Many have listened with great interest to the Christianity Today podcast The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill,exposing the leadership abuses of Mark Driscoll and the fallout among the members of his church. On this episode we will take a closer look at how the podcast itself functions in the same cultural and theological world as Mars Hill, which creates some complexities and conflicts. Jessica and Rick have both written about the podcast with a critical lens, and will join us to reflect on the work that’s needed to be done in the white evangelical culture of the West and what we can learn about ourselves from the rise and fall of Mars Hill.
Jessica Johnson is a Lecturer at the University of Washington in the Departments of Anthropology and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. She is writing a book based on eight years of ethnographic research on Mars Hill Church entitled, Biblical Porn: Affect, Labor, and Pastor Mark Driscoll’s Evangelical Empire. Connect with her on Twitter.
Rick Pidcock is a freelance writer based in South Carolina. He is a former Clemons Fellow with BNG and recently completed a master of arts degree in worship from Northern Seminary. He is a stay-at-home father of five kids and produces music under the artist name Provoke Wonder. Check out his website for more articles, his album, and his latest children’s book. Connect with him on Twitter.
- Jessica’s article: Sharing Many of the Same Flaws as its Subject the Rise and Fall of Mars Hill Podcast puts Blame Anywhere but Where it Belongs
From our sponsor
- Check out our newly-launched Gravity Commons, a place to connect and learn with others in the Gravity community.
- Check out Gravity Leadership Academy, our 12-month training intensive for Christian leaders who want to bring lasting transformation to their culture.
Are you interested in advertising on the Gravity Leadership Podcast? Contact Gino Curcuruto at email@example.com.
Connect with Gravity Leadership
Join our online community (FREE) to get a curated list of interesting and edifying articles each week, plus free resources for leading like Jesus, living on mission, and making disciples. Head to https://gravityleadership.com/join or fill out the form below to join us.
Also check out Gravity’s recipe page!
Aaron Neumann says
I found this episode quite perplexing. It wasn’t clear to me for most of the episode exactly what Jessica and Rick disagreed with concerning The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, and whether their issue was with the podcast or their experience in the church itself. By the end, I think I inferred that the podcast didn’t accurately represent their experience, and, I believe, didn’t go far enough in shaming and dismantling the issues at hand. The host seemed to confirm this but went further, implying, I believe, that the real problem was something rotten at the core of all complementarian Evangelicalism. Overall, it felt to me like a conversation fueled by discontent and animosity rather than the Spirit of Christ, with the host wishing to cast the net as wide as possible to group all of conservative American Christendom in with Mars Hill. Was that truly the intent? I think a corrective might be needed here, and perhaps the words of the short advertisement for the Gravity Leadership Academy in the middle of show might do well: we may not realize how we are focused on “calling out”, whereas a life of flourishing can be found by “calling in.”
ging embre says
What’s Missing From the Rise and Fall of Mars Hill Podcast?
I found these two perspectives enormously helpful. I read Beth Allison Barr’s book and it definitely awakened something in me. So listening to Mike Cosper, even though I read Barr’s book, I did not consider the container Cosper is operating from. I don’t think it’s a mistake releasing this now, because Mark Driscoll isn’t the only guy with that message. Keeping the conversation going to help a lot of people from being as naive when they enter that next church experience. We all feel the need for God, but the leadership of organizations is ruining “church”. What the real meaning of church is. Loving community. I think we will see more and more home churches, but that gives access to evil people to hurting people. Evil is really good at what it does!!! PRAY PRAY PRAY
Great Article! Thank you for sharing this is a very informative post, and looking forward to the latest one!