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"If you're biblical you'd be at least a bit charismatic..."

Walking to Exeter University today for a meeting I listened to Mark Driscoll: Religion Saves... The Regulative Principle which was a refreshing preach on worship, church meetings and includes Driscoll talking about his experience of being challenged by Mahaney & Piper about how much he makes of God's grace in his ministry.

Listening to Bob Kauflin's Hymns Project: Upward, on the way back was pretty exhiliarating - cos it's not a sin to sing about Jesus.


  1. Thanks for posting this. I thought this would be interesting so listened. I think he's a bit ungracious in how he explains the regulative principle: to say that those who hold to exclusive psalmody are necessarily legalistic. Legalist is used far too much just to slate those who hold to a tigher view than you when you think it's wrong or don't understand it completely, as if you think they're making up rules for the fun of it, to impose them as a burden on others when they don't keep it themselves (as you referenced Dan P's post). I think my exclusive psalmodist friends are wrong, but some of them are the most gracious gospel people I know - certainly not legalists. It's probably just Driscoll's flippant style (it was an interesting talk overall), but not helpful for mutual upbuilding for those listening who hold to such views.

  2. He probably is a little over simplified there, and the use of legalism (as noted) should be more careful. Legalist is often used as a catch all term for those who are wrong, and more nuance would be helpful.

  3. Isn't a legalist anyone who restricts their or other conscience in ways that the Bible has not specified? If so, the 'Psalm only' folks would indeed be legalists. Anyway, I love Mark and have from the beginning. Praise God for his ministry. Thanks for this post!

  4. Hi Shannon,

    That could be a definition of it. I guess in this case, "wrong" would suffice, or something more generous towards their consciences in some cases.

    Likewise, an appreciator of Driscoll's ministry. And looking forward to hearing him speak in the UK this summer.

  5. So you made the right choice and are coming to Brighton then? - See you there!

    I think strict regulative principle folk are legalists in one sense, although I guess when the Bible talks about legalism it's usually about people who keep laws to add to Christ's work... that's clearly not the motive here, but it's still wrong adding extra-biblical rules

  6. Yes I am..

    The issue is when things that aren't 'regulated' become classed as if they were. Being Biblical is a great idea - but the Bible simply doesn't say everything about how to run a Christian meeting. That said, it does give us some pretty solid framework and non-negotiables both in methodology and in what the purpose of such meetings should be.

  7. 1. The bible speaks to everything, every issue, every question, every ethical dilemna, every decision. We're never to be deciding anything in some kid of bible-free neutral zone where reason/custom/tradition/whatever reign without reference to revelation. In this sense I am a regulative principle kind of guy.

    2. The bible doesn't speak to everything in exactly the same way. This has a big impact on the importance I attach to specific conclusions about specific issues in 1., and it especially impacts on the level of dogmatism and certainty I attach to them in my fellowship with other believers. In this sense I'm not what others might see as a regulative principle kind of guy.

    I believe John Frame has said some really good, nuanced, careful, theologically astute things about the regulative principle (thereby winding up both the regulative and the non-regulative dudes!). Somewhere on the internet.

  8. Agreed the Bible does speak to every decision - but just not necessarily with a specific instruction. Nuance is good.


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