Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 Year in Review at Wenatchee the Hatchet, with a trite top ten list

In the time-honored tradition of top ten lists (not that we've seen one here at this blog before) ... here are the top ten posts at Wenatchee The Hatchet in terms of traffic (such as it was).  Conveniently they all seem to have been from this year.

In descending order of traffic (again, don't assume there's been a ton of traffic for any one of these):

1. Apparently Mark Driscoll now says of Mars Hill "We're not a wealthy church".

2. Announcement from Mark Driscoll that Bill Clem is resigning leadership of Mars Hill Ballard, Alex Early replacing him.
3. Mars Hill Church in May and June of 2012: systemic deficits and a million-dollar home purchased in Snonohomish county
4. follow up on a comment mentioning the BAJI group guys and Mars Hill--names and roles

5. Mars Hill altered statement about Trial study guide, credits(blames?) assistants on research, Docent Group states Mars Hill given sufficient information to properly cite sources

6. Transitions at Mars Hill Downtown Seattle and Bellevue, aka departure of Tim Gaydos

7. "It's all about the numbers?", How to get over fear of inviting people to church, and a parking lot community group--Mars Hill in a time of numeric decline
8. Mark Driscoll invites John MacArthur to meet in 2013 vs Driscoll refusing to meet with MacArthur in 2009 at MacArthur's initiative

9. Janet Mefferd presents documentation of Mark Driscoll's work to work by Peter Jones and Don Carson
10. Real Marriage, Chapter 7--Grace and Disgrace
Alert readers may notice another pattern in the top ten list besides the content being from 2013.  No, it's not that the most-read posts are about Mars Hill.  Would that one of the top ten posts was some esoteric discussion of sonata form in the guitar sonatas of Diabelli or an overview of a charming work by Ferdinand Rebay.  Nope, not going to happen, even though you can read about precisely those things here at Wenatchee The Hatchet if you wish. 

In fact blogging about music was one of those things that was on the table that just didn't happen, which is a shame.  Perhaps in 2014 that can be remedied but there's other things to blog about.  In the top items that Wenatchee should have gotten to blogging about but didn't are the histories of foundered attempts by a certain brand to start a school and a music label but, hey, we can wait until 2014 for that.  The "where are they now?" series was conceived as something that would have been done by now but other things in the news cycle emerged that became a distraction.  Regular readers of Wenatchee The Hatchet won't have to wonder for even ten seconds what went down in November that became newsworthy.

What was also noteworthy for Christian bloggers was who DIDN'T have anything much to say about the plagiarism controversy when it erupted.  Matthew Paul Turner has a book in the works and a two-year old to raise so it makes sense he'd be a bit busy to actually sound off on Driscoll but the contrast between what he wrote in 2012 and 2013 is still notable.  Turner has understandable reasons to be busy and not directly address the developments at Mars Hill.  Wenatchee has no doubt, however, he has at least some idea what's been going on.

But after a year of biblical womanhood from late 2011 to late 2012 in which she directly addressed Mark Driscoll it would have seemed like Rachel Held Evans might have weighed in with something new in 2013.  Not so much.  Back in 2012 when she had a book to sell (through Thomas Nelson, no less, the same publisher of Real Marriage) she sure found the courage to be indignant at Driscoll and in 2013 when Janet Mefferd alleged that Mark Driscoll plagiarized material from other authors ... well ... Evans didn't bother to say much, did she?  Not being particularly awed by either Driscoll or Evans at least we can say at this point there's no doubt Evans writes her own material, right?   No Docent Group aid for her.

This was a year of some guest-blogging for Wenatchee The Hatchet at one of the traditional venues but Wenatchee also branched out into a new setting or two.  Readers won't be surprised which venues those were! 

If Wenatchee seemed about half as productive this year as last year there was a reason for that, a day job.  This blog is a fraction of what Wenatchee The Hatchet actually does, maybe a large fraction at certain times and stages, but a fraction all the same.  Thanks for reading and we'll see what we manage to write about in 2014. 

but first ... Sutton Turner has a book out

Ah, Sutton Turner's got a book out from Resurgence Publishing.  For those who didn't spot this, Resurgence Publishing is a for-profit company.  Well, about that ... perhaps this document can be instructive.
Consolidated financial statements
for the year ended June 30,2012

from Nature of Activities -
... The Church's programs include Sunday services, community oriented ministries, leadership development, and training. One program, the Resurgence, fulfills many of the Church's leadership and training functions by publishing content online and in print, hosting conferences and events, and providing internships and classes, including Re:Train (The Resurgence Training Center), which offers graduate-level instruction for leaders from around the world.

Principles of Consolidation -

The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Mars Hill Church and its wholly owned corporation, Resurgence Publishing, Inc, and wholly owned LLC, Mars Hill Properties - 50th LLC, which was dissolved during the year (collectively, the Church). All material inter-organization transactions have been eliminated.

But the Resurgence Training Center is doing what now?  Didn't Driscoll and company mention something exciting about Western Seminary and Corban University recently?  But what about that seminary program Mark Driscoll was excited about in 2009?  Weren't guys like John Piper and Bruce Ware participating in assembling content?  Wasn't Rick Melson "borrowed" for a long time from Piper to that end and an executive elder at Mars Hill Church for a time?  Well ... things to write about in 2014, maybe.

Someone can jump in and explain this in more detail but if Resurgence Publishing, LLC is a for-profit corporation than eliminating material inter-organization transactions does ... what?  If Resurgence Publishing, Inc is a wholly owned corporation of Mars Hill Church then would eliminating inter-organization transactions ensure the safety of the 501(c)3 status of Mars Hill Church as a corporation, perhaps?  Since so many authors published through Resurgence Publishing, Inc have actually been staff at Mars Hill Church then through what entities are those authors compensated for book sales these days? 

If someone who is a member of Mars Hill Church were to, say, have a breakfast with Sutton Turner, perhaps he or she could ask Turner how that sort of thing works, and what happened to the Resurgence Training Center.  Has Mars Hill Church managed to get that real estate in Bellevue from Sound Transit yet? 

Moving along to something later in the document.

page 6

... The Church is exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)3 except to the extent of unrelated business taxable income, if any.  ... Resurgence Publishing Inc., did not have significant activity during the year or positive net income and as such has not included a deferred tax asset or liability or provision for income taxes in the consolidated financial statements. [emphasis added]

So will Resurgence Publishing, LLC actually make a profit
UBI Number 603207560
Category REG
Profit/Nonprofit Profit
Active/Inactive Active
State Of Incorporation WA
WA Filing Date 05/17/2012
Expiration Date 05/31/2014
Inactive Date 
Duration Perpetual

So, uh, maybe we'll find out if Resurgence Publishing, LLC is actually going to turn a profit worth reporting about this year?

We can get around to the Fy2013 statement but will probably wait until 2014. 

Carl Trueman has linked to Wenatchee The Hatchet? Why, yes, he has.

Apparently he has, to this post in particular.

It led to a little spike in traffic to the site.  Something Trueman wrote earlier this month is worth revisiting.

... These incidents prompted one friend of mine to ask the ask the obvious questions: Is journalism no longer considered a legitimate Christian calling? Or is the task of the Christian journalist simply to strengthen the hand of the vested interests?

A free press is basic to the health of democratic culture in the civil sphere because it offers one line of public accountability for those in public office. Those who perform immediate public acts should expect to be subject to immediate public scrutiny. And what is true for the culture at large is also true for its various subcultures. A free Christian press is also important for the Christian subculture: it keeps leaders and organizations accountable.

While there is much that could be said about these words let us do the lazy thing and produce a top ten list ... .