Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mark Driscoll vs. Tim Challies: Discernment Definition


Mark Driscoll is a continuationist rather than a cessationist. In itself, this is not such a big deal. Though I'm a convinced cessationist, I have had and still have Christian friends who take the other view. Driscoll's rejection of cessationism has become a very big deal, however, because: 1. He has been quoted as claiming "Cessationism is worldliness" [see HERE]; 2. He has claimed a special giftedness from the Holy Spirit, which allows him to see bizarre visions [see HERE].

Now, as I alluded to in a recent post, I believe that Driscoll's bizarre visions are especially problematic because: 1. These type of explicitly sexual visions regarding his own congregants-- visions that he encourages others to indulge-- seem very much out of step with the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit; 2. Driscoll identifies having bizarre visions as the "real gift of discernment."


I mention Tim Challies in the title of this post due to the second point just mentioned. Challies has written a book on discernment titled The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment. In this book, Challies defines discernment as "the skill of understanding and applying God's Word with the purpose of separating truth from error and right from wrong." Challies defined the gift of discernment as an unusual, Spirit-given ability "to compare ungodly words, deeds, and appearances with what God has revealed in Scripture and expose the fraudulent leaders and teachers for what they are."

Now, if Challies' definitions are correct, then what Driscoll has done is: 1. mis-defined a term in Scripture, a term which is meant to focus Christians on Scripture, and thus; 2. focused Christians on supposed personal revelations through bizarre visions, rather than on Scripture, therefore; 3. through a lack of valuing the gift of discernment (correctly defined) and through distracting people from Scripture, he has left Christians under his influence open to the persuasion of false prophets.

I urge anyone reading this post to explore Challies' book and see that he comes to his definitions for "discernment" and the "gift of discernment" after a careful study of the word "discernment" (and related terms) throughout all of Scripture in context. I further urge anyone reading this post to consider from where in Scripture (if anywhere) Driscoll derives his definition of the "gift of discernment."

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