Do you believe that the Scripture not only regulates our theology but also our methodology? In other words, do you believe in the regulative principle? If so, to what degree? If not, why not?
The above question(s) have been posed by SBF blogger Timmy Brister to Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. Driscoll has established a forum on which those who have encountered the ministry of Mars Hill Church through the Internet can ask him direct questions. Having narrowed the list down to the top 50 questions, Driscoll is allowing people to vote to determine the top nine questions. Once voting closes on December 14th, Driscoll will take these nine questions and preach a sermon series on them early next year.
Driscoll is known as one who wishes to reach the postmodern culture with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In this regard, Driscoll is known as an “emerging” minister. This term “emerging” is distinguished from “emergent,” which describes those who not only wish to reach postmodern culture, but who have also embraced a postmodern theology (i.e. figures such as Brian McLaren and Tony Jones who question or deny many of the historic doctrines of the Christian Faith). Driscoll rejects postmodern theology and has vigorously defended such culturally unpopular Bible teachings as substitutionary atonement and the exclusivity of Christ in salvation.
Driscoll has also described Mars Hill Church as holding to “Reformed theological convictions” including a high view of God’s sovereignty in salvation. As discussed in my last post, one historical Reformed theological conviction has been the Regulative Principle of Worship (RPW) [if you do not know what the RPW is, or if you think that it means only signing the Psalms, then please read my last post HERE]. Now, Driscoll has, in the past, stated that he holds his theology with an closed fist, but his methodology with an open hand. This sentiment, in itself, is not necessarily against the RPW (any thinking adherent to the RPW would agree that Western orchestral music is probably not appropriate on the mission field). But what are Driscoll’s views on how the Bible informs our worship? How does he come to a conclusion concerning whether it is acceptable, say, to sprinkle water on an infant or pray through an icon as part of a worship service? What does it mean practically for Driscoll to be both “emerging” and “Reformed” when it comes to worship?
If you think that this is an issue that Driscoll should address, I urge you to vote for Timmy’s question HERE. As the title of this post says, vote early (starting today), and vote often (voters are allowed ten votes per day).