Sunday, August 19, 2018

A. Larry Ross promoting Mark Driscoll's Spirit-Filled Jesus

the video on that second link ... that's slick!

A Larry Ross is clearly no Justin Dean.  This is someone who actually knows what he's doing!

The forthcoming book looks like it'll touch on the following:

  • Forgiving people;
  • Being emotionally healthy;
  • Having healthy relationships;
  • Overcoming temptation;
  • Having a godly family; and
  • Living by God’s power in all of life.
Now that Driscoll isn't calling himself Reformed so much and seems a bit less eager to name-drop Puritans it might be worth noting that contra Strang's apparent understanding about the novelty of Driscoll's forthcoming book, this new book is probably not really tackling things that no Christian author has ever tackled before.  You could go over to Digital Puritan and get all five volumes of A Body of Practical Divinity aka A Christian Directory in pdf format for free.

If self-help is of no help then, if we stop and think about it for a minute, why should anyone actually buy Spirit-Filled Jesus?  Isn't it a self-help book that is being marketed as not-another-self-help-book more or less like ... most other self-help books?  We'll probably be looking at a copy of the book later this year because if the book is going to address the pains and troubles that led to the new church plant it will be interesting to see if Driscoll describes the emergence of The Trinity Church in a way that discusses board members and Driscoll's connection to Leadership Network but ... we'll just have to see.

Meanwhile, Ross and company are clearly far, far more savvy than Justin Dean was!  If you want to get an idea how to do PR for religious organizations this is someone you would pay attention to.  You can skip PR Matters by comparison, although you may be interested in reading the long form review on timeline of just how many PR disasters Justin Dean was dealing with or may have unintentionally caused in his tenure as communications point at Mars Hill.

You could read Dean's whole book and not find anything as interesting as this one blog post.

Well, reading PR Matters did illuminate what a ... train wreck Mars Hill's Good for Bellevue campaign turned out to be.

Seriously, the Ross site is slick in a good way.

Take the blog post about the value of messaging in threes.  It reminded me of how during my prolific period of blogging about what I believed was wrong with Mars Hill I could group the material in three basic critiques:

1) the leadership culture of Mars Hill showed itself to be insular and abusive
2) it showed itself to not be fiscally competent enough to handle real estate issues in Puget Sound
3) it showed itself evasive and dishonest about its legacy on points 1 and 2

And I made a point of documenting the case for all the above using Mars Hill's own media materials to prove each point.

I did not so much have to prove that Mars Hill's leadership culture was incompetent, insular and abusive by asserting those points so much as to let the leadership culture itself prove all those points by what they were voluntarily publishing online, starting from the top down.  Eventually people began to leak more content toward Wenatchee The Hatchet, Warren Throckmorton and others.

So, no disrespect intended, Ross and company are actually good.  It's kind of too bad they're getting behind a Mark Driscoll book because it's not that clear that Driscoll has reconciled with anyone so much as he's decided to "move on" but so it goes.  

Now if your church actually NEEDS PR that's arguably a problem but I don't want to linger on that point too long.  Anyway, as the book approaches its publication date we'll probably have to take a gander at it and consider what's in there.  


brad/futuristguy said...

The Ross post is indeed intriguing.

While the Driscoll book seems like it will be generic.

How could PR make generic generate intrigue?

Will be watching ...

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

what I've seen of Driscoll's teaching on forgiveness over at his Patheos has me wondering how that kind of teaching on forgiveness could be made sense of in light of a certain grand jury report. Would Driscoll tell those now grown-up kids they need to forgive to release themselves from a self-imposed prison of demonic torment? In an era in which we're not just reading about covered up abuse in churches but also of the ways in which cases like Sandunsky got handled in school settings the idea that people will be told they should forgive so as to not be imprisoned could have a bit of room to be construed as telling victims of abuse that if they don't "forgive" their abusers they will face some kind of demonic torment of their own choosing if they don't "forgive" in the appropriate way.

It's not that there's not a lot of teaching about how Christians should forgive, it's just it seems curious when people vested in making a living in the clergy have a stake in a teaching on forgiveness that says that "you" are obligated to forgive. That didn't seem to be the way things worked back in the cease-and-desist era of Mars Hill when a letter was sent, or when Mars Hill people made some kind of copyright complaint about Warren Throckmorton's post on the question of whether Driscoll said Jesus could have "made mistakes".

The problem I'm perceiving is that it seems like there's a different standard for what level of forgiveness is expected to be extended to those self-identified Christians who have made celebrity status compared to those who don't have it.