No ‘Best Case’ Way to Present God, but Many False Ways

Q: What makes the best ‘case for God’ to a skeptic or non-believer, an open-minded seeker, and to a person … Continued

Q: What makes the best ‘case for God’ to a skeptic or non-believer, an open-minded seeker, and to a person of faith and Why?

Answer
Jesus.

Christianity is not first and foremost about a sacred place to pilgrimage to, a philosophical system to ponder, a moral code to live, a religious tradition to honor, or an impersonal god to experience. Rather, Christianity is about a person who claimed to be the only God and said he would prove his unprecedented claim by living without sin, dying for sinners, and conquering death through resurrection.

So, as Christians, our aim is not to convince people of some god in general, but to introduce them to Jesus in particular. And since he created us with the ability to communicate, think, love, and experience, Christians have always valued using every means by which the truth and love of Jesus can be revealed.

Helpful to this end is using the evidence for a personal Creator who handcrafted our world for human life by explaining the principles of intelligent design and such things as the fine-tuning argument and the argument for irreducible complexity. These show that our world is a gift to be enjoyed worshipfully and stewarded wisely.

It is also important that people learn to understand how God speaks uniquely and authoritatively through the Bible. Acts that can aid in this include giving away Bibles (along with helpful Christian books) as gifts for people to simply read, bringing people to church to listen to the Bible preached, inviting people to small groups and classes to ask their questions about the Bible, and recommending good podcasts that would bring the Bible into the daily rhythm of their commutes, exercise workouts, and the like.

On a more practical level, acts of truly selfless compassion–done not for fame, notoriety, or to merit God’s approval, but done out of love for someone–help to reveal a small measure of God’s loving, merciful, compassionate nature. In a world where people use one another far more frequently than they love one another, these kinds of acts can be signs pointing to the God who is altogether good. As one example, in our church filled mainly with young people, we have put much effort into weeping with and serving the hundreds and hundreds of victims of molestation and rape.

Thus, informing the mind about Scripture, explaining the world and our place in it under God, and extending a hand of loving compassion all help to give people a framework by which to interpret their life experiences. They can begin to see that God has made them, wants to speak with them, and desires restored relationship with them, relationship that otherwise remains broken through sin.

While each of these ways of informing someone’s understanding is important, none is alone sufficient. That is because what they leave us with is knowledge about God by revealing what he has done (creation), how he communicates (the Bible), and what he seeks (relationship). But we still do not enjoy that relationship.

This leads us to Jesus.

Christianity has always held, based upon the teachings of Jesus and the prophets of the Old Testament and apostles of the New Testament, that in Jesus, the Creator has entered into creation on a rescue mission for the restoring of relationship, in fulfillment of Scripture. For making the three most unprecedented claims in the history of the world–that he was without sin as the only God and the only path to salvation–Jesus was treated without compassion. He was lied about, arrested, falsely tried, beaten, whipped beyond recognition, nailed to a cross, and lifted up for a crowd to mock, jeer, and spit upon. Jesus our Creator then, with bloodied lips, spoke the word “forgive” for his murderers. Jesus died to pay the penalty for sin as the greatest act of compassion the world has or will ever witness; the Creator died for his creation, to make enemies friends.

Three days later, Jesus rose, conquering sin and death and vindicating his claims. Subsequently, if Jesus is dead, so is Christianity. If Jesus is alive, so is Christianity. And so while there is no “best case” for presenting God, there are false ways of presenting God: as anyone in addition to or other than Jesus Christ. As Christians, our goal is never to lie to people by only telling them what they want to hear, or manipulating them to feel what they want to feel. Instead, we want to respect them enough to tell them the truth, and love them enough to do so in a way that is compassionate. We care more about the truth and the love than having the “best case.” We believe that there is power in the truth about Jesus that can unleash new life in people as they agree with the truth about him.

Mark Driscoll
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  • akabeardman

    Man, Pastor Mark absolute stellar word. The more and more “missional” minded pastors like yourself, Matt Chandler, Dr. Piper etc get out there; the more “prosperity” minded SPEAKERS not pastors will fade away. Thank you for your work. It’s all about Jesus and for His fame!

  • ra_crutchfield

    Great article Mark !I’m sure you’ll also agree that our strongest argument, and most profound ministry is in our personal example !Yours in Christ,

  • parkosredface

    Agree.

  • gehrr

    Good stuff Mark!For more excellent basic as well as advanced online audio biblical teaching, check out the DICK LUCAS free audio talks at st.helens media. – Dick Lucas was Rector of St Helen’s from 1961 to 1998. His 20-30 minute lunch time talks are legendary,and great to listen to on your ipod at work during your own lunch.

  • LMBarnes

    “…as Christians, our aim is not to convince people of some god in general, but to introduce them to Jesus in particular” Brilliant answer!

  • jaredwegner

    It is important that churches seek to not simply lure in potential followers through culture defining methodologies or motivational speaking material. These attractions if you will, seem credible in only inspiring reliance where the secular world has already been successful. The idea of churches like Pastor Mark’s Mars Hill, is the age-old Christian truth that when you remove all of the ‘best case’ ‘best approach’ type thinking and replace that with the reality that is Jesus – his work, his love and ultimately his truth, you effectively inspire congregates and more importantly believers of priceless authenticity as oppose to fleeting “seeker church” consumers. Pastor Mark has experienced first hand the dangers that come when the lines are blurred between bible doctrine and sublunary appeal evident through wonderfully intuitive articles such as this.”It’s all about Jesus,” May everybody know him!

  • doodlegirl

    I am all for acts of true compassion for changing lives. I have definitely lost all respect for people who think that dogging on our government and our president is compassionate, sophisticated or helpful to society. It gets us absolutely nowhere and shows a total lack of insight and understanding as to how our government truly works and to what policies are making a difference in our nation and world. I have respect for people who care for others every day in the trenches and do whatever it takes to bring love and compassion to every human being on the planet. When you are doing that, Who God is and What He wants to do through you is transformed.

  • nevermeant

    What this silly article fails to point out is that the only place in the bible that Jesus “claims” to be “god” is in the gospel of John which was written at least 100 years after the alleged death of Jesus.Additionally, the earliest gospel, Mark, written by non-eyewitnesses approximately 30 years after Jesus “died” includes no mention of a special birth of Jesus or a resurrection. It ends with J-man in a tomb. Dead. Stone dead. Facts. Can’t beat ‘em.Read more books.

  • RONR4

    Nevermeant, You said, “…after the alleged death of Jesus.” Then you said, “It ends with J-man in a tomb. Dead. Stone dead.” Assuming that by the disrespectful and offensive term “J-man” you meant Jesus Christ, then which would you have be the facts? Allegedly dead or actually dead? As for reading books, you might want to do that before you cite “facts” You said, “Additionally, the earliest gospel, Mark, written by non-eyewitnesses approximately 30 years after Jesus “died” includes no mention of a special birth of Jesus or a resurrection.” You would potentially profit from a reread of the Gospel of Mark, especially all of chapter 16.

  • RONR4

    Mark, Thank you for testifying to the Truth, Jesus Christ. To God be the glory!

  • cana2000

    Actually, many scholars do not think Mark was written first! Mark was probably done as a “summary” of Luke and Matthew, which were written first. In any case, these 3 gospels were written fairly early.The gospels go together; some have information others do not. This does not make them suspect. One must look at all of them to get the full picture. They were written from different perspectives of Jesus to give us a full, rounded picture of Him.If you want to take Mark as more authentic, then look at the account of Him rebuking a storm in chapter 8, verse 35 and following. No man can make a storm stop instantly. This is only one of many things in Mark that show the deity of Christ.

  • cartermundy

    Facts. Can’t beat ‘em. I agree!However, facts are true. And there is no truth in claims that are not grounded in reality. Especially when the burden of proof falls on those who make such incredible claims. I would suggest reading the Bible to gain facts about the Bible. Not only does Jesus claim to be God in the Gospel of John (most specifically John 14) but also in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The rest of the New Testament is witness to this, as is the whole Old Testament. In addition, Jesus historically fulfilled all prophecies regarding the Messiah! It’s all there. One just has to read it to find out the truth.As a reminder, the Gospel of John was written by the apostle John no later than A.D. 70, not 100 years after Jesus death and resurrection. And if you read the end of the Gospel of Mark, you’ll find the resurrection does surface there (of course!). Unfounded and nonsensical claims don’t do anyone any good. I’ll stick with history and truth as my allies.Mark Driscoll’s article was great.

  • nevermeant

    Hey guys, the end of chapter 16 of Mark was added much later. The original ending was an “empty tomb”. My bad. But srsly. Do some homeworks! Also, no credible bible scholar would say that any of the gospels were written by eyewitnesses or written by people that carry the same names. Besides, not taking any of the gospels in account, the writings of Paul occurred before any of the gospels were written and in all of his writings there is NO mention of any special birth of Jesus. I suppose he just forgot to put that important detail in.

  • marywoeste

    Nevermeant:I think people on this thread might be more willing to listen to you if you didn’t speak so condescendingly. Yes, you’re well read and well educated, but you might want to consider how rude it may appear to call someone else silly just because they approach an issue from a different angle than you would. Maybe try asking questions, asking them where specifically they got all of their facts, or just putting forward these new facts in a respectful way. This is a news article. “Silly,” “J-man” and such words simply rude and aren’t appropriate. Not to be judgmental. Just a suggestion for when you comment on other articles.

  • justillthennow

    I had not intended to start this post with a negative standard of Christianity, but it is a shame that Mr. Driscoll did not come onto last weeks question earlier. Judging by his initial offering, I am sure that he will generate plenty enough controversy for anyone. On another angle of that, it is good to see believing Christians standing up. If this is true what Mr. Driscoll writes: “…Christians have always valued using every means by which the truth and love of Jesus can be revealed”, then it makes one wonder why a true believer does not stand up more often in witness to Jesus.Now, I am not a believing Christian, though I was raised in that way, and doubled back in “Young Life” for a period. So I am well beyond Mr. Driscoll’s intentional motto: “So, as Christians, our aim is not to convince people of some god in general, but to introduce them to Jesus in particular.” In fact I find it often is incredibly destructive to furthering the introduction of communion and relationship with God when that focus is made primary, and maintained as exclusive.God as a generic (“some god in general”) term for Creative, Causal Consciousness does exist. Christians participate in it and call it the Holy Spirit, or being filled with the Spirit. Communion with God.Buddhists feel it. Jews feel it. Muslims feel it. Pagans feel it. Agnostic do, as do Atheists, as do Sufis… All who turn their hearts inward, and outward in compassionate communion with the diversity of faces of the Creation, feel it. To seek to own it as exclusive is not only counterproductive to Union in the Commonality that we share, but is arrogant in the face of God. In my opinion, of course, and I am sure that many reading this have already dissed me as deluded, or worse. Yet it is a deep and valuable contemplation. God created diversity, and the trail toward Reunion is found anywhere you seek it, not just in the Bible or the message of Jesus. Belief that Jesus was the Only Son of God, or the Only Way, goes contrary to diversity of creation and of our own individuality, and unique ‘line’ back to Source. That belief is the height of arrogance. I love Christianity, as I see it, as I believe that it was originally offered. Fellowship in that bond is a beautiful and deeply fulfilling thing. It begins to rot, as do it’s adherents, when it is propped up as Exclusive Way.I hope that is not all that I may hear from this new panelist.

  • michelleond

    We need only only look feet away to realize the we, globally, cannot care for this world and its people properly. It is of great comfort to know that our Creator God has and is always knocking at the door to show us a better way. JESUS IS THE WAY, THE ONLY WAY!

  • steve_333

    Well… here you are Mark. All these comments is a reflection of us *all* in manifestion of ourselves.

  • cartermundy

    I really think you should check into your sources of information regarding Biblical scholarship. I can think of quite a few scholars – Norman Geisler, F.F. Bruce, Gary Habarmas, Donald Guthrie, and many more – who are very well known and considered credible in their field of study. You sound angry, Nevermeant. I hope your anger won’t keep you from seeking the truth about reality. I was just like you when I began looking into this religious business. I had little sympathy for uninformed, idiotic arguments about how religion saves and church is great, or “you’ll go to hell if you don’t believe in God.” The more I searched, though, the more I realized the Bible was not about religion. As I began to read through the Bible, it changed my life; and it’s been changing me ever since. It’s about Jesus from beginning to end. Now, because I realized it is historically reliable and accurate, I placed my faith in Jesus as my Savior. As I read the Bible I agreed that I was not perfect, and agreed that my imperfections brought guilt into my life. I was guilty because I was at enmity with God – His character is perfect and good. Jesus offered to take my guilt away, as he does anyone who will call on him.If you are interested in understanding the Christian worldview further, read Romans. If you need further help understanding the reliability of the Biblical canon, look into Josh McDowell, a former atheist who set out to disprove the Christian worldview, but ended up following Jesus. You will have to be willing to set your pride aside to do it, though. I most certainly had to.And just a reminder: the Bible describes Jesus as the only way to know God; so if you don’t know Him, or you don’t believe the Bible is God’s Word, you’re not a Christian. After all, the term “Christian” means you’re a follower of Christ.

  • tmonique80

    Awesome! Well said.

  • nevermeant

    Oh God, Josh McDowell? Really? Evidence that Demands a Verdict? What’s next? Lee Strobel? Ray Comfort? If you think Josh McDowell is “good scholarship” then I can see why you think the whole bible is “about Jesus” from beginning to end. Does it ever occur to people that the unknown persons writing the gospels HAD THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECIES IN FRONT OF THEM WHILE THEY WERE WRITING? And here we get to the core problem with Christianity: It’s inherently immoral. Jesus dying for your sins, if he did, is a horribly immoral concept. Think about it for one quick second. Zoom yourself out of your present world view and just try to see it like it is. Someone kills your son. As the judge is sentencing the person to life in prison, a man in the courtroom stands up and says: “I’ve done nothing wrong, but punish me instead. I will take the burden for this crime.” Has justice been served if he is allowed to take the punishment? No. It hasn’t. You were born right the first time. Get over it.

  • HauptmannDeiss

    Well Mark, I’m going to have to disagree with you, respectfully of course. I do not think that Jesus is the only way. I believe that Jesus was just a man, granted a very wise man, but a man no the less. I’m not say that his teachings are wrong or silly. He preached some very valuable things. Being compassionate to our fellow man and forgiveness were some of the most valuable lessons.

  • nevermeant

    There are benign forms of religious belief and Mark Driscoll does not represent one of them. What he is doing is hurting the world. Not helping. Please, editors of the Washington Post, please do some more research about this man before letting him write again. Thank you.

  • justillthennow

    Hello Marywoeste,I liked your post and your take on ‘it’.”Jesus didn’t talk about reasoning; he didn’t talk about trying to convince people he was who he was. He talked about loving people unconditionally, going forth and spreading the word, sacrificing ourselves and our well-being for others, praying and praising together.” “Our job isn’t to have all the answers. It’s to trust God. That’s why He gave us the holy spirit. That’s why He gave us love.” I think this is some of the essence of not only the message of Jesus, but of the path to Union with the Creator. It works beautifully when we stay pure to it and on point with that Message. We can easily go off course in innumerable ways. One of the easiest (in my view) is the assumption of exclusivity of Truth, Ownership of God. Being one of the saved, compared to the many Lost.It is a belief system and mythology that permeates much of many religions, and certainly fundamentalist versions of Christianity. It’s reflection is in Mark Driscoll’s essay and in the sermons that I watched on his web site. I love essential Christianity. Without the ego and copyrights and claims of Singular Truth. I like your stance. Thank you for it.

  • cartermundy

    I guess you’ve never read any of those guys? Like Dawkins and Ehrman make better arguments? It’s too bad you’re not willing to check out every source you find. Those arguments you pose are the same arguments the early church fathers dealt with back in AD 100. I think the Bible will stand up to this “scrutiny” once again. The reason people, myself included, keep coming to the conclusion that the Bible is a historically accurate document is because it is. With all the ancient manuscript evidence, both Biblical and secular, you have to have more faith not to believe its message. But people continually deny the evidence (overwhelming as it is) and angrily shake their fists at the One who created them. I’ve tried to make sense of the world without God; it sucks. It doesn’t work. Of course if you want to live that way, that’s up to you completely. Just come to terms with the fact that you faithfully believe the Bible is erroneous. You can’t “prove” anything more than Biblical scholars can who believe the Bible’s message. There is a counter argument for every argument you might make. The question is, which answer is best?At some level everything you do is based on faith. It’s what you put your faith in that makes it worth something.

  • totai

    Nevermeant, look into the late Peter Carsten Thiede’s work on papyrus fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls. The gospel of Matthew has been dated to pre-destruction Jerusalem and potentially to within the living witness era of Christ.Beyond this, your assertion that Paul didn’t lay claim to Jesus’ Deity is simply false, his letter to the Colossians clearly calls him Creator (1:15-16), he also says that Jesus was God in bodily form (Colossians 2:9) and that Jesus is our ultimate Judge, a prerogative of God alone (2 Timothy 4:1).Nevermeant, your skepticism is warranted, an uninformed faith is one not worth having. However, your tone is unnecessary and only reveals a lack of confidence in the claims that you make. An open dialogue would prove more profitable. If you could tamp down the sarcasm and engage in an intellectual debate I think most people could benefit from the serious study your questions could prompt.So here’s a question for you, if Jesus is not who believers (and the Bible for that matter) say he is, who do you exactly say he is and by what authority do you make your claims?

  • gehrr

    People, read Romans 1:18 to the end of the chapter.

  • marywoeste

    As for the whole misogynist bigot claim, well, I’m not familiar with Mark Driscoll outside of this article, so I’m not going to go in that direction.However, this I believe: We are not going to prove Jesus wrong or right with historical evidence, scientific evidence, archaeological evidence, or logic. That’s not what Jesus came on this earth to start. Jesus didn’t talk about reasoning; he didn’t talk about trying to convince people he was who he was. He talked about loving people unconditionally, going forth and spreading the word, sacrificing ourselves and our well-being for others, praying and praising together. That’s what he wants us to do. You know what? There’s ALWAYS going to be an argument against Jesus. There’s ALWAYS going to be an argument against the Bible. Our job isn’t to have all the answers. It’s to trust God. That’s why He gave us the holy spirit. That’s why He gave us love. He didn’t say “go forth and bicker with all nations,” he said ‘”by this they shall know that you are my disciples: that you love one another.”Anyway, that’s my stance.

  • nevermeant

    There is no such thing as a humble orthodoxy.

  • gehrr

    Further into Romans 1 you see that God gives the person up to their own wicked desires.

  • justillthennow

    Hello Marywoeste, Thank you for your reply. Yes, I assumed from what you wrote before that was your stance and perspective. I think that is great. It is beyond valuable to know what serves you, fills your heart and is fulfilling to your life and soul, and is the correct path for you to be on. It also cannot be minimized the value of commitment to your path, focus upon it, dedication to it, and loyalty for it in your daily life. To live what is true for you, and to ‘walk your talk’ is a form of integrity, which is essential to health.These values are added to, in a positive and creative way, when what we are dedicated to is likewise positive and creative. I have respect for your belief in and take from the message and meaning of Jesus. I have stated a bit my sense of, and love of, “essential Christianity”, and there is nothing but good there, for the one that the path Jesus illuminates resonates with. One hopes that that essential message resonates with everyone. Certainly it does, for all humans that are of essentially ‘good’ natures, though they may find that message in various ways. It is where I disagree, with many Christians and certainly in the essay presented by Mr. Driscoll, that there are many false ways to God. Rather I think there are innumerable ways to God. God, and ‘Divine Consciousness’ or the ‘Holy Spirit’, permeates everything and is available everywhere, in the eyes and lives and presence of all of Creation. The key, as Jesus directed, is in us, in our hearts, is available to all. The church and Christianity may have sought a Copyright on it, but the message has been told round the world. That Jesus brings that message home to you and to many good Christians worldwide is an awesome and beautiful thing, and one to be deeply grateful for. But again, as I said before and I believe, “It begins to rot, as do it’s adherents, when it is propped up as Exclusive Way.”Thank you for your kind sharing. I appreciate it.

  • justillthennow

    Hello Gherr,I am just wanting to post back to you a bit of what you wrote. I do not imagine that it might cause you to rethink your position, or tenor of dialogue, but one may be ever hopeful.”In the previous comments you see the grotesque ugliness of those who have chosen to become fools. They themselves cannot see it.””The obvious deviation from the law of God, that being LOVE (love the Lord with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself), is apparent in the fool.””The reader can feel the unlove dripping off of the commenters souls in the fool’s writings.They are under God’s wrath already.”Though it is clear that Nevermeant has a bit of a negative take on Mr. Driscoll and Christianity in general, s/he may well have a valid reason. We do not know.I do not believe that I was dripping unlove, as you put it, but I certainly got that feeling from your judgmental tirade about not wasting time witnessing to “the fool”. My issue is unfortunate but common. I love the message that Jesus brought, or that we have intact to date, but I am not a fan of aspects of Christian dogma that claim, (along with every other major religion) Exclusivity of Truth. You are an example, (in my limited but certain view), of the manifestation of the judgmental and arrogant mind that is nurtured by belief in membership in an Exclusive Immortal Club of Paradise. ‘Tis easier to look down thy nose at the Lost Fools than maintain a Pure Heart and fixity upon living the Message. I will take Marywoeste everyday over the cloudy vision of Christians of your ilk. She lives the message, from what I’ve read, of Jesus. He was not one to dis and lack compassion for anyone, regardless of your recitations.Forgive my directness, but it is a fault I try working on. I don’t see it yet as a negative… We all have something to work on, yes?

  • marywoeste

    Justill Thennow,thank you for your response. Thing is, I actually am still sort of a fundamentalist in that, as much as I believe the only true way to share the gospel is through love, I still believe that Jesus is the only way to God. I don’t judge others, I don’t go around shouting about the wickedness of the world, but Jesus did say he was the only way to God, and I believe him. I actually think that IS essential Christianity. I don’t feel I could call myself a christian if I didn’t think Jesus was the only way to God. It’s not a weird ownership thing, or a claim of Singular Truth in an arrogant way as you described. It’s just, I interpret Jesus’ claims as being the only way to God, so I followed him. If I didn’t think that was true, I’d think something ELSE was true, which I would think of as The Truth. I don’t think of it as something that makes me better than everyone else, as many people tend to assume about Christians. To the contrary, I simply acknowledged my own inability to live the best life, and followed the path I believe leads to salvation and enlightenment – a path with a sign that says it’s the only path. If other people don’t want to follow that path, it’s none of my business, though I care enough about them to try and convince them to come along this way, too. that’s my view of Christianity.

  • marywoeste

    Also, Gehrr,I’m not trying to be judgmental, but doesn’t your comment sort of come off as, well, judgmental? It’s not OUR job to look at someone else’s comment and talk about how it’s dripping with atheistic un-love and foolishness. God will convict them if that’s the case. It’s our job to rise above hate and foolishness and let that be the tool for conviction. I’m saying this in a I’m-your-sister-in-christ-and-i-love-you sort of way, not trying to make you feel bad. “Stars don’t shine bright because they call the night dark…”

  • justillthennow

    What, silence of the Lambs? Do tell me there is more vertebrae than this.

  • nevermeant

    God Polanski’d a 12 year old Jewish girl and had a Son, who was also Him, and then offered Himself to Himself as a Sacrifice to compensate for the flaw he built into his Perfect creation. God was not able to just forgive or correct or improve humanity, he was only allowed to change all the laws that govern them every few thousand years. What used to be punishable by death in the old covenant (disobeying parents) is now remedied with xbox 360 and obesity in the new. GREAT STORY.

  • justillthennow

    Nevermeant,I am not, thankfully, of the level of sarcastic despise of God as you are. I am hopeful that I never will be. Though I do not love the formulaic response that some of religious tendencies give as answer to life, I have less regard to those that hold nothing but rationality and the happinstance of convergence of chance to an intelligent mind and awareness of self. ‘Tis better to bow before something that is greater than thee, for surely all is greater than thee. Though the paradigm offered is lacking, surely any observant awareness recognizes the profound empty spaces in the purely physical, evolutionary model.Or think thee not?

  • nevermeant

    Sounds an awful lot like “God of the Gaps” to me.

  • justillthennow

    Nevermeant, “My moral standards are higher than Gods. Most people’s are.”Do you really think that “God” MEANS the definition as presented by Christians, (or any other religious group, for that matter, through history)?I am not a believer in the God of the Bible, AS DESCRIBED in the Bible. But GOD, Creative Source and Original Awareness, however that is defined or experienced, MUST be bigger than any written word.I have no animosity for your process, pain and joy, in your life regarding ‘religion’ of ‘spirituality’. But I am clear that it is only when we have released the past and forgiven (sorry for that word, but it is the best) the past, that we can move effectively forward into the future.It is this that I address.No ill intended. Peace.

  • justillthennow

    Nevermeant, Well, I certainly hear your plain spoken language. We are where we are in our process, and that is as it should be. I have bitterness too, towards the arrogant presumptions and judgments based on assumptions that is the bread and butter of many religious belief systems. Again, I mean no insult, and can understand the resentment for years of forced subservience to something that, at a point, looses our loyalty. I just think that it is the man made picture and mythology of it that does, and should, loose our heart and loyalty. Does that turn us away from love of whatever is True about our soul, our spirit? If it does then there is greater damage done, and THAT is worthy of shame.Again, peace.

  • nevermeant

    If you talk about “God” in a deist-physics-behind-everything-pantheistic-feel-good-collective-consciousness sort of way then it’s not really a conversation. That version of God is benign and a sort of mental exercise that an intelligent person performs to feel warm and fuzzy. But that’s not what Mark Driscoll or most believers are referring to here. The Bible makes very clear claims about the nature and will and intervention of a personal God in this 3D (quite possibly many more dimensioned) reality. A God is presented that listens and responds to prayers, has a “plan” for you, created the whole universe and all life forms (99 percent of which are already extinct) for the benefit and enjoyment of humans. Not only this, you must take care and watch out because one day you’ll stand before the judgment seat of this God and he’ll cast your soul into a lake of fire to be forever tormented if you don’t believe that he impregnated a 12 year old Jewish girl and sacrificed himself to himself as an atonement offering. Infinite punishment is threatened for finite offenses. Human sacrifice is presented as a benevolent act. Broken from Birth is the lynchpin of this whole worldview. I’m just saying it’s garbage. Not enough people are speaking plainly about this.

  • Jarrenz

    Hey Pastor Markthanks for your post. I’ve been listening to your preaching and YouTube snippets online for a while now, and I can say that I have been blessed by your ministry. I am also glad that the Post would have you write, and In a sense bring you across the country, closer to home for me. As a student at university of maryland, I have heard so many of these arguments and disputes about Christ and the authority of scriptures, and I am baffled or perplexed by none of them. It does indeed remind me of when Solomon says that “nothing is new under the sun” I have been privileged to answer some of these questions on campus when I share the Gospel, and indeed there is nothing better in life than to talk about Jesus. Thanks for doing that, hope you continue to do it!

  • justillthennow

    Hey Nevermeant, “Nothing you just said actually has any meaning.”Really? OK then. Is that the meaning of never meant? There is no meaning? If there is nothing there for you all is good. Yet I don’t get the image of me whining here, though it was clear that you were having the tantrum. Kick and scream, Nevermeant. I was at least far more compassionate. That does not need to have any meaning to you, just to me. Fits my “religious tradition”, though you have no idea what that really is, or care. Alles gut. Peace, or not, Nevermeant. Whatever works for your life in the moment.

  • nevermeant

    Justillthennow,Nothing you just said actually has any meaning.”But I don’t want to admit that my religious tradition is garbage. I wantttttt to believe in a higher power, even if it’s unknowable and therefore meaningless to talk about” – you

  • nevermeant

    sorry if i offended ur soul/spirit/whatever is TRUE about life.

  • terabot

    Why do most Christians believe the Bible was written for them/us? A better way would be to accept that the Bible is believed to have been written at least 2000 years ago. It was written for people who have been dead for almost 2000 years at least. It was written about people that have been dead for 2000 years, maybe 3000 to 4000 years, and possibly even longer than that. The English Bible was translated from 4 languages. It is an interpretation of an interpretation at best. Furthermore, for someone to tell someone else what the Bible says or means is yet another layer of interpretation.To understand the Bible for what it really is, and what it really is not, requires a honest and reasonable understanding of the real world.Is it possible for someone to write a book intended to be undertood 2000 years later by anyone? There are the ideas of Democracy, The Republic, The Senate, Geometry, Art, Politics, Theater, Music and many other things. But books of prophecy?A few events that were not prophesied deserve mention here: The appearance of Islam; The discovery of the Americas; The Industrial Revolution; Darwin’s theories about evolution; Men building airplanes; Men building nuclear weapons; Men going into outer space; Men walking on the Moon. How could these events have been ignored by the Bible.Surely swords and spears were formidable weapons in Biblical times, but today an entire army of hundreds of thousands, even millions may be vaporized by nuclear forces in seconds.I think these are realities beyond the faith can be found in the Bible.

  • terabot

    Why do most Christians believe the Bible was written for them/us? A better way would be to accept that the Bible is believed to have been written at least 2000 years ago. It was written for people who have been dead for almost 2000 years at least. It was written about people that have been dead for 2000 years, maybe 3000 to 4000 years, and possibly even longer than that. The English Bible was translated from 4 languages. It is an interpretation of an interpretation at best. Furthermore, for someone to tell someone else what the Bible says or means is yet another layer of interpretation.To understand the Bible for what it really is, and what it really is not, requires a honest and reasonable understanding of the real world.Is it possible for someone to write a book intended to be undertood 2000 years later by anyone? There are the ideas of Democracy, The Republic, The Senate, Geometry, Art, Politics, Theater, Music and many other things. But books of prophecy?A few events that were not prophesied deserve mention here: The appearance of Islam; The discovery of the Americas; The Industrial Revolution; Darwin’s theories about evolution; Men building airplanes; Men building nuclear weapons; Men going into outer space; Men walking on the Moon. How could these events have been ignored by the Bible.Surely swords and spears were formidable weapons in Biblical times, but today an entire army of hundreds of thousands, even millions may be vaporized by nuclear forces in seconds.I think these are realities beyond the faith can be found in the Bible.

  • terabot

    Why do most Christians believe the Bible was written for them/us? A better way would be to accept that the Bible is believed to have been written at least 2000 years ago. It was written for people who have been dead for almost 2000 years at least. It was written about people that have been dead for 2000 years, maybe 3000 to 4000 years, and possibly even longer than that. The English Bible was translated from 4 languages. It is an interpretation of an interpretation at best. Furthermore, for someone to tell someone else what the Bible says or means is yet another layer of interpretation.To understand the Bible for what it really is, and what it really is not, requires a honest and reasonable understanding of the real world.Is it possible for someone to write a book intended to be undertood 2000 years later by anyone? There are the ideas of Democracy, The Republic, The Senate, Geometry, Art, Politics, Theater, Music and many other things. But books of prophecy?A few events that were not prophesied deserve mention here: The appearance of Islam; The discovery of the Americas; The Industrial Revolution; Darwin’s theories about evolution; Men building airplanes; Men building nuclear weapons; Men going into outer space; Men walking on the Moon. How could these events have been ignored by the Bible.Surely swords and spears were formidable weapons in Biblical times, but today an entire army of hundreds of thousands, even millions may be vaporized by nuclear forces in seconds.I think these are realities beyond the faith can be found in the Bible.