Mark Driscoll is Touched by an Angel

Mark Driscoll’s transformation from “young, restless, and reformed” icon to charismatic teacher has been fascinating to observe. He recently said Calvinism is “garbage” and just wrapped up a featured gig at Gateway Church’s pastor’s conference where he talked about his views of spiritual warfare. In that talk, Driscoll told a story about encountering an angel at a park. Watch:

I’m trying to imagine driving into the mountains for seclusion and finding a park full of kids but anyway, that is the story. An angel in the form of a disabled middle school girl gave him a piece of paper with a Bible verse and told him God loves him.

In a way, this isn’t such a departure from the old Driscoll. He also believes he can see the sins of others in the past. He described demon trials while at Mars Hill Church. However, with this sermon (the rest of it was a critique of naturalistic Christianity) and his new books, it appears that the leading edge of his work will be to appeal to the charismatic wing of the church.

Update: Mark Driscoll told this same story in a sermon of about the same content to his church recently. Here it is.

15 thoughts on “Mark Driscoll is Touched by an Angel”

  1. The next stop on the Mark Driscoll Traveling Circus will be…what? Denying the Trinity? Universalism? Pelagianism?

  2. Is Driscoll just yet another victim of the all-too-common embrace of Barbie-god (a kind of religious dolly designed to ‘meet our needs’ – on our terms, of course)?

  3. It is very difficult being atheist and still remaining kind.

    There is a huge temptation to blurt out one’s belief that this is a bunch of superstitious nonsense to gull the gullible and con the credulous.

    But would that be educational, or just hurtful? What good would it do to say that? With so many theists being really good people, would not hurting them like that be wrong, no matter how true the statement is?

    Religious freedom – including the expression of atheistic belief – has limits. It would not be cool to have ” gods don’t exist” emblazoned on currency for example.

    1. I don’t think it’s hurtful to point out that Driscoll is probably lying about his encounter with the girl. No 12-year old girl talks that way, so at the very least he’s embellishing an encounter that might have happened, and more likely, most of it is simply made up.

      I used to get this vibe from preachers like Jesse Duplantis. Forgetting his prosperity gospel nonsense for a moment, his sermons are chock full of funny anecdotes from his life — but the more you listen, the more you realize that they can’t all be true. I mean, you can be an entertaining storyteller even if your source material isn’t that interesting, but the way you do that is to embellish it — twist the facts into a story with a punchline, exaggerate for effect, and so on — until there’s only a small resemblance to what really happened.

    2. “It is very difficult being atheist and still remaining kind.”

      No it isn’t. Kindness (and respect) doesn’t require one to be religious. Nor does being religious automatically make one kind.

      Just remember, your belief that there is no god is no more “true” than others’ belief that there is.

    3. There’s a lot of superstitious nonsense – prima facie religious or otherwise – around and there is nothing wrong (and plenty right) with calling it out.

  4. ….it’s nice of the angels to tone down their majesty and apoplexy inducing glory. I mean..they used to have to start whatever message they had with “Fear not!” now they just wander across a park in costume. Classy

    1. Yes. Biblical encounters with angels are usually (at least at first) pretty terrifying experiences.

    2. The big issue with Driscoll is his clear narcissism which is one leg of the Dark Triad of personality disorders. God does not talk to narcissists in this way as he is suggesting. The real Jesus told us to test the spirits. Much of the so called encounters may be fantasy, or lies, but some may actually happen. It is just that these angels are nothing that is coming from God. Most of the encounters that people claiming to be Christians are having are not coming from Holy Angels. Most of the communicating is coming from God’s adversary. I have seen this coming out of a Charismatic background. There are many drawn to this kind of theology that really want to have spiritual encounters so badly that they do not care what the source is. And who better to target when you are an evil spirit then a charismatic individual who has one of the Dark Triad of personality disorders? These people already think like the Devil himself. If the Devil comes as “an angel of (false) light” then would not many of the Devil’s agents also come as “wolves in sheep’s clothing?”

  5. I never understood his theology, and it always had these loopy, biblically indefensible blips that made me wonder about him. I mean, I can’t debunk his angel story (and I have heard some fairly odd stories over the years from people I know well and respect), but I have no reason to think he’s a straight shooter. Once a pastor blows off his/her responsibilities in a moral failure and then runs away to start over somewhere else, as far as I am concerned they are on the run from the Lord.

Comments are closed.