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28 September, 2009 / theexpositor

Mark Driscoll-Filthy Roman Sponge



  1. Pedro / Oct 8 2009 19 30

    This is not what the Bible says: There is no ‘biblical’ warrant for this interpretation. This seems to be another piece of Mark Driscoll imagination.
    This is all the more sad because Mark Driscoll is so gifted, and seems to be reaching people in a way that other ministries are not.
    Are people being attracted to his church because he is so ‘radical’ and ‘sensational’ , and not for the right reasons? Confusing!

  2. grantbush / Apr 22 2010 12 16

    Did he just make that up? The crucifixion of Jesus is bad enough. Why this sensational attempt to make it even more horrific. This smacks of even more shame inducing dualist hatred for the body and bodily functions and “worm theology, which is very damaging to so many.

    Jesus is offered bitter wine – which echoes Psalm 69:21, which he refuses in Mark and Matthew. In John’s gospel Jesus asks for the wine. So it is unclear even among the gospel writers what the wine incident is all about – how come Mark Driscoll can speak about it with such certainty.

  3. Ron Hongsermeier / Apr 30 2010 21 42

    I combine comments to both previous responces.
    It seems that there is a degree of speculation involved in what Mark Driscoll says, but it seems no more speculative than other comments I have read and heard elsewhere on this and the parallel passages. Offering speculation when something is unclear in the biblical text is only destructive if it contradicts something the scriptures plainly say elsewhere. This does not appear to me to be the case in this instance. I think, upon hearing many sermons and reading several things he has written, that the attraction of Mark Driscoll’s work lays in larger part to its truth content than on anything that smacks of sensationalism. I say this as someone who is approaching 60 years on the planet and having tried to stumble in Jesus’ way for 40 years.
    Perhaps his characterization is even wrong, but maybe not. I find it somewhat difficult to believe, for instance, that the Roman soldiers made it a practice to prolong the lives of their victims by giving them drink from their own moisture supply as the esvstudybible suggests in the notes. They likely wouldn’t be interested in any way in doing something that would prolong the ordeal for themselves. The quicker all the crucifixees died, the better for them.
    I think Mark was trying to explain something that he had long meditated upon which fell together for him at that moment in Jerusalem when he saw the public toilette, I don’t think it has anything to do with any “worm theology” and wonder where you get that out of what he said. Same wonder on my part with the “even more shame inducing dualist hatred for the body and bodily functions…” I don’t note anything dualistic in the teachings of Driscoll I’m familiar with, but maybe you can help me with something specific. Dualism is usually correlated in some way with gnostic or at least proto-gnostic thought-streams which are foreign matter as far as anything I’m familiar with in Driscoll’s thought. Furthermore Driscoll’s view of the human body is far from “hatred for the body and bodily functions…”. Finding the idea of being mocked with a sponge used for cleaning away excrement repugnant doesn’t imply in any way a hatred for bodily functions in and of themselves, it is simply pointing to the imaginative wideness demonstrated in the past in thinking up ways to degrade helpless victims. As I wrote above, it may well be that Mark D. is wrong here, but you may be certain that if someone had suggested to the soldiers that it would be possible to degrade someone in this way that they would have made it standard practice by the next crucifixion.
    Jesus doesn’t “ask for the wine”, he says “I thirst”. He does so well after refusing the wine mixed with gall, which was before he was even affixed to the cross according to Matthew’s account more than three hours before the thirst event in John’s gospel. Your criticism is just plain wrong on this point.

  4. Michael / Jun 27 2010 7 34

    The little bit missing of the beginning of this is that Mark is relating what a tour guide told him about the public toilets. The public toilets part is historically accurate. Realising the proximity of the public toilets to the place of execution, and the similarities (sponge, vinegar, stick) the only difference was which end of the body the soldiers were using it on, and you have to admit, the idea makes sense, and makes more sense of why the soldiers would have stuck that into his mouth … to shut him up.

    Sometimes I think Mark does go down a bit of a rabbit trail, but he almost always bases his discussion on solid evidence. Just remember – if someone makes A logical conclusion, just because it’s not the logical conclusion YOU would make doesn’t necessarily mean it’s wrong. Think critically by all means, but consider all the facts before jumping to conclusions.

    • Brett / Apr 7 2011 16 27

      I second this…rightly stated

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