Monday, March 30, 2015

If Justin Dean had time for the following stuff at I4J ... can he clarify which conversation he believes The Stranger staff made up?

So if Justin Dean can make a point of bringing up this ...

The text of the statement:
Justin Dean · Top Commenter · Buford, Georgia
Rob Smith Rob you're in no position to speak of integrity. You're currently threatening to sue the church and my friends and colleagues, raising over $11k for the cause while making outrageous RICO claims. Yet your company Thain Boatworks has a $100k federal tax lein against it, and you haven't produced a lawsuit in over a year. In fact no one has filed a lawsuit. All you hoped to do was hurt our reputation, not help the church and not help others. What are you doing with that $11k when you owe $104k?
Reply · Like · March 9 at 2:28pm

Dropping his website into maintenance mode and ending the Twitter account doesn't take this stuff away, does it?

Why can't he be bothered to answer a straightforward question about which conversation he believes The Stranger staff made up in their published materials on Mars Hill?  He's had a couple of weeks to clear things up.  No doubt The Stranger staff recognize they offend and inspire disagreement plenty, but the allegation that The Stranger published a conversation attributed to Justin Dean or anyone at Mars Hill that Dean said was "made up" is a pretty substantial assertion. 

The pertinent assertion is

"...  I would respond to bloggers and journalists all the time, trying our best to be open and communicate well. There were periods of time when we'd not respond at all. That was frustrating at times but we were doing our best to try and wade through the storm. The Stranger was just brutal and mean and would twist what I would say so we eventually just ignored them because they were hateful no matter what. They even posted a whole conversation with me once that was completely made up. It never happened. They aren't to be trusted. [emphasis added]"

If Dean asserts this can he establish which article it was, what date it was published, who wrote the article, and what it was about?  If Justin Dean's got time to make comments about something that may never even happen he should surely have time to clarify to either Wenatchee The Hatchet or, better yet, The Stranger which conversation he believes was made up. 

It would seem that a journalistic lapse as egregious as making up a conversation would be something Dean could have answered within the last ten days.

After all, if Sutton Turner found the time to come by and clear up some misunderstandings (much appreciated, by the way) then perhaps Justin Dean can follow the same example?

It looks weirdly hardball for Justin Dean in terms of PR.  Wouldn't the time to have played hardball PR been some time before the formal dissolution of the corporation was announced?

As tax liens go, there's probably no fun one, although Stevie Wonder's tax lien made for some amusing headlines

and then there's Willie Nelson

Does Justin Dean want to make a case that Stevie Wonder lacks integrity, too?  Not that someone couldn't try to make that case but ...

To date there's been no statement from Justin Dean about how and why Mark Driscoll could go from sharing how in 2006 he approached co-founding elders Mike Gunn and Lief Moi to plant Mars Hill with him because they were good dads and yet in 2013 was saying from the pulpit that the reason there was no childrens' ministry at the start of Mars Hill was there were no kids.


Here’s where we’re at: Recently, 10,177 adults in attendance across Mars Hill. Fifteen churches, five states. We count people because people count. We count people because people count, and it’s not just numbers, it’s faces and names. There are also almost 2,500 kids, right? Can we say, “Praise God”? We like kids. When we started Mars Hill 17 years ago, there wasn’t even a children’s ministry—because there were no children. [emphasis added] People are coming in, getting saved, getting baptized, getting married, getting pregnant. Ideally, that’s the order, OK?
Confessions of a Reformission RevMark Driscoll, Zondervan

page 54

... The church started as an idea I shared with Lief Moi and Mike Gunn. Lief is a descendant of Genghis Khan and his dad was a murderer, and Mike is a former football player. They proved to be invaluable, except for the occasional moments when they would stand toe-to-toe in a leadership meeting, threatening to beat the Holy Spirit out of each other. Both men were older than I and had years of ministry experience, and they were good fathers, loving husbands, and tough.  [emphasis added]...

and ... from page 145

Jamie [Munson] came to Seattle at the age of nineteen, drinking, smoking pot, and having spent most of his life driving around in a maturity cul de sac, listening to Bon Jovi albums in the great nation of Montana. In Seattle, he lived with his sister and brother-in-law, Jen and Phil, who had been with the church from the beginning. They were the first couple who showed up with kids when we were in our core phase. [emphasis added]

one last thing before bedtime, if Justin Dean's taken the time to address Rob Smith directly it does retroactively cast at least some question on this statement from Mark Driscoll around the second half of July 2014:
As well, one of the things that has been complex is the fact that a lot of the people that we are dealing with in this season remain anonymous. And so we don't know how to reconcile, or how to work things out with, with people because we're not entirely sure who they are, and so that has, that has made things a little more complex and difficult as well. [emphasis added]

But if that was true what was with the history of attempts to contact bloggers privately on the part of MH pastors from time to time from 2007 to 2013?

Clearly Joyful Exiles was not the work of people who opted to stay anonymous and it had been up for a year or two by the summer of 2014.

then there's this overview of the history of MH pastors contacting bloggers privately.

Driscoll said "we're not entirely sure who they are" last year but it's hard to stand by that explanation now that Justin Dean's insisted on bringing up tax liens against Rob Smith. 

Note Justin Dean's comment "and you haven't produced a lawsuit in over a year."  Subtract at least 13 months from March 9, 2015 and we get ... what, February 2014?  Let's track back to the July 2014 statement from Driscoll.  So if Justin Dean knew that Rob Smith was saying or doing anything toward the end of litigation more than a year ago then doesn't this destroy any plausible deniability about the upper echelon leaders of Mars Hill being "not entirely sure who they are" as bloggers or critics of the leadership go? Did Justin Dean stop and actually think about that implication in what he wrote before he posted?  It doesn't quite seem like he did. If this is a misunderstanding of what Dean meant then, well, Dean's welcome to clarify things.

the last TMZ post a before and after 3-26-15 and 3-27-15

It has been noted here and there that the content of Craig Gross' "Last TMZ Post" has changed within the last seven days. 

Without discussing that content, presented are a before and after set of screen captures.

March 26, 2015

then March 27, 2015


update on Craig Gross 114475804871 post, google cache of company page no longer available

Whoever, was selling it created a twitter, a coupon code for the site and we were not the only ones to find out about this. The website is gone now but you can see the old site on a google archive here.

but ...

actually doesn't work

but ...


for now.

That's not the only thing that changed in Craig Gross' posts from last week. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

a short update on John Catanzaro--"not currently practicing but is on site as a nutritional counselor and patient advocate"

Last year readers may recall that naturopath John Catanzaro, who was at one time Mark Driscoll's naturopath, had his license suspended.

a press release late last year clarified that he would have his license suspended until at least the end of January 2015.  He's to be on probation for eight years when his license is reinstated. Catanzaro reached a settlement over the suspension.

In a peculiar irony the press release about the license suspension came out the same month Mark Driscoll was featured in Christianity Today in the Leadership Journal section discussing health and health care for pastors. By Driscoll's account:
... First I went to a conventional doctor, who told me I needed blood pressure meds, heartburn medicine, sleep medicine, anxiety medicine. I'm like, Man, I'm in my 30s. That's a lot of medicine! So I went and found a naturopathic doctor, who said, "You need to quit your job and find a different vocation."
I said, "Well, Jesus said to do this, so that's not really an option." So I found another naturopathic doctor. He gave me supplements, vitamins, minerals, IV treatments for adrenal support, and custom tailored vitamins. He put me on a regimen for wellness and recovery. His approach was to naturally rebuild the body, to not just treat the symptoms. He told me, "You've got to work really hard to change your lifestyle and your organization, everything."

As previously noted, the irony was that while by Mark Driscoll's account he didn't want to be taking a ton of pills, when in the 2008 spiritual warfare session he described his routines he mentioned taking something like 25 vitamin supplements a day.
Spiritual Warfare
February 5, 2008
Pastor Mark Driscoll
Part 4 Q&A

I'll tell you what this looks like for me. My doctor is trained in naturopath and traditional medicine in Eastern and Western. He loves Jesus. I mean I go in for IV treatments. Just for additional vitamins and minerals and supplements I take 25 vitamins a day. [emphasis added]

But not everyone seems to be on board with the idea that dozens of vitamin and mineral supplements taken daily necessarily helps.

Meanwhile, for those who don't want to read that piece or read it already, there's another peculiar irony:
I've seen so many young guys go up fast and come down hard. Some years Rick Warren invited me down to California. I had dinner with a couple of other young leaders and pastor Rick, and I said, "Okay. So like why am I here? Did I do something wrong? Usually I get called into meetings when I've said something wrong." Rick said, "No, you didn't do anything wrong. Years ago I put together a list of young up-and-coming evangelical pastors, and I prayed for them. And every time a guy disqualifies himself or quits or whatever, I cross his name off the list." And he said, "More than half the list is gone, but you guys are still on the list. So I wanted to see how you are doing." Sometimes I think ministry is like MMA. If you're just still standing at the end, there's a good chance you're the winner. [emphasis added]

Within the calendar year Mark Driscoll had resigned,

At the moment Driscoll isn't confirmed as a pastor of or a member in a church, and has not been in the media much since he resigned from being preaching pastor at Mars Hill late last year. 

And a year later, it looks like Mark Driscoll's former naturopath is not yet back into formally licensed medical practice.

**Dr. John is not currently practicing but is on site as a nutritional counselor and patient advocate. If you need a prayer for your health, he is here for you so come on in and pray with Dr. John.**

While the article from January 2014 was titled "The Survivor" this year, for the moment, neither Mark Driscoll nor John Catanzaro are currently in their respectively documented careers for now.  This doesn't mean we may not see either or both of them return to preaching and naturopathy within the calendar year.  That remains to be seen.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

for the sake of review, the amended 2011 by-laws on the role of the BoAA in distributing/selling assets in "not in the ordinary course of business".

Section 7.16. Powers

In addition to those powers required to be exercised by the board of advisors & accoutnability under the Act, the board of advisors & accountability possesses the following enumerated powers:

(a) Alter, amend, or repeal and adopt new Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws;
(b) Oversee an evaluation of the performance of the executive elder team and approve the annual compensation for each member of the executive elder team;
(c) Appoint, retain, compensate, evaluate and terminate the Church's independent auditors;
(d) Establish the annual budget for the Church;
(e) Alter, amend, or repeal and adopt a new Conflict of Interest Policy for the Church;
(f) Indemnify an officer (or former officer), or make any other indemnification other than as authorized in the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws in accordance with the Act;
(g) Adopt a plan of merger or adopt a plan of consolidation with another corporation;

(h) Authorize the sale, lease, or exchange of all or substantially all of the property and assets of the Church not in the ordinary course of business;

Let Wenatchee The Hachet red letter this next section for people who might miss the significance of this enumerated power ...

In other words, folks, if the BoAA were going to sell a ton of real estate while Mark Driscoll was on leave that wouldn't be a betrayal of Mark Driscoll, it would be the Board of Advisors & Accountability actually seeming to do its job for a change.  And who would have updated the bylaws in this way?  "Probably" Sutton Turner, who said in an interview that Mark Driscoll wasn't into updating bylaws or putting together policies and procedures and that's what Turner did for the church.  So if anyone at Mars Hill has heard that real estate may have been put on the market without any input from Driscoll during his leave of absence, maybe thank Sutton Turner for making that possible.  That is, of course, if Mars Hill made any decisions to sell off Martian real estate without consulting Mark Driscoll.  But under normal circumstances, well, be patient, we'll get to that inevitable observation in time.  Let's get back to the enumerated powers of the BoAA.

(i) Authorize the voluntary dissolution of the Church or revoke proceedings therefor;

(j) Adopt a plan for the distribution of the assets of the Church; or

(k) Make a material tax election under the INternal Revenue Code affecting the Church.

Any power not reserved for the full council of elders pursuant to Section 6.9 or the obard of advisors & accountability pursuant to this Section 7.16 shall be reserved for and be decided by the executive elder team.

So for those who may have wondered, the people authorized to sell, lease or exchange all or substantially all of the property and assets of the Church not in the ordinary course of business wouldn't be Justin Dean, couldn't be Justin Dean.  He's never been on the BoAA and has never been one of the legal officers of the church that can be documented.  The only people explicitly authorized to distribute or sell assets, if the by-laws count, would be members of the Board of Advisors and Accountability.

So whoever is currently on the Mars Hill Board of Advisors & Accountability... it would seem to be them.  News coverage and blogging has tended to focus on names like Dean, Driscoll, Gross, and folks who had little to do with the initial authorization that would have been necessary.  If Dean was given the information to distribute Dean wasn't a member of the BoAA and would have had to have gotten permission or authorization from someone on the BoAA to be able to distribute the list, if Dean had a list to distribute.

Or at least it seems like it would help clear things up.  Justin Dean's even being in a position to speak about a list seems to necessitate asking how he was in a position to either have a list of names that could be sold or know about a resource that was selling the list.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Craig Gross writes more about the list/spam situation "Last TMZ Post", and a new development on the Dean/MCA side (something's down)

there was this, earlier

and there has since been this

Earlier in the week Wenatchee The Hatchet wondered if it was possible the spam list was comprised of materials that would have been available to Resurgence Publishing Inc.  Selling lists is common practice.  Well, no, that got cleared up by Craig Gross's clarifying statements.  And we had a visitor to testify on the Resurgence Publishing side that it (and by specific extension Sutton Turner) had nothing to do with the recent spam list sale.

So that pretty much leaves the multiple unnamed parties that may or may not have been given some kind of list of contacts by somebody and for the time being Justin Dean's gone silent.

For sake of review of what Gross wrote earlier:
I found it interesting that as soon as I posted this that Justin Dean posted a blog on his website that he somewhat apologized for distributing the list to me. Lets be clear, he sold the list to me. He didn’t broker a transaction. He sold me the list along with several other people who paid $1350-$1500 for the list.

I asked the lawyer that was in charge selling the assets for 100k earlier in 2014 and he said that no one has purchased the rights to sell these assets yet.

I found it interesting that on December 16th the WHOIS registrar data has been updated for over 100 websites that Mars Hill once owned and now they state that are owned by who else but… Justin Dean.

But at the moment it's not clear who actually sold the list.  Dean seems to have said he was party to it but was not the person who brokered the sale, while Craig Gross' understanding seems to be that Dean directed Gross to a resource at which a list could be bought.  It seems to be the understanding of Gross Dean sold him the list.

At the moment Justin Dean's twitter and his website is still in maintenance mode.

Lately removed was the March 19, 2015 2:13pm plug for Church Leaders List presented earlier this week at Wenatchee The Hatchet.

behold, the ad ... it's almost like somebody came along and said, "I know, how about a magic trick? I will make this advert disappear." 

It's ... gone.

The question of who was given the list by Justin Dean (at least by Justin Dean's account earlier this week) that could have sold the information has not been answered and for the time being it isn't clear the question ever will be answered.  I.e. "How Did Church Leaders List Get Mars Hill Church’s Email List?" may not get an answer.

new president for Mars Hill Church, Kerry Dodd, information courtesy of Warren Throckmorton and King County records

Formerly the CFO of Mars Hill Church, Warren Throckmorton's recent blogging has established that the recent sale of real estate by Mars Hill to Quest Church featured Kerry Dodd as the president of Mars Hill Church.

So Bruskas is gone.  Turner and Driscoll are also gone.  It's turning out that there may not be any executive elders in the corporation at all.  Precisely who is left running the corporation set to expire at the end of this calendar year is not entirely clear.  But it would seem that absent any executive pastors there still need to be legal officers.  So if Kerry Dodd has become president is the secretary still Caleb Walters, Chief Operating Officer of Mars Hill?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

for the moment, Justin Dean's site has gone into a Maintainence mode, the question about how the list was made available to Church Leaders List still open-ended.

Throckmorton has noted that lately Justin Dean's site seems to be down.
Now Justin Dean’s website is down and so that statement is not available (except via Google cache) and screen cap below.

According to Craig Gross’ explanation, Dean’s involvement may have been that Dean was I asked Dean yesterday and today about his dealings with Church Leaders List but have not heard back from him. Gross wrote:
I found  it interesting that as soon as I posted this that Justin Dean posted a blog on his website that he somewhat apologized for distributing the list to me. Lets be clear, he sold the list to me. He didn’t broker a transaction. He sold me the list along with several other people who paid $1350-$1500 for the list.
I asked the lawyer that was in charge selling the assets for 100k earlier in 2014 and he said that no one has purchased the rights to sell these assets yet.
I have seen communications which indicate to me that Mars Hill Church has not sold The Resurgence email lists. Thus, if the lists have not been sold by Mars Hill Church, then how did Church Leaders List get them?

Read more:

It would seem as though only a select number of people would have the authorization to give the list to anyone for any use.  While Justin Dean's account of things, lately removed, took time to say Mark Driscoll was not involved in the transaction not having mentioned Mark Driscoll at all could have ensured that. 
Dean wrote:

I did not intend for this to happen nor did I know that it was going to happen. I am deeply saddened that someone who claims to be a pastor would use a list to attack another pastor and spread gossip. Pastor Mark was not involved in this at all, even though Craig is trying to claim that he was.
So it's possible he wasn't the one who posted a link to an advertisement on March 19, 2015.  Maybe someone else connected to Ministry Communicators Association did that.  It's possible. 

List buying and selling is, it should be said, thoroughly normal.  If there's anything mildly unusual it's that Craig Gross spammed folks with something mentioning Driscoll as a lead-in to a promotion.  Pretty tacky as these things go but it's hard to see it as even as tacky as the iPad mini promotion Driscoll's team had going a while back.

The question still lingering is how and why the list was made available to parties that included someone who decided to put the list up for sale.  If Justin Dean were to clear the air by saying all the names of the parties that were recipients in the distribution of the list that could clear things up ... if that's possible or practical. 

Perhaps when Dean's site is back up and running there may be some clarifying statements.  We'll just have to wait and see.


It appears that at the moment Justin Dean's Twitter is also down.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

an irony of information disclosure--did Mars Hill officers authorize the disbursement of member data after years of having kept the location of Driscoll's residence secret?

One of the things that has been objected to about the recent Craig Gross spam incident is the selling of names for fundraising purposes.  Not even Justin Dean has denounced the practice as such, just the wording and claims Gross made about Mark Driscoll along the way. 

Craig Gross, for his part, expressed dismay that Mark Driscoll's supporters seemed more angry that his name was mentioned than that their information was bought and sold for promotions and sales.

Something else that might be pertinent to observations of irony ...

in late 2013 Mark Driscoll published "The Hardest Part of Ministry" at The Resurgence, an overview of threats and troubles faced by his family because of his public ministry.  He closed with the statement that the path was all too clear and that he was called to ministry and loved the city.  He didn't really specify which city he loved, though. 

Something that wasn't always clear from Driscoll's 2013 statement at The Resurgence was that Driscoll's conduct had sometimes been a catalyst for some of the trouble he came across.
By Driscoll's own account he'd gotten someone mad enough with his William Wallace II antics that a guy showed up wanting to fight at 3am.

It also turned out that while Driscoll mentioned sex offenders visiting his residence, at least one former attender of Mars Hill recalled of the 2000-2003 period:
We would mainly go to the Paradox but occasionally go to the Ballard church (house). I remember going to Mark’s birthday party/5 year anniversary party and going to a retreat where Damien Jurado was there (He did a great rendition of Pink Moon). I started going to Mark’s house by the Montlake bridge for a men’s bible study. His uber-macho/hyperbolic public persona practically disappeared. He revealed a man that was Christ-filled caring and compassionate man. I remember one time him speaking about having a child-molester in his house and was uneasy about it but believed that Christ had changed this man’s heart. ... [emphasis added]

In Driscoll's 2013 litany of risks his family faced this went unmentioned.

But what was not mentioned in the 2013 statement was that the Driscolls were no longer even living in Seattle and hadn't since at least May 2012.

While Driscoll urged members to give more and to step up contribution during a trying season, the Driscolls purchased a roughly one million dollar home in Woodway.  Now a person can buy however expensive a home he or she wishes to if the money is available.  But it introduced a tension between Driscoll's rhetoric of love for the city (which listeners would have tended to infer was Seattle) and where he actually lived for a time. 

If one were to follow the Golden Rule in information distribution here and put it in reverse, by not doing to others what you wouldn't want done to you, is there some possible disconnect between the Driscolls and the upper-level leadership being secretive about where the Driscolls lived on the one hand and lately seeming to have authorized the distribution of a massive list that included what seems to have been member contacts and names? 

It does seem ironic if Mars Hill leadership had spent time and effort to keep the location of the Driscolls a secret if, lately, its officers and former or present leaders are okay with the contact information and names of members who gave sacrificially being bought and sold for promotions.  had Mars Hill leaders and associates not let the names be put on the market to begin with the Craig Gross kerfuffle could not have happened. 

If Mars Hill officers did (or did not) authorize the distribution of the names, may they clear the air soon.

reactions to the Craig Gross spam and the gossip statement, cross-referencing Craig Gross' post-Driscoll-resignation statement with Driscoll's 2012 pre-emptive statements in the wake of the Brierley interview publication

One of the things that has been mentioned is that Gross' email was, basically, gross.  There have been complaints that it took advantage of a man down and out to make a point and promote something.  Having read the spam, it was fairly tacky but perhaps having spent so very many years connected to the culture of Mars Hill it's simply impossible to believe that what Craig Gross wrote seems all that troubling.

After all ... it's not like Driscoll didn't have a history of inciting some controversy on social media. Back in 2006 Mark Driscoll used the occasion of Ted Haggard's fall to sound off on his own concerns. Because robots.txt still applies to things resurgence:
The full text of the notorious Ted Haggard-occasioned blog post is at that link above.  Driscoll went on to apologize for the implication some people read into the content that he had said or implied anything about Gayle Haggard.  Driscoll didn't really address the Haggards (a point he insisted upon in an interview with Justin Brierley, if memory serves, which is something we'll get to presently).  What Driscoll did do, however, was use the incident of scandal connected to the Haggards to talk about the stuff he cared about.

It may be worth noting that while some have been upset that Craig Gross said things about Driscoll that could be considered gossip we should not too soon forget "A Blog Post for the Brits".  Wenatchee The Hatchet has at least some of that stuff around ...
January 12, 2012

There is reportedly an article coming out in a British Christian publication that features an interview with me. As is often the case, to stoke the fires of controversy, thereby increasing readership, which generates advertising revenue, a few quotes of mine have been taken completely out of context and sent into the Twittersphere. So, I thought I would put a bit of water on the fire by providing context.


 I have a degree in communications from one of the top programs in the United States. So does my wife, Grace. We are used to reporters with agendas and selective editing of long interviews. Running into reporters with agendas and being selectively edited so that you are presented as someone that is perhaps not entirely accurate is the risk one takes when trying to get their message out through the media.

With the release of our book, Real Marriage, we have now done literally dozens of interviews with Christians and non-Christians. But the one that culminated in the forthcoming article was, in my opinion, the most disrespectful, adversarial, and subjective. As a result, we’ve since changed how we receive, process, and moderate media interviews.  

The interview in question had nearly nothing to do with the book or its subject matter, which in my understanding was supposed to be the point of the interview. My wife, Grace, was almost entirely ignored in the interview, and I felt she was overall treated disrespectfully. The only questions asked were about any controversial thing I’ve ever said in the past 15 years with a host of questions that were adversarial and antagonistic. It felt like a personally offended critic had finally gotten his chance to exercise some authority over me.

Things got particularly strange near the end of the interview. I was asked a question about, if a woman was the pastor of a church which that pastor’s husband attended, would that be emasculating to him. The question was asked in such a pointed way that it was odd.

At the end of the interview, I started asking questions of the interviewer. He admitted that his last questions were really about himself and his wife. Apparently his wife is the pastor of their church, he’s strongly committed to women as pastors, disagrees strongly with our complementarian position, and takes it to some degree personally.
If it seemed crass of Craig Gross to opine on Mark Driscoll in the year after his resignation, let it not be forgotten that at the pinnacle of his celebrity a few years ago, Mark Driscoll felt at liberty to issue what could be construed as a pre-emptive attack on the character and doctrine of a journalist who interviewed him during the promotional campaign for Real Marriage. If there is outrage amongst Driscoll's supporters at what Craig Gross has decided to say after a resignation, where was the outrage for what could be seen as a pre-emptive character attack on the part of Mark Driscoll back in 2012?

per the recent list-selling story--have Mars Hill Church's current legal officers authorized the distribution of Mars Hill related data?

So Justin Dean explained he was involved in the distribution of the list.  In what capacity, though?  As founder of Ministry Communicators Association?  As some kind of ambassador for Mars Hill?  While recent coverage has mentioned Mark Driscoll doesn't the Secretary of State of Washington indicate lately that the President is Dave Bruskas and the Secretary is Caleb Walters?

It does, lately, and if someone were authorized to distribute a list of Mars Hill members or donors to a third party wouldn't that person need some kind of authorization from the legal officers of Mars Hill Church?  Has anyone interviewed Bruskas or Walters about this? 

It seems that in Justin Dean's statement he expressed regret about Craig Gross's email in terms of its content rather than expressing regret that there was a list of names and emails that was available to be bought and sold.  So far it's not known if Justin Dean issued any unequivocal repudiation of the act of the list being available for sale.  If he has then clarification's welcome but as yet it's not completely clear.

So far, it seems impossible for Justin Dean to have distributed a list of names associated with Mars Hill without some kind of permission from its legal officers.  Yet we've been told in news coverage last year that Mark Driscoll resigned.  So unless there were some requirement in the original charter or articles of incorporation indicating that Mark Driscoll would always be a member of Mars Hill Fellowship/Mars Hill Church, what's with Justin Dean talking about Mark Driscoll and not about the formal legal officers of Mars Hill Church?  Perhaps that can be cleared up?  If Mark Driscoll resigned eldership but not membership that would be something to clear up, and if Driscoll resigned both and Justin Dean is no longer employed by Mars Hill Church then on whose authority was Justin Dean permitted to distribute the list to begin with?

After all, however unfortunate a person could regard Craig Gross's solicitation, had Justin Dean not been given the data and given some kind of authorization to have it distributed this whole recent incident couldn't have happened.

Some stuff to consider, at least. 

so there was this plug for The Church Leaders List at Ministry Communicators Association's Facebook page on March 19, and MCA was founded by ...

For those lately appraised of this:
This site has now be taken down but here's proof
Be advised the above tweet is no longer available.  However, it isn't the only available evidence that Justin Dean promoted the list in at least one other avenue. 
It would appear that over at Ministry Communicators Association's Facebook page somebody plugged for a Church Leaders list.  You can check it out over here, at least for now:
And if you want to get a look-see and it happens to not be around if you're reading this just now ...
maybe collapse the right-hand menus a bit here:

If Justin Dean never intended for the list to be bought, as he has lately indicated at his website, why was it advertised as something to be bought at the MCA website on March 19, 2015?  An oversight? 

and ... here's the listing of the founder of Ministry Communicators Association, Justin Dean

and let's take a look at some of the contributors and featured authors.

Justin Blaney is down at the lower right hand corner.

Perhaps things can get cleared up here, but it sort of looks like Justin Dean was not only commending a site where a list could be obtained and commending it to Craig Gross, it seems over at a Facebook page for the organization Justin Dean founded, somebody saw fit to link up an ad that urged people to go buy and download a list.

Justin Dean's account of what has transpired

This was lately published by Justin Dean at his website.

by | Mar 24, 2015 | Blog |
I was involved in distributing a list of church leaders to a couple of people who I assumed would only use it to spread the gospel and bible teaching.

This was a mistake and because of my actions this list got into the hands of Craig Gross from xxxchurch who used it to send a scandalous email about my good friend, Pastor Mark Driscoll. He took what I intended to be used for spreading the gospel and instead used it to spread gossip for his own personal gain.

I had nothing to do with Craig’s email. However, this happened because of my foolish behavior and I am sorry for that.

I did not intend for this to happen nor did I know that it was going to happen. I am deeply saddened that someone who claims to be a pastor would use a list to attack another pastor and spread gossip. Pastor Mark was not involved in this at all, even though Craig is trying to claim that he was.
Pastor Mark and I love each other very much and I am very distraught over the pain I have caused his family because of this, but thankful for his grace and forgiveness. I ask that those reading this would also forgive me, as it was never my intention for the list to be used in this way, nor was it my place to let it get into the hands of people who would use it this way.

Although I believe Craig’s actions were ungodly, I am equally ashamed that my name is associated with this, and for my lack of discernment.

WayBack Machine results for, replete with robots.txt

Craig Ross provides account of the list buying, his understanding of Justin Dean's role, and where the names came from in connection to Mars Hill

You'll potentially just want to read the whole thing.

But of note ..., Craig Ross wrote the following:
We have known a lot of people from Mars Hill church (Seattle) over the years and even had Justin Dean do a project for us for about 30 days he worked with us. Justin Dean was the PR guy at Mars Hill for several years and ran point for Mark on a number of different projects. We interacted with Justin during the R13 conference and had stayed in touch from time to time. When Mars was shutting down, we contacted  Justin about doing some more work with us and decided at the end of a 30 day project it was not a fit for us. I know he has continued to do work for Mark since leaving Mars. 
At the end of last year, he let us know that Mars Hill was selling off the Resurgence website and all its assets. The going price was about 100k. We were not interested.

Last week, Justin emailed one of our staff and let us know that the email list from Resurgence was available for purchase for $1500 or $1350 with a coupon code I found at checkout. 


Coming from him, we assumed this was a legit list of 90k emails from people involved with Resurgence. He told us he didn’t own the list or was not the one selling the list but we assumed it was solid since he was referring it to us and the site was public. 

... and there's more but this is a bit early for Wenatchee to try to summarize things.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Craig Gross on Twitter "Apparently Mark Driscoll still has an army of fans that aren't mad that their email address was sold but get mad at any mention of Mark"
Craig Gross@craiggross

Apparently Mark Driscoll still has an army of fans that aren't mad that their email address was sold but get mad at any mention of Mark

6:38 PM - 23 Mar 2015

Well, there's a bit in there that might bore you but the good old CSV import/export protocol process sure seems familiar. 

Then there's this:
How did people join this list?
This list was compiled from some of the largest churches, conferences, and Christian leadership websites. Everyone on this list opted in to emails from third parties through one of our partners and affiliates. We’ve gathered all the names together into one list to provide you with one of the largest and most up-to-date lists of Christians and Church Leaders.

But the question still isn't answered how those churches got that information, just yet.  It seems like it might matter if the list came from Mars Hill or from Resurgence Publishing Inc because ...

Again, just a guess here, Resurgence Publishing Incorporated theoretically could sell a list.
Consolidated financial statements
for the year ended June 30,2012

from Nature of Activities -
... The Church's programs include Sunday services, community oriented ministries, leadership development, and training. One program, the Resurgence, fulfills many of the Church's leadership and training functions by publishing content online and in print, hosting conferences and events, and providing internships and classes, including Re:Train (The Resurgence Training Center), which offers graduate-level instruction for leaders from around the world.

Principles of Consolidation -

The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Mars Hill Church and its wholly owned corporation, Resurgence Publishing, Inc, and wholly owned LLC, Mars Hill Properties - 50th LLC, which was dissolved during the year (collectively, the Church). All material inter-organization transactions have been eliminated. [emphasis added]

If all material inter-organization transactions were eliminated what did that mean?  If all material inter-organization transactions were eliminated then it seems like either the church provided the list of names or Resurgence did but if Resurgence Publishing Inc. provided the names it's distinct from the church ... right?

Again, though, we need a lot of confirmation of a lot of stuff at the moment that one can only hope will be forthcoming.

so far it's looking messy ...

If Justin Dean's got time to interact with Craig Gross could he explain which conversation he believes The Stranger fabricated in a thing they posted?

But let's clear something up here, Craig Gross or an associate buying a list of contacts for a marketing/fundraising campaign is above board.  That's normal.  Non-profits and for-profit companies do this every year.  What's unusual is the provenance of the list seems to be in question.  Gross shouldn't be getting any trouble from people who think he has somehow preyed upon the fallen Mark Driscoll because it's not clear as yet Driscoll had anything to do with the sale of the list.  What WOULD be interesting is to establish who sold the list and who made the list available.  That's the thing that seems murky.

Compared to the pre-emptive attack Mark Driscoll did in 2012 on Justin Brierley with "A Blog Post for the Brits" Craig Gross's awkward spam this week seems nearly dignified and definitely restrained.

While Wenatchee The Hatchet had guessed the list could have been from Resurgence assets it's not even clear that that's the case.  Was the list culled from Resurgence Publishing Inc resources or from Mars Hill Church resources?

and more updates via Throckmorton--Justin Dean may have had some role in the commendation of the list sale?

Throckmorton has an update.

UPDATE: It appears that the website used to purchase the list is now down and went down after Craig Gross pointed out where he got the list. I have a screen cap of it and it still exists on Google’s cache. The website does not identify the mailing list as being The Resurgence’s list. It seems Craig Gross didn’t know what he was getting into when he purchased the list at the recommendation of Justin Dean. I am wondering how Church Leaders List (which is now gone from Twitter — see the cache — and the web) got the emails.

Read more:

And the twitter evidence at hand .. courtesy of Throckmorton's coverage
This site has now be taken down but here's proof

So it seems Justin Dean had some kind of role at the moment.  Justin Dean, as yet, has not clarified which conversation was alleged to have been invented and published by The Stranger staff so it looks like there's a couple of extra things Justin Dean's name is attached to that could use some explaining.

Best guess about the content of the list is that it had a Resurgence Publishing Inc. connection and that a for-profit company selling a list of names is not unusual in itself. 

This also leads a person to wonder who Gross meant by "right hand man" now.  In internal Mars Hill understanding "right hand man" would have seem to have referenced Sutton Turner and not Justin Dean.  This seems a bit murky and perhaps things can be cleared up. 

question answered, Throckmorton reports a mass email from anti-porn ministry that bought Resurgence mailing list

Well, looks like the question has some of an answer.  Throckmorton has published some spam that has been sent out lately.  Of particular note is this:

On Monday, Mar 23, 2015 at 6:33 PM, Craig Gross <>, wrote:

Hey Guys and Gals, 

I sent you an email earlier. Just to be clear.

I apologize if my email caught you off guard. I bought an email list from Mark’s right hand guy at Mars Hill told us that this list was the Resurgence list. 


Read more:
Because as Wenatchee The Hatchet was musing earlier today, the donor/customer/client listings of Resurgence Publishing, Inc. might be one of the few assets the corporation would have to sell that somebody could use.  And if Craig Gross was referring to Sutton Turner, well, Sutton Turner's the guy who directs/manages/owns/handles Resurgence Publishing Inc.  With the company set to expire in late May selling off whatever actually viable assets might sell doesn't seem like a bad move.

Selling, buying or renting lists of names for donor cultivation or customer appeals is pretty common even in non-profit fundraising.  It would be even more common in for-profit settings. 

As Throckmorton has recently noted, the email list at the time Resurgence Publishing, Inc. went up for sale was approximately 60,000.  That's not too shabby a sample size, in theory, but it would be understandable if all the people who just got spammed by Craig Gross and company were taken aback at getting a cold solicitation spam. 

Well, folks, now you may have an opportunity to learn that list buying happens in ministries, too.  List renting also happens--what that allows for is carpet-bombing a region with a solicitation to prospective donors.  If people respond they get added to the donor data pool and if they don't they won't end up on the donor mailing lists for subsequent in-house solicitations.  Without getting too detailed this is a field of work that Wenatchee The Hatchet knows a few things about.  You won't be able to unsubscribe to the kind of spam Gross just sent recently because if it's a donor cultivation/prospect e-blast you might not even already be in the systems they have.  But we'd need to know vastly more about the donor management systems of the organization to field that ... and it's the start of the work week. 

Hey, at least Gross admitted he bought the list.  And here Wenatchee The Hatchet was thinking maybe it was nice Sutton Turner didn't want any gifts or donations and isn't going to start a 501(c)3.  Why bother if it turns out he's the one who sold the list of Resurgence donors/customers?  Would Turner and/or Gross like to confirm if this was the case or clarify?

set to expire at the end of May 2015, what's happening with the assets of Resurgence Publishing, Inc?

In the aftermath of Sutton Turner's resignation last year, Wenatchee The Hatchet posted a question as to who was going to manage Resurgence Publishing, Inc.

and a little overview/review of the company
... with some older coverage by Throckmorton about it being up for sale last year
and some brief acknowledgment of that coverage here ...

and so, let's get to the details of when the corporation is set to expire.
UBI Number                  603207560
Category                        REG
Profit/Nonprofit             Profit    
Active/Inactive               Active
State Of Incorporation   WA
WA Filing Date             05/17/2012
Expiration Date             05/31/2015
Inactive Date 
Duration Perpetual

Registered Agent Information

Governing Persons
1411 NW 50TH ST

The corporation is going to expire at the end of May this year and it's a for-profit corporation that specialized in publishing material.  In the wake of the plagiarism scandal that cross 2013 and 2014 it remains to be seen how well Driscoll's books will sell and in many cases the copyrights were owned by the individual pastors as authors rather than by Resurgence Publishing Inc.

So if that was "generally" the case, what on earth would be an asset Resurgence could sell?

Customer and donor lists.  It might be one of the few things they have that would be worth selling for all we do and don't know.  But that ministries and publishers could benefit from data-mining whatever lists Resurgence had hardly seems like a controversial proposal.  If renting or buying lists of donors (actual donors for other organizations or prospective donors based on carpet bombing every living taxpayer in a ZIP code) is common practice in higher end non-profits it would certainly be something that happens in the for-profit sector.

Selling the list is probably just a matter of time, might have even happened already.  But the only way to know for sure would be if you suddenly started getting spammed by ministries or publishers you've never been contacted by before. 

So there's some follow-up questions.  If Resurgence Publishing, Inc. was up for sale did someone buy it?  If so that data would have to have been mined by now for some kind of solicitation, or so it seems to Wenatchee The Hatchet.  But let's step back a bit and ask if anyone knows whether or not the company has even been purchased yet if it was put on sale.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

a bit old, but a dryly amusing comparison of James Cameron's Avatar to the film Billy Jack and a musing on why the pop culture giant left no pop culture footprint

Therein lies Avatar’s central irony: It features perhaps the most vivid and imaginative use of 3-D ever, married to some of the most one-dimensional characters and dialogue this side of Thrilling Marine Adventures magazine
Wenatchee The Hatchet's eventual verdict about James Cameron's film was
"James Cameron's film Avatar is to hard science fiction what My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is to socialist realism."

Now, mind you, the My Little Pony reboot may not be as amazing as The Powerpuff Girls, but Princess Luna's a sympathetic character and having John de Lancie reprise his role as Q in the form of Discord makes for satisfying childrens' entertainment.  If he ever gets an idea to record a version of Stravinsky's oratorio Oedipus Rex I am SO BUYING that CD!

Terry Teachout on the iPod era's good points and bad points "far better, then, to seize what it offers and make the most of it ... "

... In truth, I think Britten was mostly right. Among other unfortunate things, the ubiquity of recorded music has largely killed off the amateur back-porch music-making that was one of the joys of my youth. But that was well on the way to happening long before the invention of the laptop computer and its offshoots. And if we are more passive listeners today, then we also have access to an infinitely wider and more varied range of listening possibilities than we did when I was young. [emphasis added]
In any case, it doesn’t really matter whether he was right: the deed is done, and only a self-consciously curmudgeonly fool would bemoan the results. To borrow a line from V.S. Naipaul, the world is what it is. Far better, then, to seize what it offers and make the most of it—and that, for me, includes the iPod. Two days ago I downloaded a recording of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet that was made by Shostakovich and the Beethoven Quartet in Moscow in 1940, one month after they gave the premiere of that masterpiece. Do I regret being able to do so? Not in the slightest—any more than I regret being able to go to YouTube and watch videos of Britten performing his own music.

link--The Blurred Lines verdict, the distinction between copyright in a song and a recording--Marc Ostrow

Short version, a copyright in a composition from the mid-20th century might consist of little more than a chart with chords, a basic melodic line, and maybe a few lyrics.  Rendering a verdict based on a set of compositional readings isn't the same as dealing with a sound recording. 

So there may, at least someone may suggest, be an option for an appeal in the recent "Blurred Lines" verdict. Many a songwriter from the 1960s and 1970s wouldn't even own the copyright to the recordings that the studio distributed, but to the compositions themselves.  Which gets back to charts.  Pop music musical documentation isn't of the kind that will eventually end up on IMSLP, after all ...

a few links for the weekend (even if it's nearly over)

Northwestern salmon beats Atlantic salmon in all sorts of ways, in flavor and in color.  Turns out the most expensive part of salmon that is farmed may be the pellets fed to the salmon so they don't LOOK farmed.

Ted Gioia proposed that the late Romantic rafters-shaking music of yesteryear may have paradoxically found its new lease on life by way of first-person shooter video games.

Over at The Atlantic James Parker writes a case for canonizing G K Chesterton

On other topics, the question of whether AA (you know which one) even works in any way at all, has come under some scrutiny in some parts.  For that matter, there's some who doubt the efficacy and proper methodology for the entirety of the addiction recovery industry.
... Nowhere in the field of medicine is treatment less grounded in modern science. A 2012 report by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University compared the current state of addiction medicine to general medicine in the early 1900s, when quacks worked alongside graduates of leading medical schools. The American Medical Association estimates that out of nearly 1 million doctors in the United States, only 582 identify themselves as addiction specialists. (The Columbia report notes that there may be additional doctors who have a subspecialty in addiction.) Most treatment providers carry the credential of addiction counselor or substance-abuse counselor, for which many states require little more than a high-school diploma or a GED. Many counselors are in recovery themselves. The report stated: “The vast majority of people in need of addiction treatment do not receive anything that approximates evidence-based care.”

There is no mandatory national certification exam for addiction counselors. The 2012 Columbia University report on addiction medicine found that only six states required alcohol- and substance-abuse counselors to have at least a bachelor’s degree and that only one state, Vermont, required a master’s degree. Fourteen states had no license requirements whatsoever—not even a GED or an introductory training course was necessary—and yet counselors are often called on by the judicial system and medical boards to give expert opinions on their clients’ prospects for recovery.

In case you absolutely want this to thematically link to some other stuff, it might be worth considering how people approached Redemption Groups in the history of Mars Hill.  Was it presented as a church-based option for getting some help that would be supplemented by professional assistance in other contexts like counseling, medicine, and other care?  Or was the Redemption Group presented as a more one-and-done option?  Mileage would probably vary wildly and is not necessarily the "point" of this post, which is more just a links-for-the-weekend.

HT to our friends over at Mockingbird for spotting the "Church of TED" piece recently:
Here's a fun little excerpt:
... A great TED talk is reminiscent of a tent revival sermon. There’s the gathering of the curious and the hungry. Then a persistent human problem is introduced, one that, as the speaker gently explains, has deeper roots and wider implications than most listeners are prepared to admit. Once everyone has been confronted with this evidence of entropy, contemplated life’s fragility and the elusiveness of inner peace, a decision is called for: Will you remain complacent, or change? Jesus said to the crowds, “Whoever has ears, let him hear.” A skilled tent revivalist can twist those words to suggest that simply showing up to listen makes you part of the solution.

Over at The American Conservative Steve Wasserman has a long entry that includes the following proposal about the arts world now.

"What is missing today is a cultural ecology that permits the second-rate to fail upwards."

It's intriguing that at the point where the popular arts and the "high" arts converge, aka formerly known as middle-brow those on the pop side tend to look down on the middle-brow while people ranging from Scott Timberg to Terry Teachout (older guys with careers as critics, not-too-surprisingly) have in the last few years said that the middle-brow had the advantage of being a middle.  Or as Timberg's been saying relentlessly and ardently, you don't have to like all the middlebrow stuff but they're like species in an biosphere where if you lose them the ecology of the culture may be damaged. 

What if, just for instance, an example of a viable middle-brow could be high-end production cartoons?  Pixar films?  Hardly avant garde but not exactly "lowbrow" all across the board. 

more music-related posts and links incubating, another week starts

The Sor Op. 29, 10 analysis took a little time to set up.  There's more on the way of a similar cast.  I think a case can be made that Op. 29, 5 can also be construed as displaying the structural paradigms of sonata form but with a couple of crucial twists that might not be readily considered: 1) there's no reason the first group has to recapitulate when the second group could and, perhaps more of a risk here 2) there's also no reason you couldn't be working with thematic groups that are recapitulated as a subject with countersubject rather than recapitulating the two themes in their earlier presentation sequence.  That might "seem" unorthodox but there's no rule saying it can't be done. 

Actually, WtH did this in a sonata for clarinet and guitar I wrote a few years ago--I had a first theme and a second theme in an exposition and in the recapitulation revealed that they were actually the subject and countersubject of a single monothematic form.  This let me recapitulate theme 2 first with theme 1 as a countersubject beneath it (and set the theme 1 in canon against itself to boot), and then bring back theme 1 after the non-modulating transition in a different meter and set of phrasings.

So ... if the lowly WtH could compose a sonata form in which both thematic groups from the exposition were recapitulated simultaneously there's at least a case, if admittedly speculative, for proposing that Sor's Op. 29, 5 displays the characteristics of a sonata form in which an exposition has two separate thematic groups that are hybridized in a recapitulation.

And there's other analytical posts incubating about Matiegka's Grand Sonata I, 1.

There's also some plans to get to blogging about the guitar sonatas of Ferdinand Rebay, which is another thing Wenatchee The Hatchet is looking forward to doing.

And since it seems traffic has plummeted in the last half year (which is great, actually) now that Mars Hill is less in the news ...

there may or may not be things to add from the Martian part of the solar system.  Tough to know.  Just when it seems things are played out and there's not much to add somebody says something to a newspaper or in front of a camera.

As to what the future may hold for Mark Driscoll, he's spent years joking he's a charismatic with a seatbelt.  If he's still scheduled to visit Hillsong as an interview guest rather than a speaker it's not entirely impossible he might eventually jettison all the largely vestigial "Reformed" ideas he used to have and relaunch and rebrand himself as a full blown charismatic, without a seatbelt.

Now Wenatchee The Hatchet has already suggested that what would be good for Driscoll would be to spend at least five years as just a run-of-the-mill member at a church submitted to the kind of spiritual leadership he used to say other people ought to submit to but, at length, has rarely produced evidence of having done himself.  If Driscoll wants any shot at all for a future in ministry his self-imposed exile can't be a mere calendar year. 

If Justin Dean wants to clarify which conversation he thinks The Stranger made up he can come back and clarify things. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

well, at least until the end of this year Caleb Walters is the chief operating officer of the corporation known as Mars Hill Church
Chief Operating Officer | COO
Mars Hill Church
– Present (4 months)Seattle, WA

Which, for folks who hadn't noticed this, still actually exists as a corporation.  The corporate listings of the entities referred to as the legacy churches may be different.
UBI Number                601677819
Category                      REG
Profit/Nonprofit           Nonprofit
Active/Inactive            Active
State Of Incorporation WA
WA Filing Date           12/22/1995
Expiration Date           12/31/2015
Inactive Date 
Duration Perpetual

Agent Name


Governing Persons

Bruskas, David
1411 NW 50TH ST

Walters, Caleb
1411 NW 50TH ST

So while journalistic and blogging coverage have seemed to describe Mars Hill Church as if it no longer exists the formal dissolution as a public act isn't necessarily the same as the formal expiration for the concerns of the state of Washington.  There's still a Mars Hill Church in corporate terms.  The era of Mars Hill Church is not over just yet.

3-17-15 Sutton Turner blog post revisits his history in ministry, WtH revisits the accounts of Michael Van Skaik and Mark Driscoll about Turner and a Paul Tripp statement

First thing to note, Sutton Turner's got a website up, and the second thing to note is the biography covers a decent amount of material previously available at MH sites and to a lesser extent discussed here at Wenatchee The Hatchet but the key thing is ...
Notice Regarding Monetary Gifts:
Sutton Turner is not accepting any personal donations or gifts through this website. Please join Sutton in financially supporting your local church and then over and above your tithe supporting New Covenant Foundation and Compassion International, or any other non-profit organization which the Lord leads you. Turner has not started nor is he starting a 501(c)3 organization.

Turner wants you to give to the local church and after that to support New Covenant Foundation or any other organizations you feel led to give to.  Turner's also not going to start a 501(c)3 organization.  Why mention that?  Oh ... well, somebody is soliciting gifts to be given through an application-pending registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
Your tax-deductible gift helps us host and distribute Pastor Mark Driscoll’s past and future Bible teaching and resources. Enter any amount below.
You can also send donations via mail to:
Learning For Living
23632 HWY 99 Suite F 517
Edmonds WA 98026

Learning for Living is an application-pending registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. All donations are tax deductible in full or in part.

But that person is obviously not Sutton Turner.  What the status of Learning for Living's registration is might be useful information to have, and when the corporation known as Mars Hill Church finally expires at the end of 2015 would it not have to designate its assets to another 501(c)3?  If that's the case then it seems we know that whatever 501(c)3 gets the assets Mars Hill might have it looks like it won't have Turner's names attached to it. 

Now, we get to the recent post from Sutton Turner.  On March 17, 2015 former executive elder of Mars Hill Church Sutton Turner posted a post.
At one point, one of the pastors asked if I would take a look at the financial books. The church was growing like crazy, attendance was up into the thousands, and everything appeared healthy on the outside. I reviewed the data and, to my absolute shock, discovered that the church was in significant trouble. The staff was huge and we only had sixty days of cash left. Operations were unsustainable, and it was only a matter of time before the church would fail to make payroll.
I had to tell Pastor Joe that he would be up against a huge mess unless somebody made some changes very, very fast. I was completely shocked when Pastor Joe turned to me and said that I was the man for the job.
Jesus made ruins of the life I had known. He changed my heart, my priorities, my goals, and my direction.
The financial bind that threatened my church wasn’t the result of any malicious activity or misappropriation. The guy in charge of operations simply didn’t know how to run a business.

Turner's story in his own words has seemed fairly consistent, which is why it's interesting that Sutton Turner's words as mediated by the Mars Hill Board of Advisors and Accountability presented a bit of a question.  Here's how Michael Van Skaik related the resignation of asdf

Dear Mars Hill,
Earlier this month Pastor Sutton Turner informed our board of his intention to resign from his current staff and elder position. His personal decision is a sober acknowledgement that it would not be financially feasible for him to stay on staff as the church rightsizes itself, and secondly, not emotionally prudent to subject his family to what has been an ongoing season of personal attacks. We want to be clear: there are no disqualifying factors related to his decision.

Sutton put it this way: “Since 2007, Pastor Mark has impacted my life in a significant way. I am thankful to call him my brother, my pastor, and my friend. When I came to Mars Hill in 2011, my plan was to be here for a year, get theologically trained, and focus on the adoption of my son before entering back into the business world. Three and a half years later, I have been able to serve a church that I love as a staff member, but it is now time that I transition off of staff and return to the business world.”

But compare Van Skaik's account to Mark Driscoll's introductions for Sutton Turner.
 By: Pastor Mark Driscoll
 Posted: Nov 23, 2011

Earlier this year, the Turner family moved around the world just to be a part of Mars Hill Church. They’d been listening to the podcast for many years, and when the opportunity arose to join the ministry, Sutton left a lucrative job in the Middle East to use his gifts to serve the church. [emphasis added]

Pastor Sutton’s experience has already been a huge benefit. He has a degree from Harvard Business School, led multibillion-dollar organizations, and even worked as an executive pastor for a number of years at a large church in Texas. More importantly, he is a godly man with a delightful family.

By God’s grace, Mars Hill Church is in an amazing season of growth. With that comes significantly more complexities, however. We need help and we’ve been searching for a leader of Sutton’s caliber for awhile. God is faithful and brought the right man at the right time.

and from the letters announcing Jamie Munson's resignation
Pastor Dave and I both believe Pastor Scott is the best choice for this role in this season. Pastor Scott [Thomas] has been very clear in his love and commitment to Mars Hill and has said he will gladly serve wherever he is needed, which we deeply appreciate. Administratively, Pastor Jamie was our senior "king" and his departure requires very competent leadership to cover his many responsibilities. Thankfully, Pastor Jamie was a great leader and humble man. He surrounded himself with great people. This allows us to not have the kind of crisis that could otherwise ensue. Pastor Dave and I agree that Sutton Turner should function as our highest-ranking "king." Sutton is new to staff, but not to ministry. He is a former executive pastor of a large church. Educationally, he is a graduate of Texas A&M, the SMU Cox School of Business, and Harvard Business School. Professionally, he has recently served as the CEO of a company that has nearly 1,600 employees. Prior to that he served as the CEO of another company that under his leadership grew from 0 to 500 employees in the first year. He and his family moved to Seattle sensing a call to serve at Mars Hill, and we believe he is a gift from God to us for our future. He is currently well into the eldership process so be in prayer for that as well as his many duties at the church. [emphasis added]

In the last year some things have come to light, such as the following quote attributed to Paul Tripp in a letter signed by nine Mars Hill elders back in 2014:
“Sutton is fundamentally unhelpful for Mark. Sutton plays to all of Mark’s weaknesses and none of Mark’s strengths.” He pleaded with them saying that what Mark needs in an Executive Pastor is a “55 year-old seasoned godly man who watches over Mark’s soul as he administrates the church, and who can pull Mark into a room and say ‘you can’t do that in a meeting’ and you need to call another meeting and ask for forgiveness from the people you just spoke to. He doesn’t need a man who is his trigger man.” He made it clear that Sutton lacks the emotional and spiritual maturity to be where he is at in leadership.

Careful students of the biblical literature will have to bear in mind that a direct calling is not necessarily an indication of permament or pervasive gifting for a particular office.  As Mark Driscoll himself used to say, even Jesus picked one bad guy in the dozen.  And to stick with the theme of kings a bit, the first king anointed over Israel was Saul, who turned out to be a pretty bad egg.  We have to be cautious about the way in which some who describe themselves as leaders toss around the language of being called or having had a divine commission for a particular role. 

All that said, Sutton Turner's account of himself throughout the history of Mars Hill has seemed fairly consistent.  The same is much less easily said about things said by Michael Van Skaik and Mark Driscoll in connection to Turner's narrative.

There were some questions here at WtH in the past about whether, in light of the quote attributed to him by Michael Van Skaik, Sutton Turner had actually planned to be an elder at Mars Hill.

For folks who want an overview of Turner's career before and during Mars Hill:
For the rest of the review:
a revisitation of Sutton Turner's career at one time recounted in LinkedIn, part 2a Mission Housing Management, LLC January 2004 to December 2006

a revisitation of Sutton Turner's career at one time recounted in LinkedIn, part 2b Mission Investors I. G. P, Inc.

a revisitation of Sutton Turner's career at one time recounted in LinkedIn, part 3 CHCC aka Cimmaron Hills Country Club (?) February 2004 to January 2006 things are fuzzier here, readers welcome to contribute

a revisitation of Sutton Turner's career at one time recounted in LinkedIn, part 4 Celebration Church Austin November 2006 to August 2008

a revisitation of Sutton Turner's career at one time recounted in LinkedIn, part 5 Khidmah, LLC May 2008 to July 2010

a revisitation of Sutton Turner's career at one time recounted in LinkedIn, part 6 Waseef. Barwa Real Estate Group June 2010 to May 2011

a revisitation of Sutton Turner's career at one time recounted in LinkedIn, part 7 Mars Hill Church April 2011 to present