God called Driscoll to preach to men — particularly young men — to save them from an American Protestantism that has emasculated Christ and driven men from church pews with praise music that sounds more like boy-band ballads crooned to Jesus than “Onward Christian Soldiers.” What bothers Driscoll — and the growing number of evangelical pastors who agree with him — is not the trope of Jesus-as-lover. After all, St. Paul tells us that the Church is the bride of Christ. What really grates is the portrayal of Jesus as a wimp, or worse. Paintings depict a gentle man embracing children and cuddling lambs. Hymns celebrate his patience and tenderness. The mainstream church, Driscoll has written, has transformed Jesus into “a Richard Simmons, hippie, queer Christ,” a “neutered and limp-wristed popular Sky Fairy of pop culture that . . . would never talk about sin or send anyone to hell.”I have visited Mars Hill and have listened to many of Mark's sermons via his podcast. I find him very entertaining. There is a reason that his sermons are at least twice as long as most pastors- he has a remarkable gift of gab and can certainly hold his congregation's attention. But I also experience Mark to be angry- angry against American culture, against the feminism of the Church, against anything that doesn't line up with his hard-core Calvinistic approach to Christianity. That anger is having an impact, especially right there on the green ground in Seattle. But even though this local church is growing into a multi-campus ministry, I don't know that Mark's particular message or model should be interpreted as pure Gospel. In his welcome video on the church's web site is the tag line, "It's all about Jesus, it's only about Jesus, it's always about Jesus." But sometimes I wonder if Mark is designing his macho, masculine and Fonzie-cool image of Jesus while he is staring in the mirror.
Your church is cool, Mark, but remember, even Fonzie jumped the shark.
Mars Hill style of Calvinism has its pitfalls, in my opinion, and I think there are more productive responses to feminism than flexing our manly muscles. Sometimes it is only good for a laugh, not too unlike this blog.