Mark Driscoll's Terrible Exegesis

John Stackhouse has dismantled Driscoll’s assertion that men who choose to be stay-at-home dads should be subject to church discipline quite thoroughly. Money quote here:

“Brother Driscoll’s teaching is deeply embedded in, and makes a sort of sense only for, one social situation: middle-class people (or richer) who can live on the husband’s single paycheque that he earns in work undertaken outside the home.

Yet before the Industrial Revolution, and in many parts of the world today, the workplace is the home, and husbands and wives work together in the family farm, or shop, or service, or whatever. Furthermore, in many modern societies even in so-called developed economies, the days of a living wage being paid to men on which they can then support a wife and kids have disappeared for everyone below the middle-middle class—a reality affecting, I daresay, a significant number of people living in Brother Driscoll’s own city of Seattle.”

As long as evangelicalism is built for the assumptions of the middle class of 30 or 40 years ago, it will continue to fade into irrelevance. Jobs historically done by men are disappearing faster than those performed by women (manufacturing is dwindling, but the service sectors continues to be strong). Some have even referred to the current economic doldrums as the “mancession” since men are faring far worse in it than women. If the recovering economy looks a lot more female-friendly, Driscoll is going to be meting out a lot more theologically-dubious church discipline.