Sunday, September 19, 2021

Analysis of Matiegka’s Six Sonates Progressives Op. 31, Sonata No. 2 in A minor--now supplemented with in-score analysis

At first I thought of simply adding the in-score analysis to the earlier post but since I'm already taking this series at such a leisurely pace I'm posting this older material again and adding the new in-score analysis as a bonus:

The Anxieties of Empires and decolonizing musicology, how Anglo-American musicology is having a debate about the primacy of German music, sort of

If the British Empire and it's spin-off the United States of America had not more or less continuously exerted world-defining influence and power across the entire planet we might not be seeing the back and forth debates we've been seeing about whether or not Anglo-American musicology needs to be "decolonized" by way of giving less emphasis to the would-be German empire we helped defeat in two wars inside the last century.

For reasons I admit I have not discerned, Norman Lebrecht has posted as an “exclusive” that J. P. E. Harper-Scott has decided to withdraw from academia in response to “woke” musicology.   A dutiful addition of a composer who “can’t be decolonized” was added that mentioned that Franz Liszt could not be decolonized.  

But how can the announcement have been an “exclusive” when it was sitting at Harper-Scott’s website for the whole world to read?

I would put the problem in this (Kantian) way: I wrongly supposed that universities would be critical places, but they are becoming increasingly dogmatic. Consider the following statement, which fairly well articulates an increasingly common view in musicology.


Nineteenth-century musical works were the product of an imperial society. The classical musical canon must be decolonised.


The statement, and the attitude that goes with it, are dogmatic by virtue of form, not content. It does not matter that the statement in the first sentence is one that I can assent to. It becomes dogmatic by virtue of the second sentence, which admits of no doubt, no criticism, no challenge.  …

So Harper-Scott has announced he has left academia.  This move seems indicative, writing as someone outside academia, like a small part of a set of conflicts between British leftists and American progressives in Anglo-American musicology.  Harper-Scott is hardly a political reactionary but Americans might get the idea that he is. The tricky thing about attempting to parse debates and battles through a left/right binary is that there’s no shortage of radical musicians in terms of politics who were traditionalist in their musical styles (Hans Eisler, for instance, or a raft of Soviet composers).  Ian Pace has been arguing for both leftist politics and against what he regards as the “deskilling” of musicology, as well as having a discussion about the hegemonic influence of Anglo-American popular musics.  Harper-Scott has, so far, not struck me as being nearly as specific as Pace.  That sort of thing was on my mind when I wrote “hegemony may be in the eye of the complainer “ years ago. British musicologists being concerned about the hegemonic influence of American popular music can sincerely think that in terms of market presence Anglo-American pop has ruled the world and that Anglo-American pop could and has included blues and jazz.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

some music from Trio Raltchenitza

Because we all need more chamber music for flute, accordion and guitar in our lives. :)
the line-up is:
Petar Ralchev - accordeon Mie Ogura - flute Atanas Ourkouzounov - guitar

Whenever this trio should put an album ... I am so getting it.

Nikita Koshkin: Prelude and Fugue in C major performed by Thodoris Theodoroudis

I wrote an analysis of Prelude and Fugue in C major back in early 2020 and it's a lovely piece that is worth hearing, lately performed by Thodoris Theodoroudis.

Freddie DeBoer says the original The Matrix is pretty bad, Ross Douthat dissents ... but pretty "good" or "bad" at what, exactly? Anime and Hong Kong action cinema that a lot of Americans hadn't seen much of in `99 so ...

While if you've ever read deBoer on film his take is unsurprising what is surprising is that he takes aim at the dated style and the murky substance of The Matrix without really saying what it was pretty bad at.  If you want to check out what he wrote head over here.

Ross Douthat dissents and argues that The Matrix is ultimately a kind of Gnostic take on metaphysics.  That's ... something I'd expect Douthat to argue.

I enjoyed the first film but found the rest of the films aggravating bores.  The third film annoyed me so much that, when Archer aired and I'd soaked up that show's dialogue a bit, I recast the final encounter between Agent Smith and Neo as a disagreement between Lana Kane and Sterling Archer.

Agent Smith/Kane:  Why do you persist!?

Neo/Archer:  Because I choose to(?).

Agent Smith/Kane: First of all, "Because I choose to" is not a real reason. Second, whatever the reason is for you to say "Because I choose to" is the actual reason, so what is it?

Neo/Archer: Well, uh, because I'm offering to make a deal with the machines in which I sacrifice myself on the basis of a model of propitiation or atonement that the machine world either shouldn't even know of or care about (lifts finger) ... but which is supposed to be an profoundly cathartic and emotionally satisfactory ending for the audience.

Agent Smith/Kane: [sighs] That's a stupid reason ... but at least it's a reason. 

That line, "Because I choose to" is the ultimate failure of the sequels. 

Thursday, September 16, 2021

sometimes ... (a haiku)

"Come On Eileen" sounds
like The Cure covered a song
by Village People

side note ... I'm going to see about having a score for the analysis of Op. 31 No. 2 in A minor (let the reader understand) later this upcoming weekend. It's been a while since we've gotten back to music stuff. 

Monday, September 13, 2021

once again we must report drawing upon published materials by and about Mark Driscoll that have gotten purged, Carey Nieuwhof's CNLP_328 vanished some time after CT started its podcast

It is likely a coincidence but it is a coincidence nonetheless worth observing that Carey Nieuwhof's interview with Mark Driscoll from early 2020 discussing Win Your War has vanished. I drew upon that material for an extended series analyzing public statements by former Mars Hill executive elders Mark Driscoll, Dave Bruskas and Sutton Turner across 2020 back in October 2020.

Back then the following link worked
and it was plugged at Facebook
and Twitter 
But now ...


The old transcript is still, for some reason accessible 
but if you click on a link to go to the newer transcript at it's an expired link
The last time the CNLP_328 was accessible and also tracked by The Wayback Machine was June 8, 2021.

Nieuwhof even noted that the Driscoll episode from early 2020 was among the top 10 episodes most listened to in 2020 at his site.

The teaser for the Christianity Today podcast The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill hit the net on May 27, 2021

Episode 1 dropped June 21, 2021.

Has anyone read or heard word of why CNLP_328 got scrubbed?  If Carey Nieuwhof and associates have an explanation for why the episode get pulled that would be interesting to learn.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

The double standards of vulnerability in Mark Driscoll’s spiritual warfare teachings--more thoughts on Episode 8 of The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill

Of necessity a podcast can only be so long.  Mike Cosper recently alluded to Mark Driscoll regarding women who wanted to befriend his wife as threats, without necessarily quoting Driscoll directly in Episode 8 of The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill. 

For those who want to know what Cosper was alluding to, here you go:

On Episode 8, “Demon Hunting” of The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, disputing that Driscoll’s early influences on spiritual warfare were charismatic by way of his copious statements to the show otherwise


Well, there is something I should probably get out of the way about Episode 8 up front. It would be easy to take as given the statement that Mark Driscoll’s approach to spiritual warfare was influenced by charismatic theology. The trouble is that Driscoll didn’t identify as charismatic in any formal or affiliated way during his Mars Hill years. In 2001 or 2002 he said in person he leaned more cessationist than charismatic and he told me that.  As in at one point I had dinner with Mark Driscoll and told him I’m a continuationist, if a very, very cautious one and he said he leaned cessationist but there were continuationists whose work he liked such as Wayne Grudem and Gordon Fee.  I’ve liked a few of Gordon Fee’s books but I grew up Assemblies of God. 

In other words, what I'm about to do in arguing that Cosper and company fell short is based on my having been a member of Mars Hill and having had actual exchanges with Mark in the 2000-2004 period of Mars Hill where my continuationist background and stance was known and Mark and I compared notes on things in a period where he has since revealed his convictions shifted. I.e. I'm about to point out that it's not especially accurate to describe Driscoll getting his ideas from charismatic theology if you know anything at all about his history and reading habits from the 1999 through 2004 period.

Justin Dean’s first day on the job at the former Mars Hill Church and a sense of glorious purpose in his book PR Matters

Something Justin Dean has clarified via Twitter recently is that he decided he would not talk with Mike Cosper for Christianity Today’s podcast series The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill. Dean objects to Cosper’s take on the “How Dare You” sermon suggesting that no man’s life seemed to be changed and that, far from a spontaneous outburst, the moment was planned and executed in the same way in all versions of the sermon. Dean has said that if Cosper couldn’t find any man whose life was changed by that sermon he wasn’t looking.
Now perhaps Cosper was trying to make a point that didn’t come across, a point that I have made explicit in suggesting that Mark Driscoll’s “Pussified Nation” could be seen as agitation propaganda while Dead Men and the mens’ boot camps from the 2000-2001 era could be viewed as integration propaganda. I have, of course, made some extensive use of Jacques Ellul’s book Propaganda as a way to think about the William Wallace II era. I have argued that Mark Driscoll should be understood not so much as a pastor but as a propagandist. I will quote Ellul’s warning about Christians using propaganda techniques to disseminate Christianity as a preface to looking at some statements Justin Dean has made in his book PR Matters (which I have reviewed in a three-part series of posts here, here and here). 

Friday, September 10, 2021

CT episode 8 is up, Demon Hunting

 So the newest episode is up and it was a necessary follow-up as a matter of principle to episode 7.  I had meant to get around to writing about spiritual warfare as a necessary component of the "state of emergency" because the biggest amount of material Mark taught on spiritual warfare in terms of hours talked was the 2008 spiritual warfare session.  Even Win Your War is in many respects a revisitation of material from 2008.

My little reading list of about 50 books on spiritual warfare, diabology, exorcism, Enochic literature, and the topic of spirit-possession in the ancient near east is connected to wanting to eventually deal with the issue of spiritual warfare within Mars Hill history as a subset not only of charismatic beliefs but as a subset of beliefs within evangelicalism and fundamentalism.  It would be bad history and theology to claim that Mark got his ideas about deliverance strictly from charismatic theologies.  James Collins has a helpful survey delineating how fundamentalists and evangelicals and charismatics have a surprisingly large amount of overlap in the core concepts of their not-exorcism approach to spiritual warfare.  

But episode 8 just dropped and I'll need time to listen to it.  I've also been meaning to write about Win Your War.  

Monday, September 06, 2021

okay, for Matiegka fans, one of the older posts has just been supplemented with an in-score analysis

Okay, so back on July 3, 2020 I published a strictly written analysis of Wenzel Matiegka's Op. 31, No. 1 fro his Progressive Sonatas.  Now I've gone back and added a score with in-score analysis to supplement the old blog post.  So if you haven't found the Op. 31 scores free online previously or don't have the Stanley Yates edition I can now start to (probably slowly as ever!) get to analyzing the Matiegka sonatas from the Op. 31 with some scores for sonatas 1, 2, 5 and 6.

To go read the updated musical analysis head over here.

If you want to check out a more recent guitar sonata in C minor that draws more inspiration from Aretha Franklin, James Brown and Wilson Pickett than Matiegka you can go here.  The conclusion I reached by the time I finished Ragtime and Sonata Forms last year was that if it's practical to compose sonata forms using ragtime materials it is no less possible to compose sonata forms using materials more typical of R&B, soul, funk and rock.  I would not go so far as to say it's easy but it can be done.

An in-score analysis to Op. 31, No. 2 in A minor is eventually going to happen but I'm feeling less inspired to blog lately than to tackle other kinds of projects away from this blog.  Hope you have had a good Labor Day weekend. 

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

a new little episode in The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill on the origin myth of Mars Hill and how it changed in significant ways the farther along Mars Hill went; Justin Dean says he won't talk with Cosper

I confess to ambivalence about the Christianity Today podcast.  As I noted previously, it is impossible to reconcile Scott Thomas' claims in 2021 with literally anything he wrote by email or written statement to Mars Hill members in 2007.  When Tim Smith claimed that if a man in pastoral ministry at Mars Hill had a wife who worked outside the home that would be considered grounds for church discipline it was impossible not to think of pastors who were ostentatious counter-examples, men whose wives worked outside the home and who never seemed to come up for church discipline.  To put the point starkly, Cosper's advantage of being an outsider to the Mars Hill scene lets him contextualize Mars Hill within the larger scene of North American evangelicalism but at the potential price of not being able to quickly pick up which sources are more reliable or, more bluntly, credible than others.

Having said that, the reason I think it's a net positive that Christianity Today is doing anything at all is because, Justin Dean's laments noted and with standing, he might want to take stock of some other , academic, writings that have mentioned Driscoll over the years that I've read and complained about here.

Dale E. Soden's Outsiders in a Promised Land collapsed 20 years of Mars Hill history into the chapter "The Christian Right Strikes Back", if academic treatments of the history of Mars Hill stay at this level academic discourse the future is going to be restricted to the celebrity rather than the community

So if Cosper decides it's time to question the origin myths associated with Mark Driscoll's ministry and the founding of Mars Hill someone like Justin Dean might consider that egalitarian/progressive/liberal but Cosper's work is more carefully researched than Dale E Soden's.

Longtime readers of Wenatchee The Hatchet have likely read already some of what Cosper has discussed here in such posts as ... 
... but the new episode is well worth listening to because Cosper talks about how Driscoll mentioned being spurred to consider Christianity and regard himself as called to ministry through a friend with an in-the-closet gay Christian friend; Cosper noted in the earliest accounts of his Christian conversion Driscoll didn't mention Grace Martin at all and in the earliest accounts of how and why Mark Driscoll felt called to ministry and church planting divine directives also don't appear.  That seems of a piece with Mark Driscoll saying he sought wise counsel in 2014 before deciding to resign from Mars Hill and then only in 2015 publicly saying he heard from God and, for good measure, beginning to tell stories about how The Trinity Church was  started because of his kids and not his own ambitions to continue in public ministry.  

Thanks to commenter chris e for highlighting the new little episode of the CT series just arrived.  

Justin Dean's response on Twitter has been to clarify he won't be talking with Mike Cosper

I'm not really interested in doing podcasts myself so I'm not going to blame Justin Dean for believing that a podcast by its nature is not a very efficient medium or genre through which to discuss Mars Hill and its history.  Let the record show that Justin Dean and Wenatchee The Hatchet do sometimes actually agree.  I have made a point of sticking to writing things here.  

I've written at some length about Justin Dean's book PR Matters ... 

Those who have not read it won't know that Dean described Mark Driscoll telling him he was an ideal fit for the work he was being given.  Dean joined Mars Hill Church around 2010, a point at which the origin stories of the founding of Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll's story of his conversion and calling were completely consolidated.  Dean can be understandably committed to the origin myths that were completely solidified previously. For those of us who attended from 1999 through about 2009, however, the seams in the accounts had bit by bit begun to show so Dean might benefit from slogging through the podcasts.  He may be tempted to think that because egalitarians and feminists are given so much time and space that harms the credibility of the Cosper project.  But something that Driscoll claimed to Carey Nieuwhof was that Mars Hill fell apart due to internal leadership battles over LGBTQ issues, a claim so patently untrue it took about fifty pages of extensive writing cross referencing Sutton Turner and Dave Bruskas and Mark Driscoll's comments to show that Mark's claim in 2020 about the demise of Mars Hill doesn't hold water.  I'm not doubting the honesty, integrity or credibility of Justin Dean himself, mind you, but that of his former boss.

PART TWO: 9-2-2021 6:53PM

One of the things people might mistakenly think from Cosper's recent podcast is that the fact that Mark Driscoll's story changed might be a "tell" that he has lied a lot.  Now there are cases where Driscoll told lies and the deception could be backed up; and Driscoll has never explained why he'd call a post "We Even Lie About Our Lying" that presupposes literally everyone lies.  Brutal honesty is a phrase in the English language for reasons.

Something that I have dealt with in the past is how Driscoll does share different stories about how he became a Christian and how he got an audible call to marry Grace, teach the Bible, train young men and plant churches.  The thing to keep in mind is that Driscoll has been a preacher, maybe a self-ordained and self-anointed preacher in a lot of ways but he's still a preacher.  I would suggest that in any and every given story he has told or written about his conversion or calling keep in mind the literary and homiletic context.  Mark is never not selling an idea in what he says.  So he didn't mention reading the Bible his wife Grace gave him in The Daily Evergreen op ed he wrote.  

Think about the audience and author. A young man with anxieties and ambitions about manhood and marriage who wanted to present an apologetic for why he became a Christian would not lead with "because I read the Bible my girlfriend gave me" even if he wasn't in a sexual relationship with said girlfriend. Why?  For the obvious reason that such an apologetic would be dismissed by non-Christian readers (and Christian readers for that matter in many a case). But within a church and  church cultures saying you became a believer because you read the Bible given to you by the woman who became your wife is acceptable because of tropes about the redeeming love of a good woman and other tropes. 

This would be the Captain Obvious moment in which I point out that spinning  stories to suit target audiences to whom you're making an overt and obvious homiletic or apologetic point is not necessarily the same as constantly changing your story in a way that is "I'm lying".  It "could" be but it isn't necessarily the case.  Even if you wanted to put it in the sharpest and harshest way possible, Mark Driscoll has not so much demonstrably changed his overall story so as to lie as much as he has presented, emphasized and spun different elements of a generally steady pair of stories about his conversion and sense-of-calling experience depending on what audience he is pandering to.  

That last part is the most significant part to keep in mind assessing Driscoll's stories and it is the part that Cosper omits altogether in the recent podcast.  He gets to if he decided it's not germane to the question of Driscoll's changing accounts and the nuances of those accounts.  But then Wenatchee The Hatchet has done that over the years and it doesn't strike me as exactly a "gotcha" moment.  Some of the people who would be most in a position to confirm or deny details to any degree are dead or have never spoken on record that I know of about Mark Driscoll. We'll obviously be unlikely to get an account from Hutch and as yet nobody has contacted Doug Busby that I know of.  There's no indications either Gunn or Moi have been or are necessarily willing to talk to Cosper but that has not been discussed to the best of my knowledge in any on record statement.

What I've been seeing is that partisans are willing to use the podcast as a springboard to talk about the kinds of issues they would tend to talk about independent of any knowledge of Mars Hill Church. So far the level of discussion about the podcast has not been inspiring.  If Cosper wants to raise questions about how reliable Driscoll's accounts are that's a legitimate question but questions about how reliable all of his sources may be and what their connection to Mars Hill even is get opened up or are up for consideration at some point.  What Joshua Harris has to do with Mars Hill history is beyond me, for instance and I've been in the orbit of Mars Hill and related people and topics for twenty years.  

Monday, August 30, 2021

Emerson String Quartet to disband in 2023

There's nothing like the recent announcement that the Emerson String Quartet will disband in 2023 to get this blogger out of planned dormancy, at least to note the following news.

Lebrecht being Lebrecht he threw in a covid-19 reference that seems to insinuate that it has something to do with the ensemble disbanding but even without a covid-19 situation 40 years is a spectacular run for a string quartet and this is a string quartet that has done landmark recordings of Shostakovich and Bartok over the years (and I got to hear them perform one of Joan Tower's string quartets when they came and played at the University of Washington).

Shostakovich Quartet No. 8 

and, of course, their unforgettable take on the final movement of Bartok's Third String Quartet

Lebrecht has floated the question of which U.S. quartet will step in as though it were mysterious.  The string quartet is such a venerable medium there doesn't need to be a new "it" quartet.  I heard some great performances by the Pacifica Quartet in the last fifteen years (and they even played a Hindemith quartet, which wins them points in my book for being willing to play his stuff when a lot of ensembles don't).  The Takacs Quartet is still around.  I'm rusty on my string quartets in the last ten years having focused so intently on guitar music, solo or chamber, but Lebrecht needn't worry in reality or in posture about whether or not there's going to be some high quality string quartet in the United States.  One of the Emersons said at a concert that every quartet in the last few centuries has been small fry compared to the quartet that was formed by Haydn, Mozart, Ditters and Vanhal.  Uh, yeah, that's kind of hard to dispute in terms of collected compositional skill.  Whether or not they all played with "chops of death" has, apparently, been less certain a thing but maybe someone can fill in comments about accounts of the HMDV quartet.

Anyway, I was glad to hear the Emersons play a lot of fantastic music here in Seattle over the course of twenty years and I still dig their recordings.  

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

a little dormancy is likely

besides the podcasts (let the reader understand) I have been reading a bit and a pile of books by Mark Evan Bonds and Daniel K L Chua on Beethoven veneration is something I want to get to writing about but that is going to be work.  

I'm tempted to write about deBoer's recent bit about cultural appropriation as a springboard for finally discussing Randall J Stephens' The Devil's Music.  It might not be a surprise that an atheist would not quite land a case that Gospel was white music before it was black music.  That's not the best way to put it. A better way to put it would be Mahalia Jackson's remark that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the same whether Thomas Dorsey put a little bounce into it or not; which was to say that whites and blacks and peoples of every skin color who have Jesus in common can share diverse styles of music.  Randall Stephens' case has been that when we see that the pioneers of early rock ranging from Sister Tharpe through Little Richard, Franklin, Cash, Presley, Lewis and others were all Pentecostals (however bad they were as Pentecostals) then what might be regarded as cultural appropriation along rigidly racial lines was anything but cultural appropriation for Pentecostals who shared ulta-low storefront church liturgical traditions across color lines.  That's a sticking point for me because I grew up Pentecostal and also because I'm the child of an inter-racial marriage (American Indian dad and white mom).  But I am not feeling inspired to write a ton lately. 

I have been thinking I need to get back to writing about animation again at some point.  That Evangelion sequel/reboot was a reminder that Neon Genesis Evangelion remains, to me, one of the most over-hyped anime in the history of anime.  The end of the fourth film was maybe supposed to be a big deal but instead of Beethoven's 9th choral movement I would have sooner had Rick Astley's "Together Forever".  When we're finally shown what Gendo Ikari's motives and aims are, hey, he chose to move heaven and earth to be with his lost wife, right?  That's pretext enough to rickroll the end of Evangelion.  :)  Anno has been exploring the franchise for decades and yet what he's come up with keeps falling short of, oh, Kon, whose Paprika is both weirder and more poignant than anything I've seen in the Evangelion franchise.  Gendo Ikari referencing the Dead Sea Scrolls, uh, nope.  Behind all the blender-ized mysticism explosions shaped like crosses ends up being Michael Bay level trope and nobody would fall for it if Michael Bay had explosions turn into yin and yang symbols, would they?  So my brother remarked long ago and it seemed worth repeating here.  But I don't have the energy mustered up to write about that at much length, either.

I'll try to get back to writing about the podcast series but I'm feeling lethargic at the level of writing these days.  Plus I might have a chance to go back and update my Matiegka analyses from Op. 31 to include score analysis.  So, there you go.  I've written an awful lot at this blog since 2006 but sometimes energy flags where inspiration doesn't.  

Monday, August 16, 2021

Warren Throckmorton officially asks "Did Mark Driscoll Get Me Kicked Off Patheos?"

On May 21 2018, I received an email from COO of Patheos Jeremy McGee that I no longer met the “strategic objectives” of Patheos and therefore would be removed as a blogger from the site. Recently I learned from more than one former staff member of The Trinity Church  about a possible reason why I was evicted without a reason given.  If Mark Driscoll’s bragging is correct, Patheos management decided they would rather have Mark Driscoll’s traffic over mine.  According to the story that I have been told from two sources independently, Mark Driscoll told Patheos that he would not bring his substantial social media traffic to Patheos if I was allowed to stay on the site. In effect, he bragged, he got me kicked off the site.

At the time, the “favored advertiser theory” was one which made some sense. Obviously publishing is a business and if an advertiser/blogger promised to bring in lots of ad money and traffic (more than I was bringing in), then a management mainly in it for the profit would have to consider that. I could never get confirmation of the theory or prove who would be vindictive enough to actually pursue that gangster move.

As far as who might consider such a move, I thought of several candidates. Driscoll’s name did come up. After all, he told Tim Gaydos if Tim moved away from Mars Hill and planted his own church, Driscoll would tear it down brick by brick. You can hear that quote from Gaydos in the opener of every Rise and Fall of Mars Hill podcast episode. However, at the time, I could only speculate. Now, I have more than one reliable source with the same story of Driscoll bragging about getting me kicked of the site.

Not only was I told I had to stop blogging, my blog  was taken down so that all links throughout the web which pointed to my Patheos address no longer work. In effect, there was an effort to silence the writing.

Let it sink in a minute: Mark Driscoll met Patheos’ “strategic objectives” while I did not.   ...

For those unfamiliar with Patheos as a platform, if the theory that Throckmorton's blog was cut loose because he wasn't posting enough or posting often enough is considered, then why has Driscoll's Patheos blog survived even though he hasn't posted anything there since July 2, 2020? Throckmorton has noticed this, too, but I want to point out something else that's equally obvious.

Throckmorton got dropped for whatever reason but Patheos is not an overtly "Christian" site.  Patheos hosts all sorts of perspectives that aren't even necessarily religiously confessional or evangelical.

So Throckmorton's got some reason to ask what the strategic goals of Patheos were that his blog wasn't fulfilling for it to get 410'd out of existence.  What kinds of strategic goals are still being fulfilled by all the sorts of blogs above but not by, apparently, "just" Warren Throckmorton's blog? If other blogs were 410'd out of being on the same day Throckmorton's was, however, feel free to share links in the comments (moderation always on).

I've been thinking about more stuff to write about Episodes 6 and 7 of The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill but I am not feeling hugely inspired to write after having written a fairly hefty amount about the series already.  I can be industrious but it's still a pretty heavy set of topics and getting around to "The Brand" and other aspects of "State of Emergency" I haven't written about yet will take some time to put in order.  

Another thing is I lately discovered IMSLP has some Matiegka scores from the Op. 31 set and that means that score analysis improvements can be made for 1, 2, 5 and 6 in my pending Matiegka's Op. 31 series.  

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Freddie deBoer on "If You're Bound to Be Bad, Why Bother Being Good?": he's used music as springboard ... so I can compare his case to stuff by Heather Mac Donald, Mark Driscoll, and Doug Wilson as some potential cases that may back his point

Of course people will say “well actually the white men with guitars critique is quite complicated and nuanced, the point is not that all white men with guitars are the same, or that their music is bad,” etc etc. The trouble with this defense is that we live in a discursive environment, with opinions orbiting all around us. And the “white men with guitars” discourse, which peaked maybe five years ago or so, was never primarily that nuanced and careful critique. It was usually a bunch of (mostly white) people on Tumblr and Twitter farming likes and shares by ostentatiously invoking the phrase in the most capacious and dismissive way possible. So which claim actually ruled? The careful argument about the need for greater accessibility in music making, which for the record the Minutemen lived rather than just wrote about? Or the preachy, self-impressed and reductive version that got the engagement on social media?

The point, obviously, is that you can generalize all of this. Categorical moral claims blunt the demand for individual moral responsibility. If you’re a young white man who is politically undifferentiated, and you looked out at the world of social justice politics, why would you ever be compelled to get on board? You’re told every day that you hurt marginalized people through your very existence. Your white privilege is inherent to your body and you can’t get rid of it, and it damages POC no matter what your intentions or how you live. So what do you do? The woke assumption seems to be that you should therefore go through life feeling vaguely guilty all the time and that this alone would constitute a more just world. But most of these malleable white dudes aren’t going to do that, because carrying around pointless guilt both does nothing to help anyone and is unpleasant. Meanwhile, there’s some “intellectual dark web” dickhead on YouTube telling you that you’re actually the oppressed one and you should fight back. Which program are you going to sign up for? Yes, the IDW attitude is wrong. But it’s also designed to attract converts. The social justice attitude is designed to assign people a spot in a moral aristocracy, and you were born ineligible to be one of the elect. It’s no wonder why contemporary social justice politics have achieved literally no structural change even while enjoying total dominance in our ideas industry. [emphasis added] What’s the basic theory of change?

I’ve called this tendency political Calvinism in the past - the way that totalizing identity critiques render individual choices and morality irrelevant.

As with white men and their guitars, people will inevitably say “nobody says white people are inherently racist, that’s not the argument.” But, first, there are in fact many people who indeed believe explicitly that all white people are racist, as rhetorically inconvenient as that might be for you. More importantly, even if the “anti-racist” conventional wisdom doesn’t go that far, its proponents speak so recklessly and with such an emphasis on dunking on people to impress their peers that the message they send is inevitably the caricatured version. I promise you, most white people who aren’t already savvy extremely-online types who go on social justice Twitter will come away with the impression that they’re saying that all white people are racist. Which of course triggers the part of the brain that says “so I’ll be a racist, then.” [emphasis added] Similarly, mockery of the phrase “not all men” may not usually be meant to imply that all men are guilty of whatever crime, though there is a vast second-wave feminist literature that insists very explicitly that yes, all men. Either way, the average dude is most certainly going to come away from the “not all men” discourse thinking that the point is that he’s bad merely by dint of being a dude. Is that fair? Who cares?

Now as an actual Calvinist I "could" contest deBoer's working definition of "political Calvinism" and go on and on about how I think the real dogmatic problem within Anglo-American political-religious legacies has been postmillennialism, but I don't plan to do that. Instead I'm going to charitably reinterpret what deBoer is getting at in light of understanding he's not religious and doesn't steep himself in religious ideas.  

As it happens some commenters have already proposed at his substack that the problem is people have a firm working definition of original sin and group sin without any corresponding concept of atonement or expiation of sin. That is, as a matter of fact, something like what John McWhorter has been saying for years, only he has pointed out that contemporary anti-racism has reformulated Original Sin as the ontological sin of whiteness that can only be atoned for, apparently, by hiring (or buying the products of) the likes of Kendi and DiAngelo to pronounce expiation.  

Thursday, August 12, 2021

initial thoughts on episode 7 of The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill: Scott Thomas' statements in `21 on `07 are difficult to reconcile with what he wrote in `07 about the terminations and trials of Petry and Meyer

The newest episode of The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill is, frankly, baffling in a few spots. No part of the episode seems more puzzling than the statements made by Scott Thomas about the 2007 terminations and trials of Paul Petry and Bent Meyer.  What Scott Thomas told Mike Cosper for the podcast I have transcribed below:

State of Emergency
COSPER:   That same day, Scott Thomas was assigned to lead an Elder Investigation Taskforce looking into charges from Driscoll that Paul and Bent had disqualified themselves as elders.

SCOTT THOMAS:  What we determined, with a group of godly men, who were coming together, and what we determined was Paul nor Bent had done ANYTHING to disqualify themselves  from eldership and that was our [brief pause] report. I've got the full report right now but we determined there was nothing to disqualify them from eldership.

COSPER: You would think with a conclusion like that, that it would be a sort of open and shut case with the rest of the elders  but there's a weird disconnect that happens in the middle of this.  The team that Scott Thomas was leading, investigating Paul and Bent, did clear them of wrongdoing but they didn't communicate that to them directly. Instead, in all of the formal communications that I've seen, they simply said the investigation was complete and that Paul and Bent didn't need to attend their own trial before the rest of the elders. ...

SCOTT THOMAS: 00:46:12 
Both came and spoke and thought we were saying they were guilty and they approached it that way and began to blast, you know, most everybody in the room. And so it didn't help their cause and so the elders said, "Well, we gotta take action now."  And it was a different way from what the team that was investigating it, WE said they did nothing to disqualify themselves from eldership. And, uh, but after they spoke we said, "Well, maybe they should, at least, be reprimanded."
So, the thing is, none of that sits very easily beside the actual statements Scott Thomas was making in 2007 during the months of the investigation, trial, verdicts and subsequent shunning orders but it will take time to revisit all the materials preserved both at Joyful Exiles and materials made available to Wenatchee The Hatchet.  If you're up for reading through a pile of material, proceed.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Episodes 6 and 7 of The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, Episode 7 "State of Emergency" might prove to be one of the more important ones to digest

I'm ambivalent about episode 6 perhaps even more than episode 5.  "The Brand" seems to rabbit trail at length into The Gospel Coalition and Together for the Gospel and particularly Joshua Harris.  Yeah, yeah, I get the New Calvinist element but there's something that seemed to be missing from Episode 6. I think it might be, for me, the  juxtaposition of how tech guys in Mars Hill posted mp3s online and made a website and developed a brand that bypassed the traditional gatekeepers of established media and yet by 2006 with Zack Hubert's development of The City and how and why Mars Hill assimilated that post hoc as their thing and sold it to prevent themselves from going in the red the upstart guys who bypassed the gatekeepers in relationship to institutional media became the gatekeepers of the information culture within Mars Hill Church.  

The City was, honestly, not a very satisfying or compelling platform to me and I rarely used it, but I recall that a pastor extolled it as the perfect instrument for the Mars Hill elders to provide top-down information people needed to know as it was thought to have become need-to-know. What it really accomplished was the simultaneous shuttering of the php forums and the strict delineation of information to campus-by-campus systems.  I guess I'm saying that "The Brand" seemed diffuse to me because the juxtaposition of how the guys in Mars Hill who bypassed the gatekeepers and enforcers of the traditional media to establish the church reputation and Driscoll's celebrity became gatekeepers and enforcers within the Mars Hill scene.  Although ... the practical outworking of that may potentially be elucidated in Episode 7.

In this episode of The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, host Mike Cosper pulls back the curtain to expose the inner workings of church governance at Mars Hill. Guided by careful research and hundreds of hours of interviews, Cosper plots out a story of church growth corrupted by power. Discover a Mark Driscoll you may never have met—a young church planter with a vision for Seattle and for the world. Watch what happens when the friction between accountability and speed causes church planting efforts to combust. And see how prioritizing “reaching people for Jesus” can mask spiritual abuse without the proper checks and balances.


Tuesday, August 10, 2021

I spotted that City Journal 2-parter and also some of deBoer's recent posting

The 2-parter is 10,000 words ... which is both something I could throw together on a weekend but slower to read than write as word counts go.

deBoer's recent posts seem like stuff I could cross reference.  I did say I was going to try to get back to music and, lo and behold, stuff about music gives me some ideas I hope to post later.  I think deBoer's point is more diffuse and sloppy than he probably means it to be but the City Journal 2-parter probably confirms the general direction he's trying to go in.  More, I hope, later.

deBoer's worry that without a more nuanced approach to race narratives progressives will create rhetoric that drives fence sitters to intellectual dark web alt right demagogues is not as far-fetched as some might be tempted to think.  I just finished Crawford Gribben's book on survivalists and theonomists in the Pacific Northwest and have been comparing Doug Wilson and Mark Driscoll lately, who are probably on the more genteel side of the super-conservative wing in some ways.  John McWhorter's riff on anti-racists having a version of original sin that is defined as whiteness is partly right, commenters at deBoer's blog have pointed out that what hasn't been developed is a corresponding updated theory of atonement.  McWhorter's complaint has been that expiation has taken the form of hiring DiAngelo or reading Kendi, which is not satisfactory to him.

But I still have reading to do. 

Monday, August 09, 2021

some more thoughts on the formative influence of Doug Wilson on Mark Driscoll, themes with variations on provocation for mobilization and brand consolidation

There was a study done by the Baptist Press and a men’s group called Promise Keepers and here’s the findings. If mom goes to church, worships and serves God, brings the children with her, when the children grow up, there is a 2 percent chance the child will go to church and worship God regularly.
And this is not to discourage the women. My mom knew the Lord, prayed for me, and modeled faith, and I am here, in large part, because of the ministry and testimony of my Spirit-filled mom. Now, I’m happy to report my dad now knows and loves Jesus, but that was not the case when I was growing up.
Conversely, if dad opens the Bible, prays, worships, and brings mom and the kids to church, the odds go up to 66 and 75 percent chance that the children will grow up and attend church to worship and serve God.
That’s why there is a war to keep men from Bible reading, worship, church, and prayer. The enemy knows if he can isolate the men, he can assassinate the family.
As Romans 16 continues, Paul mentions a man named Aristobulus and mentions not only him but his family. To me, this is awesome.
Men – you have an opportunity to change generations. In our culture, we want to get rid of husbands and fathers and we want to replace them with government. As a result, the nation is imploding because, ultimately, God’s divine design is for kids to have a father AND a mother, each contributing something unique and necessary to the family.
One thing the father provides is leadership. God’s divine design cannot be altered or overcome. I don’t care what critical theory says, I don’t care about all the “-isms” or what the fool’s parade at the university is writing for curriculum.
Ultimately, when God architected the world, things functioned according to his architected plan.
Men are significant. For good or for evil. If men are filled with the Spirit, they are significant to bless their families for generations; if they’re filled with the demonic or the flesh, they curse their families for generations.
Here, God honors a man whose entire family is loving and serving the Lord. That’s my hope for me and for you and for us.
It’s easy for a guy like Driscoll to say that.  God’s divine design cannot be altered or overcome and Driscoll doesn’t care what critical theory says and he doesn’t care about all the “isms” or what the fool’s parade at the university is writing for the curriculum. 

Sunday, August 08, 2021

thoughts on what some call watchdog blogging: why recent writing about Mark Driscoll and The Trinity Church probably falls short of having any long-term impact, soft news personality profiles are not hard news stories with news pegs

While I have some appreciation for blogging that Julie Roys has been doing (and certainly appreciate the work Warren Throckmorton has done); and while I encourage those involved with Dear Driscoll to keep sharing what they believe they must share; I do have some concerns about those who are undertaking what is colloquially known as watchdog blogging, specifically about what gets posted and how that content is presented.  

There are good reasons to doubt that the latest cycle of watchdog blogging is likely to be anywhere near as effective in chronicling things connected to Mark Driscoll and The Trinity Church as watchdog blogging may have been during the demise of Mars Hill.  There are three simple reasons for this and those reasons can be articulated in the form of questions a blogger must be able to answer before hitting "publish".

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

an indelicate set of questions about the CT series moving forward, will the (at times, or often) disastrous legacy of Mars Hill pastoral counseling and "biblical living" pastoral care come up?

The death of John Hoover seems like something that needs to be discussed in the history of Mars Hill.  I didn't know John very well but we came across each other during my time at Mars Hill.  I knew people who knew him but what was going on in John's life but they spoke guardedly about it. He seemed profoundly sad to me for reasons I couldn't even guess at.  With years since those days and hearing intermittently of what has increasingly seemed like the often unmitigated debacle of Mars Hill pastoral counseling I'm thinking that topic will be something the Christianity Today series should look into.  Mars Hill may have not officially billed itself in the "nouthetic counseling" wing but it is doubtless symptomatic of rifts and differences in approach.  I have more first-hand experience with that stuff than I really want to get into. 

What has been referenced briefly is Redemption Groups or Grace Groups but that would be a subset of "biblical counseling".  I'm not going to sugarcoat this point, pastoral counseling was, it seemed to me, often disastrously bad at Mars Hill.  To sugarcoat the matter even less, complaints clustered around former pastor James Noriega, for instance and I felt obliged to delete comments that I regarded as libelous but that many people who had to deal with Noriega found his methods and appraisals brusque is probably not in itself a particularly contentious point.  The more basic point was how or why anyone who did do pastoral counseling was regarded as fit to do so probably needs to be discussed in the CT series at some point.

Among former members of Mars Hill there are those with same sex attraction and the question of whether conversion therapy was endorsed or required within Mars Hill is another topic that probably needs to get some examination.  

I have first-hand and second-hand experience with the pastoral counseling side of things but I'm loathe to get into it much.  When I left Mars Hill I did say that I was concerned that the pastoral counseling side of things seemed to be so bad that I had lost all faith in both the basic competence and goodwill of pastoral counseling at Mars Hill.  There  was some helpful counsel from guys who had actually known me for years but at that point the helpful advice of friends who happened to be in ministry was that, not "counseling".  

UPDATE 8-5-21
To reformulate things in terms of bare questions
1. Will the series get into pastoral counseling in general at MH?
2. Will Redemption Groups and Grace Groups get discussed along with the backgrounds of Mike Wilkerson and James Noriega as instrumental to those groups getting formed?
3. Given the stances Driscoll had on gender roles and the inevitability of same-sex attracted people at Mars Hill, has there been any indication that Mars Hill pastors or biblical living pastors advocated for conversion therapy?
4.  For that matter what catalyzed the change of nomenclature from use of pastoral counseling to "biblical living" pastors?
5. Driscoll's accounts of his personal counseling revealed a penchant for recovered memory tropes as well as spiritual warfare jargon, how many, if any, Mars Hill pastors who did counseling had credentials to do that?

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

more supplemental thoughts on episode 5 of The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, I can't take it as given that even Rachel Held Evans, let alone Tony Jones, have not had their issues related to Christian celebrity and social influence

Something else about episode 5 has stuck with me but not merely because of episode 5 itself.  As people who have been listening to so far will have noticed, The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill features comments from Tony Jones. Episode 5 makes reference to the late Rachel Held Evans.  For those those who don't remember, those two names are associated with public dissent from things Mark Driscoll has said. It's taken me some time to get a clearer sense of what has seemed a delicate matter in complementarian and egalitarian differences that is in some ways ultimately not a delicate matter at all, in the matter of "what we do to women", progressive and conservative Christian celebrity cultures don't seem that different from the rest of the world whether we look at the track record of a Jones or a Driscoll and also, unfortunately, their respective supporters. Circling wagons around favorite stars, sometimes with other stars, can seem to lead to the same basic pattern across the aisles.

First let's start with David Hayward's comments back from later 2014 on Tony Jones' comments on Mark Driscoll:  

Then we'll note Tony Jones' comments on Mark Driscoll from 2014.

I had some thoughts at the time about the dubiousness of Tony Jones and Peter Rollins deciding to sound off on Mark Driscoll.  Theo-bros commenting from the nosebleed seats who were never actually at Mars Hill and used the demise of Mark Driscoll within Seattle as a pretext to pontificate on the sorts of things they write about anyway is, well, an awful lot like Mark Driscoll.  And that was what I was mulling over when I posted in September 2014 about what some call watchblogging.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

supplemental reading for those who heard Episode 5 of The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, a survey of materials formerly and currently available from Driscoll germane to the topic of what married women were told (or expected) to do

I have been thinking about episode 5 from The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill.  It was pretty well-done but I confess to ambivalence. I am glad that the Scotland sermon was quoted so extensively, although the audio sounded a little sped-up to make sure there was room for the whole clip in the podcast.  Nevertheless, I agree with exactly how much of the excerpt they quoted.  Longtime readers will not be surprised I think so because I transcribed the entire anecdote myself here at Wenatchee The Hatchet. 

I have, it turns out, written considerably more on these topics as a single guy than I would have guessed I would have but sex, sexuality, gender, and gender roles were so inextricably part of Mark Driscoll’s shtick it is impossible to not run into them. 

I have mentioned previously that I wrote the following series:
Mark Driscoll and the Gospel of (escaping) White Trash
and Mark Driscoll and the Influence or Porn

on an old twitter joke Mark Driscoll made about the working title of what became Real Marriage

 While I have thoughts on episode 5 it's going to take time to organize them and settle them.  I do, however, want to call attention to something Driscoll tweeted about the  marriage self-help book he and Grace were putting together and a joke he rolled out.  Driscoll found it funny and witty to suggest in lieu of a finalized title that the working title was "Your Best Wife Now".

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Episode 5 of The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill - What We Do To Women has dropped. Julia Duin asks why CT has taken up this project and some observations on how Mark Driscoll's ideas of chivalrous defense of the honor and purity of his wife were linked to boasting of threatening strangers with assault and blocking people from contacting her

Something I hope Cosper can get to in the podcast series is the history of Mars Hill attempts to start a Bible college, a publishing company, and a music label.  Since Tim Smith has already been going on record discussing the failed attempts at starting a music label is an element of Mars Hill history I've tried to chronicle but which is ideally a topic to be taken up by people closer to the scene (I'd left around 2008-2009).  Why that matters is because Driscoll claimed he never imagined Mars Hill would get so big in 2014 yet almost anyone from the earlier years could cite that starting a music label was always part of his vision.  The "Gosh, I just never imagined it would get this big" is basically a lie anytime Driscoll has said it.  Repeated references to how behind the scenes Mark wanted people to marry and pump out babies so that within a generation or two "we" would have taken over the city of Seattle belies the "we never thought it would go this big".  Driscoll's joke about having started a fertility cult wasn't funny to me circa 2005 and it's still not funny to me.

Which roundaboutly gets me to the latest episode, which I may have to write about more after I have time to collect my thoughts and consult my resources.  I do have some initial thoughts ...

Sunday, July 25, 2021

some thoughts on The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill episode 4, masculinity and markulinity; a church in a death spiral before the press noticed the spiral; the Christian celebrity and redeemed vices; and American gospels that have no eunuchs

Cosper did not quote the rants of William Wallace II and that is understandable, given the podcast is produced by Christianity Today.  It is unfortunate, however, in that for some of us who were attending Mars Hill at the time there were discussions about who this William Wallace II person was and what it said about him that he ranted as he did online.  I remember two people who told me "If you knew who it was he was writing as William Wallace II you'd understand more what he's trying to do."  There was a sense that this was a hyperbolic character trying to make a point.  My response at the time was roughly like this, "It doesn't matter who it is in real life, they're an asshole and they're acting like an asshole. Whatever point they're trying to make isn't justified by how they react to people."  When I heard it was Driscoll I was not especially surprised.  My mistake was convincing myself that Mike Gunn and Lief Moi would rein in Driscoll's lesser tendencies, not stopping to think about how they let William Wallace II happen without any apparent objection to begin with.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

the band Crowded House missed some opportunities for some great album titles

I was thinking they could have gone with Rent Control or, even better, Pet Deposit.

Many a post I've written over the years is long and completely serious, and with cause.  I don't plan to become frivolous as a matter of course.  But sometimes, sometimes I have to put up something silly for its own sake.  Pet Deposit is fun because, well, for pet owners present or past the ambiguity leaps out at you.  Is it the kind you collect when you move out, is it non-refundable, or is it the kind your pet deposits on the floor that you have to clean up?  

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

something a little old, Freddie deBoer's ardent "Everything is not a remix, against popular deepity", a sideways riff on pastiche eclecticism as the aesthetic question or challenge of the modern era according to Leonard Meyer
It's no surprise at all that a socialist with openly Marxist interests would argue against Jungian and neo-Jungian archetypes.  I mean, talk about reification!  :)  But, somewhat more seriously, his objections to the propensity of our age to peddle "deepity" seem worth reading.  

Ted Gioia, "Can We Please Stop Talking About Rebranding Classical Music?"

How do we manage the trade-off between past and present? When I launched a jazz website some years back, I decided that my preferred balance was 50/50—half of the coverage would focus on current music, and the other half on the rich jazz heritage. Others might have different views, but I thought that was the ideal mix. And though classical music is different from jazz, with a much longer tradition, we won’t have a healthy art form if 80 or 90 percent of our attention goes to the same works that were programmed fifty or a hundred years ago.


Looking at the leading classical music institutions from the outside, I can only guess what causes the current dysfunction, but my hunch is that decision-making is too dominated by internal boardroom meetings, office politicking, and a deep-seated reluctance to do anything new and risky. I’ve also learned from personal experience that even the top people at leading classical music institutions often seem unaware of what’s happening right now in their own art form—caught up instead on media-promoted trends and fashionable names.

Presented for the time being without comment.  

Is Convention Really the Deadliest Threat to Art? A response to John Borstlap

This means that convention is always the deadliest threat to art, also today where convention simply has taken other forms than in the past but functions in the same way.

 There are two terms in this axiom that are left undefined. While “art” is ultimately the most critical term I’m restricting myself to discussing the term “convention”.  I’ve read Borstlap’s work for a few years now and can make a case that his pat axiom quoted above belies the way he actually references convention in his polemics against specific strands of modernism in music or, as he more often prefers to call it, sonic art. 

To get something out of the way immediately, I’m neither a fan of John Cage nor of the New Complexity nor of most variations of integral serialism.  In other words, if you know who Borstlap is then this is not going to be a defense of the kinds of sonic arts he doesn’t regard as even being music.  What this will be, as I noted above, is an examination of a tension between Borstlap’s axiom and his actual arguments about specific avant gardists from the last century.