My new Internet and blogging friend goes by Wenatchee The Hatchet, WTH.
I met WTH on the Wartburg Watch where he made some intriguing and thoughtful comments on Mark Driscoll's mishandling of the Song of Solomon, SOS. I asked for further clarification of some of the things he said, and I began to understand that he had a grasp on the situation that went beyond anything that I had encountered before and beyond my own understanding.
Because SOS is near and dear to my heart as a place for the wounded soul to go find healing, I feel the need to counter act Mark Driscoll's high jacking of SOS and turning it solely into a sort of Christian Kama Sutra, or sex manual, for married couples.
WTH's ability to get to the root and heart of the matter with clarity and limited bias made me realize that I wanted his thoughts preserved on this blog for others who care about the issue and for myself and others to refer to when dealing with the mishandling of SOS.
WTH is uniquely qualified to write about this for several reasons.
For one thing, he attended Mars Hill, Driscoll's church, for nine years (1999-2008). And during his time there he served in four different ministries, the longest being with the Theological Response Team, where he handled questions. He got the position with the response team because he was known there as a well-studied Christian.
During his time with the response team he noted that the questions changed over the years and so did the handling of the questions. One of the changes in questions concerned the misuse of scripture. At the same time he began to have some reservations about the way Mark Driscoll handled certain scriptures.
His present attitude towards Mars Hill can be summed in this quote, "I have friends and some family at Mars Hill who I love a great deal and there are things I find admirable at Mars Hill but at length I came to disagree with them on more points than I agreed and had to find a new church home."
And concerning the debate over that which is Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll, he has this to say:
"I have found over the years that both the defenders and detractors of Mars Hill generally and Mark Driscoll in particular have too often lacked a true scholarly approach. Generally people come to the subject of Mars Hill and Driscoll with their minds made up in ways that prevent them from examining his teaching in a substantive way. Nowhere has this been more apparent to me than in how Driscoll has handled Song of Songs and how his self-appointed blogging allies and adversaries have discussed it. At my own blog, Wenatchee The Hatchet, I have attempted to include observations and criticisms of Driscoll that are predicated neither on unquestioning loyalty nor a reflexive dislike but on, when possible, a serious examination of the actual content and application of what Driscoll says and does."
For those that haven't noticed yet, WTH's blog has been added to my roll, the third male to have ever receive this honor.
Also, a confession. I have a "reflexive dislike" of Driscoll. I cannot help it. Not with what he has done to SOS. However, I know the best arguments are the ones based on serious examination like the one WTH has sent me. It is thorough and well-thought out and most needed in this debate.
I will be posting it in four posts:
I WTH's Intro and Part One
II WTH's Parts Two and Three.
III WTH's Part Four A
IV WTH's Part Four B
I'm doing it this way so that I can keep the entire content together yet in digestible sections that are easily referred back to.