See how the Result Source campaign made Mark Driscoll a half million dollars (Updated)

See how the Result Source campaign made Mark Driscoll a half million dollars (Updated)
On Friday Mars Hill posted an announcement where they assured us that Mark Driscoll  “did not profit from the Real Marriage books sold … through the Result Source marketing campaign.” At the time, I found the statement difficult to believe, because the whole point of the $210,000 “investment” was surely to profit from it. Even ...

So much for the Reformation

When I started reading Calvin’s works a few years ago, I was surprised at how contemporary and fresh they were. One of his books, The necessity of reforming the church, perfectly describes the church in our own time, and you don’t even need to be a Calvinist to see that his diagnoses were right. It turns ...

On Driscoll, it’s called inurement, and it’s probably illegal

Mark Driscoll may have imperiled his church’s nonprofit status and, with it, cost his congregation millions of dollars in tax deductions. I am neither a lawyer nor an accountant, but I can read IRS publications that describe the kind of hot water that Mars Hill Church and other churches can get into when they use ...

Celebrity pastors are selling their pulpits for commercial gain

Celebrity pastors are selling their pulpits for commercial gain
What would you think of a pastor who preached to his church in front of billboards advertising the newest Cadillac or Monster Energy drinks? Would you find it acceptable for a pastor to paste advertising all over the stage, filling the space with branded messages in the finest traditions of NASCAR? Would it make it ...

Mars Hill responds to the book marketing story, and I respond to their response

This evening Mars Hill released the following statement on the book marketing story, which I’ll copy here with a few interjections and comments. In 2011, outside counsel advised our marketing team They begin weakly by blaming an anonymous third party. Whatever the advice, the marketing team accepted the advice, as did Mark Driscoll, who solicited ...

Steven Furtick goes on offense over spontaneous baptisms: A response to the Shake the Snake sermon

Steven Furtick goes on offense over spontaneous baptisms: A response to the Shake the Snake sermon
Steven Furtick responded to the spontaneous baptisms report in his sermon yesterday, going on offense against WCNC and me for exposing his church’s mass-baptism plans. Furtick paused during the sermon to go on the record with the following statement: When they started talking this week on the news about our baptisms, I got hot. Yes, ...

Disneyfication of the megachurch? What Disneyfication?

Disneyfication of the megachurch? What Disneyfication?
In WCNC’s story about Steven Furtick’s spontaneous baptisms, Rev. David Key from Emory University describes the Elevation show as a product of the Disneyfication of church. He’s right, and we see it especially clearly at NewSpring Church and their pastor’s obsession with measuring the church — usually unfavorably — against Disney’s flash and glamor. Disney ...

Furtick’s Chatterbox was inspired by pagan spiritualists like the Queen of Manifestation

Furtick's Chatterbox was inspired by pagan spiritualists like the Queen of Manifestation
If Chapter One weren’t bad enough, the second chapter of Steven Furtick’s Crash the Chatterbox gets simultaneously silly and seriously dangerous. Here’s the passage that got my attention: I read online that the average person has more than sixty thousand thoughts per day, and over 80 percent of these thoughts are negative. Is that accurate? ...

Furtick crashes and totals his Chatterbox on the topic of Biblical inspiration

Furtick crashes and totals his Chatterbox on the topic of Biblical inspiration
In the introductory chapter of Steven Furtick’s new book, he assures us that God speaks to us outside of Scripture and gives an example of an encouraging “word” that assured Furtick that God had given Charlotte to him. At least, that’s what he thinks God said, and he qualifies the example with this telling passage: ...

The only reason you need to not buy Furtick’s Chatterbox

The only reason you need to not buy Furtick's Chatterbox
While Steven Furtick’s website wants my name and email address in exchange for a free sample of his new book, Barnes and Noble offers the first chapter for free on their website. In it, you will find the dramatic story of Pastor Furtick narrowly avoiding a nervous breakdown as he worries whether he’ll be able ...