Mars Hill Church Cancels Its Huge Annual Conference: Mark Driscoll’s Trouble and the Dying Resurgence

Yesterday Mars Hill Church announced that it is canceling its huge annual conference, Resurgence 2014. The conference website has this announcement:

The Resurgence Conference has always been born out of our love of Jesus and the church, and the desire to support efforts to grow leaders to grow churches. Unfortunately, we have decided to cancel this year’s conference due to unforeseen changes to our speaker line-up and other challenges we believe would make it difficult to provide the quality of conference people have come to expect from Resurgence. Anyone who has already purchased a ticket will be receiving a prompt refund. Thank you for your support of Resurgence and the ministries of Mars Hill Church.

Seattle PI guesses that this is due to speakers like James MacDonald and Paul Tripp distancing themselves from Driscoll, and ultimately dropping out of Resurgence 14. Last year, Matt Chandler was a speaker. This year, he penned the letter removing Driscoll and Mars Hill from the Acts 29 network and asking Mark himself to step down from ministry.

Regardless, a week after that letter was released we are starting to see the fallout. LifeWay Stores has removed Mark’s books from the shelves and now speakers have pulled out of his conference. All that said, this doesn’t mean that Driscoll will step down or that Mars Hill will come to an end. But I still think this means that we have reached the end of an era in evangelicalism that has been virtually defined by Mark Driscoll and his friends.

I think it means the Resurgence is dying.

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About Zach Hoag

Zach J. Hoag is a writer and missional minister from notoriously non-religious New England. He blogs here at Patheos and HuffPost Religion. His book, Nothing but the Blood: The Gospel According to Dexter, released in 2012. Most importantly he binge-watches TV dramas and plays in the snow with his family.

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  • Tim

    It will be interesting to see what comes in the wake of resurgence. Something always comes along to fill these voids.

  • Al Cruise

    I agree, Lets hope it’s not the same old stuff with an external makeover to make it look different. It’s the content of the teaching that has gone way past it’s expiry date. Just look at current events.

  • Kevin Miller

    ‘“Son,” he said “The Resurgence will not be directed.”

    He was right.

    We used to call this church and it’s influence a “movement.” The movement was everything to me—this was literally the hand of God moving across the world to make it “better.”’

  • Oli Smith

    I think Mark Driscoll will be the conservative evangelical scapegoat of this generation. What I mean by this is that as other conservative evangelicals “excommunicate” and distance themselves from him, below the surface the basic DNA that creates individuals like Mark will continue to go unchallenged because people will see Mark’s downfall as being the solution to the problem.
    The reality is that many of the folks distancing themselves from Mars hill and Mark are in fact carrying them same anti-gospel DNA that helped propel his brand in the first place.

    So I hope that the following comment proves to be true but I remain sceptical.

    “But I still think this means that we have reached the end of an era in evangelicalism that has been virtually defined by Mark Driscoll and his friends.”

  • zhoag

    I see your point here, and I do think there is some scapegoating happening in conservative/new calvinist circles.

  • zhoag

    I really appreciated Mikey’s perspective.

  • Caleb

    This is sad! I mean despite whatever problems Driscoll may have, I know that the Resurgence conference was a great blessing and encouragement for many!

  • Mike Ward

    “But I still think this means that we have reached the end of an era in evangelicalism that has been virtually defined by Mark Driscoll and his friends.”

    I think you give Driscoll too much credit. I think the only people who ever saw the Driscoll as the center of the universe were his harshest critics who have seemed incapable of focusing on much else. If not for his critics, I would have scarcely heard of him.