Friday, October 31, 2014

2-5-2008 spiritual warfare transcript: Part 1, part 1--observations and commentary

One of the simplest and most salient observations to make about Mark Driscoll's story of pre-conversion encounters with what he considered the demonic is that he presents a story in which encounters with demons recur through his life, at least up through the 2008 presentation.  There were just a few isolated incidents here and there before his conversion experience. 

Now the story about being in the car with Grace and the black hoodie-wearing guy sounds like a story that perhaps the Driscolls could be asked about because amid the entire narrative there's a simple question that would need to get addressed about how someone could be driving 30 miles an hour and still come across the same person multiple times.  Was Mark Driscoll driving in circles?  If so then it's hardly a surprise at all that he and Grace would see the same guy walking.  If the claim was that the automobile was being driven in a straight line and then somehow the hoodied guy kept showing up it's still not clear why anyone should be entirely sure that this account could be described or taken at face value as a "demonic" encounter.  Mark has said he's been in love with Grace for some time now and perhaps moon-eyed young lovebirds don't pay attention to the road.

To borrow an old Driscollism from the early years of Mars Hill, are we sure this is really a spiritual encounter or was it maybe some bad pizza?

But assuming Mark and Grace Driscoll did have brushes with demonic experiences there's time to get to a possible explanation for that within the Driscollian taxonomy of spiritual warfare later.

Mark Driscoll's account seems to generally cover the idea that before he was a Christian he had a few unexplainable encounters and then he became a Christian and married Grace and then things really exploded into weirdness.  If the story so far is that there was an escalation of spiritual attacks of some kind this needs to be borne in mind because in this presentation (which WtH hopes to discuss further) this sets the stage in early 2008 for a ministry culture in which stories of satanic/demonic opposition as just part of the job and that it flourishes WITHIN CHURCH LIFE are taken as given. 

Of particular importance may be Mark Driscoll's self-description during this period, "A gift of discernment kinda comes to the fore for me."  It's in this segment of the presentation we see the first points of "I see things" and about being able to read people's proverbial mail.  Now while a cessationist might default to a possible explanation that any claims to super-powers would be a sign of possible demonic activity within Mark Driscoll let's forego that consideration for the time being.  Instead, let's consider that Mark Driscoll got a degree in speech communications about which we know relatively little.  Let's put it another way, if we invite some more secular interpretive approaches here what if Mark Driscoll just happens to be a better than average cold reader in a church setting?

Wenatchee The Hatchet suggests that when Steve Tompkins alluded to a cultural narrative within Mars Hill leadership that presupposes an ad hominem narrative in response to both internal and external critique the February 5, 2008 spiritual warfare series looks like a possible starting point for getting a clear sense of how such a narrative could have been both explicitly and implicitly established, which Wenatchee The Hatchet may be able to publish and discuss a bit more over the weekend.


C. Stirling Bartholomew said...

You know Grace Ann was a participant in some of these events. I notice in the narratives from Mars Hill people a tendency to focus on MD as if he is the only person in the story. I have heard most of the early stuff Mark said about this before and always fit it into Grace Ann's world pre-marriage and early marriage.

Her father and his associate Mark M. told me in 1992 that they were performing exorcisms and had been for quite a while. I was in on one of these and only one, very long time ago 1970-71. At time the Highline Mental Health considered them a "resource" for demonized mental health patients. Grace's father had demonic encounters when he was sharing a dorm room with Hal Lindsey at Dallas Seminary.

I don't have time to unravel the whole history of this since it covers half a century. Let's just say that Grace Ann grew up in a family and at church where people had histories of encounters with the paranormal. They had some people there who had been very deeply into the occult. Some of them were friends of mine.

I realize, I am not explaining this well.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

I did not know that and if you have time to collect a few thoughts for either a guest post or a post I can link to that'd be appreciated.