Together for the Gospel 2008

Don Elbourne and Mark Dever

Registration opened today for the Together for the Gospel Conference 2008. Count me in. I attended the first T4G in 2006 and look forward to version 2.0. The same seven speakers fill the schedule, Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, C.J. Mahaney, Albert Mohler, John MacArthur, John Piper, and R.C. Sproul. I can not overstate the influence these seven men have made in my life and ministry over the past several years. When the preview video from the evangelical bat cave hinted at an eighth speaker, I confess to harboring a devious hope they would call in Mark Driscoll. I guess the boys arn’t quite that brave yet. Instead we will have the pleasure of hearing from Thabiti Anyabwile.


Mark Driscoll? You’re kidding me, right? Have you read his books? Have you listened to him preach? This man is not worthy to fill any pulpit, let alone speak at a conference where he’ll be given the opportunity to influence thousands of men with his irreverent and grunge style of preaching, not to mention that he does not believe in particular redemption. I can’t imagine John MacArthur or R.C. Sproul agreeing to stand with him on the same podium. This man needs to be condemned by the Church and its leaders, not lauded and invited to our conferences. John (

What do you mean that Mark Driscoll doesn’t believe in particular redemption? I’ve heard him preach several times and read both of his books and he never implied that he held to anything short of a fully reformed soteriology. Sure he has a punchier style than white-shirt southern Presbyterians, but the “Together for the Gospel” conferences intend to look beyond style.

Don: I’ve excerpted for you a portion of an interview that Mark gave to Adrian Warnock, which he has posted on his web site. As far as I know, Mark has not retracted this statement.

In my first post about you I said, “Mars Hill is one of those unique churches that is probably too emerging for some evangelicals to cope with, much too traditional for the emerging folks, too charismatic for the reformed folks, and too reformed for the average charismatic. It’s a wonder anyone likes the church! Actually, the more I read of Mark the more he sounds like he is making his home in the same kind of centre ground that my own church tries to occupy.” Do you recognise that description of yourself—do you sometimes feel like something of a theological misfit?

I AM a theological misfit and have learned to be okay with that. We are missional, which offends fundamentalists. We hold to the fundamentals, which offends the liberals. We are theologically charismatic, but not shake and bake holy rollers, which puts us in the middle of a big debate to be shot by both sides. We are reformed, but not old school, and don’t baptize babies, don’t hold to the regulative principle, and won’t die on the hill of Limited Atonement, but hold a more unlimited/limited position, which upsets both sides of the debate. In the end, I hold to a high view of inerrant Scripture and am trying to be biblical, even when it makes a mess of my systematics.”

Moreover, his style is anything but “punchy”. Its irreverent, offensive, and wholly inconsistent with the high calling of being a shepherd of Christ’s flock. I encourage you to read John MacArthur’s article entitled “Grunge Christianity” which details the problems with Driscoll’s style and methodology. See
Hope this helps Don. John