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A Temperate Comment on the Mark Driscoll Controversy

I like the tone of this article by Andy Crouch in Christianity Today. I’m concerned about the concentration of Christian thinking, preaching, teaching, and writing in the hands of Christian celebrities. I think Crouch makes some good points.

As a Christian publisher myself (Energion Publications), I don’t intend to comment on the details of this case. I would note that it is incredibly easy to make mistakes and very hard work to find them. There have been a number of times when someone I work with says, “I don’t see how anyone could make (or miss) that mistake” only to do something similar (or worse) by mistake down the road. I do not say this to excuse wrongdoing or carelessness, but to make us think twice before throwing stones at others.

When we do make a mistake, the correct response is not defensive. It is to say simply, “I made a mistake. I’m sorry. I’ll correct it.” I’ve been there any number of times.

I hope that in my own publishing work I am managing to distribute the work of a broad range of people. As a small publisher, these people will rarely be celebrities. To me, however, they are stars. Why do I say that? I have authors who donate their royalties to various causes. I have authors who have refused royalties on certain books in order to help me reduce the price and allow wider distribution. Every author I publish is active in service in a variety of ways. I have encountered no authors who are not extremely anxious to give credit to everyone who contributed in any way. I have even had to suggest that authors cut down the acknowledgments section in a couple of cases.

That’s what I took away from Andy Crouch’s article. There’s a church filled with people who can contribute. I want to give as many as I can a voice. The church needs to hear them, and not just the folks who can get a manuscript accepted with one of the big presses. The church needs to realize the breadth and depth of the talent available to it.

 

2 comments to A Temperate Comment on the Mark Driscoll Controversy

  • Form what I’ve read, the people who have suggested plagiarism have had to recant under pressure and underlings fired, while Driscoll takes no responsibility. If, as IVP alleges, he lifted whole sections of their commentaries and placed them into his books, w/o attribution, that is plagiarism. When a leading Disciples pastor did this several years ago, he resigned. I don’t see Mark Driscoll even willing to say — we made a mistake.

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