Wednesday, January 01, 2014

SCCL's Stephanie Drury, gets ahold of Driscoll's Dec 18 missive on The City regarding the plagiarism controversy

They say an article's headline should tell you the first, most important thing you'll want to know.  So we've dutifully done this at Wenatchee The Hatchet.  And we can link to secondary and primary sources as is best to do.  From secondary to primary where the news is concerned.

For folks who might have trouble reading a screen cap posted by Stephanie Drury here's a slightly larger version. 

Mars Hill | New Discussion Topic

Pastor Mark Driscoll
From Pastor Mark Driscoll: Dear Mars Hill Church,
In light of some recent controversy that you may or may not be aware of, I wanted to communicate with you, our church family. Earning and keeping the trust of people in our church that I love and have given my adult life to matters very much to me. It has taken us some time to provide a statement, and it was because we wanted to do the right thing, in the right way, with the right heart, and that required time.
For those who have been patient and prayerful, thank you. I am genuinely grateful for the grace I receive from the people I am honored to teach the Bible to week in and week out.
I am sorry for any concern this may have caused some of you. Because this matters greatly, it has also weighed on me heavily.
Lastly, I would encourage you to not feel any need to defend me. Our job is not to win arguments but to win people to Jesus Christ.
A full statement on the matter from my publisher and me is posted online.
A nobody trying to tell everybody about Somebody,
–Pastor Mark


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Yes, it links to the Tyndale statement regarding allegations of plagiarism in A Call to Resurgence and the Trial study guide.  No, there's no mention of the publishers whose works had been under discussion by that point other than Tyndale.  Neither is there mention of Thomas Nelson or Crossway or of Janet Mefferd and her allegations (which, for those in the loop on this, she never actually retracted, contra the Tyndale statement wording that some might misconstrue).

Driscoll apparently had no interest in clarifying to members of Mars Hill Church what the controversy even was if a Mars Hill member reading the statement had not happened to already know about it.  That even within the confines of The City Mark Driscoll made a point of not saying he'd been accused of plagiarism is striking but not surprising.  There's nary a word about the allegations at Mars Hill Church, let alone Pastor Mark TV where Driscoll has maintained a steady tempo visiting the foibles of singles.  Over at Resurgence there's the usual Driscoll talking points and no mention of any plagiarism controversy. 

Now by itself the statement posted to The City is so boring and routine as to be of no consideration.  It probably goes without saying that Stephanie Drury may be the last person Mars Hill Church would want having access, even second-hand access, to content posted to The City.  It probably goes without saying but let's just note that we said it anyway.  Wenatchee The Hatchet has no idea how Drury would have gotten ahold of content from The City but it sure looks like, however she got it, she got an internal missive from Driscoll that was posted to The City. 

But with Drury's scoop in mind, it looks like where the plagiarism allegations and associated controversy go, everything's going to the Tyndale press statement that says Driscoll's in the clear for A Call to Resurgence and that the 1 & 2 Peter study guide has been pulled.  There's no mention of other books Janet Mefferd referred to as possible cases of plagiarism, such as Real Marriage.  It's striking that the intra-City missive merely directs readers to the Tyndale statement because if a member of Mars Hill doesn't know Mark Driscoll has been accused of plagiarism and Driscoll doesn't call attention to that then how many people will follow the link?  Not as many as might follow the link if Driscoll said on The City that he was sorry that the citation errors were made and that because of those the Trial study guide has been pulled. 

Meanwhile, over at Pastor Mark TV there is yet to be any mention of the plagiarism situation.  Mark Driscoll made a point of saying he was taking on editorial duties at Resurgence before the Tyndale press statement was made.  See below:

I’ve taken on editorial duties at Resurgence, at least for a season. This means I’m reviewing nearly every blog article before we post it and giving content feedback in an effort to help our writers get their message out even further.

I don’t pretend to be the world’s greatest writer. But I did start writing professionally as a journalist in high school, paid my way through high school and college writing articles and editing my college newspaper, got a bachelor’s degree in Communications from the top-notch Edward R. Murrow School of Communication, and have written blogs and articles for everyone from CNN to the Washington Post to Fox News.

Let's note that Driscoll announced he'd be taking on editorial duties at Resurgence when there was no need for them.  Driscoll provided no explanation for what reason 1) Resurgence needed his editorial help to begin with and 2) why he'd take something up like that that he has absolutely no verifiable professional experience in.  We've discussed that over here.

Amid allegations of plagiarism across somewhere between four to six books with Mark Driscoll's name on them, who is inclined to assume Mark Driscoll's editorial prowess is trustworthy at this point?  Let's remind people that Tyndale and Mark Driscoll issued a press statement conceding simply that "mistakes were made" but not assigning specific blame, for at least one Mars Hill Church publication.  Well, can we guess that since Mars Hill has scrubbed away signs of Crystal Griffin and Justin Holcomb and Brad House that the mistakes were not made by those people?  Does Mars Hill Church want to field that one?  Would Sutton Turner be willing to field that question at ... say ... a Vision Breakfast? 

How Stephanie Drury got ahold of content posted to The City is an interesting question all its own.  That's probably a question people inside Mars Hill have been asking today.  But indulge Wenatchee The Hatchet in a moment of opinionated punditry.  The problem is not that there are people willing to be a mole to Stephanie Drury inside of Mars Hill Church with access to The City.  The problem is that mistrust of the leadership culture at Mars Hill Church has risen to a level where someone with actual access to The City was ever considering leaking content to Drury in the first place.  But that's just the opinion of Wenatchee The Hatchet.  Take it or leave it at your pleasure.

Oh, yes, and happy new year.


Anonymous said...

"Mistakes were made."

Anonymous said...

"The problem is not that there are people willing to be a mole to Stephanie Drury inside of Mars Hill Church with access to The City. The problem is" that we have churches with locked down websites, semi confidential memos, and anything else that might be "leaked" to the outside.

Anonymous said...

And there are powerful pastors who NEVER REPENT for anything. Never ever ever will this man NOT man up.

Did he cry while whining about this new controversy? This isn't unlike the new Michael Brown kerfuffle when he says he was "unfamiliar" with Benny Hinn.

"I know nothing!".