This is a podcast series on Mars Hill, a mega church in Seattle, and this thread will be a place to take notes on the episodes. I’m about five episodes in, and I’m a bit behind on posting notes, but I’ll do so soon (hopefully). I
I guess I could start with my knowledge–or, more accurately, my impression–of Mars Hill before listening to this. I think Marc told me about this church, which could be (and is) described as “punk rock.” The leader, Mark Driscoll, was known as brash, rough-around-the-edges–a preaching who would yell, maybe even swear. Again, this was my impression. In any event, Driscoll gained quite a following. I didn’t know what became of the church until I heard the title of the podcast.
I will say that from the first episode, the circumstances of the fall were similar to other scandals–or at least nothing really novel. I say this because this is not really the type of story I’m interested in. So why did I continue? I think part of the answer involves the hints that the podcast may explore the potential link between Christianity–or maybe Evangelicals, specifically–and authoritarianism. Given the politics of the past four years, I’m especially interested in this question. I would add the first episodes had echoes of Governor Andrew Cuomo, specifically details from the sexual harassment report that recently came out. With Cuomo, Trump, and Driscoll, one big–but very old–lesson is the dangers of high concentration of power. It’s an old lesson, but I’m not sure it’s one that the people living now fully appreciate. (Is there an example of an individual or group having a high concentration of power–without an abuse of power?)