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The scandalous practice to promote Christian books

One of the controversies that added to the rolling snowball that ended in the downfall of Mark Driscoll was the Result Source drama.

Put simply, money was paid to purchase 11,000 copies of Driscoll’s ‘Real Marriage’ book, to help propel the book onto the New York Times Bestsellers list.

As Warren Throckmorton has discovered in an unfolding series of articles, this practice extends far beyond Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill.

James Duncan explains why and how:

“They bill themselves as bestselling authors for the rest of their lives after having paid their congregations’ tax free money to Result Source.”

While it’s unclear which publishers have been involved in this practice, a big thumbs up to Crossway books for not engaging in these practices (not that any organisation should need commendation for abstaining from immoral activities).

One of the comments on Throckmorton’s most recent article articulates the core issue here – dishonesty:

“If you’re a musician, it would make sense to give out cd’s to friends, family and influential people in the music industry to create buzz and get the word out. If you buy 10,000 of your own cd’s from the store and tell the people in the music industry – “Hey look at me, my music’s popular and people love it. Look 10,000 people just bought my album and it’s only been on the market for 1 day!”

That’s deception and a lie.”

It’s a scandalous witness when Christian practices are even worse than that of many in the world.

More on this from Justin Taylor.

Wistia - how to record a video on your iPhone

How to record a high-quality video with your iPhone

Videos are powerful ways to tell stories.

Just last week I stumbled across this short clip that in just 5-minutes challenged, rebuked and encouraged me.

Video can be used to tell many different stories – the importance of discipleship, the value of mothers, the power of thankfulness, the purpose of a new ministry initiative – and the list goes on. With the rise of smartphones, it has never been easier to record and edit.

To be sure, video production, like all art forms, is learned and improved over a lifetime. However, everyone needs to start somewhere, and even an amateur video of a story worth telling is a powerful way to communicate.

If you have an iPhone and would like to learn how to create videos, watch this short clip as a helpful introduction:

Wistia: Shooting Video with an iPhone

There are more super-helpful resources on the Wistia website.

Do have any more tips for telling stories on video?

One of my biggest disappointments with Mark Driscoll

When I visited Mars Hill in 2012, I met a fellow Australian within minutes of walking in the door. He shared how different this church was to many other churches – in particular, the willingness of fellow believers to lovingly call one another out on their sin and help each other to repent and grow in godliness.

This wasn’t a church where everyone dressed up and pretended to be ok – it was very clear to me throughout my short time there that sin was dealt with graciously but honestly.

It was beautiful to see.

So amongst all of what has happened at Mars Hill, one of my biggest disappointments is that the culture that was clearly taught by Mark Driscoll and lived out by many of the members, wasn’t modelled by Driscoll when his turn came around.

Former Mars Hill Deacon, Seth MacGillivray sums this up:

“I loved Mark’s bold preaching style, and his call for men to act like men according to Scripture…One of the things he always stressed was our need to willingly place ourselves under authority: authority of Scripture, authority of our elders, authority of friends we trusted. When the time came for him to model what that looked like in a real-life scenario – the elders of Mars Hill found him disqualified for leadership, and put in place a discipline and restoration plan – he resigned rather than submit, and squandered an opportunity to show men all over the world what it looks like to humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, and to allow Him to lift you back up. How beautiful that would have been.”

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