Thursday, March 05, 2015

courtesy of Throckmorton, Justin Blaney interview with Justin Dean

with PR like that the question may not be how and why MH and MD fell so swiftly but why they didn't fall faster. 

If there was some alternate plan that could have averted the various PR disasters that beset MH in the past, oh, half decade, that alternate plan would probably have to include Mark and Grace Driscoll never deciding to write, publish and then have the church promote Real Marriage. Had there not been that book and all its attendant controversies there might still be a Mars Hill today with a Mark Driscoll preaching on Sundays. 

Between the plagiarism controversy and the RSI controversy and the latent controversy of how the framing narrative of Real Marriage cast doubt on the veracity of the narrative implicit and even explicit in ten years of Driscoll sermons about how happily married he was, that one book may well have been the seed of the death of Mars Hill and damage to Mark Driscoll's star once the decision was made to write, publish and promote it.

The other problem was, basically, so far as Wenatchee The Hatchet can tell, that they had Justin Dean handling their PR crises. There may not have been much he could have done but even what he did do, in a couple of cases, may have caused the reputation of Mars Hill more harm than good.

Remember, folks, when the discipline of Andrew Lamb spurred headlines in early 2012 what Justin Dean told Ruth Graham for Slate was that, basically, it had all become headline material due to a "communication error". Dean basically played the "we're incompetent" card and once he did that, he basically set the credibility of Mars Hill as a whole and its leadership culture on fire.  If the best defense you can mount for the organization you represent is pleading collective incompetence where do you think that PR crisis is eventually going to end?

Meanwhile, in early 2012 Mark Driscoll was busy promoting his book Real Marriage, staging pre-emptive attacks on journalists, and sharing nuggets of wisdom about how much a traditional Trinitarian T. D. Jakes was.  Between Justin Dean's pleading incompetence defense of MH as a whole and Mark Driscoll's pre-emptive strikes against journalists who were acting like actual journalists when he wanted to promote his book, it's not exactly as mysterious or remarkable how Mark Driscoll's celebrity fell as some recently quoted folks might have us believe, is it?

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