Mark Driscoll, the sometimes-controversial pastor, is set to speak at an upcoming Pastors conference where prominent Southern Baptist Convention pastor Matt Chandler will be a keynote speaker.
According to The Baptist News Global, Driscoll is one of 18 “guest speakers” at the May 11-13 “Spirit & Truth” Theos Conference, an online teaching pastors event billed as offering “theological clarity,” “prophetic insight” and “world-class teachers.”
Chandler, whose Texas-based The Village Church is affiliated with the SBC, is one of three keynote speakers at the conference. Chandler is also president of the Acts 29 Network, a church community Driscoll helped start but then was later fired from.
“Matt Chandler welcomes the opportunity to teach the Bible to a variety of audiences,” an Acts 29 spokesperson told The Roys Report. “When Matt was invited to be a part of this year’s online Theos Conference and recorded his session, he was unaware of the other participants as they had not yet been determined. Matt recognizes that conferences like these serve as an outlet for different viewpoints and voices to be heard and discussed.”
In 2014, Driscoll was removed from his role as president of the Acts 29 Network due to what the board of directors called a pattern of “ungodly and disqualifying behavior.”
Driscoll was also the subject of Christianity Today’s popular podcast, “The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill,” which details how Driscoll founded Mars Hill Church in Seattle and helped it rise to one of the most popular emergent churches in the U.S. The podcast also reports on accusations that Driscoll was abusive as a leader, and his actions led to his firing.
Driscoll now leads a congregation in Arizona called Trinity Church.
Other speakers at the Theos Conference include Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College, New Testament scholar Craig Keener, and Eric Metaxas, an author and historian.
However, author Samuel Sey, who was also scheduled to speak at the conference, tweeted recently that he would be backing out of the conference.
“I’m no longer a part of the conference, brother. And I believe Driscoll is a false teacher,” he wrote on social media.
I’m no longer a part of the conference, brother. And I believe Driscoll is a false teacher.— Samuel Sey (@SlowToWrite) May 4, 2022
This tweet led many to believe that Sey had dropped out of the conference because of Driscoll. After receiving some pushback, Sey later clarified that he did not drop out of the conference because Driscoll was participating in it, but because he was having "production issues."
"Because of my vague wording in this tweet, a lot of people assumed I dropped out of the conference because of Driscoll. That’s not true. I unintentionally made it seem that way. I’m not part of the conference because my recording had production issues," Sey wrote.
"I didn’t know Driscoll was part of the conference until I after I agreed to be part of the conference. For what it’s worth, I do believe he’s a false teacher. Nevertheless, I deserve every criticism for my poor wording. I’m truly sorry about it.
I didn’t know Driscoll was part of the conference until I after I agreed to be part of the conference.— Samuel Sey (@SlowToWrite) May 4, 2022
For what it’s worth, I do believe he’s a false teacher.
Nevertheless, I deserve every criticism for my poor wording. I’m truly sorry about it. (2/2)
Photo courtesy: ©James Gordon/Flickr/Creative Commons
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.