Mark Driscoll


Round 2: Northwestern and Duke Div Brackets

We have moved on to Round 2 of the tourney and by 10 p.m. Central time tomorrow night we will be down to the Sweet Sixteen.  Voting will be the same as round 1: vote on whatever metric you determine and vote by 10 p.m. the day the match-ups are posted.  Starting with this round you won’t be able to see the results until they are announced the next day to keep a little tension.  Saturday, I will post the updated brackets which will show the Sweet Sixteen.

So here we go:

Northwestern Bracket:

(1) John Calvin vs. (9) St. Basil the Great

(4) Rob Bell vs. (5) Pope John Paul II

(6) Dietrich Bonhoeffer vs. (14) Greg Boyd

(2) Thomas Aquinas vs. (10) St. Anselm

Duke Divinity Bracket:

(1) St. Augustine vs. (9) N.T. Wright

(5) Reinhold Niebuhr vs. (13) John of the Cross

(3) Mark Driscoll vs. (6) Francis of Assisi

(2) John Wesley vs. (10) Charles Wesley


Round 1: Duke Div Bracket

Alright folks, the games have begun. Here is how it goes. Listed below are the match-ups, above the polls (where you vote) will be the matchup with links to information on the contestants. There are no guidelines for voting. You vote based on whatever qualifications you determine. Voting will be closed at 10 p.m. central time the day of the matchup (official results) and the results will be listed on the next post that has the next matchup voting.  So without further delay here are the “official” Northwestern Bracket results and the polls for the Duke Div Bracket.

Northwestern Bracket Results:

(1) John Calvin defeated (16) Bruce A. Ware: 19-2

(9) St.Basil the Great defeated (8) Shane Claiborne: 11-8

(5) Pope John Paul II defeated (12) Doug Pagitt: 15-6

(4) Rob Bell defeated (13) Paul Tillich: 14-6

(6) Dietrich Bonhoeffer defeated (11) Beth Moore: 20-0

(14) Greg Boyd defeated (3) John Piper: 12-6

(10) St. Anselm defeated (7) Walter Bruegemann: 14-6

(2) Thomas Aquinas defeated (15) Jurgen Moltmann: 16-5

Duke Div Bracket Voting:

(1) St. Augustine vs. (16) Tony Jones

(8) Jonathan Edwards vs. (9) N.T. Wright

(5) Reinhold Niebuhr vs. (12) Richard Niebuhr

(4) Francis Chan vs. (13) John of the Cross

(6) Francis of Assisi vs. (11) Lesslie Newbigin

(3) Mark Driscoll vs. (14) Adolph von Harnack

(7) Stanley Hauerwas vs. (10) Charles Wesley

(2) John Wesley vs. (15) Teresa of Avila

tourney image

Tourney Time: Influential Christian Thinkers

I love this time of year because of March Madness. I love to watch the excitement and the debate surrounding games, snubs, and upsets. I love to cheer on the Duke Blue Devils. Since I am trying to be more regular with my blogging, I thought I would do what many have done before: create a tourney around a topic. I have selected to do a tourney of influential Christian thinkers.

First thing to note: this list is not about the “most” influential and it is not exhaustive. I solicited some names from friends and threw in some of my own. The selection committee was made up of me and the seeding was too. Starting tomorrow there will be daily surveys where people can vote on the winners of the match-ups. I am also hoping that people will use the comment section to try and sway others into why a certain thinker should win over another. Here will be the schedule:

Friday March 18 – Northwestern Division Round 1

Monday March 21- Duke Divinity Division Round 1

Tuesday March 22- Chatfield Division Round 1

Wednesday March 23- Winona Division Round 1

Thursday March 24- Northwestern and Duke Divinity Round 2

Friday March 25- Chatfield and Winona Round 2

Monday March 28- Sweet 16

Tuesday March 29- Northwestern & Duke Divinity Elite 8 Matchups

Wednesday March 30- Chatfield & Winona  Elite 8 Matchups

Thursday March 31- Final Four Matchups

Friday April 1- Championship Matchup

Monday April 4- Champion Crowned

I won’t give much detail on the matchups until the Elite 8 matchups. I will try to provide links for further information on the people so people can learn more, etc.

The whole point of this is to have some fun and have some discussion. I am excited to see how some of these match-ups turn out. So without further delay, below is the final field of 64. Look them over and comment. Do you think someone got snubbed? Did somebody get a bad seed? Toughest bracket?

Fatherhood and Manhood

First before I go into the heart of this post, I have a prayer request for anyone who reads this post.  Please keep in your prayers Adam and Sarah Walker Cleaveland, who just lost their twin boys (Micah and Judah) who were born at 20 weeks and couldn’t survive.  It was at Adam’s blog that I first encountered this video.

So nothing is closer to my heart/life than the issue of fatherhood/manhood. You see I grew up in a single parent household with just my mother.  Let me tell you that my mother is an amazing woman and I can’t imagine life being differently then it was and I don’t think I am screwed up because I didn’t have a father growing up.  Still, I would be lying if I didn’t say that it had an impact on my life.  I always wondered what was wrong with me that my father didn’t want to have anything to do with me.  I also knew that the one thing God called me to more than anything else was to be a father and to break the cycle.

So that is the background and here is the reason why I want to write about this video: nothing bothers me more than the construction of one type of fatherhood being “biblical” and all else being something other than what God intended.  I wrote a whole paper on it in seminary where I explored those of faith who wrote about fatherhood (by the way sadly most of the books only came at fatherhood from one framework and often that also came with a construct of “manhood” being the same thing as “fatherhood”…which means many who might not have that framework are staying silent on a very important issue…who knows maybe they are out there and I just didn’t find them).

Most of the views I came upon align with the framework Mark Driscoll is coming from in his response to the question posed. It is that view that I want to respond to, but first I want to say that I have tremendous respect for Mark Driscoll.  I disagree with him on many things, but I respect him.  Having met him while I was in college and having conversations with him, I can truly say that I believe that he is a man who is after God’s heart.  I think he has helped many people discover Christ and move closer to God and unlike some I am unwilling to say that because he has a different framework/worldview that he is leading people astray.

On this matter though I think he is wrong and here is why:

(1)  First and foremost to take the passage from Timothy that is quoted by both him and his wife out of its context and to apply to a certain understood construct of family is problematic in my view.  The passage he quotes, 1 Timothy 5:8, is in the midst of a paragraph of instruction that Paul is giving to Timothy about care for widows.  The passage specifically is dealing with those widows who have family members (in this case children and grandchildren) who were called to take care of them according to their faith.  What it wasn’t saying was that “fathers who don’t make a paycheck have denied their faith and are worse than unbelievers.” Could one take the prescription directed at the children and grandchildren of widows and then apply it as such? Yes, but then we get into some deeper questions of pushing interpretation.  Driscoll states it with such conviction and clarity in a way that communicates that it is obvious that that statement is directed at fathers and dealing with the role within the marriage/family economy.

Which brings me to a different subject.  I am curious what their understanding of care for the elderly would be? What is our role in caring for widows? Do we care for widows? I don’t have an answer, but I would hope that individuals who aren’t caring for their mothers/grandmothers would get a serious chastisement and fall under church discipline with the same vigor.

(2) What is provision? To argue that provision is the same as being the sole income provider within the family economy is faulty in my opinion. A father can and is a provider even if they are not the income producer. A father can have authority (which I would argue a different conception of authority than the “you will submit to me that some think”) while still not being the income producer. What seems to be at work here more than anything is a certain construction that goes very deep: A man’s worth as a man is equal to what he produces, if he doesn’t “produce” then he is no longer a man as defined biblically. I find that so faulty though, to me a man’s worth appears to come from God and is found in how that individual seeks to grow closer to God and to help others (like their family) grow closer to God.

(3) The myth of statistics. Driscoll is using statistics as a buttress to his argument, but why? If it is simply a matter of being “biblical” or “unbiblical” then statistics shouldn’t be needed. In fact if one is arguing so hard against the perverted culture that permeates the world then to rely on statistics is to by and large also depend on that “perverted culture” to buttress your arguments when it helps your argument. The lives of humans are not easy to isolate. Want to know why? You can’t get a control. Yes, there are too many variables for one to just use one variable as an argument for why it is right. Yes, those statistics to point to a reality, but do they also take into consideration economic class, neighborhood safety, influences, etc. (you could go on and on) Human relationships and outcomes are complex because we are lives are complex.

Can we get to the heart of the matter?

The real heart of the matter is are parents invested in their kids lives? Do they give of themselves so that their children grow up nurtured and cared for and thus prepared for life. We can rail on manhood, fatherhood, gender-roles, etc., but until we deal with the real heart of the matter which is selfishness then we are failing to name the real culprit. If a man wants to be a stay-at-home dad because well he doesn’t want to work and he thinks it is easier to be a stay-at-home dad and he doesn’t take that role within the family seriously then yeah it is a problem, but no more a problem than if a woman did it. If parents are constantly looking for others to watch their kids because they want to live “their” lives either as individuals or as a couple then yeah it is a problem. But if the parents are seeking to be parents and to provide for their children like God has provided for us, then it doesn’t matter if they are gay, straight, stay-at-home dads, both working, etc.

I should be rebuked if I am shirking my responsibilities as a father and I should be shown my error, but that isn’t about whether I am the money-maker or not it is about if I am being a provider like God has provided for us as God’s children.