Let’s Think Good and Hard about Driscoll and ‘BookGate’

So Mark Driscoll is in hot water over plagiarism in his books, and using church funds to artificially inflate sales figures to land his marriage book on the New York Times Bestseller List. A few quick observations and comments about this ‘BookGate’ controversy in light of the various reports out there:

  1. No one should be gleeful about this. That a leader of so many Christians is in trouble like this is no cause for rejoicing, even if you have major issues with Driscoll and his ministry. This is tragic on a personal level for Driscoll, on a communal level for the Mars Hill church, and also on the broader level for the cause of the gospel. There’s no room for Schadenfreude here.
  2. Protestant Christians believe in the priesthood of all believers, as together we work in mediating the gospel to each other and to the world. This does not mean plagiarism is permitted. We hate it when the media don’t cite sources in their reporting, so we shouldn’t be doing that kind of thing in Christian literature. Academic honesty is always the best policy.
  3. That Driscoll and/or Mars Hill hired a PR company to boost book sales is neither here nor there. In fact, it sounds like sensible strategy to me. It’s just plain old marketing.
  4. The use of church funds (or any funds for that matter) to artificially inflate sales and circumvent the ‘rules’ for the New York Times Bestseller List is just plain dishonest. If all this was done without the broad knowledge of those contributing financially to the church, then Driscoll and/or the leaders at Mars Hill have breached their trust and exceeded their mandate. If it was done with broad knowledge, then we have to question what kind of teaching and guidance they issued on the matter.

When Jesus sent out his disciples on public ministry, he told them to be ‘as shrewd as snakes’ (Matt 10.16). They were to use all their skill, wisdom, and cunning to get the message of the gospel out there.

But that’s not all he said. He also instructed them to be ‘as innocent as doves’.

Christians, pray that God would bring good out of this situation, so that the cause of the gospel would be enhanced, and not hindered. And let’s think good and hard about how we engage this world. ‘As shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.’

Singleness and Driscoll Drivel

This just in from the Facebook page of Mark Driscoll:

“I recently heard two guys in their 20s passionately arguing over which superhero is the best of all. I took the liberty of asking them if they were single. They were. Who saw that coming?”

Hmmm, so Driscoll is equating singleness with immaturity. Yeah, like that’s biblical! Nice one, Driscoll!

He may well be just joking, but his comment betrays an attitude that Driscoll is well-known for: disparaging singleness. Driscoll’s quote above demonstrates his own personal immaturity and how much he projects his own persona and preferences into his theology, which he then foists on others. Perhaps he was upset that the two young guys hadn’t considered him for the title?

DriscollFolks, don’t listen to this kind of drivel from Driscoll. Singleness should not be equated with immaturity. Immaturity should be equated with immaturity! What Driscoll says in the quote above is completely unbiblical and unhelpful.

And besides, a lighthearted debate between friends about which is the better superhero…so what! It’s no different really from friends debating which macho football team is better, which car gets more miles to the gallon, which restaurant serves the best steak, or which store stocks the best lipstick!

So, while we wait for an apology from Driscoll, let me just say to all my unmarried friends: I’m sorry there are jerks like this who disparage your status. But don’t worry—just stick to the Bible, which actually praises singleness. Mark Driscoll may disparage you, but God doesn’t.