Driscoll may get it right — but he sure got it wrong on Luke 16.

I recently heard a sermon by Mark Driscoll about heaven and earth. I think he is being reactionary against the so called Rob Bell sarga… if you haven’t heard about that by now – ask Joel or even better ask Jeremy about it 😉

Mark was using the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16 as the basis of his sermon…and while he may have made some good points and in many ways spoke the truth about various things – and his passion and conviction is to be commended… he just got it wrong in sooooooo many ways.

I wrote most of the following on my blog recently and think it bears repeating here – even if it is to keep my toes in the water and to show my face once again.. 🙂

Mark did the passage in Luke 16 a major disservice; because this passage isn’t even about heaven and hell. In the context of the story – its a rebuke to the religious leaders who value money over people…. it begins with chapter 15 where the religious leaders and the ratbags of society have gathered around Jesus and RL’s (Religious leaders) start to mutter about the societal scum…

There Jesus builds on the tension by telling a series of stories about a lost sheep, coin, son, repentant manager, and then rebukes the RL’s  with a story about divorce – which btw has nothing to do with divorce either…rather slaps them in the face, telling them they have committed adultery against God and married idolatrous money – The RL’s get up tight and Jesus gives them a double whammy telling them God wasn’t on their side…

Finally in chapter 17:1-10 Jesus tells them that the whole context of those stories was one of repentance / forgiveness. Every story in these passages was a direct hit to the RL’s. Slowly Jesus built his case that the prodigal son’s brother was a religious leader – then he made the case that the shrewd business man was in fact the religious leaders – followed by the story of heaven hell…where he told the RL’s it was them who were distanced from God… and that within the context Lazarus – sitting in Abraham’s bosun was in was in fact a direct reference to Jesus and his ministry to the sick and broken hearted… and so he finishes where the story started in chapter 15 – where both the RL’s and the so called scum of society had gathered around Jesus and Jesus turned the tables on their self righteousness when they started to mutter about the Sinners who he was eating with.

It’s about time we stop proof texting the Scriptures… and really be faithful to the text.


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4 Replies to “Driscoll may get it right — but he sure got it wrong on Luke 16.”

  1. Two questions, Two statements

    Statement #1 — right on about Mark Driscoll’s hatchet job
    Statement #2 — The interpretation of the divorce statement is dead on.

    Question #1 What allows you to say the “manager” was repentant?
    Question #2 By heaven hell (?) are you referring to the view of the underworld that thought paradise and “the underworld” were under the earth?

    1. Hi Daniel.

      Good questions… The whole context of the parables is that God is the father / shepherd and business owners. The business manager was a reference to the religious leaders who were lording it over the people – and not helping them ease the load…rather creating a sense of deeper debt / legalism. He was threatened with getting the sack… Jesus was telling the Rl’s your time was up… and within the context of the Gospels he was always rebuking them for creating heavy loads…

      So the business manager saw the light and went and showed grace and mercy and cut the debt to his bosses clients.. The boss being God…the clients being his people. The boss commended him for his change of heart…

      I wasn’t referencing heaven / hell in this passage in any way and don’t think it talks about heaven and hell in any way, shape or form. Rather the point of the rich man / Lazarus story is that the religious leaders thought they were closer to God than what the poor and sick were… and Jesus made a point of telling them…guys you got it wrong.

  2. My interpretation is close to yours only one major difference. The actions of the steward are not because he is sorry but, because he is wise. His time is up and he cuts his “fees” from the price so that he may find a new job after the management change. Jesus is telling the Pharisee’s (and scribes) if they were wise (in light of the coming change) they would “tax” the sinners a bit less.

    Still, I love the view on the divorce statement. It is now my view and I will duly credit you.

    1. Thanks Daniel.
      I have been reflecting and wrestling with those chapters for a while now and I value your contribution to it…

      I said to my wife just now about your liking my view on the divorce statement…’Cool!’ For I often get blank looks and angry denials from others about this passage…but I am totally convinced it is the right way to interpret it.

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