Mark Driscoll has written these words:
I grew more chauvinistic.
This refers not to a time before he was a Christian, but to a period when he was already pastoring Mars Hill Church in Seattle. This was a period when he was having marriage difficulties. I’m not sure if he says he has now become less chauvinistic again.
The quote is taken from Driscoll and his wife Grace’s book Real Marriage: The Truth about Sex, Friendship, and Life Together, and is quoted in Rachel Held Evans’ excellent review of the book, Driscoll, “Real Marriage,” and Why Being a Pastor Doesn’t Automatically Make You a Sex Therapist. I have not read the book.
Rachel’s review is by no means completely negative. She writes that
In places where Mark has been insensitive in the past, he seems to have softened a bit.
And Mark and Grace’s surprising candour about their sexual and marital problems reveals the background to that past insensitivity, explaining it although not excusing it. Mark writes of his own “bitterness” as he counselled couples enjoying very different sexual experiences to his and his wife’s. He also admits that this situation
affected my tone in preaching for a season, something I will always regret.
This leads Rachel to question not only Driscoll’s fitness for pastoring and counselling but also the whole celebrity-pastor culture, so prominent in the USA and growing here in the UK:
Meanwhile, evangelicals in particular need to do something about our celebrity-pastor culture. Mark Driscoll is simply not qualified to serve as a sex therapist—most pastors aren’t!
True maturity is marked not by how much a person knows but by the wisdom he or she shows in discerning when to speak with authority and when to hold back. And when it comes to maturity, I’m afraid that Pastor Mark still has a long way to go.
Yes, Rachel, I agree with you.
Meanwhile Mark Driscoll needs to examine himself more carefully, to look for any ways in which he might still be even a little bit “chauvinistic”. Then he should examine his teaching and particularly his complementarian position, to see how much of it is based on the Bible and how much on his past chauvinism. This book seems to show signs of him moving in the right direction. Let’s hope and pray that he will continue this journey, and that before long we will see a new Driscoll whose teaching undermines chauvinistic stereotypes and exalts women as well as men, as equally made in the image of God.