Monday, November 20, 2006
Many Davids vs. a Goliath
One more thing that has struck me as I reflect on this whole controversy surrounding Mark Driscoll is the way it highlights the difference between modern and postmodern approaches to church, power, and leadership.

On the one side we have an authoritarian pastor of a large mega-church. Driscoll is a prime example of top-down, absolutist, personality-driven Modern Christianity. (I say those merely as what I think are accurate descriptors, not as accusations.)

On the other side - the people trying to confront Driscoll about his behavior - we have a loosely associated network of relationships within the emerging church conversation. Paul is the guy behind the protest at Mars Hill. He is married to Rachelle who leads a small emerging faith community in Seattle. Rachelle is mentored by Rose, who wrote the open letter to Driscoll. Rose is also on the board of Off the Map, which hosts the Conversation at the Edge blog where a lot of this debate has taken place. Her open letter was posted at Scot McKnight's blog, and Scot is a strong supporter of the emerging church and has a large online audience. Rose is also married to Rich, who is my church planting coach, and Julie and I have both been following this controversy closely and blogging about it at our various sites. Rich and Rose both pastor a church near Seattle that gets a lot of wounded people coming to them after a bad Mars Hill experience, so through them I get to hear a lot of the behind-the-scenes stories about Driscoll and MH.

It's all connected. None of us are terribly influential. None of us have mega-churches, newspaper columns, or massive church planting networks. We're powerful only in relationship. We have a voice only by joining voices. I could be wrong, but that strikes me as being a more "postmodern" approach to power & influence. It's shared, it's collaborative, it's about connection not domination.


posted by Mike Clawson at 10:39 PM | Permalink |


At 11/21/2006 12:08:00 PM, Blogger julieunplugged

Mike and Julie, you both rock. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your comments over on Jesus Creed. I followed this link from your comments, Mike, in the women thread where you reference Leslie Newbiggen. Good thoughts. :) Julie is always a voice of sense over there.

Great to meet you both.



At 11/21/2006 05:06:00 PM, Blogger Mike Clawson

Hey Julie, thanks for visiting. I'm glad we discovered your blog too through that random hack/glitch that happened to both yours and my Julie's blogs. Sounds like you've had some really cool experiences in your life. I appreciate your perspectives as well.




At 11/21/2006 06:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous

There are aspects of Driscoll that are really good. You shouldn't be so harsh on him.


At 11/21/2006 09:20:00 PM, Blogger Mike Clawson

You're right Nony Mouse, there are aspects of everyone that are good, and bad. I'm not being any harder on Mark than would be on myself. Except I don't have a large public platform to make my statements. When people like Mark say hurtful and oppressive things, it has a bigger and more public impact. Thus the reaction will be more public too.


Links to this post

Links to this post:

Create a Link