A couple of years ago Tom Tapping gave me two books written by Mark Driscoll, the pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. One was called Confessions of a Reformission Rev and I read it straight through laughing out loud. This book is an antidote for church-builders under pressure. The other book was a thought-provoking manifesto called The Radical Reformission. If you’ve heard preachers discuss how to relate the church and the gospel to our culture, they were probably inspired by this book.
Mark Driscoll has been called the Hulk Hogan of pastors. (Watch this and you’ll see why.) He says a lot of things that shock people and this has given him a reputation as a controversial pastor. My view is that he is a passionate, red-blooded man who is sick and tired of a church that has become emasculated and irrelevant. But he is no mere critic. He has a plan – his radical reformission – to convey the truth of the gospel to the lost. The world needs more leaders like him.
Whatever you think of Driscoll you will agree that he is certainly quotable. Here are 10 of my favorite Driscoll quotes:
1. “So I decided to start a church, for three reasons. First, I hated going to church and wanted one I liked, so I thought I would just start my own. Second, God had spoken to me in one of those weird charismatic moments and told me to start a church. Third, I am scared of God and try to do what he says.” (Confessions, p.39)
2. “You have been told that God is a loving, gracious, merciful, kind, compassionate, wonderful, and good sky fairy who runs a day care in the sky and has a bucket of suckers for everyone because we’re all good people. That is a lie… God looks down and says ‘I hate you, you are my enemy, and I will crush you,’ and we say that is deserved, right and just, and then God says ‘Because of Jesus I will love you and forgive you.’ This is a miracle.”
3. “I occasionally bought lottery tickets and promised God I would tithe if he’d let me win, but to no avail.” (Confessions, p.58)
4. “I’m in my jeep minding my own business, when I turn to Christian radio for the first time in a long time. Last time in a long time.” (uncited)
5. “Isn’t it odd that we are apparently becoming a nation of attractive people who sit at home alone at night with our pets, watching television shows about relationships and taking medication for the depression brought on by our loneliness? Meanwhile, our neighbors, whom we do not know, are spending their evenings in much the same way.” (Radical Reformission, 82)
6. “Jesus, could you please rapture the charismaniac lady who brings her tambourine to church?” (chapter title from Confessions)
7. “Even a cursory reading of the book of Ecclesiastes shows that culture is a stationary bike that each generation climbs on in hopes of getting somewhere only to die and fall off so that the new young stud can take his turn peddling and, like a fool, make pronouncements about his progress. We would be wise to see postmodernity as simply the new guy on the old bike and not mistake cultural change for kingdom progress.” (Radical Reformission, 161)
8. “Jesus and Paul were serious dudes. They had teeth missing. Jesus was a carpenter, Paul was in prison. These guys didn’t eat tofu dogs and bean sprouts. They didn’t play tennis. If there were trucks back in their times, they would have been doing driveway lube jobs on a Saturday afternoon. Same thing with King David. Yeah, he might have played a lyre, but he slaughtered thousands of guys.” (re:tool and re:load conference)
9. “Flipping through a phone book once, I saw one church advertising itself as ‘Separated’ and ‘Reaching Out to Seattle,’ presumably much like a boxer reaches out to an opponent with a jab. (Radical Reformission, 141)
10. “Work like an Arminian, sleep like a Calvinist.” (uncited)