I’ve just been informed that the Patheos Evangelical channel has closed down the blog of evangelical whistleblower Warren Throckmorton, who was most renowned for his exposes on the plagiarism and abusive leadership of Mark Driscoll at the former Mars Hill Bible Church. Recently, Patheos Evangelical started hosting a blog for Mark Driscoll. It’s very hard not to see these events as interrelated.
According to Throckmorton, the communication he received said that his blog no longer fit the “strategic objectives” of Patheos Evangelical. This behavior is of course stereotypically evangelical. How many dozens of professors have been pushed out of evangelical academia for contradicting the party line? Still it disappoints me to see Patheos Evangelical become like a backwater bible college. A number of the bloggers on Patheos Evangelical are people I respect and take very seriously. Who’s going to be pushed out next?
I understand that Patheos bloggers don’t have complete freedom to say whatever we want. But there wasn’t even a warning to Throckmorton if he actually did something that crossed a line in the eyes of the Patheos Evangelical editor. When these kinds of things happen, it undermines the brand that all of us share. Throckmorton has a very specific niche market within the evangelical world that Patheos has now lost.
It may be that I get booted off of Patheos for writing this blog. But it’s necessary for the good of our blogging community and shared brand that these matters be brought out in the open. One of the most important passages of scripture is when Jesus talks to Nicodemus about which kinds of people stand in the light and which people prefer to remain in the shadows:
“This is the judgment, that light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.” [John 3:19-21]
There is nothing Christian about maneuvering in the shadows. Patheos Evangelical owes an explanation to all the bloggers in the Patheos community because these kinds of actions impact all of our credibility.
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