"Joy and purpose and passion and pleasure and enthusiasm and hope and joy..."

(Tim, w/ thanks to Craig) Several years ago at the Acts 29 Lead Pastors Conference in Boulder, I heard Mark Driscoll talk about the irony of being invited to preach in the Crystal Cathedral and being embraced by its founding pastor, Robert Schuller.

Why would they want bad-boy Mark when they know he's going to punch them in the face with the Word, right?

Mark talked to sixty of us or so about how he'd not back down or compromise. He'd give it to them straight and see what happened. Robert Schuller posed no threat to his integrity.

So I was interested to be sent a link to his sermon given this past Lord's Day at the Crystal Cathedral. But before preaching, the prince of positivism, Robert Schuller, did a short interview to elicit Mark's credentials for speaking to his cosseted congregation in behalf of the Holy Spirit:

Robert Schuller: Your church has how many members?

Mark Driscoll: It's grown to be upwards of 10,000 per week.

Robert Schuller: How many services?

Mark Driscoll: Uh, twenty-something.

Robert Schuller: Really?

Mark Driscoll: Yeah, we do video as well. I don't know--I wish I knew. I know I should know, but I don't. I... I preach, and then things happen--it's wonderful.

This was the real sermon--that numbers and growth and success mark the path taken by the Spirit of God. Make no mistake about it.

But there was a second sermon Mark gave all by himself.

Before you watch or read or buy it, let me ask those of you who know something about the congregations of the Hour of Power or the Crystal Cathedral, if you were a preacher of the Word of God with the duty to cure souls through your proclamation of the Gospel, how would you have approached that responsibility in the Crystal Cathedral's pulpit last Sunday? Would you have mentioned pride? Greed? Immorality? The hatred of the rich and famous for our Lord Jesus Christ? The jealousy of the religious leaders which led them to hound Jesus to death on a cross? Would you have spoken of depravity? Of the Judgment Seat of God? Of Hell?

Would you have said anything--anything at all--about repentance?

In his sermon, Mark said the reason Jesus "was opposed" was his claim to be God. But the Gospels tell us over and over again that the rich and influential opposed Jesus because of jealousy and envy.

None of these themes were mentioned at the Crystal Cathedral last Sunday. Instead, it was all very positive.

Let's pray that a new reformation is not dawning on Mark Driscoll. Amongst evangelicals, Doug Wilson regularly warns us, "the suits" always win.

Now for Mark's closing prayer:

Let me pray for you. Father God, I do ask that the Holy Spirit would open the hearts and the minds of those who would hear about Jesus. Some, Father, have never heard about Jesus. I pray that this news would be good news for them. That God has come to seek and to save and to love and to heal and to serve. God, for those who have heard it many times, I pray it would not just be information but transformation. I pray, Lord God, that today You would give us the spirit to believe freshly in the person and work of Jesus, to share in His resurrection life, to, by grace, be as people with joy and purpose and passion and pleasure and enthusiasm and hope and joy that never ends. And Lord God, for those who have heard this but never responded, they know a lot about Jesus but they don't know Jesus. Holy Spirit, I am humbly asking that You would allow them to meet Jesus right now. We ask this, Lord Jesus, in Your good name, Amen.


I listened to the sermon.

Maybe Driscoll should consider Schuller's favorite saying: "If you can dream it, you can do it." This phrase is etched in stone, probably in his line of sight as he preached. Yet, all Driscoll could do was dream it.

After I watched the sermon last night, I gave Driscoll the benefit of the doubt...that he presented a simple gospel message to a congregation that he believed was un-churched (though considered a "church").

After reading this entry, I think I was being far too generous.

I still think it's worthy to note that he actually assumed that congregation knew nothing of Jesus...an indirect criticism of Schuller (*possibly*) but still didn't address the congregation's sin. Perhaps Luke 18:18-29 was in order?

Or perhaps, just maybe, Mr. Driscoll prayed about the message he was *supposed* to deliver and this is where the Holy Spirit led him.

But I wouldn't dare try to speak to someone else's motivations...

Tim, I saw nothing in Mark's sermon for which to condemn him. All of us who have ever preached could think of something "on Monday morning" that we might have added. Mark lifted up the name of Jesus in a very powerful and concise way, being true to the Scriptures. He's used to preaching for much longer, but was obviously given a specific time constraint.

You seem to imply that Mark should have addressed one of the issues—pride, greed, immorality, depravity, the judgment seat of God, Hell, etc.—that you mentioned. Or at least something equally "weighty." I don't think that is right.

You also quote only a part of the pre-sermon interview and state that that was the "real sermon." I think that was an unfair attack on Mark. Taking the entire interview in context, he seemed to be trying to get the attention off of himself and onto Jesus.

I believe it is only right to assume the best of our brother Mark, that it was his intent to lift up the name and person of Jesus so that those who don't know Him may be drawn to Him, and that those of us who already love Him may be reminded of how great a Lord and Savior He is.

>>You also quote only a part of the pre-sermon interview and state that that was the "real sermon." I think that was an unfair attack on Mark.

Dear Brian,

Good point, but Mark didn't choose the subject of Robert Schuller's questions and isn't responsibe for them. I fault Robert Schuller, and intended to make that clear by my reference to his purpose being getting the congregation ready to listen by that direction. Sorry I wasn't more clear.

Concerning preaching, I believe every sermon preached by a minister of the Gospel should strike the themes struck by the Apostles in Acts. In other words, sin and righteousness and judgment, necessitating fleeing to the Cross of Christ for grace and salvation.


Hey, there is a great deal of information out there on how Robert Schuller deviates from the Gospel.

Here is one,


Given this interview I'm not sure Schuller is a Christian. What Schuller avoids is what is called the cringe factor of the Gospel. Everyone of those Cringe factors (sin, Wrath of God, Bloody propitiation, Holiness) should have been banged on and quotes taken from Schuller to reveal how he was preaching a gospel that was no Gospel, followed by a call to repent by either leaving Crystal Cathedral or to insist that the Gospel be preached at Crystal Cathedral.

Schuller: Yes, the Bible does (speak of God's wrath), but the Bible is God’s book to believers primarily. Listen, and then call me a heretic if you want to, but I’m interested in attracting people, and not driving them farther away. (quote taken from Bret's link above)

You'd think after 30-40 years of "attracting" people that Schuller would finally have a congregation of believers...as is, he doesn't speak of wrath, ergo...he's still waiting for his first convert.

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