Mark Driscoll | Losing a Mark for Bad Behaviour
How could it ever be otherwise? In an age of celebrity pastors, his resignation following accusations of bullying, plagiarism and inappropriate handling of church funds, was never going to be a quiet out-of-the-public-eye affair. His profile commanded attention among the ranks of ‘The New Calvinists’ but it extended far beyond that into the wider evangelical world. For example, take the last service at Mars Hill before it dissolved. Mark Driscoll might have already left but who was the invited preacher on that momentous occasion? John Piper? Or Tim Keller? No, neither. In fact it was Rick Warren, the seeker-sensitive church growth guru, a man hardly known for his conformity to the tenets of Reformed doctrine and practice. But it was a fitting tribute to Driscoll himself, who had cultivated a friendship with Warren and with various other ‘big ministries’ who were well outside the pale of what could recognisably be called ‘The New Calvinism’.
Plenty has already been written on Driscoll’s downfall. But there is still room for a bit more. The inquest into how this man was able to hold court for so long over so many people has, in some regards, not even begun to hear all the evidence from some of the parties involved. Not a few people here in the UK took the bait and at the very least had a little nibble at what Driscoll had to offer. Newfrontiers were in there. ‘The Good Book Company’ carried quite a few Driscoll titles before deciding they were not so good after all. The ‘London Men’s Convention’ organised by Rico Tice and various others provided him generous helpings of publicity by having him at their 2010 conference. The sages of Porterbrook, the church planting and general think-tank with which Tim Chester has strong ties, liked the cut of his jib as did the related ‘Crowded House’ fraternity. His ‘missional church set in the city’ and ‘being a man’s man’ had strong appeal. So there are quite a few ministries and pastors who avidly read his titles and followed his comments who, we imagine, are having to conduct private inquests and quietly detox themselves of the self-styled ‘Reformissional Rev’. The ’resurgence’ he reckoned to spearhead has lost its talismanic figurehead and maybe left a few ruing their involvement.
So we will have a look at how we ended up where we are. What were the events and accusations that finally brought the truth of life on Mars Hill to light? Then we will highlight some things to be learned and taken to heart. We will see some areas where we need to do some serious thinking and basically ‘grow up a bit’. The Scripture tells us
Brethren do not be like children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.
(1 Corinthians 14:20)
For all the macho talk that characterised Driscoll’s speech and his appeal to men to be strong, he himself behaved like a petulant child. Sadly events have shown that many of us need to grow up a bit as well. We need to think like men. We will have a look at some areas for improvement. Can we rise to the challenge?
So first we take a little time to see how we got here in the first place.
The anatomy of an evangelical disaster.
The rise to prominence of Mark Driscoll was meteoric. Coming from fairly humble origins with a Roman Catholic father and an evangelical mother, brought up in a rough part of Seattle1 he emerged at school as someone with drive, energy and leadership ability. He graduated High School known as the person ‘Most Likely to Succeed’, president of the student body and editor of the school newspaper among other things. He met his future wife Grace at the age of 17. He was converted at college soon afterwards. Then, not long after this, he felt the call to Christian work and, after being involved in student work, he and Grace hosted a gathering in their front room which went on to become Mars Hill Community Church. Stumbling around in his early days and developing his convictions on the hoof, he eventually found himself convinced of the Reformed position. This was after a brief sojourn among the Emerging Church fraternity whose liberalism he was able to discern and then reject. But the dominant feature driving forward his ministry and looming large in his autobiographical writings was the pursuit of church growth. Seen in those terms it was a remarkable successful ministry. More people kept coming and coming. The story was one of new buildings having to be found to accommodate the burgeoning numbers. Young people mostly made up the composition of the fellowship but there was a fair sprinkling of people from other age groups too.
The year 2006 was a breakthrough year in as much as he was invited to John Piper’s ‘Desiring God’ Conference. This saw him catapulted into prominence among ‘The New Calvinists’. His bankability on the conference circuit really began to take off. Back at home his success could be measured by the fact that his sermons were screened live across multiple venues in Seattle, and across other States as well. ‘Acts 29’, a church planting think-tank and boot camp, was co-founded by him in 2001. The annual ‘Resurgence’ conference was another event that drew people from far and wide. Under ‘The Resurgence’ label, books were published and resources made available to the wider church. By the end there were 15 congregations across five different States, though mostly in Seattle, and a combined Sunday congregation estimated at about 13,000. So if growth was the measure of success, then he achieved it by the spadeful.
But there was always controversy and his ministry raised nagging questions. There was his coarse language and his dress code where he would often sport t-shirts with some irreverent picture or text. There was his sermon material which contained explicit sexual content most notoriously on the Song of Solomon. There was the use of loud ‘worship’ music plus the use of non-Christian music at outreach events with alcohol available. This and more guaranteed there would be lively discussion surrounding him. Wunderkind to some. Enfant terrible to others. Here in the UK Dr Ted Williams set up the very helpful ‘Driscoll Controversy’ website to keep abreast of Driscoll’s behaviour and teaching (www.driscollcontroversy.com). Then there was his book The New Calvinists2. In it he had a chapter detailing Driscoll’s behaviour and attitude which called into question his fitness to be a pastor. In 2013 Evangelical Press published Jeremy Walkers The New Calvinism Considered which also cited some examples of Driscoll’s worrying pronouncements and views. Many of us were persuaded by the evidence and kept our distance.
But then he started to do things that even his ardent admirers could not ignore. His gentle interviewing, along with James McDonald, of the non-Trinitarian health-and-wealth teacher, T.D Jakes, on the radio show ‘Elephant Room 2’ drew considerable criticism. It led to him and McDonald resigning from ‘The Gospel Coalition’ Committee. Then there were people who had left Mars Hill who began to vocalise their unhappiness with the way they had been treated, citing the heavy-handed, abusive and bullying behaviour they had received or witnessed others receiving. Websites detailing these criticisms began to appear. Some people even began to demonstrate outside the church, protesting about the way Mark Driscoll was behaving.
Another watershed was when he was interviewed on the Janet Mefferd Radio Programme in the autumn of 2013, to plug his newly released ‘Real Marriage’ book. But Mrs Mefferd had other ideas than to let this be a home run for Driscoll and upbraided him for the plagiarism she had found in his ‘The Call to Resurgence’ book. An irritable Driscoll tried to push back but a controversy ensued. His publishers came to his aid with Justin Taylor at the forefront of those who were critical of Janet Mefferd’s questioning on the programme. But the questions had now been raised and people went on a plagiarism hunting spree. More claims followed. His credibility was badly dented.
But there was more to come. In the summer of 2014, ‘Acts 29’ took a deep breath and withdrew their endorsement of the organisation’s co-founder. Bad behaviour lay behind it as things were emerging that simply could not be ignored. The shockwaves of this travelled through the ‘The New Calvinist’ world and beyond. Hot on the heels of this development, ‘LifeWay’, a major Christian book stockist, withdrew his titles. Distasteful and derogatory comments he had made about women, posted under an avatar on an Internet forum, came to light in the August. Meanwhile, in what was becoming a fast moving drama, things at the church itself were really going into meltdown. 21 former Pastors wrote a co-signed letter urging Driscoll to repent for his past behaviour. No sooner was the ink dried on this letter than nine then current serving pastors at the church published their own remonstrance detailing their grievances about life at Mars Hill. They themselves became a focus of attention when they seemingly also were at the receiving end of bullying tactics causing some to leave the church.
The city-based paper the Seattle pi began publishing some well researched exposés of life at Mars Hill. Warren Throckmorton, a College Psychology Professor, took a very close interest in the story at Mars Hill and began to publish, on a regular basis, material, among other things, pertaining to the governance of the church (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2014/09/13/mars-hill). One issue that was fast becoming a big issue was the handling of church funds. Two, again damaging accusations, were made. The first was that the church had paid a company, Result Source, $250,000 to buy up copies of Driscoll’s Real Marriage book in an attempt to rocket the book into the New York Times Bestsellers list thus guaranteeing publicity and more book-sales. The church itself then bought 11,000 copies back. The ethics of this sharp practice that effectively told a lie about the real popularity of the book brought a clumsy response from the church about who knew what when. Driscoll was shielded at first from the fall-out but then it emerged that he did know about the scheme and had actually been warned by one of his staffers about the dubious ethics involved. There was also an overseas fund, ‘Global Fund’, designed to do church planting work in the Developing World. It appeared that gifts had been solicited and subsequently given by donors who, not unreasonably, expected their gifts to be used for overseas work. But in fact, the none-too-transparent accounts of the church had little record of much money going overseas and left hanging in the air the accusation that the money had been siphoned off for US-based church planting instead.
An atmosphere of crisis was fast enveloping the whole church. The Board of Accountability, the oddly titled body charged with looking out for any bad behaviour in the Pastor, gave Driscoll a month’s leave of absence in September while they tried to dig themselves out from under the avalanche of accusations they had by now been buried under. It was to be a month of reflection for Driscoll. He left having issued some apologies where the wrongs he had committed were irrefutable. It was feared that the Board of Accountability was composed of too many of Driscoll’s place-men and would be unable to take the big decisions that might be necessary and implement discipline. But they were spared the agony of acrimony and ugly fall-out. Driscoll obviously felt he had reflected enough and promptly announced his resignation on October 14th, the day on which the report was to be published. He had had sight of the Board’s findings which had actually in the end levelled some criticisms and required repentance of him. Terms had already been agreed and a handsome severance payment had been negotiated thought by some to be worth a year’s salary. Driscoll then showed the church and those he had injured a clean pair of heels and left citing that the report had not found him unsuitable for ministry. So far from being recognised by him as something he really needed to take seriously, he construed it as being a slight rap on the knuckles but as otherwise being a handy character reference for wherever else he might choose to resurrect his pastoral ministry. It left many people upset that justice had not been done as he had not properly owned up to the wrongs and hurts he had caused or had attempted to make restoration for the damage caused. In other words he had basically ‘got away with it’ and could now carry on business as usual.
Are we listening?
So there we have it. Many of us for some time have been highly critical of Mark Driscoll. We had good reason to be and events have borne that out. But there is no victory to be claimed. No winners and losers. There is, however, the need for an inquest. Accident investigators need to assess what the major contributory factors to this disaster were. We all examine our own hearts. Of course we must. We watch over ourselves and fear for ourselves lest we should be tomorrow’s ‘Mark Driscoll’ and cause scandal to the Lord and His people. But that said, we do seem to live in an age which is loath to accept responsibility for mistakes, errors of judgment or plain sinful disobedience. Likewise people can be very prissy about making criticism or levelling blame lest it be thought to be motivated by jealousy or sour grapes. Management culture at large seems willing to reward failure. Leaders of failed hospital trusts fight tooth and claw to have their names cleared. They often succeed. It is a very unpalatable characteristic of our age. There is no blame and no shame. That same culture can infiltrate the church. But, remember, the church of Jesus Christ is to defend the truth and uphold justice. Borrowing from Driscoll’s own terminology, we need to be mature men. And mature men are ready to take bitter medicine when it is justified.
Let the righteous strike me,
It shall be a kindness.
And let him rebuke me;
It shall be as excellent oil,
Let my head not refuse it.
In other words, we sometimes have to hear some tough things and then need to respond in a mature manner.
So these things said, inevitably, the lion’s share of inquest’s attention in the ‘Driscoll Case’ must inevitably focus upon the high command of ‘The New Calvinist’ movement. They were in large part responsible for the exposure Driscoll had to the wider church. A lot of people ended up hurt, disappointed, confused and feeling cheated. Some felt let down by the leadership of ‘The New Calvinism’ both, before and after the crash. One finding that comes out of this mess is pretty clear-cut. These men need to grow up a bit more and take some responsibility. They need to man up a bit. Over the years they had been far too impressed by far too little. Their standards and expectations had been set far too low. However in the world did they allow such a man to have so much influence for so long? Here in the UK we are somewhat distant from the action. Yet the flaws in the man and the ministry were as plain as a pikestaff. They screamed at us from his behaviour, his writings, the church life at Mars Hill, the whole style. How come so many notable men who have written so many notable books and spoken at so many notable conferences on so many notable subjects could not apply the Bible to the evidence they had before them and pull away from him? Nothing he said or did was done in a corner. He at least did us all the favour of being vocal and public. How come so few of ‘The New Calvinists’, with the noble exception of John MacArthur, dissented from the largely favourable coverage that the man from Seattle was getting? Where was their courage? What of the spirit of Calvin? There seemed to be an absence of the boldness and courage that characterised the man the movement is named after.
Historically, both in the US and here in the UK, there has been a reluctance to admit that all is not well within the constituency that has come to be known as ‘The New Calvinism’. The flaws in its edifice have not quite been papered over by the largely conservative positions adopted on justification by faith, the ‘Five Points of Calvinism’, the high view of Scripture and the place of preaching. Their warm endorsements of some great men like Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield and C.H Spurgeon have not managed to allay the suspicions of many of us. There have just been too many instances of poor judgment in respect to the personal alliances many of its leading spokesmen form and the doctrines and practices they embrace. From acceptance of charismatic phenomena to involvement in contemporary worship including ‘hip-hop’, from authoritarian pastoral leadership to mysticism, ‘The New Calvinism’ has been highly indiscriminate. It has been guilty at many turns of ‘making an uncertain sound’ (1 Corinthians 14:8). All of us needed to believe the evidence of our own eyes and ears rather than be swayed by the ‘big names’ or by the loyal fan-base of Piper, Keller, Carson and the gang.
Through the years ‘The New Calvinism’ has left many of us feeling a great sense of unease about its capacity to discern, its overall direction of travel and its likely long-term impact. The whole Driscoll saga only serves to reinforce that hypothesis. The news we have brought has not always been welcome. Peter Masters’ piece in ‘The Sword and Trowel 3’, laying out the incipient worldliness at the heart of the movement, was not welcome at all in many quarters and drew a lot of fire. His thesis stands vindicated as does the work of people like Dr Ted Williams.
Think of some of the endorsements that Driscoll received from various members of ‘The New Calvinist’ magisterium. John Piper had him more than once at his ‘Desiring God’ conference in 2006, 2008 and 2009. As we have already noted, this brought Driscoll to the attention of a wider public and gave him credibility. And so on. There is plenty more of the same where this comes from. John Piper tried to offer some defence of his invitation to Driscoll to speak at Desiring God conference in 2006. A good friend, a sound theologian and reaching the people of Seattle with the gospel. So there! Admitting the difficulties that his invitation to Driscoll had caused, Piper’s words when introducing Driscoll were warm and effusive. Piper asserted that it was for the sake of the gospel and for the sake of Christ. It was received with considerable approval by the audience. So the high priest of ‘New Calvinism’ says ‘He’s OK’.
Driscoll was invited to participate in the formation of ‘The Gospel Coalition’ along with other luminaries from the emerging ‘New Calvinist’ magisterium. He gave some of the conference addresses and participated in various panel discussions.
Then there were the book endorsements. J.I Packer endorsed ‘Vintage Jesus’, a book which Driscoll co-wrote with Gerry Breshears, a Professor of Systematic Theology, with these words,
This book reveals Mark Driscoll as a highly powerful, colourful, down-to-earth catechist, targeting teens and twenty-somethings with the old, old story told in modern street-cred style. And Professor Breshears ballasts a somewhat lurid but consistently vivid presentation of basic truth about the Lord Jesus Christ.4
J.I. Packer swallows hard here and we might all join in his thankfulness to Gerry Breshears’ ‘ballast’ that the book was not more irreverent than it was. Anyway it still makes it through border control. Wayne Grudem manages to say even kinder things about it.
Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears combine profound understanding of modern culture with weighty Christian doctrine that is faithful to the Bible. It’s written in such an interesting style that it’s hard to put it down.5
Just in case we are wondering what all the fuss is about, here is some material from that book in the sub-section entitled ‘Jesus was funny.’ He begins with G.K Chesterton’s view and then moves on,
According to Chesterton, Jesus probably was not funny. Rather, he may have been one of those serious-looking religious types with furrowed brows who are too busy thinking through theological enormities and pointing out people’s sins to tell a good joke, share a hearty laugh, or blow a few dollars and a few hours to see go see a good stand-up comedian. 6
Not much of Breshears’ ballast in evidence here. Pure Driscoll we suspect. He goes on,
The apparent boring dourness of Jesus, the school wallflower who never got the punch line of any joke because he was too busy memorizing Lamentations while Herod’s kids gave him wedgies, is precisely the cause of so many people thinking that going to church and going to the dentist are virtually synonymous.7
Lurid but consistently vivid presentation? Interesting style? Or plain distasteful and vulgar? But it gets a pass from Packer and Grudem.
Or this, under the sub-section ‘Jesus was Passionate’. It is part of Driscoll’s whistle-stop dash through the gospel of Mark to illustrate Christ’s passionate approach.
In the third chapter, Jesus gets angry and also grieves and apparently needs Paxil. Then he ignores his own mom, which threw Focus on the Hebrew Family into a tizzy, so they quickly issued a position paper renouncing his actions. In the fourth chapter, Jesus rebukes the wind, which caused an uproar with the local pantheists. In chapter 5, Jesus kills two thousand pigs, sending the animal rights activist blogosphere into a panic and creating a bacon famine only rivaled by the great Irish potato famine. In chapter 6, Jesus offends some people and apparently needs sensitivity training. In chapter 7, a few religious types have some questions for Jesus, and he cruelly calls them “hypocrites” and goes on a lengthy tirade against them, which seemed very intolerant of their alternative theological lifestyle.8
‘An interesting style’ is Grudem being at his most diplomatic we feel. Many of us, rather than finding it ‘hard to put down’, might find it rather harder not to ‘put it in the recycling bin’. Driscoll’s book ‘The Resurgence’ which came out in 2013 was not lacking in crudity and irreverence either. But J. I. Packer is at it again. He warmly endorses it as,
A powerful down-to-earth summons to discerning discipling in days of drift.9
One’s toes curl. Did he not pause to ask himself for a moment whether the Driscoll-style was actually further evidence of the very drift that Driscoll, apparently in Packer’s eyes, was seeking to remedy? Anyway the damage is done. The man and the ministry are allowed to travel onwards. Not for the first time with the ministry of J. I. Packer, we are left wondering where he stands. No discernment, abject leadership. Could not a man of his learning have recognised this sort of stuff for what it was? Did not alarm bells ring somewhere that maybe this man was not sound? Driscoll was given a platform by those who really should have known better. Consequently the number of people left confused and disappointed grew by a few more.
They knew all along
Remember there was always controversy surrounding the man and his ministry. He did not suddenly metamorphose into an abusive, power-crazed, and results-obsessed bully. The behavioural traits that were finally to prove to be his undoing were to be detected all along the way. This much is candidly admitted by Tim Keller, the Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian church in Manhattan, and one-time co-collaborator with him in ‘The Gospel Coalition’. He remarked recently to the New York Times,
But the brashness and the arrogance and the rudeness in personal relationships – which he himself has confessed repeatedly – was obvious to many from the earliest days and he has now definitely disillusioned quite a lot of people,10
He saw it. Others close up must have seen it. It oozes through in Driscoll’s writings and in his platform presence and demeanour. Keller saw it up close in personal dealings with him. So would others, unless they were absolute fools. But where is the apology? Where is the church offered a little contrition by those who treated him as a favourite son? Keller, who we have just seen admitted to knowing about these failings but he has nothing to say about it on his blog. John Piper faced up with the question when he was asked if he regretted partnering with Driscoll. And the answer?
First, no regret. John Piper has no regret for befriending Mark Driscoll, going to Mark Driscoll’s church and speaking at his events, or having him to come to the Desiring God conference. I do not regret that.11
My regret is that I was not a more effective friend. Mark knew he had flaws. He knows he had flaws. And I knew he had flaws. He knew that I knew he had flaws. There were flaws of leadership attitude, flaws of unsavoury language that I think is just wrong for the Christian to use, flaws of exegetical errors, say, in regard to the Song of Solomon.12
Piper goes on to say that when he wrote to Driscoll about some of these things that ‘…the relationship with me and with others would be redemptive and helpful.’13 But not a word of apology to those who had been hurt or affected by the man. Janet Mefferd, whose probing questioning had opened up the plagiarism issue, supplied what was missing by writing a piece detailing what Piper should have said. I quote what she said in full.
I recognize that a lot of people have heard me promote Mark Driscoll, and today, I am here to apologize. I deliberately overlooked obvious evidence of Driscoll’s lack of godliness and lack of ministerial qualifications early on, simply because I liked his doctrinal statement and wanted to be supportive of a Christian outreach effort to pagan Seattle. Unfortunately, I made a huge mistake in doing that. I knew about Driscoll’s ungodly character a long time ago, and I chose to overlook it. Given the further evidence that has now come out about his lying, his serial plagiarism, his deception with ResultSource, spiritual/verbal abuse of so many people and continuing lack of godly sorrow about all that he did, it is clear that Driscoll was never pastor material, and as an older and more mature Christian, I should have recognized that a lot earlier than I did. I should have refused to help him increase his platform, but instead I made choices that helped him increase that platform. And by doing so, I unwittingly enabled him to hurt a lot of people and ultimately destroy a church, all the while dragging Jesus’ name through the mud. I am thoroughly embarrassed and ashamed at my role in propping up Mark Driscoll. I knew better. I also should have spoken up a lot sooner than I did as the revelations about his duplicity came to light. And so, I am here to apologize. I am deeply sorry for my sin, my brothers and sisters in Christ, and I hope you will forgive for my lack of discernment and judgment. And especially to the victims of Mark Driscoll, please forgive me. A shepherd has the biblical responsibility to love and care for Jesus’ sheep, and I have failed in that. You matter to Jesus, and those who could have protected you – like me – fell down on the job. I am so sorry. Most of all, I ask the Lord to forgive me and help to exercise more biblical faithfulness in the future.14
That just about says it right. It is pity these are the words of Janet Mefferd and not those of John Piper himself (www.solasisters.com). There are a fair few others who should also consider being co-signatories. But I suspect we will wait in vain. No such apologies have been given. No calls for an inquest. No musings as to whether this ‘security breach’ in ‘The New Calvinist’ network might be down to a systemic problem with the whole discernment and defence culture. But, no. Doubtless, I suggest rather darkly, there is another book to be written, another conference address to be prepared. We shall be told again what a Reformed Church looks like. It is just that it will be hard to swallow coming from men who lack manly courage and competence.
We are not wiser than the Bible
In many ways it comes down to this. It is quite a simple lesson to learn in fact. We must never think ourselves wiser than Scripture.
How is one to square the earlier largely glowing comments of Piper, Grudem and Packer with this Scripture?
But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you as is fitting for saints, neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. (Ephesians 5:3-4)
There seems to be nowhere for Driscoll and his supporters to hide to evade the force of that portion of the Word of God. His language is coarse, crude and his humour sheer bad taste. The Scripture shows him to be behaving in a disobedient fashion. But the Bible is set at nought to find room for Driscoll. The Bible sets out qualities that are expected of an elder. We are not at liberty to overlook them or circumvent them. They emphasise the place of character. It is not about personal charisma or wit or charm. It is not about platform presence or skills of oratory or appearing macho. It is about character. We read that this is what we are to look for in a teaching or ruling elder.
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober –minded, of good behaviour, hospitable, able to teach, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous… (1 Timothy 3:2-3)
We note some of these terms carefully. Blameless. Of good behaviour. Not violent. Not quarrelsome. Gentle. Now no minister is perfect. We all fail in different ways. But when the Pastor is routinely abusive to people, rude, dismissive of them, intolerant of comment or criticism, there are reasons enough to stand apart from him and not recognise him, whatever his ‘gifts’. Here is a flavour of his attitude in ministry.
There is a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus, and by God‘s grace, it’ll be a mountain by the time we’re done. ..You either get on the bus or you get run over by the bus.15
Or as reported verbatim elsewhere from the same meeting,
You either get on the bus or you get run over by the bus. Those are the options but the bus ain’t gonna stop. And I’m just a guy – I’m just a guy who is like, ‘Look we love ya but this is what we’re doing.’ There’s a few kinda people. There’s people who get in the way of the bus.16
I am not sure of the kind of language and practice one would see in the boardrooms of large corporations or businesses. Maybe this is common-place. Perhaps some driven CEO gets junior staff into line with this kind of rhetoric. But that is the world. That is worldly policy. It is not the language or the attitude of Zion. It should not be seen or heard in a Pastor of all people. We would struggle to square it with the requirements for eldership set out in Titus 1.
For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled… (Titus 1:7-8)
Or how does it fit in with the following Scriptures?
Shepherd the flock of which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion, but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock… (1 Peter 5:2-3)
This is not loving what is good. This is violent speech. It is not gentle as we find it in 1 Timothy 3. It is being a ‘lord’ over people. ‘Mars Hill Refuge’ and ‘Joyful Exiles’ were some of the cyber-homes where asylum-seekers escaping from Driscoll’s version of gentleness and holiness of conduct met together to encourage each other. We can look in more detail at some of the situations they were taking refuge from.
Some real life situations
We keep those Scriptures in mind as we read on. Here is a taster of the treatment Driscoll doled out to some of the people who were in his church. These are from detailed testimonies of people who have meticulously recorded dates, times, places, the content of e-mails and the burden of verbal communication as best they could recall them. To my knowledge, none of them have had to retract or modify their statements.
One particular flashpoint occurred in 2007 when there was a proposed change to the church by-laws. This would concentrate more power in the hands of Driscoll and a small group of elders effectively transferring it away from the wider caucus of elders. It was questioned by some of the elders at the time who were then peremptorily fired. One of these was Paul Petry. His wife, Joanna, describes how Paul’s appeal against dismissal was processed by Mars Hill Church.
After two weeks of “investigation” and “fact-finding”, a “trial” was convened. Twenty-two elders and all the elder candidates filled a large room where Paul was permitted to read his prepared statement regarding accusations he wasn’t even sure of and was then called upon to answer any and all elder questions. His accusers presided over the trial. Paul had no advocate, no friend, no witnesses to support him. After the questioning he was asked to leave the room so the elders could “deliberate”. Paul was found guilty at his “trial” of: “lack of trust and respect for spiritual authority and improper use of confidential information” (for discussing the proposed bylaws with a MHC (Mars Hill Church) deacon/friend to get input regarding an appeals process for members under church discipline). The elders then voted to remove Paul as an elder. We were stunned.17
It seems to be drawn from Stalin’s rule-book rather than from the disciplinary process of Matthew 18 which seeks to ‘gain your brother’ (Matthew 18:15). More of a show-trial than a conscious effort to find a peaceful outcome. Yet it seemed to be typical of how things were done by the leadership at Mars Hill Church. Paul Tripp, one time member of the oversight body, the Board of Accountability, declared it to be ‘…without a doubt the most abusive, coercive ministry culture I’ve ever been involved with.’ That is some testimonial.
Paul Petry subsequently received an apology from 18 of the elders who were part of the process that saw him removed from office. Posted on the ‘Repentant Pastor’ website on November 2nd 2014, and addressed to both Paul Petry and Bent Meyer, another elder dismissed in similar fashion and for voicing the same concerns, they addressed Paul Petry this wise,
We had the opportunity and the responsibility to intervene, to care, to listen to you, and make sure that any harmful treatment against you was corrected. Instead we allowed the process of your investigation and trial to continue unimpeded and we participated in it. By failing to intervene and participating in that process without protest, we implied to members of Mars Hill Church, to each other, and to you, and your families that your termination was above reproach. We stood by as it happened, and that was wrong.18
It was heartening to read these words. It showed manly courage and true fear of God. They went on,
We now believe that you were grievously sinned against in that termination. We believe that the termination meeting’s content and tone was abrupt, one sided, and threatening. Hearing each of you recount your experiences of this meeting is shocking and sad. By failing to intervene, we enabled a growing trend of misuses and abuses of power and authority that would be feared and tolerated by the rest of the church eldership.19
They went on to affirm both men in their right to question the direction the church was taking by removing power from the wider eldership and concentrating power in the hands of just a few. It gave some insight into the inner workings of Mars Hill Church. It makes for sad reading. Yet it was all there in the personality of the man. Reading Driscoll’s book for instance, ‘Confessions of a Reformissional Rev’, the heavy-handed methods were there as well as the ‘hirings-and-firings’. Again it might go down well with corporate Seattle and how business is done. It is not how the life of the church, the ‘house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth’ (1 Timothy 3:15) should be conducted. Tim Keller admits he saw it. Probably a fair few others from ‘The New Calvinist’ big names saw it ‘up close’ and early on. They all chose to put Scripture to one side and make an exception. That was a failure of leadership on their part as well as a host of book reviewers and pastors. We must not make the same mistake. The Bible must have its proper place of authority.
Big is better, right?
Then there are issues to do with greed which also come to surface. Again we keep those already quoted Bible texts in mind. Try out some of these. A salary which in 2013 reached $500,000 with a further recommendation that was on the table to increase it to $650,000. That was in addition to housing costs and other perks he received from the church. His Seattle home was put on the market for a cool $650, 000.
But then these are the wages you need to pay the man who is the goal scorer for the team. Driscoll once described the church as consisting of him in the pulpit holding a Bible. He was described by insiders at Mars Hill as a ‘brand’. Without him, no church. Louis XIV famously said ‘L’état, c’est moi’. In other words, the king was the state. It derived its life, its character, its everything from him. It looks like Mars Hill Church veered towards that way as well. No Driscoll, no church. Or ‘L’église, c’est moi’.
Tim Gaydos was pastor at one of the satellite churches from 2006-2013. Believing it to be a work of the Spirit at the outset, he then saw it become something different,
…but we quickly started to push harder and harder, trying to accomplish it with human efforts – bigger, better, faster, stronger 20
Or as he also put it, the work had a neighbourhood context to it at first but then,
…started to shift significantly – to focus more on expansion to wherever we could find podcasters to set up a new site.21
The article then goes on to report,
Gaydos says, “Mark made it no secret that he wanted to become the biggest church in America.” Push further. Grow faster. Give more cash to fund “The Front”. 22
This does not sound too good. The unbridled pursuit of money, growth, and success, do not feature in the Scriptures as characteristics to be looked for in an under-shepherd. The language is of the world. It is not that which belongs among the people of God. Growth. Power. Size. It was there all along. All his writings show a desire to grow and expand at all costs. Just as before with his language, the Bible proves the man to be unfit for office.
The Driscoll factor
Many people have claimed that they found his writings helpful in their Christian life. People have reckoned that his words brought them into a reformed understanding of Scripture. Some have been converted. We might be glad at this. Likewise, people acknowledge a debt they owe him in inspiring them to plant churches. Well we might be glad about this as well. Except that we are left with some nagging worries. For how many of them does their Calvinism, conversion and inspiration come smacking of the ‘Driscoll twist’? For how many of them are their church plants made in the image of Driscoll? Are they just as pushy as leaders? Do they bully people? More fundamentally, for how many people does their conversion and understanding of the Christian life depend heavily on the personality, style and, arguably, unique method of interpretation of Driscoll himself?
For it is difficult to escape from the overtones of Driscoll’s particular personal style and approach in everything he has written or preached. His finger prints are over everything. The gospel he preaches, how he preaches it, the Christ he portrays, how he looks at people, how he looks on churches, including those that are not of his persuasion, all of it comes to us smothered in the unmistakeable deep scent of Driscoll himself. We end up seeing Christ, the disciples, Scripture, other people, life in general through the eyes of Mark Driscoll. It is his take on it all. We end up reading about the thoughts, the feelings, the reactions that his subjects produce in him as he lives in his idiosyncratic world where restlessness, immature rebellion, an insatiable appetite for experimentation and change seem to rule alongside unbridled self-belief and confidence. He plays fast and loose with everything he touches and it is to be feared, in the process, all of the subjects he deals with suffer at his hands. Orthodoxy turns into a kind of heterodoxy after it has received that special ‘touch of Driscoll’. We lose sight of a more authentic Jesus of Scripture and instead end up seeing inside the mind of a man who lives, breathes, eats, drinks, thinks, is early Twenty-First Century Seattle. The cultural adaptation has gone way too far. The true Christ of Scripture as well as the true apostles and the true church have vanished away leaving only clues as to their real identity in the Bible references that act as signposts in Driscoll’s writings as to where the truth can still be found. Driscoll has penned his own apocryphal ‘Gospel of Mark’ to go fittingly with the apocryphal ‘Acts 29’.
Let us go back to the humour again that he emphasised greatly in ‘Vintage Jesus’ as apparently a feature of the Lord’s life. Take this for example. Looking at the distinctive of large churches, among which he would class his own church, he reliably informs us ‘The preaching pastor has a long tenure, is funny, and preaches well.’ 23 Making things ‘funny’ is important in this day and age. Modern-day Seattle demands it. Driscoll effortlessly provides it.
Here is his description of how he set out in preaching.
When I started to preach nearly every week, I slowly got better as I figured out my own style and started to include my own peculiar sarcasm. In time, I became more comfortable and was able to preach without relying on my notes and began to use my humour to make my points, which allowed my personality to finally come through in the sermons.24
That is interesting. Seattle probably does sarcasm big. You get credibility for being like that. What was the evidence that his own personality was coming through in the sermons? When he was able to use his sense of humour. That was where he was hoping to end up. He felt confident enough in the pulpit to ‘be himself’.
Indeed he tells us this nugget in the same book,
I began reading biographies of legendary preachers and learned that anointed preaching can only flow out of an anointed preacher who spends time alone with God in prayer and Scripture. I also started studying stand-up comedians because, besides preachers, they are the only people in our culture who stand on a stage and speak to an audience for an extended period of time. In my opinion, Chris Rock is the most skilled comedic communicator alive today, and some years later, my wife bought us good seats to see him live, which was a better study in homiletics than most classes on the subject. 25
Chris Rock was a new name on me. It was no wonder. He is an American stand-up comedian who is known, among other things, for the profusion of bad language in his routines. The advertising blurb for one of his DVD’s released in 2004, advised us that it was one of his specials ‘…which is, of course, for adults only..’ 26 One reviewer and evidently an admirer of his arts does, however, concede, ‘Yes, he(sic)crude, a bit chauvinistic, and uses more foul language than clean.’ 27 When in London at Live Earth on 7th July 2007 there was a fair degree of controversy that went with him. One report tells us,
BBC television bosses took the U.S star off the air just 10 seconds after he stepped onstage at Wembley Stadium to introduce the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, because he swore at the crowd. Local TV host Jonathan Ross had to apologise to viewers for Rock’s bad language.28
If even Jonathan Ross felt the need to apologise for him, we know it must have been really bad. So this is one of Driscoll’s role models. A foul-mouthed comedian. Humour rules. Note too the comments about the type of humour. Bad language, chauvinistic and crude. For these are recurring issues with Driscoll’s way of communicating as many have noticed and passed comment on. Orthodox truth crumbles and dies in the Driscoll-Rock school of hermeneutics and applied theology. Whatever good people have received it has come to them dripping with this attitude. We have paid too high a price for reformed theology and some doctrinal orthodoxy.
So much of his writing style is laced with humour that is at times quite offensive, just not funny, crude, flippant, irreverent, and plain bad taste. He resorts to illustrations or earthy asides that are supposed to connect with us and make what he is saying more memorable. But they are often told at the expense of other people. There may well have been some foolish behaviour that he witnessed but ordinary people are worthy of a little more dignity than he at times allows them. While at times genuinely humorous, he then stoops to dredging out illustrations that appeal to the sinful nature or belong to the inner machinations of the ‘old man’ rather than to the sanctified thought-life of the ‘new man’ or which would be suitable to a readership aiming at sanctification. Indeed some of it comes across as smug in an effort to come over as witty and wise about people, churches and life in general. Here is a taste of how he communicates his wisdom. A number of other specimens have had to be omitted because they are simply too vulgar and crude. It is quite a list.
(In response to someone trying to be vague about what a church is) His response was simply,
If it smells like a church, it is a church.” My response was that sometimes a whore wears the same perfume as a wife and it’s no different with the bride of Christ.29
…and looking around the room at the equivalent of a Viagra before-photo of lifeless geriatrics…30
But I was certain that while Jesus did not mind if hip postmoderns got saved or if our band was rockin’ like Dokken, he did have bigger things in mind when he got out of the tomb on Easter Sunday than me growing facial hair, cussing, and rocking out.31
…and I stole an unused sound console from my old church along with a projection screen, which were sins that Jesus thankfully died to forgive.32
(On losing what he regarded as a good worship leader)
It felt like getting a date with that girl only to have her dump you on the first date right after a good kiss.33
…I came to see the cessationists’ interpretation of 1 Corinthians 12 – 14 as the second worst exegesis I have ever read, next to that of a Canadian nudist arsonist cult I once did some research on.34
(On worship leaders)
They seem to be very in touch with their feelings and exceedingly chickified from playing too much acoustic guitar and singing prom songs to Jesus while channeling Michael Bolton and flipping their hair.35
For some reason, the perception has gotten out that I walk around with no pants on with a handgun in my underwear strap, drinking beer, eating meat, and screaming random verses out of the King James Bible.36
And so on. I hope the point is made. That is just a selection from one book. Again to repeat, some of the worst and crudest examples have been left out. Neither has the wider context of the book been examined. Loud music, hiring and firing people, the restless pursuit of growth, church growth methods, and honed techniques for identifying and dealing with ‘problem people’ – these are the stuff of this particular book. All handled in this flippant, irreverent, tasteless manner which is trade-mark Mark Driscoll. The subjects have received the ‘Driscoll-Rick’ twist. They come served up with his trademark humour. Yet it is where people feel they owe their knowledge of the Bible, found Christ, and were baptised. It gives one an uncomfortable feeling.
Too many friends for his own good
Another worrying feature that was out there for all to see was his wide definition of what ‘orthodox’ Christianity consisted of. We have seen that T.D Jakes was given kid glove treatment when he appeared on the radio show he was co-hosting with James MacDonald. It is not as if these two could not dish it out as occasion required. Mark Dever, Pastor from Capitol Baptist Church in Washington DC, was at the receiving end of friendly but probing questioning when he made an appearance.
But this tendency to have a wide circle of friends, theologically speaking, can be picked up elsewhere. We have already noted the Rick Warren connection. Driscoll has preached at his church in Saddleback and passed comment at just how much he appreciated the leader of the seeker-sensitive church movement. His categorisation of what he calls the tribes of Christians finds room for the health and wealth teachers. In his book The Resurgence, under the heading ‘Charismatic Pentecostal’, we find the following description,
You probably like Joel Osteen, T.D Jakes, Charisma magazine, raising your hands in worship, Joyce Meyer, and phrases like “next level,” “breakthrough,” and “sow a seed.” 37
It is not perhaps not what many others of us like, however. ‘Next levels’ and ‘blistsreakthroughs’ refers to entering into more deeply a mystical realm through altered states of consciousness. Such devotees hope to find supernatural power to work ‘signs and wonders’ through this ‘breakthrough’. Such happenings are, in some end-times schemata, the prelude to the release of the final outpouring of supernatural power and supernatural prophetic and apostolic ministries prior to the Lord’s return. Then “sow a seed” belong to the tricks of the trade used by prosperity gospel preachers to ensure their own personal prosperity by raising money from gullible followers. In other words there is nothing admirable in any of this. But in Driscoll’s treatment they are all part of the rich tapestry that is the Christian church.
Setting out the basic Reformed/Arminian divide, he lists some of those who fit in the Arminian category. Here is a portion of the list.
…Brian Houston, the tribal leader for Hillsong; Foursquare tribal leaders Jack Hayford and Wayne Cordeiro; Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, and T.D Jakes (who all have leadership influence across multiple charismatic and Pentecostal tribes). Well-known younger tribal chiefs who lean toward the Arminian view include Joseph Prince, Perry Noble, and Steven Furtick.38
We would, rightly, splutter at the inclusion of these as valid representatives of the Christian church whose presence there passes without comment from Driscoll. Osteen pastors the biggest church in the US and draws regular criticism for his gospel-lite and ‘how to be happy and fulfilled’ type of message. Joyce Meyer is an out and out health and wealth preacher. Jack Hayford is a totally unreliable charismatic Pastor who has close ties with the notorious Benny Hinn,. Both Perry Noble and Steve Furtick have drawn criticism for their worldly approach to church growth. Steve Furtick has also landed in trouble following the disclosure of his lavish taste in property. Driscoll is totally undiscriminating in who he includes in his list as basically OK. He is no guide. But watch out. If we feel drawn to comment or make some criticism, then the problem is all on our side. We are finding fault with great people. Driscoll sets himself as a wise-head tut-tutting over the childish infighting among the tribes.
We live and worship in tribes, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But because tribes have a tendency to circle the wagons and fight against one another rather than mobilize together for growth, we’ve unknowingly contributed to the rapid demise of Christendom in America – in spite of ourselves. We’ve lost sight of what’s really important, and the priority of the gospel has gotten lost in the shuffle as each tribe tries to shout the loudest to make its own particular point about something else.39
As we have already seen, it is all about growth. All these tribal chiefs are making the church grow. They have big numbers of people who have ‘made their decision for Jesus’. We should not get in their way. If we do, we are getting in the way of the Lord’s commission to the church. That is quite a charge. But it is a familiar Driscoll emphasis. Numbers, numbers, numbers. And no searching questions asked. Likening the situation to a group of islanders living in isolation and firing poison darts at any who offered to make contact with them, completely oblivious to what was happening beyond their shores, he comments,
Some Christian groups are much like this – isolated and shooting at even friendly visitors while making little or no impact on the world, which is not what Jesus had in mind when he told us to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth.40
We can see that this is saying ‘hands off’ respecting any of those who Driscoll has put on his ‘Different but OK list’. The warnings to us go on.
Our tribes often find themselves caught up in controversies as crowds gather to watch the conflict and online flame throwing. Simply stated, everyone loves a good old-fashioned fight; we’ve just moved the fight from the playground to the web.41
So now we know. It is just bad old human nature that makes us do this stuff and make critical comments. The sagacious Driscoll issues his verdict from the lofty height of one who plain knows best. This sense that these critics are just small-minded people comes through in what follows.
Such people know that individually they are like bees – annoying, small pesky, but not deadly. Hence they tend to create swarms for greater effect. This is what Charles Haddon Spurgeon meant when he referred to his critics’ tactics as “death by a thousand bee stings.” The target of such stings is almost always the tribal chief. The one who calls the shots is also the one who takes the shots.42
Again Driscoll reckons to understand how all this works. Bees swarming together to achieve maximum effect. Well, as I write this, I am not quite sure with whom I am meant to be swarming or who will flock to this banner and join my ‘hive’ in this apparently murderous quest. Then again he must know best. His learned diagnoses and experiences of life surely set him apart from other mortals. He has thousands of Twitter followers. In order to be considered as a supplier of written material to his enterprise we have to fill in an application form detailing how many Twitter followers and Facebook friends we have and how big our church is.43 Allowing myself a little moment of (non-Driscoll) humour, the best I can muster in Twitter followers are the sparrows who gratefully tuck in to the fat balls we put outside for them.
So at the end of the day Driscoll claims diplomatic immunity for himself plus all those he wants to generously opt in to his list of non-banned individuals and acceptable tribal leaders. Big people with big churches are OK. Small people with small churches should just shut up. So ‘health and wealth’ preachers get a pass while Driscoll simultaneously bad-mouths any who demur and want stricter border controls. Shame on us. At one point he even invokes the weighty testimony of Spurgeon to fire at any critics. They must be on the wrong side of the argument if Spurgeon is against them. Though as an aside, I think it is fair to assume that Spurgeon would have been horrified at Driscoll’s list of bona fide ministers and at the modus operandi of Mark Driscoll himself. But that debate must await another day. Later on Driscoll offers the thought that explains the behaviour of critics as being like the church in Corinth where the more immature members set up their rival factions. Commenting on the contemporary scene he wearily sighs,
It is simply unreasonable for us to expect that all Christians in any tribe will act maturely.44
We might all choke a little bit now we know how he runs things when he is Pastor of a church. But he is a little ungenerous to his critics and those who might feel unhappy about the inclusion of T.D Jakes, or Joel Osteen or Paul White, the recently re-married charismatic pastrix, who also is allowed into Driscoll’s list of the good and the great. He assures us he is hot on false teachers. 45 This does not give us much confidence he is. His spiritual friendship circle is too wide. A man of his apparent maturity and insight should perhaps consider joining one of those pesky swarms of bees rather than regard them as really a matter for pest control.
A few closing comments
Sure, Driscoll will be badly missed by many within the ranks of the ‘Acts 29’ church planting network and ‘The Gospel Coalition’. We need not grieve overly for him. The indications already are that there is a future for him somewhere out there in the wider evangelical world. For example, fresh after his resignation he could be found at the Gateway Conference, hosted by Robert Morris, where Driscoll was originally billed to be a headline speaker, but from which he withdrew following his resignation and the controversy that was swirling around him. Gateway is hardly a church network celebrated for its embrace of Calvinism. No. More to be characterised as light-boiled charismatic with a big personality leader from the same mould as Driscoll. Nor should we be surprised that Hillsong, again a charismatic church set-up that leans towards a version of the ‘health and wealth gospel’, should still be carrying a glowing testimonial of him on its web-site. He was billed to appear at their 2015 summer conference in Sydney and London where he was going to be interviewed and share his wisdom. That invitation was subsequently withdrawn after pressure was put on Hillsong to drop him from the programme. But there was further twist to the plot when Hillsong screened a video recording of the interview at the conference. It gave the message that he was still ‘kind of OK’. Driscoll need not fear. There will be other opportunities. He has put up a web-site showcasing his materials and burnishing his credentials. We should not be surprised to learn that there is no reference in his glowing CV to his local troubles at Mars Hill last year. News is out that he is already about to take up a new calling in Phoenix, Arizona. He has also, as I go to print, spoken at a church in Seattle where he received a standing ovation. No apology, no contrition. Like politicians and bankers who helped crash the economy they live on to enjoy the handsome rewards of their ‘failure’. Nice work if you can get it!
As we finish, by rubbing shoulders with the doctrinally eclectic people of Gateway and Hillsong, he is telling us that, in his estimate, size still matters. Mars Hill was about numbers. Bigger, faster, better. Mars Hill was aiming to be the biggest church in America. Driscoll is still looking to keep company with the big men, mega-pastors, important people. No matter what their creed, if they are big he wants to know them. We noticed earlier Driscoll’s proclivity to shop around doctrinally. If they have big churches they must be jolly good fellows. Hillsong. Gateway. Big churches with big men in charge. Like attracts like. Are you a big man with a big ministry? Count Driscoll in. You see, nothing has changed.
So we need not weep overly for Mark Driscoll. We can predict a bright and visible tomorrow for him somewhere, even if it is not cozied up next to the likes of Don Carson and John Piper at the speakers‘ ‘Q & A Panel Session’ in some big ‘New Calvinist’ shindig. So watch this space. If no longer life on Mars, there will be some other ecclesiastical planet in some other theological solar system where his story will continue. You can be sure. Driscoll may be down but he is not out. Beware!
Pastor Chris Hand
- Mark and Grace Driscoll, ‘Real Marriage: The truth about Sex, Friendship and Life together’ 2012, Thomas Nelson, Nashville, 4%..
- Dr E. S. Williams, ‘The New Calvinists: Changing the Gospel’ 2014, Wakeman, London.
- Peter Masters, ‘New Calvinism: the Merger of Calvinism with Worldliness’ 2009 Sword and Trowel, Issue 2.
- Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears, ‘Vintage Jesus: Timeless Answers to timeless Questions’ 2007, Crossway, Wheaton, Endorsements Page.
- Ibid Endorsements Page.
- Mark Driscoll, ‘A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity have a Funeral or a Future?’, 2013, Tyndale House, Carol Stream, Driscoll 1%.
- Tim Keller quoted in ‘A brash style that filled pews, until followers had their fill’, by Michael Paulson, August 22nd 2014, New York Times
- Do you regret partnering with Mark Driscoll? November 13, 2014, Desiring God Website
- Janet Mefferd, What John Piper should have said; in Sola Sisters: What John Piper said when he finally addressed the issue of Mark Driscoll….What we wish he had said, November 14th, 2014.
- Craig Welch ‘The rise and fall of Mars Hill Church’, Seattle Times, September 15th
- Joel Connelly, ‘Dozens protest Mars Hill Church after leader resignations and Mark Driscoll apology’, August 3rd, 2014, Seattle pi.
- Jonna Petry, ‘My story’ March 19th, 2012, Joyful Exiles website.
- Scott Thomas, Dave Kraft et al, ‘Letter of Confession to Bent Mayer and Paul Petry’, November 2nd, 2014 on Repentant Pastor website.
- Ben Terlin, ‘The painful lessons of Mars Hill’, December 8th, 2014, Leadership Journal.
- Mark Driscoll, ‘Confessions of a Reformission Rev: Hard Lessons from an emerging missional Church’, 2006 , Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 87%
- Ibid 31%.
- Ibid 31%.
- Review, ‘Chris Rock: never scared’ DVD, Netflix DVD.
- WENN, ‘Rock dismisses bad Language Hysteria’ July 8th, 2007, Contactmusic.com.
- Op cit 21%.
- Ibid 21%
- Ibid 22%
- Ibid 27%
- Ibid 27%
- Ibid 54%
- Ibid 66%
- Ibid 83%.
- Op cit 31%.
- Op cit 28%.
- Op cit 25%.
- Op cit 25%.
- Op cit 26%.
- Op cit 26%.
- James Duncan, ‘Are you famous enough to write for Mark Driscoll?’ November 12th 2013, Pajama Pages.
- Op cit 32%.
- Op cit 32%.