Driscoll’s antithesis between grace and works

Here Mark Driscoll answers the question: ‘How can we fight against the merit/demerit religious ideas’.

Here is part of his answer: ‘The whole merit/demerit thing is about how can I be righteous… We struggle with pure free grace, it seems to good to be true.’

And Driscoll goes on: ‘And works and grace are antithetical. You read Romans 11 and its all about the antithesis between grace and works. Works is me boasting, grace is me boasting about Jesus. Works is me looking at what I’ve done; grace is looking at what Jesus has done. Works is about me saying that God owes me; grace is about saying that God has done good to someone who is ill deserving, and I’ll tell you that the only way out of merit/demerit is just to keep looking at Jesus, that is the only way out of merit/demerit. I think it is perennially popular, but I believe it is the essence of all religion, and religion is terrible.’

 Driscoll’s assertion, that grace and works are opposed to each other, is a false statement. He is saying that we can either have grace, which makes us free from good works, or else we can choose good works which makes us free from grace. As they are antithetical, it’s either one or the other.

 What Driscoll is doing is using one biblical truth (for by grace are ye saved through faith) and avoiding another (unto good works) in order to promote a false antinomian version of Christianity. He is correctly teaching that salvation is by grace alone, through faith in Jesus Christ. Every born again Christian knows and understands this great biblical truth. ‘For by grace are ye saved through faith, and not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast’ (Ephesians 2.8-9). But Scripture does not stop there; it goes on to say that the Christian is saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus ‘unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them’  (Ephesians 2.10). As the apostle James says, ‘Even so faith, if it hath not works is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe and tremble. But wilt thou not know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead’ (James 2.17-20).

 Why does Driscoll not teach that we are saved by grace through faith, unto goods works? Why does he not teach that genuine faith in the Lord Jesus Christ always produces good works? But he does not do so. Rather, Driscoll asserts that faith and works stand in opposition to each other.

Scripture says that a true Christian demonstrates the genuineness of his faith by his good works. Scripture says: ‘This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain goods works. These things are good and profitable to men’ (Titus 3.8). Driscoll’s version of Christianity is without good works, without rules of righteous conduct, as is clearly demonstrated on this website.