Freed to live through the death of another.

To Drink or Not to Drink

It was not too long ago that some pretty harsh and unfair words were flying around the blogosphere regarding the Young Restless Reformed movement and their stance on drinking. Reading between the lines, many people wondered if it was Mark Driscoll and the Acts 29 group of pastors & church planters who were actually being criticized. Though Driscoll was not named, I’m happy that he did not respond in the moment, nor in kind, but rather has offered a historical, biblical, and practical defence of his position on the consumption of alcohol.

Here are a couple of excerpts from the article, which I highly recommend for your consideration:

Regarding alcohol, perhaps it is best to start with the obvious. All Bible believing Christians agree that drunkenness is a sin.

The Bible is abundantly clear that drunkenness is a sin (Deuteronomy 21:20; Ecclesiastes 10:17; Matthew 24:29; Luke 12:45; 21:34; Romans 13:13; I Corinthians 5:11; Ephesians 5:18; I Peter 4:3).

Christians should avoid causing an actual person to actually stumble, but to seek to avoid causing a hypothetical person to hypothetically stumble is unreasonable, if not impossible when applied to every single issue.

For example, if a skinny person eats dessert in front of a dieting, obese glutton, they could tempt them to sin by also eating dessert. So, in love they should forego it. But, to tell the skinny person to never eat dessert again, even at home alone with only his or her skinny spouse, because someone, somewhere, who eats cakes by the sheet instead of the slice, may hear about this dessert consumption and be thrown into a frosting frenzy, is unreasonable.

It would certainly appear that Driscoll, at least on this issue, has Scripture, Christian history, and the balance of wisdom on his side.

Just as a side-note, I wanted to include this for no other reason than that it is so typically Luther: ‘Do you suppose that abuses are eliminated by destroying the object which is abused? Men can go wrong with wine and women. Shall we then prohibit and abolish women’

Read Driscoll: ‘FAQ: What’s Your Stance on Alcohol?’


  1. Bryn MacPhail

    Short. Biblical. Balanced. Great post Julian! BTW, did you know that as a part of his monthly stipend Calvin was given a case of wine?

  2. Chris Tolbert

    I completely agree with Driscoll's defense, but I think you missed the point of MacArthur's posts. It had nothing to do with whether or not the act of drinking alcohol is a sin. It was about what we (YRR) choose to where as badges and the message that communicates. Soli Deo Gloria!

  3. @micahspence

    It seemed obvious to me that John MacArthur's motivation for writing that post was his dislike of Driscoll and the whole movement.

    I really didn't care, because I had already tuned him out over comments he made about Driscoll's Song of Solomon Series and Darrin Patrick's book "Church Planter." He was off base then and continues to be. Another MacArthur post was excellent, but the first was a poorly veiled attack on a Caricature of the A29/YRR guy.

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