Agonizomai: Sermon of the Week<br> Don Carson - Rom 3:21-26

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sermon of the Week
Don Carson - Rom 3:21-26
Here's Don Carson again speaking as a guest at Mars Hill Church in Seattle. For those who don't know, Mars Hill's pastor is the sometimes controversial Mark Driscoll, who appears in the introductory portion of this session.

I like Driscoll in many ways. He's very human and down-to-earth. His theology is really quite conservative and usually soundly Reformed. But I can't listen to Driscoll. For me, everything he does is tainted by the memory of his frequent lapses in language and judgment and by the fear of hearing another one in the matter at hand.

Recently, a friend and a defender of Driscoll encouraged me to listen to one of his more current sermons (but be warned - read the following). I did. And I was appalled to hear two schoolboy references to flatulence (but using the commoner noun), one open utterance of the entertainment industry's PG13 euphemism for the "F" word, and the use of "hell" as an expletive. I simply cannot get my head around how a servant of God can present the Word in such a way from the pulpit, from whence Christ is supposed to be discovered to the flock.

I cannot think of any preacher, past or present, including and especially D.A. Carson, using such sophomoric slang (some of which qualifies as outright profanity) in God's pulpit and to God's people. Finding it done and seemingly approved of by many simply boggles my mind. Until 10 years ago such a thing was unthinkable in any orthodox church. It is impossible to even contemplate people like Spurgeon, Whitefield, Wesley, Calvin , Knox and others "contextualizing" themselves or the gospel in such a way.

But enough of the negative. What I do know is that Carson's tongue is pure and his theology is orthodox - and that he has many insights to share. And this session characteristically cuts to the chase, but in a way that is full of grace. Another good listen...


Romans 3:21-26 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it - the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.


Blogger ndmb said...

That series by Carson has been one of my and Kim's favorites out here. All three are soon good! Glad you liked them too. Don't know if you watched the video of Driscoll's interview with him but you might like that one too.


10:34 pm  
Blogger agonizomai said...

Hi Nick,

Yes, I've got all three and will probably blog the third Carson session at some time in the not too distant future.

I haven't listened to the interview you mentioned because it was Carson I was after and not Driscoll. If you think of it, send me a link by email and I'll give it a listen.



11:24 pm  

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