Mark Driscoll is an interesting fellow.
I have been watching him via the web over the last few months and find myself quite encouraged by what I have seen.
Some history: Back in March, I published a research paper I had written on The Emerging Church (on this blog). What I found in my reading and study was that Driscoll embodied much of the emergent zeitgeist, but was also doing his best not to embrace the relativism, universalism and despair of "the conversation."
Since the writing of that paper, Driscoll has repeatedly distanced himself from emergent/US - Brian MacLaren in particular - as well as been "endorsed" by John Piper (through an invitation to be one speaker out of six at Piper's DG Pomo Conference). I have watched most of the "trailers" for this conference and it is clear that Driscoll is working hard to not be lumped in with the emergent movement.
The latest development happened today (I think it was today - I can't find a date stamp on his blog posts) when Driscoll published Chuck Smith, Sr.'s letter to Calvary Chapel pastors that warns them of the dangers associated with emergent - a letter I linked to back on May 23/06.
Why all this information?
Driscoll has been labelled a lot of things in his short ministry, not the least of which is "the cussing pastor." I made reference to the foolishness of a pastor cussing in a recent sermon for you GFC folks, although I did not mention Driscoll by name.
I am not sure you will ever find anyone you agree with about everything - in fact, I am not sure that such a goal is even a good thing! But, when you find people you agree with about a lot of things, I think you ought to do all you can to put into action the command of love that says, "Be of the same mind toward one another." In other words, do all you can to "agree in the Lord."
From what I can observe, the Lord is doing some great things through Driscoll in Seattle. I know I would not do everything the same way Mark does it, but it is clear he understands the gospel, preaches the gospel and is intentional in trying to live the gospel. At least, that is what it looks like over the web from here in Toronto.
So, I think it beneficial for many reasons to have a love that hopes all things. I never want to think of Driscoll as some kind of token, rescued-from-emergent trophy. But I think we ought to give the brother plenty of room to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Our Saviour and to correct over time what might have been some immature excess. That may sound condescending to some degree, but I am not sure how else to state that I want Driscoll preaching Christ in Seattle, to the glory of God. May God richly bless his ministry!
[Update: Roger Oakland touches on this same letter of Chuck Smith, Sr. and gives further explanation on the whole growing division with Calvary Chapels. HT: Challeez]