Friday, November 07, 2014

Ruth Graham on the Mars Hill collapse at The Atlantic Monthly, solid overview but still bungles statements about this blog

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/11/houston-mark-driscoll-megachurch-meltdown/382487/?single_page=true

Graham correctly notes that there was no one thing that took Driscoll down but the cumulative weight of a series of scandals.  We're nearly at the one year anniversary of Mefferd's interview, after all. 

But this ...

Disgruntled ex-members and ex-leaders, some of whom started websites delineating their grievances, were gaining attention from the mainstream press.

The first link is to Matthew Paul Turner's website and by no stretch of the imagination can Wenatchee The Hatchet recall Turner being either a former member of Mars Hill or a former leader. Wenatchee The Hatchet as a former member, sure, former leader ... well ... not really.  Wenatchee The Hatchet is a blog that started back in 2006 when Wenatchee The Hatchet was mainly a pretty content member of the church and the blog did not start with any plans to keep tabs on Mars Hill as such.  That emerged slowly from about 2007-2012. Ironically Ruth Grahams coverage in Slate in 2012 that claimed Wenatchee The Hatchet had written criticism of Driscoll's leadership style was one of the key catalysts in the shift in this blog toward Mars Hill.  Graham's Slate article linked to a post that was not discussing Driscoll's leadership style at all, but registered a rather dry and indirect critique of the competency and goodwill of the "biblical living" department and of pastoral counseling activity at Mars Hill, a subject which has generally not gotten any serious discussion in the press or even to some degree amongst bloggers. 

Wenatchee The Hatchet left on mutually good terms with his campus pastor and was under no discipline of any kind.  If Wenatchee has been disgruntled it has been as much or more about the failures of the press (secular and Christian) to have adequately engaged the subject of Mars Hill in the last four years.  It's only been in the last year that the secular and Christian press has started catching up to things.  Some have done a fine job of breaking stories even Wenatchee had not heard about (namely Result Source).  But that's not quite the same thing as describing this blog as the product of a disgruntled member.  If the press had done a better job this blog would have been cheerfully dedicated to things like classical guitar repertoire and cartoons rather than compensating for the failures of the press.

So, though Graham's overall picture has much to commend, Graham seems to keep stumbling in understanding and describing this blog.  :)  And Turner ... man ... it's kind of a misstep to report Turner as having a membership at Mars Hill.  But if you can set aside those little details there's a decent overview of some things in the piece. 

the transcript project will continue but this weekend has a few things going on in the Puget Sound Wenatchee doesn't intend to miss (like a guitar recital and the still-in-theaters latest from Studio Ghibli). 

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