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A Mystery Solved About Mars Hill Church

Last week Keith sent me a link to some EXCELLENT sermons by Mark Driscoll, teaching pastor at the Mars Hill church. (Link in itunes here… I especially enjoyed the sermons “the struggle of false teachers.” Wow – Driscoll really knows how to say it like it is! And his words carry the genuine weight of Scriptures behind them. Yes, false teachers are “wolves” that kill and destroy the sheep. Yes, there are “close-handed” (aka really important) doctrines that you just CANNOT mess with. Yes, a true pastor needs to spend time guarding and defending his sheep against false teachers. So true!

All through his sermon, however, I just kept asking myself “How can Mark Driscoll and Rob Bell be pastors of the same church?” After all, Rob Bell – the man who recently wrote a book “Velvet Evlis,” in which he stated that religion is like a faded painting of elvis which needs to be re-painted every generation or so, and that the virgin birth and other essential doctrines are fair-game along with everything else – is also the pastor of Marsh Hill church. It seemed that the two were at complete logger-heads: according to Driscoll’s very correct interpretation of Scriptures, Rob Bell is a heretic.

I typed in “Driscoll vs Rob Bell” into Google and did indeed find that Driscoll has recently come out and said Rob Bell is a heretic, and he is (predictably) getting flames for it. I was all bothered by it, thinking, “After all his wonderful precision with Scriptures, has Driscoll allowed a heretic to emerge as co-pastor in his own church? This will absolutely devastate his ministry!”

Okay, long story short – there are two (at least) churches which are called “Mars Hill” church. Actually, Rob Bell’s is “Mars Hill Bible Church” (ironically enough, since they seem more concerned with popular spirituality and NT. Wright’s theology than the Bible per-se) and Driscoll’s church is just “Mars Hill Church.”

Well that makes sense…kind of. I suppose there’s a limit of good names in the bible. Too bad it worked out like this – so confusing!!


  1. Mark Driscoll’s “Mars Hill” church is in the Seattle area in Washington state. I believe it’s becoming a rather large church with all kinds of little “mars hills” churches getting planted on the west coast. I have some friends who have gotten involved in one of Driscoll’s church plants, which I think they have told me is actually still considered emerging possibly even emergent. I think the jury is still out trying to nail down the differences between those two terms, “emerging” and “emergent”. Rob Bell’s “Mars Hill”, an emergent church is in Michigan which lies in the eastern half of the States.

    • Yeah…I don’t have much use for those terms, because it depends who is using them, and everybody has a different interpretation of what they mean. I think the REAL question is whether you put Jesus or Culture first, at the end of the day. From what I can see, Rob bell puts culture first, while Driscoll most CERTAINLY puts Christ first and foremost in his ministry.

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