Saturday, August 30, 2014

Dan over at City of God, "The most disturbing quote coming from L'Affair Driscoll"

Dan over at City of God hardly blogs compared to his former output but this seems worth linking to and quoting in full.

It’s nothing that Driscoll himself has said, it’s nothing that any of his accusers have said, for me, it’s this:

“But the brashness and the arrogance and the rudeness in personal relationships — which he himself has confessed repeatedly — was obvious to many from the earliest days, and he has definitely now disillusioned quite a lot of people.”

This is a quote that the New York Times collected from none other than Tim Keller. I’m not sure if Keller will expand on this at all, but what he says here is pretty damning for both Mark and for the larger movement of American Calvinism. Arrogance, rudeness - and that it was obvious even from the “earliest days.” I don’t know what Keller means by “earliest days” – I assume that when Mars Hill was nothing but a bible study on the other coast that Keller had no idea about it, but certainly by the mid-2000s, Keller had to have had Driscoll on his radar. Ten years. Given how seriously most in the Reformed community take the pastoral epistles, I want to know how Keller et al squared a brash, arrogant, rude man whose traits were “obvious” with the requirements for church eldership.

This disturbs me because Keller, of all the leaders of the conservative, evangelical Reformed church in the US, is the one for whom I have the greatest respect. He has been successful as a church planter and pastor without seeming to get enmeshed in the scandals of spiritual abuse, sexual abuse, or any kind of financial wrongdoing. It disappoints me though that he is now appearing to admit that those around Driscoll who had the most power to rebuke or blunt him kept their mouths shut because they thought that Driscoll was effective as a communicator.

- See more at:

Dan puts cards on the table, Keller was the one among conservative evangelical Reformed leaders for him Dan has the greatest respect.  So Dan is disappointed to see Keller appear to admit that those around Mark Driscoll who had the most power to rein him in seem to have kept their mouths shut because Driscoll got results. 

Wenatchee is ambivalent, because in what seem to be many cases of Driscollian name-dropping the name was more important than establishing that any kind of real relationship was in place.  But the point remains, there had to have been a whole lot of people who could have seen and heard what was going on, even first hand, and either didn't perceive or did and looked the other way.

It's not like Matt Chandler have a blurb of praise up front in A Call to Resurgence, for instance. What about Matt Chandler, Eric Mason, Paul Tripp and Matt Chandler for Who Do You Think You Are?
 How about Darrin Patrick giving a blurb for Real Marriage, the book that turned out to have plagiarized the work of Dan Allender in its first printing (er, citation error) and that was bought a place on the NYT bestseller list via a deal between Mars Hill Church and Result Source Inc.? 
The rest of those celebrity author blurbs could have come from people who had no idea how the inner workings of Mars Hill worked.  Tripp's recent and public resignation suggests the possibility that Tripp didn't know what was afoot, but the guys heading Acts 29, how recently did they suddenly get the idea that all was not well in the MH/A29 scene?  Ron Wheeler's recent blog suggests some concerns were raised as far back as a decade ago by no less than the co-founder of Acts 29 Network David Nicholas.  If so, how is it that that document was either not heeded or possibly not even preserved, that letter Nicholas wrote regarding Driscoll's fitness for ministry? 

There's probably no way to know if Darrin Patrick could have known, or even imagined, that the Result Source deal happened when he wrote his blurb for a Driscoll book.  Wenatchee The Hatchet certainly never imagined that was possible, though in 2013 when Wenatchee finally got around to reading Real Marriage the uncited use of Allender's ideas was inescapable.  Patrick can't and shouldn't be held to be blame in light of scandals that only came to light in the years after the book was published, but it's not entirely unfair to ask where all these people who have distanced themselves from Driscoll this year were in 2002-2012?  Some of them didn't even know who Driscoll was yet, perhaps. 

As Bill Kinnon and Dan note in the comments at the City of God post, this does raise some problems with how and why Keller and company, if they knew things were off, didn't bother to say anything of any kind until around Elephant Room 2.

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