Is Pastor Mark Driscoll’s leadership at Mars Hill Church unique?


(Updated 2:20 p.m. July 16 to include Churches That Abuse by Ronald M. Enroth, a sociologist whose work has been insightful and helpful. The book cover is linked. It appears as the last book on the list below.)

(Updated and edited 10:20 p.m., July 3: I decided to remove some of the books I originally placed in the post because I thought they would distract from the best and most relevant books in the list. However, the books removed from the post are still available on the linked book page; just click any of the book covers below.)

Mark Driscoll and the current situation at Mars Hill Church are NOT unique. In the U.S., spiritual abuse, toxic religious communities, and narcissistic leadership are substantial problems. These problems have spurred dozens of books — and who knows how many counseling sessions.

Before I list the books, two blog posts can give you some background on the Driscoll-Mars Hill situation. If you haven’t already, be sure to read “Hello, my name is Mike, I’m a recovering True Believer” by Mike Anderson, and “A Former Mars Hill Pastor Speaks Out and Why Others Are Afraid: The Mars Hill Non-Disclosure Agreement” by Warren Throckmorton. Apparently, Driscoll isn’t the only pastor who has caused problems for his congregation and ministerial team, as these books suggest (click a book cover for more information about the book):

Click the image to learn more about the book.

Click the image to learn more about the book.

1112HealingSpiritualAbuse 127ICantHearGodAnymore 121FreedomOfMind 120ByHookOrByCrook 119TwistedScriptures 118PropheticCharisma 117TakeBack 116RecoveryFromCults 115HealingYourChurchHurt 114ToxicSpirituality 113HolierThanThou 111SubtlePower Churches That Abuse by Ronald M. Enroth(Remember, for more information, you can click on each individual book above.) Also:

Websites that give specific accounts of spiritual abuse:

From various people who grew up in particular types of authoritarian churches and homes: Homeschoolers Anonymous Ongoing coverage of Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church in Seattle: Wenatchee the Hatchet A helpful look “cultic aberrations” in the Roman Catholic Church: International Cultic Studies Association’s Catholic Aberrations Page That last webpage includes an interesting point, a good thought for the closing of this post:

The hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church makes it easier to connect these various movements and organizations to the Church. Protestantism also has many cultic movements; however, there are so many Protestant denominations and so many independent Protestant churches that it is more difficult to associate them with an institution.

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