For the last few years, I've been leaning towards to the latter.
See, a few years back I heard a sermon of his. Most of this sermon, in my opinion, was him screaming at men; belittling, humiliating, and degrading them. It was enough for me to decide that I never wanted to hear him speak again. I really disliked him and my respect for him was zero.
So I'm just as surprised as you are by these next words I am going to say. Mark Driscoll is actually very wise. In the last few weeks, my view has completely changed. I have listened to other sermons of his, and listened to his contribution to the 'Men Stepping Up' series. (AWESOME series by the way!! Men, women, whoever - check it out and be inspired)
So I have reached this conclusion that Mark Driscoll has a lot of wise things to say. His teaching is based solidly on Scripture from what I have seen, and he speaks in such a way that is convicting, challenging, and encouraging all at the same time. No, I dont always like his style. I don't always agree with the way he approaches certain topics. But he's speaking the truth.
Yes, truth is hard to hear. If you're looking for a preacher/teacher who's going to fill you with nice warm and fuzzy feelings, someone who's only going to tell you the nice Scripture verses, then he probably isn't the preacher for you. But if you want to be challenged, if you want to learn, if you want to grow in your thinking and understanding, then listen to his sermons.
And as for the 'screaming at men, belittling them' sermon - I have come to realize that it was most likely taken completely out of context and put in a YouTube clip. Also, the men he was speaking to that day were members of his church, people who knew his heart, and knew he only wanted the best for them.
A final note: My favourite sermons of Driscoll's so far are about the topics of dating, marriage, and sex. He and his wife both share some really great insights in the 'real marriage' series.
Just so this entire post is not about Mark Driscoll, I'm gonna make a list of my favourite preachers. You can check them all out on Youtube, their church websites, or iTunes podcasts.
Matt Chandler (The Village Church)
Josh Harris (Covenant Life Church) (author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Boy Meets Girl and others)
Tim Tebow (football player, I know, but he is a really good speaker!! author of Through My Eyes, A Quarterback's Journey)
Christine Caine (founder of the A21 Campaign, Hillsong Church, worldwide speaker, author of Undaunted)
Mark Driscoll (Mars Hill Church)
Carl Lentz (Hillsong NYC)
Joel Houston (Hillsong NYC, Hillsong United)
Judah Smith (The City Church, author of Jesus Is___ and others)
Louie Giglio (Passion City Church)
Kari Jobe (worship leader, but amazing speaker! she has such a sweet spirit)
That's my list of who I'm currently listening to/ reading. I'm sure there are more but I'd probably go on for too long.
Anyway, tell me, who are your favorite speakers, and why?