7/26/2009 05:47:00 pm

Driscollites

Posted by Tom French |

I've noticed a growing trend of excitable Driscoll followers swelling the ranks of conservative evangelicals over the past few months. These are usually young men, and their submissive girlfriends, who religiously get Driscoll's podcast, quote him regularly and will vigorously defend the doctrines of predestination and ecclesiastical male headship when needed. They're the neo-Calvinists, they listen to John Piper too but their main man is Driscoll. They're the Driscollites.

I think I particularly noticed it on this camp. We had a "Big Questions" night that I was running. I decided to run it as a discussion among the campers facilitated by me, rather than just me answering all the questions. For the first time ever in one of these discussions I had a sizable chunk of people vigorously discussing predestination with all the best informed people arguing for total depravity and unconditional election. Usually it's just me explaining predestination to a bunch of teenagers who are saying things like "my brain hurts".

When the issue of women in ministry came up the only argument made with any cohesiveness was for not having women in ministry and it was the only view viewpoint defended. Only at the end of the discussion did I point out that the issue was much more divided that had been presented and that there are also strong Biblical arguments for having women in ministry.

People came up to me on camp and asked me if I was an Arminian or a Calvinist.

I'm pretty sure this is all the work of the Driscollites.

Now I'm not saying this is a bad trend. As many of you would know, I'm a regular Driscoll listener myself. I love listening to him. In fact I think he's my favourite preacher to listen to at the moment. I appreciate his clarity, his solid Bibleness, his humour, his willingness to give the hard word and his obsessive focus on Jesus. He is very good at what he does.

However He hasn't instilled in me a rabid love of Calvinism. Nor has he convinced me of his view point for the role of women in the church and family.

I guess I am interested to see this Driscollite thing happening. I think it's great that there are so many young men passionately caring about theology and the faithful teaching of Scripture. I worry a little that Driscoll's opinionated approach to preaching has rubbed off on the Driscollites giving them a keen need to instil in people doctrinal correctness. In my experience of conservative evangelical men they can sometimes get more obsessed with doctrine than Jesus, and evangelism starts with Jesus but ends with Luther. This isn't new, but Driscoll seems to have opened up the obsession to a whole new and broader cross-section.

If I had to hope for anything to come out of this I hope it opens more young men up to a love of Jesus, a love of the Bible and a love of preaching. I hope the Driscollites (of which I may be one) don't just stop at Dricoll but get excited to get the podcasts of all sorts of preachers. To get Louie Giglio's gentleness, Rob Bells lateral Biblical contextualisation and focus on the poor, to get John Stott's calm, understated evangelical passion, John Piper's thoroughness, Paul Washer's anger, T.D. Jake's excitement. And I hope that they discover a bunch of preachers I know nothing about. I'd love to see this Driscoll wave open people up, not narrow them down. So that by the end they've seen Jesus through many different eyes, and love him, worship him and proclaim him more and better because of it.

Subscribe