Well, it seems that Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA, is back in the “spotlight” for making ridiculous theological statements. This time, it happened at a Christian conference called Catalyst. According to the Friendly Atheist blog, Driscoll said something like this:
I know who made the environment and he’s coming back and going to burn it all up. So yes, I drive an SUV.
Of course, we don’t have the full context of the quote, so who knows why he would say such a thing. Maybe he’s been listening to Fall Out Boy’s new single “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” a little too much lately?
Ignoring the actual content of this statement, Driscoll’s statement reminds me of how important one’s eschatology is to their day to day life. Your vision of the “end” carries significant practical import. What is the world coming to? Or, what is coming to the world? (Rather, who?)
Anyways, I’ve been doing some research on pneumatology – the theology of the Holy Spirit – for a final paper and came across something that expresses my response to Driscoll’s ideas reflected in the quote above. In his book on pneumatology The Spirit of Life, Jurgen Moltmann says this:
To experience the fellowship of the Spirit inevitably carries Christianity beyond itself into the greater fellowship of all God’s creatures. For the community of creation, in which all created things exist with one another, for one another and in one another, is also the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Both experiences of the Spirit bring the church today into solidarity with the cosmos, which is so mortally threatened. Faced with ‘the end of nature’, the churches will either discover the cosmic significance of Christ and the Spirit, or they will share the guilt for the annihilation of God’s earthly creation. In earlier times, contempt for life, hostility towards the body, and detachment from the world was merely an inward attitude of mind. Now it has become an everyday reality in the cynicism of the progressive destruction of nature. Discovery of the cosmic breadth of God’s Spirit leads in the opposite direction – to respect for the dignity of all created things, in which God is present through his Spirit.
Could it be that Driscoll is so enamored by “Jesus” that he has forgotten about the Spirit? Methinks so. Here’s to praying for Driscoll’s baptism in the Spirit in the near future!
And, just in case the Moltmann quote wasn’t clear enough, here’s a nice summary from Bill McKibben of 350.org (albeit from a Christological/soteriological perspective):