Saturday, January 19, 2013

Zondervan author profiles on Mark Driscoll and Scott Thomas, overlooking mundane details
Mark Driscoll is one of the 50 most influential pastors in America, and the founder of Mars Hill Church in Seattle (, the Paradox Theater, and the Acts 29 Network which has planted scores of churches. Mark is the author of The Radical Reformission: Reaching Out Without Selling Out. He speaks extensively around the country, has lectured at a number of seminaries, and has had wide media exposure ranging from NPR’s All Things Considered to the 700 Club, and from Leadership journal to Mother Jones magazine. He’s a staff religion writer for the Seattle Times. Along with his wife and children, Mark lives in Seattle.

Write to Zondervan authors or their estates in care of Zondervan. Your mail will be forwarded as soon as possible, but please note that the author might not be able to respond personally. Email or send postal mail to:

Mark Driscoll

c/o Zondervan
 ATTN: Author Care
 5300 Patterson SE
 Grand Rapids, MI 49530

The topic of who actually founded The Paradox Theater as an all-ages venue would be worth revisiting simply for Zondervan's longstanding account that Mark Driscoll founded it.  This isn't the case.  While The Paradox Theater would not have been thought of as a campus in the multisite sense in the wake of the 2007 re-org, there was preaching there on Sunday evenings circa 2001-2002. 

Driscoll didn't seem to think enough of details to tell Zondervan that he didn't found the Paradox Theater.  Considering how long Driscoll described Moi as "a good friend" this failure becomes all the more significant.  As to documentation that Moi bought and remodeled what became the Paradox in the late 1990s ... .
The Paradox Theatre waves goodbye
January 30, 2003 at 12:00 AM | Elliot Strong

The Paradox Theatre, home of all-ages concerts and events for the past three years, will permanently close its doors Feb. 2.

Brainchild of Lief Moi, a pastor at Mars Hill Fellowship Church, The Paradox opened in 1999 after Moi discovered a loophole in the city of Seattle's Teen Dance Ordinance (TDO). He found the normal rules didn't apply to events held at locations owned by non-profit organizations, making it possible to give Seattle its first true all-ages venue since the passing of the TDO in 1987. The TDO is a response to some nasty incidents at some local dance clubs.

Moi wanted to create a meeting place for local artists and musicians of all ages. His plan both expanded and materialized when he bought the building in 1998 and remodeled it as a music venue. Mars Hill subsidized the effort in its years of operation because, according to Moi, "[they] value the art community as a church."

The Paradox boasts only one fight in its three years of operation, a superb safety record during a time when many other clubs and concert venues in Seattle suffered high-profile shootouts and violent scuffles. Moi feels the very existence of The Paradox and its superb safety record provide an example of how well things can go for an all-ages venue if people were given a chance.

Now that the TDO has been effectively replaced with the All-Ages Dance Ordinance, more and more venues are able to host all-ages shows. One of the more significant changes includes the lifting of stringent security restrictions that required normal venues to hire off-duty police officers for all-ages events. Moi thinks the Paradox served its purpose and it is time for him to let go and move on.

Jet City Improv will lease the building; the spirit of The Paradox will live on in the form of the Artists Reformation Project (ARP) and Paradox Productions. The company will produce shows at various locations around Seattle. Other clubs such as Graceland and the Showbox will be hosting all-ages shows of their own.

The last show at The Paradox will start at 7 p.m. on Feb. 1. The bands Gatsby's American Dream, Rocky Votolato, Suffering and the Hideous Thieves, 14 Days of Terror and the Sweet Science will perform alongside spoken word by Mark Brubeck and piano interludes by Jefre Scott.

Zondervan's fact-checking team doesn't seem too on the ball.

Scott Thomas created the Gospel Coach Training and Certification system and has coached hundreds of pastors. Scott has served as president and network director of Acts 29 Network and as an elder at Mars Hill Church. Scott has a Masters in Missional Leadership and has been married for thirty years to Jeannie, with whom he has two sons. He planted and replanted churches for sixteen years as a lead pastor. Scott has taught for Resurgence Training Center in Seattle and is a conference speaker in the US as well as a consultant for both Western European church planting and Canadian church planting. Scott wrote Theological Clarity and Application (Zondervan, 2010) and has written blogs for Acts 29 Network, The Resurgence, Mars Hill Church and

Where did Scott get this Masters in Missional Leadership?  At the Resurgence Training Center, the Mars Hill attempt at a seminary that was launched in 2009.  We'll have more to observe about the Re:Train Masters in Missional Leadership a bit later but these two case studies of authors associated with Mars Hill who've served as executive elders are examples of how Zondervan's homework could have been a bit tighter.  Driscoll didn't found the Paradox and Scott Thomas's Masters in Missional Leadership was gained during the period in which he co-taught a practicum in missional leadership

Who knew that you could co-teach practicum courses for a master's program while simultaneously earning credits toward that? 

Even over at Pastor Mark TV Driscoll's not saying he founded The Paradox, Zondervan.  Wake up, drink some Charbucks, and tidy up your author profiles a little, maybe?  That Driscoll actually let Zondervan pass in misrepresenting a basic detail about the founding of the Paradox is ... well, we'll let the reader jump to whatever conclusions they've jumped to already. 

Time permitting we'll get to the Resurgence Training Center Masters in Missional Leadership. Scott Thomas is merely one of dozens of guys who now have that M.M. and are out there in the job scene.  Chris Blackstone's overview of the reading materials, linked to elsewhere at Wenatchee The Hatchet, is skeletal but a pretty good listing of required and optional reading for the coursework offered within the M.M.  A pertinent question is what happened to that program?  If you go to the Resurgence Training Center now you're not likely to find that big set of courses Blackstone referred to and the teaching line up is different. 

Mars Hill and Driscoll had been ambitious in the hopes of creating a seminary for years.  Most bloggers (except for this guy) simply didn't note much of anything about the prospect of a Mars Hill seminary.  There's been no discussion of what has come of the program now that it seems to have wrapped up and had its guys graduate.  Again, time permitting we'll see what we can find out about the recipients of the Masters in Missional Leadership from the Resurgence Training Center.  They may be applying for pastoral jobs at a church near you, after all.  No doubt some of them are quality men or perhaps some of you readers detest all things Mars Hill.  Well, we're not hear to really change your already convinced mind, but we may be of some assistance in helping you make as educated a decision as possible.  That's pretty much all a blog can do anyway. 

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