The fallout up to this point from accusations made by syndicated radio talk show host Janet Mefferd that author and megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll plagiarized in at least two of his books includes her pulling the allegations from her website, an apology to the outspoken Christian leader, and most recently, what looks to be the resignation of a dismayed producer from her show.
While the parties involved, including both Driscoll supporters and detractors, have mostly gone mum of late on the subject, Ingrid Schlueter, who describes herself as a part-time, topic producer for Mefferd, did make a scathing accusation against the "evangelical celebrity machine" as reported by several Christian media. Schlueter implies Driscoll was protected by his publishers (most recent book, A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Future or a Funeral? by Tyndale House Publishers) from any further scrutiny about allegations of plagiarism.
In a comment thread originally found at Spiritual Sounding Board before it was removed, and has since been re-posted by Warren Throckmorton in his blog on Patheos with Schlueter's permission, she writes, "I was a part-time, topic producer for Janet Mefferd until yesterday [Tuesday] when I resigned over this situation. All I can share is that there is an evangelical celebrity machine that is more powerful than anyone realizes. You may not go up against the machine. That is all. Mark Driscoll clearly plagiarized and those who could have underscored the seriousness of it and demanded accountability did not. That is the reality of the evangelical industrial complex." more >>
Hillsong NYC Pastor Carl Lentz and NBA star forward Kevin Durant recently joined Pastor Craig Groeschel at LifeChurch.tv to discuss spiritual growth, encouraging others in their faith and wielding Godly influence. Lentz also revealed how he learned to embrace what sets him apart from other pastors and why he thinks Justin Bieber is just like "any other kid" trying to work out his faith.
LifeChurch.tv's founding pastor Groeschel interviewed Lentz and Durant, baptized over the summer by the NYC pastor, on stage at the Edmond, Okla., megachurch as part of a new teaching series.
"Pastor Carl, you've got a tremendous ministry in NYC and beyond," said Groeschel at the onset their discussion. "But what's interesting about you is God has opened up doors of relationships. You're able to speak into the life of Justin Bieber. You help with the New York Knicks, you're kind of like the pastor to the team. You've impacted other athletes." more >>
Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren said that it was after baptizing 850 church members several years ago that he had a thought that "wasn't very spiritual."
"Goodnight, we are all fat," Warren confessed thinking when he reached his 500th person, on CBS "This Morning" show on Wednesday.
"But then I thought, 'But I'm fat,'" he added. more >>
T.D. Jakes of The Potter's House has revealed the speakers lineup for his 2014 International Pastors and Leadership Conference organized under the theme of "Branching Out." Among the keynote speakers are Hillsong Church founder Brian C. Houston and Church of God in Christ Bishop Charles E. Blake, with the list of general session speakers including Bishop Jakes' wife, Serita Jakes and Bishop Vashti McKenzie of of the American Methodist Episcopal Church.
"This is an opportunity for pastors to hone their tools and skills. Coming from every direction, they are converging in Orlando," explains Jakes in an promotional video of the 2014 International Pastors and Leadership Conference (PLC).
"This is not a conference for people who are satisfied for the status quo, for people who want to be normal and fit in. This is for the radical, relentless leader who is ready to go where he has never gone before and do what she has never done before. It's a branching out opportunity." more >>
Rick Warren, founding pastor of Saddleback Church and best-selling author of The Purpose Driven Life, and renowned Drs. Daniel Amen and Mark Hyman are making their way around the TV talk show circuit this week. The trio is being interviewed about "The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life," the book they co-authored that was released Monday from Zondervan.
Warren and the two doctors are scheduled to appear on "Piers Morgan Live" Wednesday evening. Earlier on Wednesday, the Southern California megachurch pastor was interviewed on the "CBS This Morning" show.
The Daniel Plan details a healthy lifestyle program based on five essential principles of faith, food, fitness, focus and friends. The program was developed and originated at Saddleback Church in 2011 and within the first year more than 15,000 church members lost a collective of more than 250,000 pounds while experiencing decreases in health issues and stress and increases in spiritual growth and energy. more >>
Seattle-based Mars Hill Church, led by Pastor Mark Driscoll, announced Monday that it will host both certificate and degree programs in Bible and Theology studies at the undergraduate and graduate level at the church's Bellevue location. Classes are scheduled to begin in the Fall of next year.
Corban University has agreed to terms to host a one-year certificate in Biblical Studies, and Western Seminary to host a Master of Arts and Master of Divinity program.
"I am enthusiastic and optimistic about Corban University's partnership with Mars Hill Church," said Sheldon C. Nord, president of Corban University. "It is consistent with our strong desire to be 'Christian thought leaders' – a leading voice on cultural, philosophical and academic issues, with a commitment to raise up future leaders who will champion the cause of Christ in their respective disciplines." more >>