Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mark Driscoll the Schwärmer

It seems that Mark Driscoll has preached a sermon attacking the "Cessationists" who do not have a need for the Holy Spirit. Eric Davis from the Cripplegate has responded to this video excellently here.

The whole dichotomization of sound doctrine from the Holy Spirit is sadly a systemic problem within Charismatic circles. While there are certainly Charismatics who try to be biblical, the problem is that such a dichotomization of doctrine from the Holy Spirit is foundational to the very essence of Charismatism. The idea of a distinct separate second baptism of the Spirit that happens after one's conversion means that it is possible for one to believe in sound doctrine but not to be "baptized in the Spirit." It is hard to see what kind of Charismatism would be left if one rejects the second baptism of the Spirit doctrine, for if one rejects it, then there is no necessity to pray for people to be filled with the Spirit. Either these people are saved and thus filled with the Spirit already, or they are unregenerate and need to be converted. To deny holding to a second baptism of the Spirit while continuing to pray for filling in the Spirit with new gifts (with a particular emphasis on the gift of tongues) is to deny the doctrine in theory and affirm it in practice.

Driscoll's speech against sound doctrine is hardly new. Before him, the Zwickau prophets and the Anabaptists were proclaiming "the Spirit" and stating that to pay attention to sound doctrine is to be a minister of the dead letter, referring of course back to 2 Cor. 3:6. Getting new revelations from "God," Jan of Leyden instituted polygamy, imposed a totalitarian autocratic state with him at the head and initiated a reign of terror in his "New Jerusalem" in 16th century Münster. Truly there is nothing new under the Sun.

Historically, Driscoll is the spiritual descendant of the mystics and the Anabaptists. He is what Luther would call a Schwärmer or fanatic, one who believes that they can know God through direct immediate revelation, instead of knowing God through Scripture. Driscoll holds to the theology of glory (theologia gloriae) and seeks God not through His ordained means of the Word but through his vain imagination.

Biblically and theologically, such a false dichotomization between sound doctrine and the Holy Spirit pits God's attributes against God's person. It therefore is a practical denial of the doctrine of the simplicity of God. Given that Driscoll wrote some sort of systematic theology, I wonder if Driscoll actually knows what he is doing? Did Driscoll teach or deny the doctrine of God's simplicity in his book Doctrine? If he indeed holds on to the orthodoxy doctrine of God's simplicity, why does he not practice it here?

Those who denigrate sound doctrine denigrate God's attributes, and thus denigrate God Himself. Saying that one listens to the Spirit while denigrating sound doctrine indicates that one is actually listening to oneself and the voices of others, even unclean spirits, and thinking that one is actually listening to God. God does not reveal Himself in audible voices today, and whoever thinks he is listening to God through such immediate revelation is self-deceived or deceived by demonic powers instead.


Linda said...

I like what was said over at cripplegate--speaking of the Holy "Spirit---"He is the divine author of Scripture and so his words are Scripture. So then, to say, “Don’t elevate doctrine above the Holy Spirit,” is equivalent to, “Don’t elevate what the Holy Spirit has said over what he has said.”

“Don’t elevate doctrine above the Holy Spirit,” is like saying, “Don’t elevate God’s attributes over God.” God cannot be separated from his attributes anymore than the Holy Spirit from what he has spoken.

"key to the issue is that the colloquialism, “Don’t elevate doctrine above the Holy Spirit,” is to divide the Spirit against himself, or God against God. But there is no such division. The Spirit spoke Scripture and subsequently, in the hearts of the regenerate, performs an accompanying and unifying work of illumination so that we elevate God through the objective knowledge of him in his word. What this means, as Calvin said, is that “we owe to the Scripture the same reverence which we owe to God; because it has proceeded from him alone, and has nothing belonging to man mixed with it”

So basically it is true that Mark's argument is a false dichotomy. We cannot separate the Holy Spirit from His word because they are ONE -homogeneous

anyone who tries to separate doctrine from Scripture or the Holy Spirit from Scripture or experiences and new revelations from scripture has never ever settled well with me. People who do that are trying to do away with Scripture as far as I can tell which makes me believe they are enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ..

Thanks for all the excellent perusing. I've learned quite a bunches

PuritanReformed said...


you're welcome