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28 Responses

  1. Nathan Priddis says:

    I’ve listened to portions of the CT Mars Hill series. There are an overwhelming number of issues when viewed in hindsight.

    I’m happy CT is delving into MH, but feel CT is avoiding major faucets of the MH years. CT has not come out and said they
    ( the primary Evangelical mouthpiece for over 5-6 decades ) was:
    A. deceived by a very theologically unsophisticated guy.
    B. 10-15 years since the MH glory years, have yet to completely work through the collapse of their discernment.

    Zeroing in to a more specific issue: The trailer soundtrack.

    Each episode features the same sound track of MD yelling….”who the hell to you think you are”? Yes, I’m confident this was scripted into that sermon. But, I hold to unorthodox thinking. I’m convinced MD’s sermon was either:

    A. influenced by a demonic spokesperson, comparable to the demoniac among the Gerderenes.
    Or B: a spokesperson was channeling through MD’s mouth, as occurred in various portions of Scripture.

    MD had a history of claiming to hear spiritual communications. Plus there was the Spiritual Warfare series content, nicknamed the Demon Sex Trials. Unless he lied about these encounters, he was summoning familiar spirits.

    The part that clinched the demon angle for me was his accusation to the male congregation members of being like…..”their father Adam”. And then it hit me. The speaker gave him/them selves away. They slipped up.

    Their father/s was/where not Adam. They are unclean spirits. Adam was declared dead the same day he partook of the fruit. An unknown number of years would pass before Adam would father his first son, a combination of body and soul, but not a true spirit like those spirits above.

    The voice was addressing mortals, but he/they are not mortal. It explains how the voice so easily manipulates the congregation. The unclean spirits are ancient, and the congregants would seem like children.

  2. Em says:

    Deceiving the elect? At what point and to what degree do the Redeemed bear responsibility for being deceived?
    Good ponder, Nathan…… good ponder……
    Pondering Em. 😇

  3. Linn says:

    I would go for ignorance of history. Not getting a vaccine could be an inconvenience, but it won’t deprive you of all your civil rights. Employers also (at least in my state of CA) are obligated to test those who don’t want a vaccine at no cost to them.

    As for Driscoll, I’ve never believed the church at large dealt with him soon enough. When I first became aware of him, my thoughts were all in exclamation points. He may have demon issues, butI think a lot of it is his over-sized ego. He’ll adjust theologically to what can give him the most power and influence over the gullible (the word I was really thinking of was stupid.).

  4. bob1 says:

    Whatever was behind the msn link about the Holocaust and not wearing a mask.

    That’s a very special kind of stupid.

  5. Dan from Georgia says:

    Here in GA, Majorie Taylor Greene has been spouting off that kind of crap repeatedly.

  6. Linn says:

    MTG is definitely a piece of work. I don’t know whether to question her intelligence or her sanity.

  7. bob1 says:

    Both and.

  8. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Nathan, I think Cosper’s case that the “how dare you speech” was staged five services in a row and mugging for the camera seems plausible. As far as unclean spiritual influences goes … I dropped a 10k word supplement to ep 5 of The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill trawling through the stuff Cosper wasn’t willing to quote on air. There’s a question to be asked as to why Mark Driscoll wasn’t demonized on the basis of his own testimony about himself in comparison to his own for-the-record teaching on spiritual warfare.

    I had bailed by the time the “how dare you” stunt was pulled across five services. Cosper confirmed in ep 5 that it was the same script all five times in each recorded performance. He apparently was able to get access to audio or video or both of each of the services.

    Ep 5 is a bit of a rough go but for me it only scratched the surface of some fairly gross stuff I’ve compiled at the new blog post. Reviewing it all for the supplemental reading post reminded me of why I felt like never marrying and certainly never marrying while at Mars Hill felt like a providential blessing! People who got married there are not necessarily STILL married now, though many are. I don’t buy the “marriages saved” and “lives changed”. I’ve seen some of those MH era marriages incinerate in the seven years since MH closed its doors.

  9. Linn says:


    I skimmed parts of your post as I’m a single woman who was beginning to feel a bit queasy from some of Driscoll’s remarks. I don’t understand at all why people are so fascinated with him. He just seems disgusting and gross. I know (not experientially) that sex is something beautiful designed by God for marriage. Driscoll totally demeans it.

  10. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Linn, a lot of the material I quoted from was stuff I hadn’t come across because I’d bailed MH somewhere between 2008-2009 and a lot of the material I quoted came from the 2007-2011 period. Mark held back a lot of his raciest content for just the marrieds. Eventually my network of sources began to run stuff by me and I began to realize that if I pieced together the sum of what Driscoll was peddling to marrieds it began to seem really weird and creepy; the Puritans he claimed to admire so much would have uniformly regarded him as too depraved and worldly to have any business preaching or teaching.

    The Mars Hill elders were studious in imploring people who had Mark’s William Wallace II rants to never publish them. For a guy who still goes on and on about how men need to live in terms of legacy Mark Driscoll sure likes to purge the materials in his legacy that would lead people to believe he’s profoundly unfit for pastoral ministry.

    I don’t blame you for skimming. I had to go back to Richard Sibbes and other theologians/pastors of yore to remind myself that Song of Songs isn’t what Driscoll insists it is.

  11. Muff Potter says:

    Curious question:
    Whatever happened to MLD?
    Haven’t seen him here for quite awhile.

  12. Em says:

    Martin Luther’s Disciple? Yes, he is missed even if our theology didn’t track

  13. CM says:


    So what do you think is the over/under on when Driscoll implodes again? Fortunately that pile of excrement is too probably chicken himself to go full Peoples’ Temple Heaven’s Gate on his deluded cult members – at least for now.

  14. CM says:

    Dan from GA,

    Regarding that vacuous Congresswoman, all I can do is quote comedian Ron White:

    “But let me tell you something, folks: You can’t fix stupid. There’s not a pill you can take; there’s not a class you can go to. Stupid is forever.”

    But apparently Ron and I are wrong as this link shows:

  15. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    I don’t think an implosion is likely. Whoever is funding him probably won’t back out and he’s in the Charisma House orbit and some content sent my way seems indicative that he’s going some kind of New Apostolic route. I know people who refuse to believe me but he might even do a 180 on women in ministry in the next fifteen years if it means Ashley and Grace and the rest of his family can have more formal power.

    MHC coverage was different from the coverage I’m seeing now. Mars Hill Global, Result Source, kangaroo courts and firings left significant document trails that burst into coverage in the 2012-2014 period. Andrew Lamb’s disciplinary situation had documents that could be leaked. There was a lot of hard news content with actual news pegs that could spur the mainstream and alternative presses to keep digging after bloggers had done what they could and sources leaked materials.

    This new wave of new stuff has no news peg at all. It is more likely to feed Mark Driscoll and possibly his family’s sense of being attacked by liberal media because they stand for Jesus. The 41 pastors from MHC who said Mark Driscoll is unfit probably should not have petitioned that he submit to the restoration plan of a Board of Overseers who refused to find him unfit for ministry to begin with.

    Driscoll is not likely to implode. He is pretty set on legacy and that means doing everything he can to secure his personal legacy and a dynastic legacy that his kids can continue. He used to talk a lot about how it was important for guys to think three or four generations ahead. He’s playing a long-game even if he’s regarded as a grifter–he may still want that Bible college, the record label, the church planting network and all the stuff he vision-cast in the earliest years of Mars Hill but if he doesn’t he is making it clear he wants his entire family to be part of his dynastic legacy with a bid to change the world for his version of Jesus. If Driscoll still wants to reverse engineer his life after the paradigm he got from Jon Phelps then it’s more likely Driscoll will want to figure out how to orchestrate his life and his family’s life so the family franchise/legacy can go on for as many generations as possible. Pulling a Heaven’s Gate would do nothing for that prospect. If things go bad at The Trinity Church investments have already been made to go entirely cyber-church at some point. Ironically the cyber-church that has been experimented with a la Wartburg Watch might be a potential future variation of the Driscollian franchise if TTC doesn’t ultimately pan out. But I have noted already the new coverage lacks anything like a conventionally compelling news peg in normal hard news terms–people are sharing that Driscoll and his family act like celebrities with all that entails and that is, frankly, not news. The CT podcast, however, is pretty well-done and it’s interesting to see CT tackle that … even if at some point I hope the Christian Industrial Complex looks at its own role in holding up a Driscoll or a Joshua Harris or a Nadia Bolz-Weber or a Rachel Held Evans as being people who are to be looked to for significant insights into Christian life. Many of the celebrities who have been raised up by the Christian celebrity machine across the spectrums don’t seem to me like they needed to be raised up.

    Meanwhile, where the Driscoll brand goes, let me put it this way, how many generations did the Omride dynasty last in Samaria before they were cut down? How long did King Saul stay on the throne after the Lord told him he was “released” from kingship because of his disobedience?

    What concerns me is that the Driscolls as a family business may be indicative that they are insular or that there would be what some family counseling theory used to call the undifferentiated ego mass. A family that has gone through a lot, even if a lot of that “a lot” was self-inflicted by Mark Driscoll, doesn’t necessarily leave room for the kids to question whether or not some of the troubles they had were not caused by people ranting against their dad but by their dad’s own ranting as William Wallace II in a big urban center where people struggling with mental health issues got exposed to his ranting and responded badly. To date Driscoll tends to paint himself as a victim whereas those of us who saw how he behaved as WW2 and how he interacted with others will still suggest that Mark brought an awful lot of the craziest of crazy on himself by being such a provocative gasbag in mass media.

  16. Xenia says:

    Many of the celebrities who have been raised up by the Christian celebrity machine across the spectrums don’t seem to me like they needed to be raised up.<<<

    This is even true in Ortholandia, which is not normally known for raising up celeb priests, but the internet is giving men a platform far beyond their own parish church and even though this is not a big trend, I am not liking some of the things I am seeing.

  17. Jean says:


    One thing I’ve noticed in Lutheranism is that with U Tube, Facebook and Twitter, it’s very easy and relatively inexpensive for a theologian to gather a following. They may start out with the rationale that they are looking for viewers or listeners outside their tradition or Christianity, but they end up teaching parishioners who have their own pastors called to teach them. This can have some problematic consequences.

  18. Dan from Georgia says:

    CM, WTH, Linn, Xenia, and bob1,

    Seems like similar distressing issues surround Driscoll and Taylor-Greene…1) horrendous beliefs and behaviors, and 2) unquestioning followers/voters who give them a pass at every turn.

    It’s been brought up before here, but as much as we are puzzled by Driscoll and Taylor-Greene, also puzzling are those who prop them up. But where in the past, or even in the present, am I propping up someone dishonorable?

  19. Dan from Georgia says:

    Meant to end previous post with:

    That is something I have to ask myself.

  20. Linn says:

    When I think of some of the people currently popular in Christian circles, a quote from P.T. Barnum comes to mind:

    “There is a sucker born every minute.”

    As a culture, we are always looking for the truth behind the truth, and sometimes that is necessary (think McCarthy trials, for example), but so often we skip the obvious and go for what sounds more exciting, adventurous, or illogical. Last summer I had this fascinating conversation with a neighbor who goes to a large evangelical church in our area (it is a Calvary Chapel). He spent 30 minutes describing how he had been booted off of Facebook for posting the names of “pedos” that he and a friend were getting through military intelligence. He was angry about it, but he and a friend had found another way to hunt pedos by using a police scanner. The more he talked, the more I realized that he was also full-on QAnon, Supposedly, he and his friend were responsible for taking a lot of people down.

    He would have kept right on talking if I hadn’t told him that I had to get home (I was out for a walk around my mobile home park). I haven’t had any significant conversations since then except hello/how are you. I was just amazed that someone could be that off-base. He said his pedo hunting was taking up a lot of his time and was a great burden to him. Sigh.

  21. Xenia says:

    Some priests will have a podcast, and if they can give a good talk, they gather followers, and then it’s Patreon time, and that forms an inner circle of people you can only call fans, and then there’s the Facebook group complete with groupies and the newly published book and pretty soon the guy’s personality starts to change as people consider him to be more than the pastor of his own little parish and not theirs.

    I will stick with my own Fr. G, thank you. He is the one given to me by God. His advice to me is very simple but it’s all I can do to follow it but this is what I should do, rather than have my ears tickled by some pod-priest.

  22. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    finally have a bit of a write-up on a great little book by Crawford Gribben on Christian reconstructionism in the PNW and propose that it may be more of an influence on Driscoll than he’ll concede in his open contempt for theonomy. He may still regard theonomists as fools who can’t manage their own affairs, but looking back on what Mark aspired to do it’s not hard to see him as someone who took some of Doug Wilson’s ideas for cultural ambition, stripped out the postmillenialism and theonomy, and put the rest of the ideas on steroids and blood doping

  23. Nathan Priddis says:

    WTH. The idea that a spontaneous outburst of emotion would burst out in 5 sermons sounds about right. I’m also comfortable saying that probably a significant ratio of the spiritual stories are made up.

    I only have my memory of the Spiritual Warfare series, but doubt Driscoll created the content. A minor detail was forbidding the demon to curse after being summoned. I don’t think yhe Cussing Pastor was worried he would encounter a cussing demon. But I could imagine a soneone from a Conservative or Fundamentalist upbringing viewing curse words as the end of the World. That says to me, somebody handed it to Driscoll and he may not even read it.

    Having said the above, I think there always was something unseen about him. Some sort of influence or control by the enemy.

    Separately, I wish I had understood more of the Reconstructionist ties to the PNW.

  24. Nathan Priddis says:

    Got as far as the title of your 7/31 post and thought..yah the timeline was overlapping. And then..wasn’t the original voice episode in Idaho?

    Driscoll went on a men’s retreat..thing..whatever. He goes down to the river to pray. A voice says..marry Grace, plant churches whatever and make disciples. If I’ve hot my story and location strait, then yes that would likely be a Wilson connected event. I don’t see a nens thing driving 300+ miles when Driscoll can find any number of Puget Sound streams to pray at.

    Then there was the “reading Augustine was my born again experience”. To which I say no, but I could see Douglas Wilson handing out Augustine to young men, and young men fibbing they actually read the whole thing to Wilson.

  25. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Nathan, give me some time to dig a bit on that Idaho question.

    Seasons of Grace: The Story of Mars Hill
    By Pastor Mark Driscoll
    “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…”

    Mars Hill has breathed the grace of God through many seasons.

    In the first season, in the fall of 1989, God was in the process of drawing me unto Himself. While attending Washington State University I began reading such classics as Augustine and Aquinas, and read through the New Testament in less than two weeks from the Bible my girlfriend Grace gave me as a high school graduation present . Aware of what God was orchestrating, but still unyielding in my heart, I had one Christian friend who asked me over a burger one late night what I was planning on doing for my career. I told him that God was going to make me a Christian and send me out to plant churches like I had read about Paul. He laughed, unsure if I was mocking him, being serious, or trying to discourage him from giving me any more goofy tracts. Within a month, my lingering struggles with the Gospel disappeared and I began teaching a Bible study and attending a solid church pastored by Doug Busby. In the spring of 1990 I attended my first retreat and after a late night of worship with a few hundred farmers and college professors I knelt down by an Idaho river and prayed. It was at that time that I quite unexpectedly received my call. God told me, “Mark, I have called you out from among many to lead men.” I then began to serve in leadership for a ministry, and also became the editor for the opinions section of the campus newspaper; an adventure that included bomb threats, protests, and a handful of heated public debates. Grace transferred to WSU and we were married in the summer before my senior year. Upon graduation Grace and I moved to Seattle without a place to live, jobs to pay the bills, or a church to attend, but determined to somehow begin planting churches.

  26. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Nathan, I’m incubating a post on what the impetus for Mark getting into spiritual warfare may have been by his own not necessarily reliable accounts. He’s indicated a history of encounters with the demonic across his life and mentioned a catalyzing event with his daughter Ashley. I think, though, that there’s an essay by Mark Crooks on the psychology of the occult personality that Craig Keener’s mentioned I might have to finish before the post I’m incubating is ready to go

  27. Em says:

    The posts here on open blog are worth reading….. IMO
    We don’t hear enough teaching on the fact that the devil IS a formidable adversary – necessitating our reliance on Jesus

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