’s errors are so egregious the post FEATURING him elicited my response. There has been some interaction concerning previous objections in the past, but the trend continues.

    And last, I am not questioning Chris’s gospel commitment, just his judgement. Quite a different thing.

    ~~~

    Pete

    Thanks for a little comic relief at the end of the day. You know, those young fundies, they keep saying that I’m going to drive them away, but they never leave. That’s what really bugs me.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  15. Larry says:

    My problem is that it seems we can blithely carry on a path recommending people who are consistently, constantly and flagrantly disobeying the word of God. But we are still good fundies…

    I am not sure what you mean by “blithely” but I don’t think Chris blithely recommended Driscoll. And I continue to believe that we should learn from people who know things. If that makes me not a fundamentalist, then so be it.

    As I said previously, no one is suggesting that we get involved in the EC (or drinking and carousing and adultery). All that was suggested is that we learn from people who know things. Driscoll happens to know things.

  16. I’ve been thinking about this one, Don, wondering what brought the sudden attention to your seldom commented blog. I don’t mean that in a demeaning way, just that the comments exploded on this post, relative to what you get. The participants weren’t as mean here as they were over at MTC.

    One of the reasons I got to thinking is that I agreed with your evaluation. As I read the comments, I think that some of the participants understand what you are saying too. Here’s how you failed, and I mean it: you weren’t nuanced enough. It is ironic on a discussion about emergent church abuses, but if you had gone after it with more uncertainty and ambivalence, you would not have caused the firestorm. Obviously, if you had done that, you wouldn’t have mentioned any names. In addition, you wouldn’t have been Don Johnson.

    You ticked people off with your tag at the bottom, but it did get the blood pumping. You questioned fundamentalist credentials. Questioned them.

    Here’s why I think your evaluation was correct. I’ve thought about it, especially in light of counter arguments about your Christianity Today references and the links to Steve Camp. What is ironic is that a correct view of the issue, I believe, is a matter of degree. The nuancers aren’t nuancing in their criticism of you.

    CT has little to no influence on young fundamentalists. It has as much influence on them as the NY Times. All of our participants know that. Steve Camp (just calling them as I see them) has little to no influence on young fundamentalists. Steve Camp rakes anyone to the left of John MacArthur. He hit John Piper hard, which is like hitting the Mother Theresa of young fundamentalism.

    Young fundamentalists are enamored with Mark Driscoll. John Piper can almost do no wrong. The two are “buds” who like to “hang-out” with one another. (That is so, so kewl.) The bottom line is theology, Calvinism actually. Practice is practically ignored.

    Don, you don’t like what you see in this realm. Suggesting that someone listen to Mark Driscoll to get some important information elevates Driscoll. It pleases young fundamentalists. It makes someone look nuanced and hip. It looks open. It looks cutting edge. It looks cosmopolitan. It looks ‘with it.’ No matter the disclaimer, it looks accepting.

    Doing it right now, when the Driscoll/Piper thing is at its height, and the discussion over the cussing and the crudeness is right now happening (not to mention the Mars Hill drinking and dancing parties), doesn’t look like a good move. It would be better to have zero promotion of Driscoll at this time (never would be better). To get all upset about it in a massive, enormous way is a curious development. I say, “Wow.”

    So I get it, Don. I get your concern. You see the separation that you were taught, that had been practiced for many decades, disintegrating. You see a kind of historic fundamentalism eroding. You see this as contributing to that, blurring the line.

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  1. […] Chris Don has me pegged as a “Fundamentalist in Name Only” or what he calls a “FINO.” Why? Because I learned something from Mark Driscoll’s lecture on the Emergent Church […]

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