This blog is maintained on behalf of the Amy Foundation for the purpose of tracking the best Christian journalism we find on the Web. Our posts regularly identify those news articles or opinions in the mainstream media that represent good faith-based writing and example them for other Christian journalists.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

First article of the New Year …

Comes with a bang and I found it in the “Most Popular” section of the website. The article, entitled, “Who Would Jesus Smack Down?,” written by Molly Worthen is about Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington.

(I must point out that this is not “the” Mars Hill Church, which I attend virtually through Pastor Rob Bell’s podcasts and audio books. The Mars Hill Church is in Grandville, Michigan, although you can download Mark Driscoll’s podcasts from iTunes U too.)

Worthen writes:
Mark Driscoll’s sermons are mostly too racy to post on GodTube, the evangelical Christian “family friendly” video-posting Web site. With titles like “Biblical Oral Sex” and “Pleasuring Your Spouse,” his clips do not stand a chance against the site’s content filters. No matter: YouTube is where Driscoll, the pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, would rather be. Unsuspecting sinners who type in popular keywords may suddenly find themselves face to face with a husky-voiced preacher in a black skateboarder’s jacket and skull T-shirt. An “Under 17 Requires Adult Permission” warning flashes before the video cuts to evening services at Mars Hill, where an anonymous audience member has just text-messaged a question to the screen onstage: “Pastor Mark, is masturbation a valid form of birth control?”

Driscoll doesn’t miss a beat: “I had one guy quote Ecclesiastes 9:10, which says, ‘Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.’ ” The audience bursts out laughing. Next Pastor Mark is warning them about lust and exalting the confines of marriage, one hand jammed in his jeans pocket while the other waves his Bible. Even the skeptical viewer must admit that whatever Driscoll’s opinion of certain recreational activities, he has the coolest style and foulest mouth of any preacher you’ve ever seen.
Read more>>
Discroll’s rough side comes through in the article and Worthen does a masterful job explaining his Neo-Calvinistic message and how appeals to Seattle's downtrodden, people not welcome in most churches. There is controversy, but there is also Gospel in this well written feature. And scripture cited to, so it qualifies for the Amy Writing Awards.

I don’t know; I’m torn on this article because I am decidedly not Calvinist, but I cannot say enough good things about Worthen’s writing.

How about this: Driscoll can keep preaching predestination (hey, it’s working), I’ll keep listening to Rob Bell’s messages about “grace and peace,” and Molly, you keep up the good journalism!


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