Yes, he’s said something controversial again. Big shock, right? And all the world is up in arms. And should be. So, why does a man who hates women as much as he does have a following?
It’s an interesting question and one which bedevils the sensible. And I have an answer, but you’ll have to endure a little story first.
Long ago, whilst we were in grad school (in Wake Forest, NC) we were discussing current events in Church History, trying to wrap our minds around stuff that didn’t seem to make sense. So, amidst the chatter, someone asked our dear Prof, Dr, Glenn Miller, “Why on earth do people in North Carolina elect a person like Jesse Helms? He’s insane, and how anyone can support him is an absolute mystery”. Dr. Miller then responded- ‘The rural folk, who outnumber the city folk, vote for him simply in order to thumb their noses at the intellectual elite at Duke, and Chapel Hill, and NC State.’ ‘What?’ said one and all. ‘Yes, they do’ said he, ‘because it allows the less than super educated to hold power in a way that the elite minority can’t’.
I’ve thought about that a lot since the mid 1980’s and I’ve decided that Prof. Dr. Miller was spot on. The unintelligent flock to the unintelligent and support them in either conscious or subconscious ways in order to thumb their noses at the learned few (whom they perceive to hold real power in politics, the media, and academia).
Consequently, Mark Driscoll (a not at all intelligent man) has managed to gather around himself followers who, like him, are not at all intelligent, or learned in Scripture or theology. Their ‘numbers’ serve to justify their views in spite of the fact that truth isn’t determined by popularity. In short, they adhere to Driscoll’s drivel because there’s ‘safety in numbers’ and in those numbers is a not too thinly veiled anti-intellectualism which has pervaded American culture since its inception: an anti-intellectualism which is famously enunciated in the frequently used phrase ‘Eastern liberal elites’.
Driscoll appeals to the anti- Eastern intellectual elites. That’s why people follow him, in great numbers. Because, sadly, there are more ignorant people than intelligent people. And that’s why a man who hates women as much as Mark Driscoll does has a following.