|Mark Driscoll is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Church. He was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and was raised Roman Catholic in the Riverton Heights area of Seatac, WA. He graduated from Washington State University with a BA in Speech Communication. He has a master's degree in exegetical theology from Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon.
He is well known for his blunt style of speaking. Instead of sugar coating his messages, he tells people what they need to hear, and what other pastors might be afraid to say. Pushing the envelope might be an understatement when it comes to Driscoll, but the honesty in which he delivers his messages is refreshing. Moreover, it is abundantly clear that he cares for his listeners and has their best interests at heart. His untucked, down-to-earth demeanor is the opposite of a televangelist, but refined in a way that fits him well. He is easy to listen to and understand.
He and his wife, Grace, are the authors of the best-selling Real Marriage. He is also the author of 16 other books. Real Marriage covers a variety of topics that pertain to marriage and in some cases relationships in general. One of the most evocative messages in the series is “The Porn Path,” which interviews a former porn star to gain her perspective and insight into the negative effects of the industry, and how nothing is harmless in relation to viewing pornography.
Recently, he displayed how much of an epidemic pornography is in the United States by creating the headline “Free Porn” on Mars Hill Church’s website and reporting the spike in views the blog generated.
His sermons are Biblically based and grounded wholeheartedly in Scripture. Driscoll would say that he believes Calvin’s theology, but not Calvinism, and would argue that Calvinism is probably not what Calvin believed.
He distinguishes between double and single predestination and only believes in single predestination. He also denies orthodox Calvinist view of Limited Atonement and believes that Jesus died for all people. He has also cited that Charles Spurgeon was a major influence on his theology.
Driscoll holds a complementarian view regarding gender roles in the church. His wife Grace has assisted Driscoll in the past by answering questions from the audience, and Driscoll believes this does not conflict with Paul prohibiting women to preach or teach according to 1 Timothy 2:12. He believes that homosexuality is sinful and that marriage is between one man and one woman, according to Genesis.
Driscoll also founded Resurgence, which services Christian leaders through books, blog posts, conferences, and classes, and has over 7 million visits to its website annually. He is passionate about planting churches, and founded Acts 29, which has planted over 400 churches in the U.S. and 13 other countries.
He was named one of the 25 most influential pastors of the past 25 years by Preaching magazine, along with numerous other accolades.