Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Stranger has a retrospective on how Christianity infilitrated the Seattle music scene with help from Mars Hill and a city council decision

One of the things that's been too easy for people to do is write about the history of Mars Hill as if it was simply a history of Mark Driscoll.  Driscoll was determined to play the defining role, fairly obviously, but there were other people.  Co-founding pastors Lief Moi and Mike Gunn played important parts and it was the dynamic of the trio that I found encouraging, not Mark Driscoll's generally self-congratulatory frat boy persona.

It's tough to convey to people who weren't there that there was this evangelical art commune component.  That Driscoll was shrewd enough to exploit it is not quite the same thing as assuming you know the scene itself.  Having written just recently on Mark Driscoll's virtuosity in formulating pseudo-events, it's convenient that The Stranger looked at another side of the big messy history of this region, there was a Christian musical culture, in some senses underground, that was genuinely a part of the Seattle scene.  That Driscoll eventually found it useful to exploit that movement as part of cementing his empire is certainly what it is, but it's possible, at least given that I've come to know people who have been part of the music scene in Seattle, to make a distinction between ... at the risk of putting it rather obscurely and polemically, the distinction between Obadiahs who served in the court of Ahab and king Ahab.

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