Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Jessica Johnson's monograph with Duke University Press, Biblical Porn, is published as of a week ago, and Throckmorton's Patheos site is down a week later ... strange week
Biblical Porn: Affect, Labor, and Pastor Mark Driscoll's Evangelical Empire
Author(s): Jessica Johnson Published: May 2018 Pages: 248
Sales/Territorial Rights: World
Cloth: $94.95 - In Stock
Paperback: $24.95 - In Stock
This was officially published and released last week, if memory serves. May 17, 2018. We'll get to reviewing it when that's practical (i.e. gotta read it cover to cover first).
Johnson will be at the Elliott Bay Book Company tomorrow to discuss the book, 7pm.
Which makes it too bad that folks at Patheos decided to pull the plug on Warren Throckmorton's blog at Patheos and 410 it out of existence the week after Johnson's book has been published, in which there are a number of bibliographic references to Throckmorton's work in the footnotes.
Now that Throckmorton has gotten a 410 removal those citations will have to be translated into some other web link.
This wouldn't even be the only case in which Johnson's book makes reference to content online that no longer exists. Repentant Pastor has been down for a while now, for instance.
Still, it does seem kind of weird that the week after an academic monograph analyzing the former Mars Hill goes up that Throckmorton's blog goes up in smoke at Patheos. Not that there's necessarily anything to this other than sheer coincidence. Websites go down, after all. But Throckmorton hasn't gotten a clear explanation as to why his Patheos account got pulled beyond a brief statement that his blog no longer fit the strategic objectives of Patheos, whatever those are.
Still, seeing as this blog keeps tabs on stuff associated with the history of Mars Hill it's worth noting that Throckmorton's Patheos blog is down the week after Biblical Porn got released. However, pertinent to the previous post, there's little reason to believe someone with so small a church as Driscoll has no has any pull within the Patheos scene. His blog is still doing fine.
As noted earlier, if Throckmorton's blog has been spiked it's going to be on the publisher/owner side of things or on the advertiser/sponsor side of things. It's not necessarily a given that it must be one or the other and since no explanation beyond what Throckmorton has posted has been forthcoming it's opaque.
Still, as dubious coincidences go, it does seem weird that Johnson's monograph has been published and gotten some promotion and Patheos pulled the plug on Throckmorton's blog the week after the official release of the book. Someone can explain what the strategic goals are that Throckmorton's blogging didn't fit into, and given the inspirational aims of Beliefnet it may just be that investigative journalistic blogging is not a high priority for an inspirational and advertising platform. As these things go that even makes sense ... if that's the actual reason, but since we don't have an actual explanation that's at that level of detail we can't know for sure, we can only attempt to make educated guesses.
Already in the first week of the book's release it can serve as a case study of how volatile internet publishing can be, when a few formerly accessible websites just go down for the count after being quoted in a book.
Warren Throckmorton's blog has been 410'd from Patheos--a musing on how hostile sources and editors don't spike stories as fast as publishers and advertisers do
So when Warren Throckmorton's blog vanished in the last 24 hours from Patheos that was impossible not to notice. Throckmorton has a new blog up with a short explanation, as far as one can be provided at the moment.
I hope to have more to say about it soon but for now, I can report that I am blogging here now at wthrockmorton.com. Patheos leadership informed me yesterday that my blog no longer fit their “strategic objectives.” Since I don’t know what those are, I can’t say how I didn’t fit them.
In any case, thanks to friend J.D. Smith, the blog was quickly migrated with the content to this ad free site. The downside is that I have been unable as yet to find out from Patheos how to get my comments moved along with the posts.
What a strange turn of events. Patheos was at the center of the Mars Hill Church and Gospel for Asia stories and now they host Mark Driscoll and K.P. Yohannan. All of the those Patheos links about Mars Hill and GFA are now erased. The content is here and archived elsewhere but admittedly, it will be harder to find.
A temptation former Mars Hill people probably can't resist is to suppose that Mark Driscoll, having a new book coming along later this year, knows people who pull strings. That seems improbable. A guy with a church that has, informally reported so far at places like Throckmorton's blog and online boards, got a church that has maxed out in the 300 to 400 range doesn't necessarily have the clout to pull the plug. Someone else with GFA connections, maybe ... but even in that case it seems that this is thinking to low on the proverbial totem pole.
Now BeliefNet (which acquired Patheos) or BN Media Associates, that's another matter. Perhaps weirdly, anti-virus and web protection software raises up red flags that says the BN Media Associates website is very high risk and are you sure you want to go there? So we won't link to their website at the moment.
Let me put it this way, when I was a journalism student my journalism professor gave a lecture on censorship and story spiking and said that what she had found in her time as a journalist was that the fastest ways stories got spiked was never from hostile sources. You could have a genuinely hostile and uncooperative source and if you were studious and scrupulous you could frequently find what you needed to know even if one high-powered but recalcitrant source would never talk to you. If there's anything that, say, Wenatchee The Hatchet has established as a blog it's that it's possible to write possibly a million words about Mark Driscoll's former church without so much as having a single phone conversation with the guy of any note in a twenty year period? Why? Because the guy's stuff has swamped the internet, that's why, ,for one. For another, so many sources WERE willing to talk and whatever my modest abilities as a blogger I did earn a journalism degree and did spend about a decade in non-profit development support. So where a lot of people might see annual reports and be tempted to say "all lies" there was fascinating information for the kind of person who got used to audit compliance protocols in a large and healthy non-profit.
But I digress ...
No, my professor explained, hostile sources are rarely, if ever, what spikes a news story. Even editorial censorship isn't usually what kills a story. An editor may strongly dislike where a story is going but may run it even after hostile editing.
What historically HAD led to stories being spiked, my professor said, was furious advertisers or top-down pressure from the publisher. When ad revenue is on the line or advertising groups whose money pays for ad space want a story spiked that's when stories can get spiked, spiked hard, and without so much as a trace that they could have been stories showing up in the publications in question.
It's trite, but follow the money, but the caveat here would be that you're not necessarily following the money that goes to someone who is some local church pastor. You might want to go higher up and consider who owns a platform that might decide that someone is not good enough for the advertising revenue or who runs stories that the advertisers or sponsors might be unhappy about. There is virtually no way the post-resignation Mark Driscoll has that kind of money floating around that a Patheos blogger's blog can be taken away. Whoever made that call has to be way, way higher up the food chain than Mark Driscoll is apt to be right now. He's gearing up for the release of his next book but The Trinity Church is still small potatoes compared to what Mars Hill was a few years ago even in its year of precipitous decline.
Having never really cared for Patheos at one level I'm glad Throckmorton's not blogging at the platform, even if it seems dubious why he should suddenly be kicked off of Patheos recently. Still, it's something to keep in mind in the age of the blog. People high up enough with administrative decision-making power can end everything with a few key strokes. It's something to keep in mind. A few axiomatic warnings from Ben Bagdikian are coming to mind but I won't bore you with those.
Sunday, May 20, 2018
a Larry Osborne conversation with Mark Driscoll from 2016: Part One: Mark Driscoll recounting his Fall 2004 meeting with Larry Osborne at a Leadership Network event
One of the things that jumps out early on in Jessica Johnson's book Biblical Porn (which we'll try to review some time in the next few weeks) is a relatively passing reference to the Leadership Network. While Mars hill had its start with the blessing and sending of Hutcherson's Antioch Bible Church it was, more or less beyond doubt, Leadership Network that played a role in making Mark Driscoll one of the rock star pastors of Generation X. Johnson's book does not really spend any time discussing Leadership Network because of the academic focus of the book. That said, the book played a helpful role in jotting my memory about how pervasively the name of Larry Osborne comes up in the annals of Mars Hill, most often (as best I can recall) from the pen of Mark Driscoll himself.
Mark Driscoll, Zondervan 2006
a Larry Osborne conversation with Mark Driscoll from 2016: Part Two: The plan announced in 2006 for growth runs aground on city zoning, Driscoll and associates regroup by way of a controversial re-org that leads to terminations in 2007
Some of you will then push back, and say "But I've seen spiritual authority abused." and I would say, "So have I." And what we do is not abandon authority, we appeal to higher authority. If a man is being a bad husband and father he's NOT the highest authority. You can call the cops. You can bring him in for church discipline. We'll pull up some other authority. We'll pull up another authority, of Scripture, and we'll bring God into the equation.
You either enjoy confrontation or you enjoy sin. You get to pick one or the other. If people sin and there's not confrontation then you better enjoy sin because that's what's going to happen.
"Then I confronted them and I cursed them"
He's just cussing guys out.
"and beat some of them." I'll read that again, "and beat SOME of them."
I'm not saying it's okay to beat people up, but I understand.
Here’s what I’ve learned. You cast vision for your mission; and if people don’t sign up, you move on. You move on. There are people that are gonna to die in the wilderness and there are people that are gonna take the hill. That’s just how it is.
Too many guys waste too much time trying to move stiff-necked, stubborn, obstinate people. (pause) I am all about blessed subtraction. There is a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus (laughs) and by God’s grace it’ll be a mountain by the time we’re done.
You either get on the bus or you get run over by the bus. Those are the options; but the bus ain’t gonna stop. [emphasis added] And I’m just a—I’m just a guy who is like, “Look, we love ya, but, this is what we’re doing.”
There’s a few kinda people. There’s people who get in the way of the bus. They gotta get run over. There are people who wanna take turns driving the bus. They gotta get thrown off (laughs). ‘Cuz they wanna go somewhere else. There are people who will be on the bus, leaders and helpers and servants, they’re awesome.
There’s also just, sometimes, nice people who sit on the bus and shut up. (pause) They’re not helping or hurting. Just let ‘em ride along. Y’know what I’m saying? But, don’t look at the nice people that are just gonna sit on the bus and shut their mouth and think, “I need you to lead the mission.”
They’re never going to. At the very most you’ll give ’em a job to do and they’ll serve somewhere and help out in a minimal way. If someone can sit in a place that hasn’t been on mission for a really long time they are by definition not a leader. And, so they’re never going to lead.
You need to gather a whole new court. I’ll tell you guys what, too. You don’t do this just for your church planting or replanting. I’m doin’ it right now. I’m doin’ it right now. We just took certain guys and rearranged the seats on the bus.
Yesterday we fired two elders for the first time in the history of Mars Hill last night. They’re off the bus, under the bus. They were off mission so now they’re unemployed. I mean (pause) you—this will be the defining issue as to whether or not you succeed or fail. I've read enough of the New Testament to know that occasionally Paul put someone in the woodchipper, y'know? [emphasis added]
a Larry Osborne conversation with Mark Driscoll from 2016: Part Three: Driscoll teaching that “I see things” in a post-2007 context in which he presented dissent or distrust of executive elders as a demonic lie
February 5, 2008
Pastor Mark Driscoll
Christus Victor (Part 3)
There was one woman I dealt with, she never told her husband that she had committed adultery on him early in the relationship. I said: "You know (she was sitting there with her husband), you know I think the root of all this is Satan has a foothold in your life because you never told your husband about that really tall blond guy that you met at the bar. And then you went back to the hotel, and you laid on your back, and you undressed yourself, and he climbed on top of you, and you had sex with him, and snuggled up with him for a while, and deep down in your heart (even though you had just met him) you desired him because (secretly) he is the fantasy body type."
"You remember that place, it was that cheap hotel with that certain colored bedspread. You did it--you had sex with the light on because you weren't ashamed and you wanted him to see you and you wanted to see him."
She's just looking at me, like ...
I said, "You know, it was about ten years ago." I see everything.
She looks at her husband. He says, "Is that true?" She says, "Yeah. He was 6'2", blonde hair, blue eyes. Yeah."
Some of you, when you're counseling, you will see things. You will literally get the discernment to see things. I can't even explain it. It doesn't happen all the time.
Sometimes your counselee, they will see things. I found this with people, I'm, okay,-like, "I'm gonna ask the demon questions, you tell me what they say." They don't say anything. I say, "What do you hear?" and they say, "Nothing, but I'm seeing stuff." "What, oh, oh. What's that?"
"I'm seeing, you know, when I was little, my grandpa molested me. I didn't know that."
I said, "Well, let's not assume it's true. Go ask your grandpa." Grandpa says, "Yeah [slowly], when you were little I molested you." Grandpa was assuming they'd be too young to remember so he'd only molest grandkids up until a certain age. But they saw it. Supernatural. It's a whole other realm. It's like the Matrix. You can take the blue pill. You can take the red pill. You can go into this whole other world and that's the way it works.
So I say tell me everything you hear, tell me everything you see and sometimes I see things, too. I see things, too. I've seen women raped.
I've seen children molested. I've seen people abused. I've seen people beaten. I've seen horrible things done. Horrible things done.
I've seen children dedicated in occult groups, and demons come upon them as an infant by invitation and I wasn't present for any of it but I've seen it, visibly.
Upon occasion when I get up to preach I see, just like a [makes "whif" sound] screen in front of me, I'll see somebody get raped or abused and I'll track `em down and say, "Look, I had this vision, let me tell you about it." All true. One I had, I was sitting in my office at the old Earl building. This gal walks by, nice gal, member of the church. This was when the church was small. And there just like a TV was there and I saw the night before her husband threw her up against the wall, had her by the throat, was physically violent with her and she said, "That's it. I'm telling the pastor." And he said, "If you do, I'll kill you." He was a very physically abusive man. She was walking by and I just saw it. Just like a TV. [emphasis added] I said, "Hey! come here for a sec. ... Last night did your husband throw you against the wall and have you by the throat, physically assault you and tell you if you told anyone he would kill you?" She just starts bawling. She says, "How did you know?" I said, "Jesus told me." I call the guy on the phone, "Hey, I need you to come to the office." Didn't give him any clue. [He] comes in. I said, "What did you do to your wife last night? Why'd you this? Why'd you throw her against the wall?" And he gets very angry, they're sitting on the couch, he says, "Why did you tell him?" I said, "She didn't, Jesus did." Jesus did.
There are people who are hyper-spiritual total freaks. They make stuff up. They hear from demons. They pretend to have insight and discernment and there are some people who have real gift of discernment, and I'm not saying I'm 100% always right with it, but some of you are gonna have gift of discernment and you need to, you need to grow to learn in the use of that gift. Sometimes people will hear things. Sometimes people will see things.
Part 37 of Genesis
“Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar.” We’re gonna deal with her. She is gonna be a very important story. “But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the LORD’s sight;” – so God smoked him – “Put him to death.” What does that mean in Hebrew? He killed him. Metaphor – he killed him literally – metaphysically challenged. The guy is dead, okay. Oh, that’s troubling. That’s the point. Stop whatever you’re doing. He’s gonna kill you. That’s the point. I know some of you have this wrong view of God as a big sky fairy, lavender tights, lemon yellow half shirt, herbal tea. I know you say, “We love that fairy, Jesus, that hippie Christ. We love that guy.”
I’ll give you two places you can look when you go home, Acts 5, Ananias and Saphira. A married couple go into church. They withhold part of their tithe, and God kills them in the church, right? And it says, “Great fear sees the whole church.” Offering went through the roof. They made budget. It was amazing. People are like, “Put the keys in there, Martha, and the credit cards and whatever. Here, put these shoes in – whatever he wants. He seems to be in a mood today.”
Okay, now some of you, this bothers you because you’re evil and it scares you. I understand. It’s supposed to. The scary parts are to scare you. It’s crazy how that goes together. You’re supposed to look at it and go, “He kills evil people. I’m an evil person. Oh, no.” That’s the point – supposed to scare you into repentance, go straight. [10:42] Now God still does this. This will sound terrible in addition to many other things I will say. But I still believe that God kills people, and sometimes I pray for it.
I’ll give you an example – and I don’t. High mercy counseling – a gift. I know. If I wasn’t doing this, I’d definitely be in the counseling. So, I’m meeting with this high school kid a few years ago. His mom and dad were Christians. He and his brother were Christians. They went overseas for many years into a foreign culture to preach the Gospel and start and church and have people meet Jesus. And they were there for many years.
Now they had a hard time leaving the country. They’re flat broke. They’re totally shocked. The family’s destroyed. All the new converts are wondering is Jesus really God? Does he really change lives? Everything’s thrown into mayhem. I’m meeting with the teenage kid, and he says, “What is all this?” He says, “You know, it’s got me doubting whether or not God pays attention anymore, God cares. We get all these people. They’re getting ready to deny their faith. We’re flat broke. My mom’s heartbroken. My dad’s got all the money, living life, doing what he wants.” He said, “Where’s God in all of this?” [12:21] I said, “Well, here, let’s do this. Let’s pray that he either repents or God kills him – your dad.”
So, we prayed together. I prayed mostly. And I said, “Okay, here’s the deal. Let’s pray that he either repents, and if he’s never gonna repent, then God will just kill him.” So, we prayed. He says, “Okay, now we’ll see what happens.” About a week later, dad dies of an instantaneous massive heart attack. No history of heart disease in his family. He’s in good health. No seeming cause or trigger. His heart literally exploded in his chest cavity. He died instantaneously. [emphasis added] Now all of a sudden all those people go, “Oh, yeah, God does deal with sin.” So the mission gets saved. The churches get saved. You know, everything gets preserved.
You know what? Some people will never change. Not everybody’s going to heaven. Not everybody lives happily ever after. Not everybody makes a turn for the better. Some people just keep going. And God knows their heart, and with certain people, he looks at them and says, “That’s it. You’re only getting worse. You’re never gonna get better. You’re dead. I’m killing you. It’s over.”
Some of you need to realize that it is a terrifying thing, the Bible says, to fall into the hands of the living God. When you’re dealing with a holy, righteous, just God, and you’re just absolutely defying him repeatedly and mocking him, there does come a point with many people where he’s just done because sin leads to death. And if you keep sinning, you’ll either die in your sin, or he’ll kill you for your sin. But one way or another, you’ll die.
Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears
Copyright (c) 2008 by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears
Published by Crossway
PDF ISBN 978-1-4335-0423-5
Mobipocket ISBN 978-1-4335-0424-3
ePub ISBN 978-1-4335-2121-8
... For example, I once met with a young man whose father, a pastor, suddenly left his ministry, wife, and teenage sons to have a homosexual affair with a man he had met on the Internet. He told his teenage sons that there is no God, Jesus did not rise from death, and that there is no such thing as punishment for sin. His sons experienced a profound crisis of faith, and since their dad kept saying that he was happy for the first time in his life, they wondered if God existed, and if he did, whether he cared. To make matters worse, the entire church he had been pastoring was experiencing the same sort of faith crisis. I prayed with one of the sons, asking God to either bring their father to repentance or pour out his wrath on the man as an example. Within days, the father died of an unexplainable, sudden explosion of his heart. [emphases added]
While we can't make a definitive connection of this timely death to the wrath of God, it is in keeping with what we see in instances like Genesis 38 where God kills the two sons of Judah because of their wickedness