Ok, I was planning to just let this series trail off and die the kind of slow and panful death that the Rise and Fall of Mars Hill podcast should have died long ago. Three things happened to cause me to put up this very brief installment. 1. Cosper pinky promised that there is only one episode left. Which is hilarious since we had a finale and he keeps putting out bonus episodes. 2. “The Algorithm” threw up an episode of Cultish critiquing the podcast and I would like to commend it. 3. the latest episode perfectly makes the point that the Cultish guys were making and I wanted to point out the obvious.
Mercifully we are told there will be only one more bonus episode, so there may only be one more bonus The Stories He Told coming. And I think I can speak for all of us that we are glad about that. I too am getting tired of having to untie all of the little knots and worldly weave in’s Cosper keeps tying in the thread of this tale. I wish him a fond farewell until his next endeavor, which if Wilson is to be believed the CT Media feelers are already probing around Moscow… Then again Chandler may have just imploded so Mike has some options.
Previously all I knew of Cultish was their early interview with the girl who came out of Bethel. Which was good but not enough to keep me tuning in. Also not in their favor was that they are from Jeff Drubin’s group and I find him to be endlessly obnoxious. My math ran pretty much off of what I usually see with some evangelical leaders trail of stooges. The main guy might be great but his followers are usually overflowing with his worse qualities and have little of his good ones. Ex. Toby Sumpter… Sigh. So, boy do I have egg on my face with this episode of Cultish. Good stuff all around. I think there was one thing I kind of disliked but it was so minuscule I can’t even remember what my objection was. They made three good points that should be noted. 1. The lack of a clear articulation of the gospel and its application to the situation was embarrassing when they said they heard more of the gospel from all the clips of Mark Driscoll that were supposed to be so bad. 2. That essentially the podcast was critiquing Driscoll for pandering to pop culture to grow the church, and yet this is exactly what Cosper was doing. He nailed the true crime genre, he interviewed all the right lefties, he made all the points that would make the New York Times happy. The only difference is Cosper was preaching to his choir, Driscoll, for all his failures was trying to convert that choir. 3. Combine the two and you get the lack of a Christian standard on the part, ironically of Christianity Today. All of the standards applied were from psychologists or therapists who threw around the words gospel and Biblical, but still never actually showed how that was those things. And it was Driscoll who was actually Biblical in the story that was supposed to show him as this mean fighter when he rebuked a universalist who objected to the core of the gospel in Driscoll’s class on the gospel. Hurt feelings to not a sin reveal. Or at least not the sin Cosper wants to display.
Finally all of this was illustrated in the last two bonus episodes which were Cosper sitting down with clearly left leaning trauma therapists who emphasized in soothing NPR tones how bad Driscoll is. They were a chore to listen through and that is why I simply never bothered to write about them in this space. Maybe the last one will do what needs to be done and evaluate the good of Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll, because as I have previously written, we need to figure out for the coming reformed movement the good things so we can use those, or we will get another Driscoll, and we don’t need that.