Friday, November 21, 2014

2-5-2008 spiritual warfare Part 2 part 7 commentary, if we compare the 2008 session to the 2012 narrative of Real Marriage it seems the "ordinary demonic" abounded.

At this point there is no plausible deniability as to whether or not Mark Driscoll could have somehow stumbled upon the concepts of "one-ism" and "two-ism" by some providential happenstance.  He explicitly credited Peter Jones with the concepts back in 2008 in the spiritual warfare seminar he gave to leaders. 

Noting this on the anniversary of Janet Mefferd's on air accusation that Mark Driscoll was a plagiarist who, in particular, used a lot of Jones' ideas with sparse citation, is simply noting what people should have already been aware of.  But since not everyone heard or became familiar with the 2008 spiritual warfare session it seemed good to transcribe and comment on this session to get to this specific point and then move forward from it.

Because the way Mark Driscoll describes idolatry as worship of fame and money and sex can lead a person to ask whether or not since he gave that talk in 2008 Driscoll hasn't confessed to a kind of worship of those things.  In Real Marriage Driscoll's concession that he tended to view sex as a god was a given.  What Driscoll didn't clear up in the 2008 session was whether one of his precepts worked in reverse, if sexual sin is idolatry would idolatry of sex also be sexual sin, too?  In other words, while Driscoll was going on about the usual suspects for conservative Protestants and sexuality one can't help but ask why an idolization or idealization of the sexual/marital bond in itself could not constitute an idolatry that needed to be repented of.  For those who read Real Marriage the resolution of the tension between Mark and Grace Driscoll was resolved how?  Apparently by Mark Driscoll convincing his wife that having more sex with him would cure his mood swings and depression.  How was that supposed to be repenting of making a god of sex, exactly?

A case could be made that Driscoll has idolized fame?  Why? Simple, he admitted to using Result Source for Real Marriage, a book which has turned out to have never credited Dan Allender's work in its first edition. In fact the number of citation errors in Real Marriage is so high that between the citation errors and the Result Source deal and the problematic questions the narrative of Real Marriage opens up in light of both the general public narrative of Mark Driscoll from 2000 to 2008 on the one hand and the 2012 narrative in Real Marriage itself on the other, the writing and promotion of the 2012 book can be construed as the book that at every conceivable level destroyed the legacy of Mars Hill Church.  The Driscolls saying they were privately bitter and resentful and confused while Driscoll preached some of his most salacious sermons on sex upended the veracity and credibility of the narrative Mars Hill members and leaders had tended to believe.  The book gaining a place on the NYT bestseller list by way of Result Source Inc activity showed the book gained its reputation through a dishonest method, and then it turned out, at length, that a lot of ideas that were written and published by others were not adequately cited. 

And in light of the scope of the problems in the Driscoll dating and marriage relationship, especially when all the axiomatic teaching from the 2008 spiritual warfare teaching is accounted for so far, one is virtually forced to ask whether or not Mark Driscoll, by the metrics of his own ideas of the "ordinary demonic" started into and stayed in a marriage for many years that was simply characterized by the demonic, the ORDINARY demonic, but the demonic nonetheless.

After having admonished pastors to use reduction ad absurdum in apologetics and debate it's possible to quote Driscoll accurately; quote him completely in context; and cross reference the cumulative and disparate narrative strands of his public statements in ministry, and suggest from that that by now the burden of proof is going to be on Mark Driscoll himself and the Board of Overseers and the Board of Advisors & Accountabilty to explain why Mark Driscoll ISN'T demonized and HASN'T been demonized for at least some stretch of his ministry career.  Go through every category of "ordinary demonic" from the 2008 session and cross reference it to the scandals and stories associated with Driscoll and this possibility seems exceptionally hard to rule out. 

It's not that Wenatchee The Hatchet thinks Mark Driscoll is actually demonized, as such, but that Mark Driscoll's own axioms and anecdotes, taken as a whole and in context, seem to testify on a grand scale against Mark Driscoll's own spiritual health and any board that would to any degree exonerate Driscoll in light of his cumulative self-testimony and axioms on spiritual warfare simply may not have the competence in theology, biblical interpretation, or normal human relations to have any business speaking on these matters in public. 

It's not just that the 2012 book up-ended the previous narrative and showed that it may have been a sham, it's that for those leaders and laity in ministry who heard the 2008 spiritual warfare session it raised some pretty awkward questions about whether by Mark Driscoll's own teachings we'd all have to consider his marriage so fraught with the "ordinary demonic" it may have passed into something more extraordinary.  A more generous explanation could be that Mark Driscoll, after a year or two of sleep deprivation and self-attested symptoms that could indicate a caffeine dependency, crashed both mentally as well as physically and has been overdue for sounder physical and psychological care than he may have been getting from the likes of Catanzaro since about 2007. The best possible thing for Mark Driscoll at this point would be to be away from any kind of ministry altogether and to just be a rank and file member of a church learning how to actually submit to authority, a thing he's been so famous for advising others to do.

Or, if Driscoll wants to be measured by his own axioms ... the burden of proof is on him and his defenders to explain why he didn't end up demonized.  Wenatchee The Hatchet is going to suggest the alternative is the more generous explanation.