The Driscoll podcast calling out everyone to the left is up. Here's the message- listen to it. (and skip the first few minutes... You've heard it. At some point Mark needs to start beginning messages with "I know you've all heard the story of my rough and tumble youth, and if you haven't, just pick a random podcast from iTunes- I'm pretty sure it will be in there.")
To sum up-
He uses the word "heresy" in and around the discussion, and while he doesn't apply it directly to the forehead of either Brian, Doug or Rob, he doesn't leave a whole lot of doubt as to what category he places these guys in mentally...
So- for the record...
I agree with Mark- Brian McLaren seems to endorse just about whatever book comes across his desk and some of them are truly disturbing. I don't so much have a problem with what Brian himself says- but he seems to endorse and approve of some books with some horrific ideas. This concern has been growing in me for awhile.
I agree with Mark- If Doug truly did tell him publicly that
homosexual practice (as opposed to orientation) is consistent with
following Jesus, he's wrong. (I feel I should modify that statement
somehow, but I won't. That's what the comments are for...)
I don't, however, think this makes him a heretic.
I somewhat agree with Mark-
About Rob Bell...
a. Rabbinical authority. Mark dings Rob for saying that if you want to understand Scripture, you have to understand the Rabbis. Has Rob ever actually said this? Yeah- he's got his style in this regard, but I don't think (as far as I know) that he raises this to the level Mark is saying he does.
b. Mark disagrees with Rob's "trajectory hermeneutic." I agree with it. Webb's book Slaves, Women and Homosexuals is one everyone should read and understand. It fits well with a Jesus-centered, Gospel-focused understanding of the Scriptures. Mark dings Rob for having women elders and in so doing reduces the whole argument to something of an oversimplification and caricature.
He also conflates homosexuality into the argument, missing or ignoring the point that Webb specifically denies that there is a redemptive movement or arc in Scripture regarding that issue. I personally have heard Bell make the same exact point. I think the "guilt by association" argument sticks somewhat in McLaren's case as eventually he's going to have to answer for that of which he approves, but I find the "slippery slope" tack here frustrating.
c. I agree with Mark- Rob Bell overplayed the spring metaphor in Velvet Elvis. I know (and affirm) what he was trying to say, but he picked the wrong example to demonstrate it. I'm glad Rob himself affirms the Virgin Birth, but by saying it's not necessary, he potentially gives away the farm. He's not a heretic as far as I can tell, but he probably does need to hear what Mark says on this.
Overall, though the case against Bell is a bit stretched, Mark is on target, particularly at the end as regards the ineffectiveness of some in the emerging church to do anything other than attract the disgruntled children of evangelicalism- I think you all should listen to it.
As an aside- there's a lot of talk about whether Mark "should" have taken a Matthew 18 approach with these guys...
And my take is this- Whether or not he "should" have... he could have. This is a guy who could get a face-to-face with any of these 3 big names he's calling out.
I know, I know, I KNOW how busy he is (that's one of my main complaints about the mega-church pastoral lifestyle), but what I'd like to see is less of the big guns in this whole thing (and let's face it- calling someone out for heresy is like the a-bomb... there's really isn't any way to escalate after that) and more pleading with people he calls friends and brothers to come around (he admits that there's distance, he hasn't talked to Brian or Bell and has had only 1 or 2 conversations with Doug and not of the kind I'm talking about). I'm not saying Mark's completely off-base here, but if I have a chance to rally and supply my troops or sit down one-on-one with the general of the opposing "team" (as Mark likes to call it) I think I might try the second for awhile and save the first for a possibly necessary last resort.
I told you all I was going to post a bit on "boundaries" awhile back... this is probably a good week for that. Stay tuned...