Thursday, May 01, 2014

Phoenix Preacher: Bloggers Beware [a brief commentary on blogging and the importance of sourcing statements)

While it might be possible to write more in addition to what Phoenix Preacher has written Wenatchee The Hatchet isn't planning to write very much in response to this useful caution.

Back when someone was taking journalism classes the professor shared something about sources and anonymity. The counsel was that, on balance, anonymous sources should essentially not be trusted and that no one anonymous source should EVER be trusted as the basis from which to publish anything.  Most of the time even the best anonymous source is not likely to share information that can't be gained through materials that are frequently already on the record and anonymous sources attempting to be whistle-blowers may be no more and possibly even less trustworthy than those on whom they mean to blow the whistle.

When the identity of Deep Throat was finally established there were some interesting comments about the significant of Deep Throat's identity.  The popular narrative up to the confirmation had been something along the line of "the press took down the Nixon administration" when the reality was more that the Nixon administration took down the Nixon administration and the press was kind of sort of given an invitation to come along for the ride.

Let the reader understand (or not)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mike Wilkerson is on his way out from MHC

Details subject to better verification but half a dozen points of verification have established that after having held a role in the biblical counseling branch of Mars Hill Church for years Mike Wilkerson is transitioning out.  Wenatchee has been aware over the last few weeks that this change was on the horizon but waited for multiple attestations before blogging anything about it.  Word seems to be that Cliff Ellis is going to be at least the interim replacement for Wilkerson. 

things keep getting purged in the MH media library

Anyone remember that link?  Well, it's 404 now

Where has this link and its content been discussed in the past?

How about here at Wenatchee The Hatchet in the following blog post.

For those who didn't read that blog post it discussed Driscoll's financial updates on Mars Hill in May and June of 2012 where he mentioned how it would be handy if people gave more. 

From the June 2012 update there were the following stats that were posted at this blog earlier:
The June 2012 budget update included the following
                                             PAST     PRESENT       FUTURE
Weekly giving per adult        $20.25     $30.25           $35.00
church costs                        -$14.20   -$11.82         -$10.00
facilities costs                     -$12.37   -$8.81           -$10.00
central costs                        -$22.69   -$16.07         -$10.00
projects/investments           -$3.60     -$0.99           -$3.50
Margin/Loss                        -$22.61    -$7.44           $1.50

presents list of weekly deficits per campus, we'll add corresponding percentages of givers per campus into this list since Driscoll went to that stat set next
                           wkly deficit  % adults that gave
Rainer Valley      -$3.39                27%
Portland              -$3.74                42%
Federal Way        -$4.71                42%
Ballard                -$4.81                41%
Everett                -$5.73                45%
Bellevue              -$6.14                54%
Albuquerque        -$7.16               38%
Downtown           -$8.29               24%
Olympia               -$8.35               59%
Orange County    -$8.65               32%
Sammamish        -$9.75               64%
West Seattle        -$11.55              66%
U-district             -$11.82              29%
Shoreline             -$18.02              67%
The reason those statistics were significant was because in May of 2012 Mark and Grace Driscoll bought a million-dollar home in Snohomish County during the period where Driscoll was encouraging people to give more from the pulpit. When in June 2012 Driscoll mentioned that MH had a financial model that was not good for its long term future it got summed up at this link.

But all that will get you now is a 404 Error.  If you try to start plugging things like the above link into Mars Hill's website into The WayBack Machine you're going to start finding that it, too, cannot be crawled by because of robots.txt.


Well, for those who didn't read any of the blog post about Driscolls getting million-dollar homes in Snohomish County during the period when mass layoffs were happening and systemic deficits were conceded to be a significant problem you can go back to this

But if you want to find out where the majority of the content is, it didn't actually go anywhere.  It's still in the same sermon series it originated in.

go to about 52:54 minute and just before minute 54, it begins, An Update on Mars Hill Church

hunt for the following phrase
and read on from there

Same basic stuff blogged about before from

same basic stuff that was referenced in

One of the things about Driscoll's sermons is that personal anecdotes and updates about Mars Hill have been so organically woven into how he approaches a biblical text that it is in some sense impossible to extricate the MH updates from a discussion of a text in a sermon. 

As we've been observing here over the last month or so.

MHC has been purging record and epic levels of MD content in the last two months. It's hard to know for sure what the aim and point of this could be even if it were proposed that Driscoll's angry young prophet days are somehow over.  We've discussed how problematic it is to frame Driscoll's past teaching as "angry young man" before.

A Call to Resurgence was published just last year and in its promotional materials Driscoll implicitly seemed to appeal to the necessity of making people angry enough to take action.

But so it goes.

POSTSCRIPT April 28, 2014
Don't be fooled by the "Audio Only" button, if you click on it you'll get to watch the video and at about 59:07 you can see which campuses were running what weekly deficits based on the church-wide average giving of $30.25 per adult per week, more or less.