Mark Driscoll, James MacDonald, Strange Fire and Leslie Nielsen

Well, I was cross-border shopping this afternoon and playing in a park with my kids, but when I got back to the border, my phone went nuts with alerts/messages.  Apparently some rather ironic and humorous events happened today at the Strange Fire conference involving two well-known continuationist practical cessationist dudes and some boxes of books.  I’m guessing you already know what I’m talking about…

The dudes:


The boxes of books:


Wow.  You were WAY off.

I said “dudes”, not “dukes”.  You should read more carefully…

These were the dudes:

James and Mark

(photo credit)

And they were handing out boxes of this book:

Call Resurgence

Now there are two sides saying what did and what did not happen, and since I wasn’t there I won’t weigh in with any ideas along the lines of that…but I will weigh in on the fact that they tried it

Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald pastor larger churches than Grace Community Church that hold equally large, if not substantially bigger, conferences than the Strange Fire conference.  They know full well what is involved in putting on a colossal event like this.  They understand the sheer scale of organization, planning, security, etc.  They know that book sellers are vetted, security is tight, and goof-balls tend to show up by the bus load in order to seize the opportunity to protest against you for something you said months, or years, ago regarding whatever their pet peeve (or neurotic heresy) is.

They also know that they would never let anyone just wander into their conferences and start distributing literature…especially someone well known.  Honestly, if someone like Andy Stanley showed up at one of their conferences, uninvited and unannounced and distributing books, they’d wonder what in the world was going on.  They wouldn’t say “Oh!  Andy Stanley?  You’re a celebrity pastor!  Come on in!  I don’t know what you’re doing, but you’re Andy Stanley! Keep doing whatever it is you’re doing!”

Get real.

The fact that it was Andy Stanley, a guy who could just pick up the phone and make everything above board and official in around 5 minutes, would make his appearance look more suspicious.  They’d probably stop him and have some questions for him, and for good reason.  So, when Mark Driscoll goes on Twitter and says things like this:

He’s simply capitalizing on the event and trying to rile up his base of devotees.  His base of devotees don’t understand what’s actually happening in the whole hullabaloo and treat it like there’s some sort of religious persecution going on, or some nefarious activity going on.  There isn’t religious persecution.  It was a stunt, plain and simple, made to drum up attention and have a little cheap fun.

Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald went there knowing full well that something like that would probably go down.

Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald went there knowing full well that this would create a stir.

Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald would have done the same exact thing if they were hosting the conference.

It’s called free publicity, and to their credit it worked.  (I know what you’re thinking but this post isn’t over yet)

So, for all the people in the Cessationist camp who are getting their knickers in a knot, here’s a proverb for you:

Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” – Proverbs 19:11

Pick your fights carefully and choose your hills to die on.  This is not a fight worth pursuing, and not a hill to die on.  Don’t let your tongue sin because you think you understand more than you do.  I don’t have the real facts and neither do you.  It’s maybe offensive to you, but honestly, calm down…because nobody cares what you or I think.  We’re really irrelevant to this who scenario and need to remember that.

If Phil Johnson and Austin Duncan didn’t get all riled up about it (and they’re a whole lot more “in the know” than myself or any of my readers), then you may want to pay attention to their gracious (and light-hearted) example.  Here’s their response from Twitter:

BUT, I couldn’t help but notice an amazing irony. Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald weren’t just cruising around the neighborhood.  Mark Driscoll is from Seattle and James MacDonald is from Chicago, and they were in town for a different conference called the Act Like Men conference.  They weren’t attending either; they were headline speakers (along with Matt Chandler, Greg Laurie, and Eric Mason…none of whom, for some reason, were part of the whole hijinks…hmmm…).

So those two guys were teaching at conference on manhood and left to go out and act like giggling teenage boys.

Their example of manhood was actually boyhood.

I know I’m not the only one to recognize the irony, but I’m probably the first one to provide an adequate visual example of what they did.

It’s basically like a real life example of this:

What they did was even more hilarious.

Do either of them fully comprehend how utterly hilarious the juxtaposition between the conference and their actions are…and the joke is definitely on them.

Honored sirs, you have got to know that part of biblical manhood is knowing when to do dumb things and having a regularly increasing pattern of reeling yourself in when you feel like doing something dumb.

Even if your sinful/silly desires pull on you so hard they yank you off the shore, you have to learn to not drop the rod.

Fishing Spear

Brothers, don’t drop the rod.

Your sons are watching you (not just listening to what you say at conferences) and will magnify the example of what they see, as well as what they hear (they are younger and less discerning than you, after all…).

Until Next Time,

Lyndon “Yes, I know that’s not a fishing rod…and it was a horrible analogy in the first place!” Unger

P.S. – Mark Driscoll does look like an aging Luke Duke with a beard, but James MacDonald looks a lot like Principle Strickland from Back to the Future with a goatee…am I right?


42 thoughts on “Mark Driscoll, James MacDonald, Strange Fire and Leslie Nielsen

  1. Pingback: John MacArthur Miffs Off Charismatics While Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald Crash the Party | The Wartburg Watch 2013

  2. I was there and witnesses the whole ordeal. They were greeted with valet parking, in n out burgers, water, and a set place to talk with attendees. The issue arose when they wanted to walk around the campus to distribute literature. Security offered to take the books to their car, where they denied many times and insisted the books were a gift. They left and no one really cared anymore.

    • Yes, this is true. I did see the video. Mark PUSHED the books on them and then went out and publicly LIED about what happened.

      Well, I guess everyone lies about books! Right??

  3. The irony here… “Act Like Men” twosome on the way to their own “party” decided to play a “joke” on the adults. I thought it was reported that one of boys stayed in the getaway car!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Despeville!

        I was wondering where you had been! Welcome back!

        I tossed up a comparison picture in the post from Oct 22 for you with Strickland and MacDonald side by side. The resemblance is hilarious!

      • Hello there Knight,

        I was just prowling through and lurking in odd and bizarre corners of the net which is now euphemism for what is going on in terms leavenjellycall götterdämmerung in North America and beyond.

        Yea, principal’s resemblance is uncanny, especially the mojo. I am pretty sure that the big kahuna from big mansion in Inverness, IL would also say that we are “slackers” too… 🙂

        Did you listen to Dr.Brown’s interrogation of Phil Johnson on Monday? Wow, what a mixture of self-promotion, evasions, manipulations and below the belt kicks.

  4. “James MacDonald looks a lot like Principle Strickland from Back to the Future with a goatee”

    Possibly. These days, James MacDonald looks like he’s on the Lifetime Channel at 4am trying to sell me Glucosamine and Chondroiton supplements.

    • Lane Chaplin?

      Wow! I’m honored to have a *real* blogger popping by! Welcome!

      Does Larry the Cucumber sell those thingamajiggers you mentioned? If so, that would be awesome!

      I wonder if Phil Vischer has looked into the whole supplement/diet/nutrition aspect of Veggietales marketing? The brand basically screams for it!

      • I was with you until you started slinging mud at the way they look. Why say that kind of thing? It’s a low shot and unkind.

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  8. Your comments seem logical … the difference with MacArthur’s conferences and most conferences is MacArthur does give out a ton of free books to his conference attendees. Driscoll probably knew this and wanted to add to the assortment. What I don’t understand is why Driscoll and the normally conservative MacDonald would seek publicity like this?

    • Dave, it’s true that MacArthur gives out free books, but publishers actually go to lengths to get their books given out at the big conferences since that’s the best advertising that they could get. 2,000+ pastors giving a book a recommend means that 500,000+ people become potential customers!

      Driscoll knows that full well as he’s hosted larger conferences than StrangeFire.

  9. Show up at James MacDonald’s 2 million dollar home and sell your books in his front yard.

    (The personal address of James McDonald has been removed by blog Admin. Posting a person’s home address and personal info is unnecessary and a blatant personal attack. Bad form – Mennoknight)

  10. Pingback: Mark Driscoll, James MacDonald, Strange Fire and Leslie Nielsen – Part 2 | Watch Your Life and Doctrine Closely...

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  12. I am NO fan of EITHER Mark Driscoll OR James Macdonald. But the comments about them in this article, and the comments about them in the comments following the article, they do NOT exemplify Christ. Again, VERY MUCH not a fan of EITHER man. Not of EITHER man. But…if anyone wants to talk about immaturity in Christ, I saw it in the article above, and in the comments that followed.

    • Would you rather have us use biblical terms of snakes, hypocrites and pharisees? For this is precisely what we are dealing here with. Lighten up a bit, being serious and stiff and all the time is not the same as being more sanctified, holy, pious or especially implied mature…

  13. Pingback: Mark Driscoll invites John MacArthur over to his conference…kinda… | Watch Your Life and Doctrine Closely...

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  15. I was googling something and came across several links to several articles that may not be current but has brought up this ‘Hatfield & McCoys’ stance. When it comes to opinions, interpretations and behaviors between several “christian leaders”, all I want to do is scream, “Jesus is coming!!!! Lets focus on sharing the gospel because we care about lost souls!” I want to cry when I witness the pride and arrogance of the powerful and famous, the arrogance that says always I’m right and you are wrong, the arrogance that says I’m better than you, the arrogance that is the exact opposite of humility and helping your brother to follow Christ and lead others. All this distortion and fighting in the camp. reminds me of a Bible story in Judges 7 about Gideon. Gideon lived during a time when Israel had forsaken God and had worshiped idols. Gideon found much confusion in the camp as Midianite fought against Midianite in the darkness.​ “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 2 Timothy 3:1-5”

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  18. Pingback: Why I Heartily Disagree With James MacDonald’s Alleged Biblical™ Reasons for Suing Bloggers | The Wartburg Watch 2018

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  20. Pingback: Here and There: A Truly Ridiculous Christian Parody Video, James MacDonald Fired, Praying for Slow Church Growth, The Chibok Girls Sing To Jesus » Things Above Us

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