Mark Driscoll is a perfect storm of controversy. Great popularity, widely available media, and unpopular opinions have led to him being lambasted by a great deal of internet bloggers.
Especially since Driscoll's most recent book, Real Marriage, hit the shelves Driscoll has faced a great deal of opposition. Driscoll's view of complementarian marriage is the focal point of the fire. Marriage, many would say, is meant to be a 100% equal relationship with no leader but Christ. Pastor Mark's suggestion of male authority--very much in line with much of the traditi on of Christianity--has been met with an unequaled amount of criticism.
I must pause to ask the simple question: Why? Why is Mark Driscoll's view of masculine hierarchy so distasteful to us? I would suggest that it is not the idea of masculine leadership that angers us, but the type of masculine leadership.
Driscoll's view of marriage is one of absolute, totalitarian male leadership.
And it is not Mark's fault.
It is Calvin's.
John Calvin took the authority and omnipotence of God to mean that God must control every aspect of every detail of his creation.
According to Calvin:
1. Your will is bent and swayed by God to fit his every purpose.
2. You do not make a single daily decision without it being first decided by God.
3. That God, for no purpose that we as humans are privy to, chose to forgive some and reject others.
4. That God's grace, once sent to an individual, is absolutely irresistible. You could not even begin to fight it.
5. That God, though outwardly despising sin, was actually the author of sin, and created it for his secretive purposes in the world.
Yes, this is the way that Calvin viewed God. This is what Calvinism suggests. It suggests that since God has power, he uses it absolutely. It suggests that since God has authority, he wields is coldly and viciously.
Is it any wonder that a man reading the Bible through this lens would suggest an authoritarian male leadership in the home? Can we really blame Mark Driscoll for teaching a natural product of his theology.
The truth, however, is that God did not come as a dictator, but a servant. The image of the invisible God came and became nothing. The leader who led from the basement instead of the penthouse. He was the king who chose love over authority.
What might a marriage look like that embraces a better picture of the God of Scripture? How does our view of God imprint itself on our view of leadership, marriage, parenting, etc?