Brad Futurist Guy posted something about a month and a half ago I wanted to highlight, an idea about the "sibling society"
Poet and storyteller Robert Bly was one of the more popular writers for men in the 1980s and early ’90s. His book Iron John was a bestseller, but I found his follow-up book on The Sibling Society even more helpful on the historical roots of the mess that men often found themselves in. In it, he addressed issues of fatherlessness and the imprint of generational dynamics left on Boomer men by fathers who came of age during the Depression and World War 2, and who came home as fathers who were typically physically present but emotionally absent.
The key idea in The Sibling Society is that when the older generations are not people that younger generations want to emulate, then the younger ones create connections with their peers as the influential “others” in their life. This action cuts them off from those who could/should call them forth into being adults, which in turn sets them up to extend adolescence and delay maturity. (It can also lead to “Lord of the Flies” type situations where influence by dominant peers leads others into conformity and, ultimately, evil.)
Paradoxically, a sibling society can set up for itself the goal of ending prolonged adolescence but it can be initiated by the kinds of men who, paradoxically, may themselves prove unable to achieve their aims.
Thus, dear readers, I present a general hypothesis about the failures of Mark Driscoll and leaders at Mars Hill to remedy the kinds of problems in men they hoped to solve. The shortcoming was not one of intent (though certainly progressives would dissent from the intent and the diagnosis), the shortcoming could be construed as these men largely did not have themselves what they hoped to impart to others.
Driscoll's early mission was not even necessarily explicitly "train up young men". A long survey of early coverage of Driscoll reveals that more prominent in the early years was a generational conflict. Driscoll present the earlier generation as having failed to be a good model to follow and the community he was working with others to formulate was going to be different.
Which looks like what brad futurist guy described in the above quoted post as the sibling society.
Perhaps the most explicit and direct attempt to initiate men within the Mars Hill community into a socially recognized manhood was Dead Men, a project Driscoll and other leaders within Mars Hill undertook in the months after it was discovered Mark Driscoll was William Wallace II.
At length one is hard pressed to know what precisely about legacy and leadership and example Mars Hill 1.0 (aka Jamie Munson) may be able to impart to people in the dissolution of Mars Hill. It can seem as if whatever sociological problems with young men Mark Driscoll and the other elders at Mars Hill hoped to address it's impossible to know for sure that beyond mealy-mouthed invocations of "marriages saved" and "lives changed" whether anything lasting has been achieved yet. And, of course, the sticky wicket here is that if anything "has" happened, Mark Driscoll deserves absolutely no credit for it. The providential mercies of God are not the gifts of Mark Driscoll, after all.