Saturday, July 04, 2015

two years ago today, looking at "Grace and Disgrace" from Real Marriage, some difficult and unavoidable questions about Grace Driscoll's role in the book and its promotion remain

So two years ago today Wenatchee The Hatchet began to discuss Real Marriage, Mark and Grace Driscoll's 2012 book.  It was two years ago WtH broached the issue of whether or not Grace Driscoll gave any credit to the writings and work of Dan Allender in formulating the concepts of the "good girl", "tough girl" or "party girl".

At the time there was not a particularly strong reaction overall.  In some settings handful of people read the post and in one case there was a memorable reaction.  To paraphrase, so maybe Grace Driscoll used Allender's ideas without credit, so what? What about her being a victim of abuse?

Well, unfortunate though that undoubtedly is, employing the work of someone without giving proper credit when that someone is a person Grace Driscoll publicly listed as one of her favorite authors more than a decade earlier isn't the kind of thing that can or should be hand-waved off of consideration just because she decided to share a story about how she was sexually abused.  It harms the possibility of public discourse and the public good to conflate Grace Driscoll's history of abuse with an implied necessity to not address that, as a co-author on Real Marriage who had publicly acknowledged an appreciation of Allender's work, Grace Driscoll was as much a part of the 2013-2014 plagiarism controversy as her husband whether or not anyone in the press.

Well On Mission, LLC owns Real Marriage and one of the constituent corporate members of THAT entity is still Lasting Legacy, LLC, which features Grace Driscoll as a member.

So it's not like Grace Driscoll didn't have a stake in the fate of the book. 

Wenatchee The Hatchet published a comparison of the Driscolls' book with Dan Allender's 1990 book back in September 2013.

That was about a month and a half before Janet Mefferd's on air interview with Mark Driscoll.  Wenatchee The Hatchet did not attempt to explain what may have happened or who bore responsibility.  Given subsequent questions in 2014 about ghostwriting and assistance it's difficult to know whether Grace Driscoll ever, even once, wrote anything her name is attached to in Real Marriage.  We can't know if she wrote everything in Chapter 7 or if it was assembled on her behalf.  That would be a fascinating question of the sort that Brian Houston was apparently not interested in.

You see, it's impossible to completely evade the reality that Grace Driscoll let her name be attached to a book in which conspicuous use of Allender's work was easy to spot in the first edition.  Thomas Nelson has since fixed the problem of uncredited use of material so that's settled.

What's not settled is how and why Grace Driscoll, who had publicly described Allender as one of her favorite authors never thought to give Allender explicit credit in the first edition of Real Marriage to begin with.

And it was actually worse than just that.  remember what Mark Driscoll told Christianity Today back in 2012?  We revisited this hours ago.
Interview by Katelyn Beaty and Marlena Graves/ January 5, 2012

M[ark Driscoll]: No, and for us, we sinned, quite frankly. We were virgins when we met and were sleeping together as high-school boyfriend and girlfriend. [emphasis added] Then Grace came back to Christ, and I came to Christ in college, so we had to stop sinning sexually. I'd say if we both could go back and rewrite history and change one thing, that would probably be the thing we would change. But we did repent and met with our pastor. And then we did get married, between our junior and senior years of college.

Mark Driscoll declared he and Grace were both virgins when they met and this in direct contradiction of what he and Grace Driscoll said about themselves in the 2012 book Real Marriage. Grace Driscoll sat by and let her husband make that claim and did not correct him. Whereas in 2007 Driscoll preached a sermon in which he said he asked Grace which figure in the book of Ruth she thought he most resembled, and she told him he resembled Elimelech; by 2012 Grace Driscoll was unwilling to correct a flagrantly untrue statement made by her husband on tour promoting a book. If this is the person of whom Mark Driscoll began to say she was his "functional pastor" it's difficult to see how an allegedly "complementarian" man could do this on general principle of his alleged convictions on the one hand.  And, on the other hand, even if Mark Driscoll ended up being the most egalitarian charismatic type around there's still another difficulty, Grace Driscoll sat by and let her husband claim they were virgins when they met in direct contradiction of just about anything he or she had said about their sexual lives before they met each other in the book they were promoting.

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