Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Hybels Blasts Driscoll

I’m no defender of Mark Driscoll, but his public rebuke by Bill Hybels at last week’s National New Church Conference reveals just how weak and out of focus the modern church is.

According to Driscoll’s comments about this situation, he had been asked to speak at the conference but declined and organizers got him to submit a video instead.

I thought most of the video was pretty lame. It was high on style, short on content with Driscoll’s typical crass way of speaking of holy, eternal realities in the most base and earthly form imaginable…all in the name of ‘communication’ I suppose. The Mars Hill video team is obviously very skilled, but frankly, Driscoll didn’t say many deep or challenging things. But the one thing that did mean something—reaching young men and discipling them—was criticized by Hybels. After the video was over, Bill Hybels (being next on the program) was introduced and made this statement:

"After that video I would like to acknowledge that there are women in this room and they have spiritual gifts.”

Well, who’s gonna argue that? Driscoll wasn’t saying women don’t have gifts. He seemed to be saying that men are staying behind spiritually and that we need to reach them. Hybels seemed to be launching the modern debate of women and their place in ministry. He seemed to defend the egalitarian model (women and men are equal in that they have the same responsibilities and calling) which is very much rooted in worldliness. The complementarian model (women and men are equal in that they have separate and unique but God-given and God-called responsibilities) is a lot closer to Scripture.

Some 20 years ago, evangelical leaders gathered in Danvers, Massachusetts to discuss the Biblical perspective of manhood and womanhood. They drafted but became known as the Danvers Statement. The fourth affirmation they listed was:

The Fall introduced distortions into the relationships between men and women (Gen 3:1-7, 12, 16).
  • In the home, the husband's loving, humble headship tends to be replaced by domination or passivity; the wife's intelligent, willing submission tends to be replaced by usurpation or servility.
  • In the church, sin inclines men toward a worldly love of power or an abdication of spiritual responsibility, and inclines women to resist limitations on their roles or to neglect the use of their gifts in appropriate ministries.
Bill Hybels ought to read this sermon by Ligon Duncan. Then he’d really have something to criticize.

For further information read the online version of Evangelical Feminism & Biblical Truth by Wayne Gruden.

I won’t even go into the issue of the conference organizers not passing out Driscoll’s video as they had previously planned. I hope they paid Mars Hill for the production time and DVD’s, but based on Driscoll’s blog, it seems they got stiffed.


LayGuy said...

Hi Rod,

Very well balanced words. I happen to be a big Driscoll fan for reasons that were brewing inside of me before I even heard of the guy.

Topics like:

The modern Jesus made to look like a wimp.

The role of women and men in leadership.

The missional take on things etc.

These things were just getting under my skin and when I heard Driscoll speak, I resonated with what he spoke about.

Anyway, I can go on but it's late. I invite you to have a look at what I posted about this whole saga on my site at http://layguy.com/2007/04/30/hybels-v-driscoll/

Elder's Wife said...

I watched the video, and, while Driscoll's style probably wouldn't fly far in my church, he is right about the need to raise up men to lead, and not only as church planters.
Too many men have been intimidated by domineering women, but that is not their only problem. Men, ever since the Fall, have abdicated their God-given responsibility to lead, even in their own homes.
Once a man is saved, he still needs to be taught how to be the Spirit-led man who can lead others as Christ did...as the God-Man, not the God-Woman.
I believe that when the Christian feminists (is there really such an animal?) began to demand equality in leadership, they really exerted an emasculating influence at that level.
That said, it seems that Hybels' remarks about Driscoll's video presentation were uncalled-for, since Mark was not there to defend himself. They weren't manly at all. They were the kind of thing a woman might say.

Rod said...


That would be quite a study wouldn't it, regarding whether the absence of male leadership is more of an abdication by men or a pushing aside by women?

You're dead on about Hybels remarks.