Archives For mark driscoll

Mars Hill Church

April 21, 2009 — Leave a comment

Mars HillOn Sunday I had the privelge of attending Mars Hill Church in Seattle for the first time in person. As one who frequently listens to the podcasts it was a pleasure to visit the church and see first hand what goes on.

Walking into the Ballard campus I knew I was at Mars Hill straight away by the familiar branding and themes that pretty much encompassed everything. Finding my way to a seat the service began with a short time of worship followed by Pastor Mark preaching and then more worship, including communion and a chance to give. The sermon was top notch, as I’ve come to expect, and I left wondering how one man can preach the 4 or 5 times each Sunday, as well as every other commitment he keeps. Quite astounding.

Looking around I could see that many people were young and yes, there were many guys there (which is something that’s profoundly interesting to me as men in England don’t seem to like church that much, especially the younger ones). I was at the 11:15 service (there are several services across several campuses a day) and it wasn’t just all families – young people actually got out of bed to attend the service.

The literature I picked up had plenty of great information and I felt that if I were to stay in Seattle and make Mars Hill my church that I would be able to fit in very quickly. The ways to get connected were numerous and highlighted. I opted to fill in the visitor card which resulted with a voicemail that I found after touching down in Chicago saying thanks for getting in touch and telling me who to call if I want to find out more. I thought that was pretty neat!

I really enjoyed my time at Mars Hill and the time that I got spend in Seattle. It’s true, the city is a little weird, but then again I’ve spent quite a bit of time on the north-shore of Maui which is just as weird. But weird or not, people seem to be connecting with the gospel as it’s preached faithfully and repeatedly and so I praise God for that. Mars Hill has a vision of expanding to 50,000 members and I pray for their success. It’s a bold vision, but there are some bold people behind it. And as someone once said, “One on God’s side is a majority.”

Marriage and Men

April 2, 2009 — Leave a comment

Can I encourage all men to watch this?

New Calvinism

March 13, 2009 — 3 Comments

The current edition of Time magazine has yet to published, but already responses are being formed to #3 on their list of What’s Next – New Calvinism.

Mark Driscoll was quick off the mark with an immediate response which was shortly followed up by a lengthier piece.

I appreciate the observation and reaction to a piece which contains both factual accuracy and glaring errors. True, New Calvinism does seem to be gaining momentum and is behind a strong Reformed movement in Christianity which comes at the right time to counter watered-down versions of the gospel. But then we look at what Time actually say about this ‘movement’ we see a tainted view that sees the New Calvinists as nothing more than a rehash of the old movement, which among other things was known for being a little cruel from time to time.

With news media evolving to set trends, rather than merely report on them, it’s important to keep an eye on what comes from these outlets and employ a little critical thinking of our own.

Influences

February 10, 2009 — 2 Comments

For the past 5 years I have more or less been living in the United States (yes – Hawaii is in the US, and has been for over 50 years). My tastes and influences have inevitably been shaped by my location. Aside from wondering if I’ll actually survive in a part of the world that doesn’t understand the importance of fresh Ahi I also consider that many of my theological influences have been rooted in my choice of location.

By far and large the single greatest influence on my Christian faith has been YWAM Maui, and specifically the School of Biblical Foundations and Missions (SBFM). Through the sacrifice of many people who serve as missionaries to students coming through the base I have been discipled in the ways of my faith. The importance of truth, as revealed through Jesus and the Bible have been embedded in my life. The spiritual disciplines have been enforced. Critical thinking and reason are celebrated here. A rich faith that has space for questions and reasoned thinking (which is, in part, obedience to the Greatest Commandment) has been promoted.

In short, I am thankful to Jesus for leading me here and to the faithful leaders who are now good friends and colleagues, for taking the time to invest in me. The New Testament’s analogy of discipleship being like taking a new-born from milk to solid foods (see 1 Corinthians 3:2, Hebrews 5:12, 1 Peter 2:2) makes so much more sense now that I’ve been around small children. The process is never clean, constantly frustrating and most of the time the kids don’t know what’s going on! But thanks to the patience of many I have progressed and several changes of attire later I can say that, yes, slowly, maturity has been gained.

As well as leaders here on the island I’ve been introduced to the teachings of, and in turn influenced by, great men and women of the faith such as: Francis Schaeffer, Ravi Zacharias, Norman Geisler, C.S Lewis, G.K Chesterton and more. I’ve stumbled upon people like Mark Driscoll, Timothy Keller, Dinsesh D’Souza and found there contemporary voices lighting up a dying world. Os Guiness and Nancy Pearcey, with people like Chuck Colson are continuing the message of the importance of truth. For these and so many more I am extremely grateful.

Over the next few weeks I will be examining some of these people – and others – in more detail, sharing some of what I have learned so far. I’m looking forward to it!