Saturday, October 25, 2014

"former mars hill elder" lays out things to watch for at Throckmorton's blog
former mars hill elder

A few interesting things to note that may help people understand why so many contrary reports are coming out, and why any change is going so slow:

1.Mark owns the rights to many things at Mars Hill including his sermons. He's insistent they take them down (and they're more than happy to oblige). But a complication is that Mars Hill will now have to do a whole redesign of the Web page while also recognizing there will most likely be more redesigns in the near future.

In the wake of the plagiarism controversy and the fact that the Driscolls used Dan Allender's work without any credit in the first edition, may be an unusual case in which Driscoll claiming his intellectual property could help the public image of Mars Hill.  Mefferd never rescinded her public accusation that Mark Driscoll was a plagiarist and the evidence in the books spoke for itself and even more so through the fact that publishers quietly amended the offending passages. 

But that Driscoll rather than Mars Hill owns the copyright to a lot of material that has been distributed by Mars Hill highlights that Driscoll's now revealed to be a recycler and re-brander of the ideas of others.  He's also prone to recycling his own material.  If Driscoll does insist Mars Hill take down his material then Mars Hill should publicly disclose the degree to which Mark Driscoll may have relied on ghost writers and research assistant to cobble together his lazily written books. 

2. They're seriously considering filing bankruptcy because of the amount of debt facing the church.

Mars Hill may be incapable of surviving without a draw like Driscoll and if Mars Hill as a social system doesn't realize this, the BoAA has the enumerated power to dissolve the corporation whether the rank and file want this or not.

3. Ballard may become the "hub" once again. In fact, it might be the only church left with the name and legal ownership of Mars Hill.

Assuming Mars Hill can financially survive Driscoll's departure.  Driscoll and Turner shouldn't be getting a severance package if they were leaving by the rules Sutton Turner laid out for the rank and file but at this point the rank hypocrisy of Driscoll and Turner may be nearly impossible to dispute.

4. Several of the LP's on the BOE felt mark was disqualified. In fact, they felt it was obvious once they heard the stories. Unfortunately, they chose to "submit" (read: cowardice) to the overseers and read the collective statement. They violated their own consciences in doing so, but many of them are still submitting to the false view of "submission" to leaders that Mark taught.

5. Several more elders are set to resign. They are disheartened with the cowardice they see displayed by the Lp's.

Per Leviticus 5:1 a public repudiation of how things were handled as far back as 2007 would be valuable from the few left at Mars Hill who were party to that.  Given the degree to which Mars Hill has bled information the resignations that come will probably not be too hard to eventually document.

6. Lastly, people should insist- INSIST the BOE release their findings. Every CG leader at every sync should insist on this. Every member should demand this. Every LP (but specifically those on the BOE MUST be asked why they did NOT declare Mark DQ'd. They are violating their own consciences and most of these men will not be able to stand up and answer pointed questions about something they themselves do not believe. In particular talk to Ed Choi, Alex Ghioni, Miles Rhode, AAron Gray, and even (surprisingly) Tim Smith and AJ Hamilton.

This is VERY important. Especially if you are a cg leader. They cannot handle more people leaving and they realize that now more than ever they are going to be held accountable by the members. So stay. Pray. And don't stop demanding transparency and answers. It is having an effect.

The Board of Elders report should be made public.  That the Board of Overseers and the Board of Elders seem to have reached very different conclusions about Driscoll's current fitness for ministry needs further discussion.  That Driscoll resigned rather than face the restoration process prepared for him reinforces that Mars Hill let Mark Driscoll resign membership while a disciplinary review/restoration process was still in place.  Given that Driscoll's plagiarism is not mere accusation but documentable occurrence, and given that Driscoll resigned rather than face a restoration/disciplinary process no one can say Andrew's resignation was proof he was a wolf without having to say double applies to Driscoll.

If Driscoll was found disqualified against accumulated evidence the most and best the church can do is publish the complete findings. 

As for Driscoll the father-figure-pastor-of-pastors, he's revealed his deadbeat dad coward colors by resigning.  But in fact there's more to discuss about Driscoll's teaching and theology that Wenatchee intends to get to.  The vast majority of the 2008 spiritual warfare series has only been touched upon by bloggers.  Too many have looked at the notorious "I see things" bit and not at the larger presentation as a whole.  Time permitting Wenatchee intends to get to this. 

Meanwhile, Mars Hill, if it hopes to both salvage what little remains and to shed light on what has been kept from the public regarding Mars Hill's ways with intellectual property and particularly Mark Driscoll, should become more transparent not just about finances but about how it approaches intellectual property.  A Mark Driscoll who would insist on keeping control over his intellectual property at the expense of the church he founded doesn't deserve much clemency now that he's been shown to have had such a cavalier way with the intellectual property of others. 

Mark Driscoll can never escape that he not only published a book that cribbed the work of Dan Allender without credit but that in plagiarizing the works of others he also got his wife's name involved in the plagiarism controversy by dint of chapter 7 of Real Marriage.  So in addition to parading his wife's failings in a book that was rigged to be a best-seller that had citation errors in it, Mark Driscoll also got his wife's name besmirched in the controversy by way of her name being credited as the author of chapter 7, a chapter 7 that conspicuously recycled the ideas and phrases of Allender without attribution.

While Mark Driscoll regales people via media of the troubles his family has gone through there will be no concession on the part of Mark Driscoll that his wife has been dragged into the plagiarism controversy simply by having gotten a co-credit on the 2012 book. 

It will be interesting to see how things play out at Mars Hill and the likelihood of Driscoll changing theological teams seems high.  While we're on the subject of Driscoll's affiliations and associations, it would be handy if someone could establish whether Mark Driscoll has ever actually studied the biblical languages because if he tries to sell the "navel" as vagina trope again ask him about Proverbs 3.
For someone who has touted his masters in exegetical theology Mark Driscoll has not shown any competence in biblical Hebrew to convince even a layman he knows what he's talking about. 

And if Mars Hill wants to be transparent it might be good to shed some light on how much of Driscoll's content generation was delegated.  If Driscoll had Mars Hill work with Docent Group and had ghostwriters and research assistants then Mars Hill the corporation might have a potential case to make for Mark Driscoll, as an individual, not having a completely airtight case for sole ownership of his intellectual property, perhaps?  The way Mars Hill has handled the intellectual property of people who aren't Mark Driscoll vs the intellectual property of Mark Driscoll is something Wenatchee The Hatchet may try to keep some track of, if possible. 


C. Stirling Bartholomew said...

RE: masters in exegetical theology

The current Master of Arts (Biblical and Theological Studies) at Western (Portland OR) requires 18 credits of biblical languages. This is two year course which some people squeeze into three or more years. To know for sure what MD studied you would need to see his transcript.

Seminary Greek and Hebrew are are extended introductions. The serious exegetical students with eye toward professional work typically have several years of Greek or Hebrew from a university before entering seminary. The ones I knew were teaching assistants in seminary and taking advanced subjects in different dialects of Aramaic and Ugaritic.

Don’t know that MD was ever a resident student at Western. Seems doubtful from what I know of his life from 1991-following. He was too busy in Seattle to be a resident student in Portland. He was holding down three jobs, working around the clock, doing Street Talk with Leif Moi, and then as a youth pastor at Antioch. Then MHC got started … don’t know how he was able to squeeze an MA at Western into a life like that. Grace Ann had a good job with serious career potential so financially they were not threatened as long as she kept working.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

Interestingly circa 1999-2000 Driscoll mentioned he was pursuing an M.A. at Reformed Theological Seminary

"Education: B.A. in Communications from Washington State University. Currently pursuing M.A. through Reformed Theological Seminary."

That apparently didn't pan out. I'm not sure if he was even able to start taking classes until circa 2001-2002 when we moved into the big Ballard campus.

By September 16, 2006 Driscoll mentioned he was nearly done writing Death By Love and no mention was made of Breshears but by the time Death By Love was published Breshears was listed as a co-author

It's strange how Driscoll remembered the Lauren Sandler piece in Mother Jones as "positive" coverage. It sure didn't read that way to me when it came out. Breshears' only published works of note in this millennium were all co-authored with Driscoll.

If Driscoll still wants to credit Breshears with the ludicrous idea that the Targum Neofiti affirmed a Trinitarian confession of sorts before the birth of Christ both Breshears and Driscoll need to have their competencies up for question.

chris e said...

As a sidenote, wasn't some of the Global Harvest funds used to pay for MD to prepare a sermon series?

Usually this kind of work would be classed as work for hire, and it would be relatively unusual for the author to retain copyright.

chris e said...

Also the letter posted does move through attributing blame at several removes (a culture of the church which the elders contributed to).

It is possible that the wording reflects specific legal counsel that the drafters of the letter received. However just taking it on face value - by avoiding the charge of malice they appear to have assumed the charge of incompetence (this was after all a church that they led in a 'domineering' manner)

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

Mars Hill Global has been one of the more opaque aspects of the fiscal culture of Mars Hill, not as opaque as questions about executive elder compensation until recently was, but pretty opaque.

Back when Driscoll sounded off on the Ted Haggard situation that he spent the vast majority of time working from home.

This was presented for public consideration as a way to avoid sexual temptation (a Christianese/evangelical bromide that is not completely devoid of potential value) but surveying the history of Mark Driscoll's career this could have been a technicality to invoke as to why Mark Driscoll saw fit to retain the copyright of all his materials for himself rather than having his work copyrighted to Mars Hill. Yet if he was on Mars Hill staff it would seem the work-for-hire dynamic could be in play ...

But Driscoll was president and founder of the corporation known as Mars Hill Church. A theory that has floated over the last year is that Mars Hill may not even actually pay Mark Driscoll directly at all but pays a third-party company which then compensates executive elders as a way to ensure no one outside the executive circle could have access to the compensation numbers. If the executive leadership were compensated by a third-party rather than directly by Mars Hill this could ("if" this was what has ever been done) be another way in which Driscoll could have held the intellectual property of material that was still ultimately financed essentially by mars Hill Church).

But nobody seems to know how the executive elders get paid and that is another mystery, not just how much the executive elders were compensated but how they were even paid.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

So that's all to say there's a lot of unsolved mysteries that may or may not be solved.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

Resurgence Publishing Inc is something to look into since it seemed MH pastors wrote and published books via the Re:Lit line and many of those pastors had their works copyrighted in their respective names rather than by Mars Hill. Given what seems to have been the Sutton Turner memo of March 2012 complaining that MH pastors used the MH ministry as a platform for hocking their own wares the culture of MH seemed to oscillate between some pastors essentially using MH as a venue through which to publish their own books that they retained copyright over on the one hand to the other side of the spectrum where Mars Hill sold The City to keep itself from financial failure and yet there seems to be no indication Zack Hubert was ever compensated for the effort he put into designing The City. Wenatchee The Hatchet has wondered for years whether Hubert's work was treated as work-for-hire in spite of the MH tradition of pastors seeming to get to retain intellectual property.

So the mysteries abound across the board. If Mars Hill is even going to survive at this point it needs to be transparent ... on the other hand what if the corporation might not be able to survive 100% transparency about finances and intellectual property?