Ruth Moon [ posted 8/1/2014 05:08PM ]
In Mars Hill's Midrash forum, posts from which resurfaced and circulated this week, Driscoll posted blunt and emotional comments critical of feminism, same-sex sexual behavior, and "sensitive emasculated" men, all under the pseudonym "William Wallace II."
"While the discussion board itself was a bad idea, my decision to attack critics who were posting there (I did so by posting under the character 'William Wallace II') was an even worse idea," Driscoll said in his letter Friday, provided to CT. "I was wrong to respond to people the way I did, using the language I used, and I am sorry for it and remain embarrassed by it."
Curiously, notice that Mark Driscoll declared that the discussion board itself was a bad idea. He never gave a reason why, just asserted that the board was a bad idea. It was arguably not a bad idea. In fact if you were to go revisit what the stated reason was for having a Midrash in the first place you might see something like this:
Throughout the history of ideas, two primary methods of teaching have dominated. The first was popularized by Greek and Roman societies, and still maintains a strong presence throughout the western world. This method assumes that the learned teacher has information that the student needs. Therefore, the student is expected to sit quietly under the teacher and learn what is taught. The second method was popularized by the Hebrews, and still maintains a strong presence throughout much of the eastern world. Called Midrash, this method assumes that both the student and teacher have significant contributions to make to one another's lives. Therefore, learning is conducted in conversational community, with disagreement and penetrating challenge directed at both student and teacher in an effort to discover the truth together.
Midrash is a collaborative effort to stimulate the discussion of topics relevant in our lives. This site is designed to be fueled by your thoughts and ideas and is open for your comments and questions. Feel free to post your thoughts, comments, questions and observations.
And you’d then see a disclaimer.
Disclaimer: The content posted on this site does not necessarily indicate its theological endorsement by the church or its leadership. We are a diverse community with strong convictions that also appreciates friendly dialogue and interaction with people of differing views.
Oh, so a church setting up a publicly accessible discussion board where collaborative discussion and promoting friendly dialogue with people of differing views was a bad idea? If Mark Driscoll would now wish to claim that the Greco-Roman methodology in which the student quietly learns from the master … well, Driscoll doesn’t even seem to grasp that this isn’t the most accurate depiction of Greco-Roman pedagogy but … it turned out that Driscoll’s preferred form of teaching was to have a week delay for a video-taped performance in which he’d expound upon ideas without anyone being able to interact with him in any fashion.
That Driscoll claimed Midrash was a bad idea to begin with was a smokescreen. What was bad about Midrash was not that it was open to everyone or that people with contrasting views disagreed, it was how Mark Driscoll conducted himself that was problematic. But, at the time, Mark Driscoll believed his actions and words were necessary.
As we're about to see, he also came back more than once to the idea that even if his methods were bad the results he got were still worth bragging about even a decade later. While it may theoretically be possible to find out what specific events Mark Driscoll was reacting to that he took inspiration from when formulating his persona that's not something for this series to consider. We'll shift to two significant retrospective moments in which Driscoll would look back on his WW2 days and conclude he, basically, had the right heart and the results were worthwhile.