Seems that everyone’s talking about the aftermath of the recent Desiring God conference, Above All Earthly Powers: The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World featuring David Wells, Don Carson, Tim Keller, Mark Driscoll, Voddie Baucham, and John Piper. And good on them too, for quickly posting the MP3s of the conference sessions. TSK posts about it, with discussion following; Blind Beggar mentions it as well, noting several good suggestions for emerging church critics. He also links to more such suggestions from Bob Hyatt.
Somewhere in the fray there came the idea that John Piper and Mark Driscoll are at odds, and several people have been quick on the draw to pick sides. Oh, people.
Now I’d been paying attention to this whole thing a little… just a little. I really didn’t want to see anything erupting between Piper and the emerging set or exacerbating the emerging crowd’s perception of the reformed set. I respect John Piper a lot — I love his preaching and his writing, and I love his explanation and defense of Calvinism. This isn’t to say I necessarily am in wholehearted agreement with him in every area *cough* *complimentarianism* *cough* as there are a few points where I differ, some significant, some not. But I would say that his defense of his positions and his obvious love for Christ and the Gospel demand one’s respect and admiration.
As for Mark Driscoll, I’ve honestly not been as familiar with him for as long… but I’ve no significant beefs. As a representative of the emerging church, it was great to see him invited to speak at the DGM conference, and I was hopeful to see some bridge-building take place. After all, Driscoll is well-known in the emerging church, and Piper has the clear respect of many in the reformed and evangelical communities.
I’m greatly relieved to see how the record is being unquestionably put straight, as Mark Driscoll posts their email dialogue (with Piper’s permission) for the blogosphere to see. In reading through it, I felt the respect due each of them deepen on my part. If even a third of people’s differences were handled with this much care and respect, the world would be so much more harmonious.
Note to critics: just try behaving like these guys.