Of Pastors and Power: Mark Driscoll and the Avignon Papacy

  I made the mistake recently of reading Mark Driscoll’s 2008 Crossway book On Church Leadership. For those of you who have forgotten, or just blocked it, Mark Driscoll was the former pastor of the Mars Hill megachurch. He resigned deep in scandal in 2014, but has recovered somewhat and started a new church in Scottsdale, [Read More…]

Leadership: American Style

  Two men, born twenty-six years apart and moving within different circles, followed remarkably similar and typically American paths to the pinnacle of fame and leadership. The first came from humble origins and endured a challenging childhood.  His father died in an car wreck while his mother was pregnant, leaving her as a single mom. [Read More…]

Five from One: Happy Anniversary Patheos

As Tommy Kidd noted yesterday, we are in the middle of Patheos’ five-year-anniversary celebration.  Congratulations to Patheos for successfully “hosting the conversation on faith” for the past half-decade.  In my estimation, they have done a great job! For my part, this month marks a full year that I have had the privilege of writing for [Read More…]

Personality-Driven Leadership in the Local Congregation

In my last post, I suggested that the evangelical embrace of personality-driven leadership forms the backstory to the Mark Driscoll-Janet Mefferd imbroglio over plagiarism.  Several commentators on the blog raised astute questions regarding the pervasive nature of this aspect of American evangelicalism.  After all, doesn’t personality-driven leadership characterize evangelicalism in local congregations, not just mega-ministries [Read More…]

The Virtues of a Free (Christian) Press

In my time writing for WORLD magazine, one thing I have learned is that people don’t like being the subject of negative press coverage. This shouldn’t be a surprise, of course, but still it has been revealing to see how often coverage of controversy generates complaints from representatives of the person or ministry in question. Were I [Read More…]

Plagiarism, Personality-Driven Leadership, and the Problem With Evangelicalism

Update: New developments in the Mefferd-Driscoll storyline can be found over at Warren Throckmorton’s blog post, “Janet Mefferd Removes Evidence Relating to Charges of Plagiarism Against Mark Driscoll; Apologizes to Audience.” Updated 12/4/13 @ 5:14 pm EST The recent dust-up within evangelical circles over accusations of plagiarism highlights one of the problems with the personality-based [Read More…]


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