Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mark Discoll in Sydney

Mark Driscoll was in Sydney and gave a talk to Anglican clergy including an 18 point critique of what is hindering evangelistic ministry in that city. Particularly stinging was # 8: "Many of you are afraid of the Holy Spirit. You don’t know what to do with Him, so the trinity is Father, Son and Holy Bible. You are so reactionary to pentecostalism that you do not have a robust theology of the Holy Spirit." Ouch, but point taken! But on his # 2 ("Your culture struggles with a lack of entrepreneurialism, due to the influence of Socialism and Great Britain") my response is, "You stupid yank, some of us get our economic ethics from the Bible and not from Charles Darwin, so the 'pull yourself up by the bootstraps - every man for himself - survival of the fittest' model of economics is neither appealing nor biblical".


Aja said...

Micheal, can you write something about what you believe the Bible says about economics, specifically the roles individuals, community and government have. The American perspective you refer to would be to allow people to keep the fruit of their labors (simple justice I would think) and encourage them to share as much of what they have with others in love voluntarily, while the governments role would be to defend the rights of its citizens. We love charity (and as individuals give more than any other nation in the world I believe) we just it to be free and just.

Marty said...

Ah Mike, you got a big *CHUCKLE* from me!

Michael F. Bird said...

I'm all for profit motive, upward mobility, and avoiding an endemic welfare state; but when your theory of economic growth is based on the idea that if we help the rich get richer then it will naturally flow on to the poorer people, then you've got a stupid economic policy that rewards greed and makes poverty endemic. No person in the working or lower classes could have conceivably invented such an idea! It's a theory championed by old money who like being rich and want to be richer and despise the fact that they have to pay taxes at all when they are themselves self-sufficient. Some get their economic ethics from the Bible (care for the poor, aliens, and widows) and some get their economic ethics from Charles Darwin (i.e. hyper individualism plus a Victorian myth that the rich rose to where they are because of their inherent entrepreneurial superiority or better work ethic). I know where Jesus got his ethics from and I know where the GOP gets their ethics from, and I'm with Jesus!!! (PS, this is part tongue in cheek if you don't quite get it).

Alison B said...


I heard Driscoll when I was back in Brisbane for the new baby (you missed out being able to hold your head up as a Reformed Christian in Brisbane for one night!).

I liked much of what Driscoll had to say and while many people hold him up as a Christian super-star he appears uncomfortable with that.

I agree with your blog and found it interesting that a person who was able to look at sinful aspects of Australian culture and accurately criticise it, could then use use "sinful" aspects of American culture in the same talk.
In discussing about protecting daughters he was telling the story of an older pastor who was working out what to do with his adult daughter who was dating a "loser". Mark's initial response was, "what's your prayer point? that you aim straight?" Funny and all but obviously Mark didn't realise how much that comment 1. makes us think he's a stereotypical gun-toting American, and 2. how deeply offensive and tragic many of us regard gun-related violence (or maybe any violence).