Saturday, January 25, 2014

Some reading for the weekend

High-school cheerleaders rule the halls, commanding the admiration of every dweeb, dork, and quarterback. But as salaried adults, cheerleaders are at the bottom of the pyramid.

Romantic comedies may falter but romance is still in cinema and that may be better.  If the decline of the rom-com and the meet-cute scene means fewer Mega Ryan/Kate Hudson vehicles so much the better, eh?

Meh, twenty years on from college and bromides about the well-rounded education and the merest suggestion that you should pile on more not-related-to-my-degree requirements just to get an undergrad degree sounds idiotic.  Yes, education is valuable and yes it "can" open career doors but sometimes you pick a degree that's kind of useless up front or tied to a skill-set or career field that's undergoing a tectonic shift.  Anyone want to guess that this is not a purely academic or conjectural observation?  There's a no-prize for you.  :)

HT Mockingbird, "For the Love of Money".  Years ago I saw a short account by someone who claimed that before being a Christian he worshipped money and that he'd get credit cards and rack up debt to get things to have.  And I thought to myself that here was a man who had not made an idol of money at all but of some kind of status.  As someone wrote in some book, whoever loves money never has money enough.  You can have more money than people can imagine and still have emotional problems.

Fittingly, on that note,  another Mockingbird HT, the Adam West/Burt Ward Batman series is finally hitting DVD.  :)

And yet another HT to Mockingbird, a case that the legacy of Friends is pernicious.  I was getting stoked about Batman: the animated series and the possibilities Pixar was beginning to explore in the 1990s.  Then there was The Simpsons and South Park.  It was the dawning of practically a second golden age of animation twenty years ago but Friends?  What was that and why did it matter?   Well, anyway, it was a bit more than twenty years ago this weekend that that show emerged. 

Oh, yes, and someone's getting tired of the stunt book.  Another M-bird HT.  Yes, there's a whole pile of material that "should" be appearing over there but hasn't materialized yet about Justice League. :(

Friday, January 24, 2014

Sutton Turner's old corporate association, Barwa planned 7.1 billion sale of assets including Waseef to reduce debt

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sutton-turner/12/525/91b
Chief Executive of Waseef
Barwa Real Estate Group - Doha, Qatar 
Public Company; 501-1000 employees; Real Estate industry
June 2010 – May 2011 (1 year)
About Waseef:
 Waseef was established in Q3 2009 from the merger between Barwa Property Management, Barwa Facilities Management and Barwa Hotels. It currently performs the property, facilities and leasing management for 10,000 residential units in 2011. In 2012, they will add to this massive portfolio with the addition of Barwa Financial District - a 9 tower and almost 700,000 sq. meter BUA mixed use property that will be the world headquarters of Qatar Petroleum. Waseef will expand the activities of Barwa in the local market while simultaneously cutting servicing costs and enhancing performance and quality.

 About BARWA:
 BARWA is one of Qatar’s world leading real estate and investment companies, established in 2005 with the mission of contributing to the sustainable growth of Qatar by investing in businesses, services and expertise. With business interests in real-estate, infrastructure, business services and financial services, BARWA's drive and determination comes from us working in tandem with the Qatari Government’s overarching development plan as laid out in Qatar Vision 2030, which stresses human, social, economic and environmental development.

 BARWA aims to be one of the most successful real estate and investment companies in the world, with a home in Qatar and a business operating around the globe.
 BARWA's flagship projects include: Barwa Financial District, Barwa Commercial Avenue, Barwa Al Sadd and Barwa Al Doha. Supporting these projects is a group of Business services such as Project Management, Development Management and Asset Management through specialized centers of excellence.
There's been relatively little to find in the English language coverage of Barwa Real Estate Group but there was this June 2013 Reuters piece about how the company planned to sell $7.1 billion in assets to reduce debt and mention is made of layoffs in 2011 due to a restructuring.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/06/barwa-qatar-disposals-idUSL5N0EI20S20130606
...  Among the assets being sold to Qatari Diar, which owns 45 percent of Barwa, will be the Barwa Commercial Avenue, Barwa Al Sadd and Barwa City projects, along with parts of the company's investment portfolio, it said.
What are those?  Well ...

http://www.waseef.qa/en/sitemap/
http://www.waseef.qa/en/projects/barwa-commercial-avenue/
http://www.waseef.qa/en/projects/barwa-al-sadd/
http://www.waseef.qa/en/projects/barwa-city/
http://www.waseef.qa/en/projects/barwa-village/

At least Barwa Commercial Avenue, Barwa Al Sadd and the Barwa City projects (just the City or the VIllage, too?) look like they're assets that are still associated with Waseef.  These were apparently some of the assets sold to Qatari Diar, or were planned to be.  If someone can confirm that the sale did take place that would be handy.

No, dear reader, you didn't misread that number of $7.1 billion.  A bit more from the article:

... The sales will be completed by the end of the year, the company said.
Last October Barwa said it planned to sell assets worth 16 billion riyals ($4.4 billion) in Qatar and Egypt to pay down loans.

The company laid off about 90 employees in a restructuring move in 2011.

Barwa, which laid off about 90 employees in a restructuring exercise in 2011, has properties in France, Switzerland and Britain, focusing on retail, office, hospitality and residential developments.

So can someone confirm if the sale went through?

POSTSCRIPT: 

It went through but apparently didn't help so much
http://www.albawaba.com/business/qatar-real-estate-543712

Finally, it is worth noting that despite the state’s effort to invest billions into infrastructure and real estate development, not all Qatari based developers are benefitting from these injections. Mega property developer Barwa Real Estate posted a 40 per cent drop in net profit for the first nine months of 2013 even after receiving $7.1 billion in support from the state to reduce its debts.

And just days ago ...
http://thepeninsulaqatar.com/business/qatar-business/269278/barwa-real-estate-to-sell-37-34pc-stake-in-barwa-bank-for-qr2-39bn

Wow ... not entirely sure what all of that means but the numbers in dollars are staggering. 


Thursday, January 23, 2014

So has Mars Hill Church actually found their Chief Sales & Marketing Officer yet?

http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=Mars+HIll+Church+%24120%2C000&l=Washington&rs=1&fromage=last

http://www.christianjobs.com/job/160773/?utm_source=Indeed&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=Indeed

Looks like the answer is "no".

Vanderbloemen Search Group

Seattle, Washington, United States

Date Posted:
01/22/2014
Categories:
Marketing/Public Relations - Sales
Job Type:
Full-Time
        

Sutton Turner says Jesus wants Business Leaders and plugs for the Lead & Executive Pastor residencies at MH

http://theresurgence.com/2014/01/22/jesus-wants-business-leaders

While Mark Driscoll 2.0 touts his master's in exegetical theology from Western Seminary yet digs at nerds who care about Hebrew and Greek, Sutton Turner takes a more Mark Driscoll 1.0 case of saying that seminary training's not particularly necessary for a man to be called to be a pastor.  He makes a case for more business-minded men entering ministry.  Precisely what Turner's corporate experience has been and how successful the companies he's run in the past actually are now would be a wonderful question to investigate but American journalistic outlets and business papers don't seem to go in much for covering the welfare of corporations in the Middle East.  Perhaps someone can comment away on how Turner's companies and managerial tenures have gone in the past some time ... .

Turner builds up to this:

Did you see anything about how many verses you’ve memorized or what degrees you’ve earned?
No! Exactly.

Because virtually nobody cares if you mistakenly refer to Jacob Arminius as the son-in-law of John Calvin if you talk a good game, for real. You could even do something like propose that Boaz must have familiarized himself with the Psalms and throw in a reference to a Psalm of David that, if we're going to be biblical literalists here, Boaz couldn't have read because David was a couple of generations down the family tree.  People would not generally care. 

Turner continues:

You may already be qualified

The qualifications of an overseer have little to do with what a man does at church, and everything to do with how he conducts himself “in his home with his family and in his world with his neighbors and coworkers.”

But as even Mark Driscoll noted in the Esther series, a man may convince himself he's not a monster because he's a good family man. Turner's not quibbling about that sort of point, though.  He concludes with

If you are interested in being trained and equipped further in ministry, please consider the Mars Hill Executive Pastor Residency Program.

So, about the Lead Pastor Residency Program and the Executive Pastor Residency Program, there's links for them.  There's also this for the Lead Pastor Residency stuff.   There's this thing about leaders of leaders:

Last year, nearly 200 men applied for the Lead Pastor Residency and we only took five. The program is highly selective because we don’t just need any man. We need the right man. Are you one of those men?


There's a profile of Ed Choi, one of the lead pastor residents. There's also a couple of other introductory posts here and here. Looks like Matthias Haeusel is lead pastor at MH Downtown and AJ Hamilton's gone from interim lead pastor to lead pastor back to just plain old pastor. If you'd like to read why Dave Bruskas loves the Lead Pastor Residency program go here. If you want to read the introduction of the program go here. If you want to find out why they even have a Lead Pastor Residency Program Ryan Kearns can explain that here. Of particular note is what Kearns had to say about the first class that came through this residency program:

This year will be the Lead Pastor Residency Program’s second. This last year has been an incredible learning experience for the four gifted men—Alex Early, Drew Hensley, Ryan Welsh, and Ryan Williams—who have participated [links added by WtH and not original]

Oh, yeah, Alex Early came and went in a matter of months.  So there's no assurance after all that labor that you'll necessarily stay lead pastor at a campus.

Now, for the Executive Pastor Residency program.  There are a few vacancies.

Shoreline (wow, have they even had an executive pastor at Shoreline since Chad Toulouse disappeared from the job after taking the job when James Harleman stopped doing it?)
Dallas
Spokane
U-District (another case of semi-musical chairs)

For some reason if you refine the indeed.com search for Mars Hill Church jobs by salary down to $120,000+ you spot the Executive Pastor Residency Program. If you low-ball for numbers and go $90,000 you get the lead pastor residency program.  But the speed of change at Mars Hill Church is so fast it'll be interesting to see what the salaries end up being if ever MH would disclose that on an employee-by-employee basis.  And then there'd be royalties pastors get for publishing books through and sold by Resurgence Publishing but that's some other topic.

Warren Throckmorton surveys the landscape of citation errors he's spotted in Real Marriage

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/01/23/summary-of-new-and-old-citation-problems-in-mark-grace-driscolls-real-marriage/

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/01/23/mark-driscolls-real-marriage-and-robert-brannons-male-sex-roles-coincidence-or-something-more/

As Throckmorton has noted the Kindle edition of Real Marriage acknowledges that some guy named Dan Allender exists.  But it looks like the sort of accidental discovery that does not necessarily reassure readers that there was any concession that "mistakes were made" here.  We've been able to establish here at Wenatchee The Hatchet that Grace was not only familiar with Dan Allender's work as far back as 2000, Mark Driscoll commended The Wounded Heart in a Men's Training Camp booklet in 2006

With another stop on the Real Marriage promotional tour emerging next month (also here).it's worth raising once more the question to the Driscolls as to why they didn't credit Allender's work in the first place and to ask Thomas Nelson how on earth none of their editors noticed the overlap of terms and cocnepts between Grace Driscoll's chapter 7 and Dan Allender's chapter 9. It's nearly impossible to read the emergence of an acknowledge of Dan Allender by Mark and Grace Driscoll as anything other than a retroactive recognition that mistakes were made in not properly crediting Allender's work or in disclosing the degree to which both Mark and Grace Driscoll were familiar with Allender's work, recommended it within Mars Hill Church, and relied upon it in formulating some of the content that ended up not only in Real Marriage but also, it seems, in Death by Love. If there's been an adjustment acknowledging Allender's influence in one book will we see a comparable, corresponding correction in the other book?

We'll find out what Mark and Grace Driscoll do or don't plan to say about their failure to properly acknowledge Dan Allender's existence and influence when Real Marriage was first published when the next stop in the promotional tour hits in February, maybe?

Brian Auten writes about The Locust Effect at Mere Orthodoxy

http://mereorthodoxy.com/locust-effect-end-poverty-requires-end-violence/

It's been too long since Wenatchee The Hatchet had a link to something from Mere Orthodoxy, hasn't it?  Well, let's fix that with a link to Brian Auten's review/discussion of The Locust Effect.

a linkathon

Tom Englehardt asks, "Are We Living in the Golden Age of Journalism?"

Over at Internet Monk, a jaded assessment of the jaded response to how evangelicals need to get up to date. It's quite possible that the quest for missional relevance will be what further drives evangelicalism into decline rather than resurgence.  It's even possible to imagine that despite a call for resurgence from this corner of the United States that if some guys get what they think they want they won't be creating a resurgence of evangelical Christianity so much as transforming an ostensibly least-churched region into another Burned Over district.  Not that anyone cares what Wenatchee The Hatchet's opinion about that is, obviously. :)

More musings on the oft-predicted death of classical music.  It's been a niche market for quite some time but it's not like millions of children don't sing John Williams tunes from the Star Wars soundtracks.  Not suggesting that an artist like Hilary Hahn stop doing what she does and go into crossover music but as Leo Brouwer has put it, many academic musicologists and theorists have underestimated the significance of fusion.

And since I didn't just so happen to mention Hilary Hahn ... Alex Ross has a little to say about her 2 Encores project.  Her 2009 performances of the Charles Ives violin sonatas still ranks as one of the most electrifying concert experiences of my life.  After hearing her play Ives I abandoned my old violin and guitar sonata ideas and reconceived everything about my planned project with Ives' sonatas in mind.

And Alex Ross also has written some interesting stuff about Carlo Gesualdo, the surreal, disturbed late Renaissance composer whose music was conservative compared to Monteverdi even though by modern ears it's Gesualdo's work that sounds stranger and more radical.  That may just go to show that our entire conception of pitch organization and major/minor tonality is not nearly as old as certain people claim it is (and they're more apt to throw in terms like "robustly Trinitarian" to show their theologically predetermined musicology does not necessarily reflect the views of all musically interested Calvinists.  I've got a great Mass for double chorus by Frank Martin to revisit some time ...

To stick with the thread of violent and/or crazy, James Fallon talks with The Atlantic about psychopathy and the mysterious distinction between a socially well-adjusted person who is nevertheless fairly psychopathic and the more stereotypical, Batman villain type psychopath we're likely to imagine first.

I couldn't be bothered to listen to the song "Blurred Lines" that inspired so much cultural punditry any more than I could be inspired to watch whatever it was Miley Cyrus did at the MTV VMAs.  Last year was the centennial of Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and the bicentennial of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice so what point would there be for me to explore the contributions to culture at large by the offspring of Alan Thick and Billy Ray Cyrus?  If not even the Lennon or Zappa kids can attain more than niche fame what can we possibly expect of Thicke or Cyrus variations 2.0?  Well, anyway, somebody decided to comment about the song and its attendant video.

Maybe we celebrate sexuality as an animalistic power of attraction but blanche at the animalization of humanity (and particularly women) for any number of great reasons.  Sometimes I wonder if we have realized what kinds of opportunity costs and criteria have to be met when we have a society in which mutual consent is prized and sexuality for recreation rather than reproduction is celebrated.  It's not that people can't marry and have sex for the fun of it, it's that when we embrace that path maybe we can't be completely shocked or offended that "What is sexy" and Victoria's Secret models on the one hand and athletes celebrated for moving small objects large distances get compensated what can often seem to be crazy amounts of money.  There might be some kind of blog post about that ... somewhere.

But not today.

If you'd like to read a piece about theories regarding human domestication of the camel, however, biblioblogger Jim West has something for you to read.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Heidelblog's on Driscoll/Breshears' historical and doctrinal shortcomings lets us ask "Who is Gerry Breshears?"

"While six middle-aged men continue to receive their comeuppance for challenging the soundness of rap and hip-hop, the imbroglio over whether Mark Driscoll plagiarized Peter Jones continues. (I don’t know why people are not debating whether Driscoll should even be writing books.)  "

To this R. Scott Clark wrote:

http://heidelblog.net/2013/12/maybe-darryl-had-a-point-driscoll-v-catholic-creeds/

Cue a brief overview of the problematic nature of the eternal subordination of the Son and why rejecting "begotten" is more Arian than orthodox but let's curious readers follow those threads on some other occasion.  What's worth noting is that the Doctrine book in question was co-authored by Mark Driscoll with this guy, Gerry Breshears.
http://www.westernseminary.edu/admissions/faculty/gerry-breshears

Whose "Recent Published Work"...

Recent Published Work

Consists entirely of works co-authored with Mark Driscoll? 

Prior to that, when we consult his CV, we see the next most recent thing is an entry on "Ecology" in the Evangelical Dictionary of Missions. Life happens but in scholarly activity eight years seems like a really long time to not have any published work, doesn't it? And all his recent published work amounts to co-written material with Mark Driscoll. Breshears is currently ...

Professor of Systematic TheologyChair, Center for Biblical and Theological Studies

at Western Seminary where Mark Driscoll got a Masters in Exegetical Studies which seems like it might be a subsidiary of this program

http://www.westernseminary.edu/admissions/degrees-and-programs/graduate-degrees/master-of-arts-biblical-and-theological-studies

"Born in North Dakota, Mark Driscoll grew up in south Seattle, the son of a union drywaller. After graduating from high school, he attended Washington State University on scholarship. He became a Christian during his freshman year, and finished college with a degree in speech communication from the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication. He later completed a master’s degree in exegetical theology from Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon."

Okay, so if he went the exegetical track what's with making jokes and quips about nerds who care about what the Greek and Hebrew say?  What's with claims that scholars are too chicken to say what the Hebrew in Song of Songs is really referring to with female anatomy?  Go consult the various Hebrew terms for yourself, or even just stumble across a discussion of Hebrew usage in, say, a commentary by Barry Webb on the book of Judges and you may find that the belly button is, in fact, a belly button after all. 

As we've discussed at some length in the past in the series "Esther and Mark Driscoll's interpretive mojo" the culminating case for why Mark Driscoll thinks Esther could have and should have refused to go along with the auditions for a replacement for Vashti is not an expected exegetical discourse but, basically, a conversational anecdote about Ashley Driscoll.  Understandably, dear reader, you may not want to read the whole five-part breakdown of how the Driscoll sermon, well, breaks down.  There's a point to getting to the point.  So here we go:

"So even though Driscoll has mentioned his degree in exegetical theology in press materials and has blogged mentioning a commentary on Esther he likes ... when it comes time to make a case for why Esther was not that godly in the beginning he comes up with "Esther should have said no".  His reasons for this view amount to 1) she might not have gotten punished and 2) his daughter Ashley said that, put in Esther’s position, she would say no.  If that’s the best Driscoll can do then he has no basis complaining about other pastors or scholars providing speculation about anything in any biblical text anywhere."


We can even set aside the observation that in this Esther series he preached Mark Driscoll contradicted the observations Grace Driscoll had made about Vashti being disrespectful but that Mark and Grace Driscoll collectively offer contradictory and incoherent counsel from the book of Esther may not be entirely shocking as a whole.  What is puzzling, though, is how Mark Driscoll has touted his masters degree in exegetical theology while not exactly providing the most compelling evidence that he's paid attention to details like Greek or Hebrew if he's got some other point to make about Song of Songs referring to a woman's vagina rather than her navel.

It could lead one to wonder whether or how much Driscoll studied the biblical languages to begin with.  And the fact that the only notable publications Gerry Breshears has to his name since the dawn of the current millennium have been co-authored with Mark Driscoll and that Breshears looks like he's chair of a program from which Driscoll got that masters degree may be something worth further investigation.  After all, given what Christian Brady had to say about Driscoll's egregious errors regarding the rabbinical commentary on Genesis known as the Targum Neofiti; given that Mark Driscoll credited Gerry Breshears with uncovering what has turned out to be wildly inaccurate claims about the targum in terms of dating and translation; and given that that scholars ranging from R. Scott Clark to Christian Brady to Scott Bailey to Robert Cargill end up shaking their heads at content co-written by Driscoll/Breshears on a host of basic points of scholarly accuracy and historical competence ... well, Hart may have put it best, "I don't know why people are not debating whether Driscoll should even be writing books". 

Of course given the research that's been done by Janet Mefferd and Warren Throckmorton it's become a live question in the last year if Driscoll's actually the one who was actually writing all that material to begin with.

And for someone who was apparently on the exegetical track Driscoll seems suspiciously dismissive of language studies.  Anyone who can dig up the transcript to show what coursework in Hebrew and Greek Driscoll did is welcome to speak up.  Did Driscoll fulfill the language requirements for the exegetical track if he was on the exegetical track?  Breshears seems to have been chair at least as far back as 2008http://www.westernseminary.edu/files/documents/faculty/BreshearsVita.pdfAccording to Colin Hansen's Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist's Journey with the New Calvinists, Breshears has been chairman of division of theological and biblical studies since at least 2001.

another one's gone from the publicly listed roster of pastors, Matt Johnson

http://theresurgence.com/2013/12/02/6-simple-ways-to-write-better-blog-posts

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.

Back when Wenatchee The Hatchet discussed this baffling notice from Driscoll that he was taking on editorial duties at Resurgence in the wake of Janet Mefferd's allegations that Mark Driscoll plagiarized, we looked at the lack of demonstrable editorial experience Driscoll can cite over the last twenty years.

What we didn't discuss so much is that since Resurgence Publishing already had an editor/publication manager it seemed utterly superfluous to have Driscoll going in and editing things when he'd lately been accused of plagiarism.  The December 18, 2013 statement from Tyndale featured a Mark Driscoll lamenting that mistakes were made regarding the Trial study guide for the 1 & 2 Peter series.

No explanation was offered by Driscoll as to who made those mistakes, and the passive wording from MH PR explaining that a team of people including a research assistant worked on the study guide, would have seemed to point fingers at Crystal Griffin and Justin Holcomb.  As noted elsewhere at this blog, statements got revised and a previously open letter by Mark Driscoll touting Holcomb as his Docent Group given research assistant vanished.  The passive aggressive blame-shift of citation errors to unspecified parties didn't seem to work when people on the internet could quote Mark Driscoll word for word about who contributed to the process of assembling the now retracted study guide.

But, still, Resurgence had an editor and publication manager who was handling things, right?
Or at least right up until January 2014 Matt Johnson was working at Resurgence Publishing. 
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/matt-johnson/63/374/872

Volunteer Pastor

Mars Hill Church

Nonprofit; 51-200 employees; Religious Institutions industry
March 1997Present (16 years 11 months) Greater Seattle Area
I have volunteered 40 plus hours per month at Mars Hill Church. I co-lead with a team that organizes, manages and casts vision for a pool of 200 plus volunteers. I am responsible for overseeing, and developing leaders within a team of over 20, I regularly provide one on one pastoral counseling, and speak and preach publicly on a regular basis. In addition, I have provided leadership oversight, coaching and consultation on numerous occasions, across the country, to churches launching recovery and counseling ministries.

Editor / Publication Manager | Resurgence Books

Resurgence Publishing

Public Company; 11-50 employees; Publishing industry
February 2011January 2014 (3 years) seattle
Manage, coordinate and facilitate the writing, editing, updating, review, and publication of all Resurgence Books materials

Manage team of twelve volunteer writers, serve as general editor for bi-monthly full-length book projects

Senior Editor for all TheResurgence.com and Marshill.com content
Serve as primary liaison between authors, reviewers, editors, and staff, corresponding in a professional and thorough manner to ensure accuracy of content and timely publication

Manage the work flow of TheResurgence.com and Marshill.com editorial staff and worked closely with writers and editors

Managed day to day publication operations of a book line that has collectively sold over 800,000 books

Developmental, theological, and heavy line-editing of nine ReLit titles including the highest selling ReLit title, Matt Chandler’s Explicit Gospel (nominated by Evangelical Christian Publishers Association as non-fiction book of the year), as well as Redemption, Rid of My Disgrace, and Gospel Coach among others

Managed the building of a self-publishing model
Consulted on theological edits for TheResurgence.com and Marshill.com

Well, maybe not?

Whether or not he's jumped ship from Mars Hill completely or has remained connected in some capacity remains to be established. It's possible that the LinkedIn profile is not quite up-to-date since MHC isn't publicly listing Johnson as a pastor. He's definitely listing himself in the past-tense as an employee of Resurgence Publishing, the for-profit corporation headed by Sutton Turner these days, though in the past the president of Resurgence Publishing was (in a revelation that will shock no one) Mark Driscoll.

City of God: Is the stable two-parent family now a luxury good?

http://www.cityofgodblog.com/2014/01/is-the-stable-two-parent-family-now-a-luxury-good/

Been a while since we've had a link to something to our comrades at City of God blog, and perhaps longer since we've had a link to something by Dan specifically.  This seems like a fun link, then.  While Andrew avoids reading about third declension Latin nouns Wenatchee The Hatchet has been listening to lute music by John Dowland and bits of Luciano Berio's Sequenzas.  And blogging here and there.  Best wishes to Andrew, Keith, Dan and Ian.  Been more of a stranger than I planned to be over there. 

Warren Throckmorton keeps digging through Real Marriage on the matter of citations

Another HT to biblioblogger Jim West
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/01/21/more-citation-problems-in-mark-driscolls-book-real-marriage/

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Turns out that Mark Driscoll listed Dan Allender's The Wounded Heart in a 2006 mens' retreat study guide

http://marshill.com/files/theology/1/Mens%20Training%20-%20Mars%20Hill%20-%202006%20Reverse%20Engineering.pdf



consult pages 16-21

particularly note page 21 where a book recommended for both men and women to read is The Wounded Heart by Dan Allender.




So there you have it.  It turns out that Mark Driscoll was willing to recommend Allender's work to married men at a May 20, 2006 teaching event.  This makes it even more baffling why Grace Driscoll would claim there were no useful or helpful resources for victims of sexual abuse at Mars Hill when she shared her story with Mark Driscoll and by the Driscolls' account she shared her story in 2006. 

It can't be said she was unfamiliar with Allender's work because as far back as 2001, and maybe even 1998, she'd mentioned in a deacon profile Allender was one of her favorites.  And thanks to Mars Hill making so the 2006 Men's Training Camp booklet available for public consultation we can now establish that Mark Driscoll was familiar with Allender's work, apparently he was at least willing to recommend it as a help for the sexually abused.  This makes the failure of Mark and Grace Driscoll to credit Allender's work in Real Marriage when it was originally published ever more mysterious and ever less excusable.

Mark Driscoll on Bill Clem leaving in 2013, Clem on ovarian cancer treatment and the need for husbands to love wives in non-sexual ways

http://www.gotothehub.com/real-marriage/
https://www.facebook.com/rmtour

Seeing as there's a Real Marriage simulcast event coming up in February 2014 it seemed fitting to revisit the subject of the book by Mark and Grace Driscoll.  No, this is not going to be yet another discussion of the plagiarism controversy.  No, this is going to be a comparison of some statements Mark Driscoll made within Real Marriage with some context provided by the resignation of Bill Clem from being a pastor at Mars Hill Church in January 2013, and with some more context provided by a Men's Basic Training teaching Bill Clem did in 2007. 

First we'll begin with Mark Driscoll announcing Clem's resignation circa January 9, 2013.  This was the subject of a blog post back in the day but we'll replicate the content for those who didn't read it earlier.

Ballard | Priority Topic

Pastor Mark Driscoll
From Pastor Mark Driscoll:
Dear Mars Hill Ballard,
I look forward to seeing you at the members meeting tomorrow night. I’ll be present with the other Mars Hill executive elders (Pastor Dave Bruskas and Pastor Sutton Turner) and the Ballard leadership team to announce the transition of my friend Pastor Bill Clem. Obviously this is a very significant meeting, and I hope you can join us from 7–8 p.m. at Mars Hill Ballard (childcare provided). Before we get together in person, I wanted to write you this letter to convey the details and help you prepare.
 
My friendship with Pastor Bill began before he joined the staff at Mars Hill. He was part of our Acts 29 church-planting network. I witnessed Pastor Bill care for his first wife, Jeanne, as she died of cancer. It was a devastating experience that lasted for years.
 
Pastor Bill has taught me a ton about suffering, faithfulness, and how to be a pastor through the darkest of days. He was planting a church in West Seattle while caring for his wife when he joined Mars Hill and his church plant became Mars Hill West Seattle. Pastor Bill has since made a huge deposit in our church, particularly through the content in his Disciple book that we published. He is well loved and respected. Therefore, it is with many mixed emotions that I announce my friend’s resignation. [emphasis added]
 
To be absolutely clear, Pastor Bill’s transition is not the result of any conflict or sin (in fact, we will honor him publicly at all services on January 27). Mars Hill Ballard is in a season of major change. After sending out dozens of leaders, thousands of members, and millions of dollars as the longtime launching pad for a church that now spans 15 locations in four states, it’s time for Ballard to find out what the next season of fruitfulness looks like as a local church. It’s going to be a big project that takes a lot of years, energy, and effort. After months of prayerful consideration, God’s made it clear to Pastor Bill: he’s not the man to lead whatever’s next for Ballard.
 
I would gladly have Pastor Bill serve in another position at Mars Hill Church, but he is feeling called to something new in his next season of life. He has my full support in this decision, and though I am sad to see him go, I am forever grateful for his service. He remains my friend and should remain yours.
 
To help make this announcement, I asked Pastor Bill to share some thoughts from his perspective:
Dear Ballard Family,
My heart is torn as I write this joint letter with my friend and pastor, Mark Driscoll. While I look forward to what God has in store next, there is sadness in closing a chapter of my life that has been so rewarding. I have enjoyed so many relationships and profound experiences at Mars Hill.
At the very time our churches merged, Shoreline was just launching, and a third location in West Seattle immediately catapulted Mars Hill into the multi-site world. I came to Mars Hill at a time of major expansion, I served on the team that developed our Redemption Group ministry, I helped design our training for Community Group leaders, and I was also given the opportunity to be on the launch team for the ReTrain—all of this in addition to the privilege of shepherding the flock at Ballard as lead pastor. I am truly grateful. I have never felt more loved or respected than I have by you. I have needed a grace-filled family to process the loss of a spouse while trying to stay in step with Jesus and starting my new life married to Sue. More recently, I was responsible for shepherding the Ballard church through our transformation from Mars Hill hub to local ministry focus. We have made the shift from audience to army.
These assignments have been challenging to me and clarifying for me. As Mars Hill Ballard moves into a new chapter in its life, I realize I am best suited for the design and launch aspects of ministry. This has led me to believe that God is asking me to join a church team where I can serve in many of the ways I have served here. Mars Hill Ballard needs a leader who can mobilize the people as well as engage Ballard’s changing culture and growing population. I am grateful and believe that God provided just such a leader for Ballard in bringing Pastor Alex to us.


The statement we'll be examining in this lengthy excerpt has to do with what Mark Driscoll said Pastor Bill taught him, about suffering, faithfulness, and how to be a pastor through the darkest of days.  But precisely what Clem taught Driscoll about suffering remains to be seen and heard because Driscoll's statement is simply a statement.  Furthermore, a brief detour into Real Marriage will be necessary because in the history of Mars Hill Church it would look as though Mark Driscoll and Bill Clem arrived at drastically different-looking conclusions about husbands and sex owing to differences in circumstances.  That the resignation letter Clem co-wrote with Driscoll reads weirdly like it has undertones of enlightened self-criticism is not something we'll discuss, tempting though it must be for some readers. Let's turn now to what Mark Driscoll had to say in his best-selling book about marriage on the subject of his depression and what the cure for it was.

Real Marriage
Mark and Grace Driscoll
Thomas Nelson
ISBN 978-1-6041-8352-0


Page 163
... It is our strong recommendation that if a married couple or going to err, it woudl be wisest to err on the side of too much rather than too little sex.
In our own marriage, this was a serious issue for many years. I (Mark) have never been clinically diagnosed, but it seems obvious that I've had bouts of depression. One of the reasons many other men and I fail to understand when we are depressed is that most books and research on the subject are for women. Both men and women get depressed, but they can express their depression differently. Whereas women often feel their depression and become sad, men more commonly act out their depression in behaviors such as being grumpy, irritable, sullen, discouraged, annoyed, mad, withdrawn, cold, and aloof. 

page 164
... Remember, too, that there are many causes for depression, so if you think you may be depressed, the first thing you should consider is a trip to your doctor. I did not seek professional hellp, and my hope is that if you're depressed often, you don't try to solve it yourself.

As with many things in marriage, communication is key. When I cam to the conclusion that the cure for a lot of my moodiness was having more frequent sex with my wife, I simply told her. Yes, it's that simple. For years when I would endure depression, I tried to talk to Grace about it. Her natural inclination was to want to have long talks about our feelings toward each other, and I know that connecting with her like this is important. But sometimes I was just too frustrated and ended up blowing up and hurting her feelings.  The ruth was I wanted to have more frequent sex with my wife, and we needed to discuss how that could happen.

... For a wife, sex comes out of a healthy relationship, whereas, for a husband it leads to one.

By contrast, at a 2007 teaching session called "Sex and the Single Man" Pastor Bill Clem gave instruction about the reality that even in marriage a husband may have to learn how to cultivate a relationship with his wife when sexual intercourse is not an option.  He got particular in a story about his first wife Jeannie's ovarian cancer and the way chemotherapy precluded sexual intercourse.


http://marshill.com/media/basic-training-2007/sex-for-singles
Bill Clem
Sex and the Single Man
Men's Basic Training 2007


45:30 minutes in, with a number of informal "uh" and "um" words excised for readability:
Men, I'm not trying to tell you something that I can say, "Boy, it sucks to be single." For the last over five years my wife has had ovarian cancer, Phase IV, which there are only four phases.  So it's been critical most of those five years. She's had five surgeries, she's gone through five rounds of chemotherapy. We just went to the oncologist yesterday and we're told that the cancer's back, so some time in the next month we're going to start chemo again. which will be her sixth round of chemotherapy.

I know my way in and out of most oncology doctor's offices in the downtown Seattle area. The oncology clinic where we have the chemotherapy, you go into the bathroom, and on the wall it says "If you are a chemo patient please flush three times." Okay, now if you're a man and you have a wife who is having chemotherapy and you realize what they're putting in her body eats through porcelain. The idea that you're having sex with her during chemotherapy is not high. They don't make a porcelain condom, okay. The whole idea that she has become toxic means that for twelve weeks and sometimes six months at a time I've had to walk the same walk you're being invited to walk. Purity.

And I have to not collect snapshots of women and take them home to fantasize. I have to know to have a wife in all holiness that I don't get to have sexual intimacy with on a regular basis.  ... When she first had chemo, five years ago, she dropped a lot of weight. All of her hair fell out. She looked more like a woman in Schindler's List than a woman on some kind of cover of a magazine. And she needed to be held.

And all of my think-patterns told me, "The reason I hold a woman is because it's gonna take a further stage. I'm gonna end up having sex with her." There was nothing in me that said, "I hold a woman and that's ALL we're ever gonna do." Is, we're gonna sit here tonight and I'm gonna have my arm around her and I'm going to hold her and let her know that I am grateful that she's my wife. But that's exactly what she needed from me.

And if you don't learn how to look at a woman and see beauty, rather than look at a woman and crave ownership, you find yourself in a situation like me (and I hope you don't, as far as a woman with cancer) you're gonna find yourself not knowing how to be her husband.

So by Bill Clem's account he had to learn how to appreciate holding Jeannie with the understanding that holding her wasn't going to lead to sex.  He also had to deal with this being the case for anywhere between 12 weeks to six months at a time. By Mark Driscoll's account the cure for his moodiness and depression was having more sex with Grace and that this needed to be figured out.  As Wendy and Andy Alsup outlined so clearly in their review of Real Marriage was that sex as the cause of and solution to the problems Mark Driscoll saw in the marriage is utterly central:

http://www.theologyforwomen.org/2012/02/our-review-of-real-marriage-by-mark-and.html

The other issue with this book is the centrality of sex, although I should be clear that I think it is healthy to talk about sex from a Christian perspective. When I was first married, it was taboo among Christians to hear honest sexual talk from a Christian foundation. That was unhelpful to many Christian marriages, and believers need some place that isn't pornographic to discuss it in frank terms. But Mark and Grace's story centers completely around the role sex has played in hurting and helping their relationship, before and after marriage. Mark said in the same Acts 29 Bootcamp message referenced earlier that the pastor's wife has the “most important job” in a new church -- “having sex with the church planter.” I wonder what the Driscoll's story would be if Grace became incapacitated long term. If that became the case, the majority of their marriage book would be useless to them.

It seems like it certainly would have been of little use to Bill and Jeannie Clem in 2007 had the book existed back then.

It is worth repeating what just about anyone in the history of Mars Hill might recall about Grace Driscoll's five births, that Driscoll used to mention that she delivered all her babies through C-section.  It would seem as though the trauma of a C-section and the time it took Grace to recover from that while also nursing a child put her on a generally two-year cycle of carrying a baby, recovering from the C-section delivery, working to get back to her pre-baby weight ... and amid all that not necessarily have had a husband who knew about her history of sexual abuse (and this possibility , somehow, seemed to never enter Mark Driscoll's mind despite the fact that she'd listed Dan Allender as one of her favorite authors back on marshill.fm around 2001?).  Mark Driscoll somehow didn't put together that his wife might have had more than a strictly academic interest in the writings of a Christian counselor known to specialize in treating adult victims of childhood sexual abuse?  How?

To take this back to Mark Driscoll's announcement in January 2013 about Clem's departure, it's difficult to get precisely what Mark Driscoll learned about suffering from Bill Clem.  To be more specific, what did Mark Driscoll learn from Bill Clem about suffering and dealing with the darkest of days when sex was a subject?  It looks like Clem figured out how to keep loving his wife Jeannie as she spent her last years dying of ovarian cancer and went so far as to warn single guys that marriage does not mean a man gets to have sex any old time and that he may have to walk a path with no sex for months at a time.  Conversely, Mark Driscoll, by his own account, stated that the cure for his depression and moodiness was more sex.

So while Mark and Grace Driscoll began to discuss, apparently some time in 2007, how to make sure Mark Driscoll was having more sex, Bill Clem was instructing single guys about the challenge of purity and faithfulness while explaining that he had to contend with this even as a married man while his wife Jeannie was in chemotherapy that made sex impossible for months at a time. 

postscript 07-15-2014
since Mars Hill has spent the last few months purging mountains of content from its media library you can get a copy of Clem's teaching over here.
http://castroller.com/podcasts/MarsHillChurch3/1599373?start=0
or ...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWIGC-972Fs

remembering that we discuss other things here at Wenatchee The Hatchet ...

http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2014/01/17/tiny-animated-film-ernest-celestine-takes-on-disney-dreamworks-at-oscars/?mod=Life_and_Culture_newsreel_2

Of course The Secret of Kells was going to lose to Up in 2009 but I thoroughly enjoyed both animated films.  Where Oscar presents competition animation fans can be glad Brunner's work even gets nominated.  Sure, Persepolis was going to lose to Ratatouille but I own and love both films.  Rather than lament that tiny animated productions don't have a chance to win Best Animated Picture let's remind ourselves of another more deeply entrenched bias in American cinematic and critical thought, that animation is basically and ultimately kid stuff and will never get a nod for Best Picture.  I know which of the films, Braveheart and Toy Story, is the more landmark and compelling film in cinematic history as far as I'm concerned!  Of course if you actually enjoyed Braveheart, all right, but I didn't much care for it. 

But we've gotten sidetracked.  There's no inherent conflict in catching Miyazaki films, Pixar films, and smaller productions.  :) 

By way of Pajama Pages: Perry Noble transforms its apprenticeship program into NewSpring College

http://www.pajamapages.com/perry-noble-is-an-entrepreneurial-genius/
http://college.newspring.cc/

We'll defer to Duncan on things Noble but it's interesting that megachurch pastors wanting to get behind starting schools under their brands may be kind of popular.  It may be that megachurch pastors don't just share an interest in buying expensive houses through revocable living trusts the better to conceal their locations, there's also a shared interest in megachurch pastors launching schools with their brand names. 

Which just reminds Wenatchee The Hatchet that discussing the Resurgence Training Center and what happened to it is overdue.  But perhaps that can be tackled later.

HT Jim West: Bob Edwards makes a case that Jerome botched 1 Tim 2:1-2

http://juniaproject.com/translation-1-timothy-212/

Edwards proposes that what has traditionally, since Jerome, been interpreted as women not being allowed to teach, was Paul writing a polemic specific to Ephesus against veneration of Atermis and Attis.  Now before all Reformed readers roll their eyes at this being from The Junia Project, at least give it a read.  :)