Not sure how long the statement has been there (update: apparently it was posted today) but it is dated June, 2015 and is revealing. Hillsong’s pastor Brian Houston reveals he doesn’t know Mark Driscoll very well but wants to ask him some questions in this high profile interview. Building on his earlier statement made to this blog, Houston said today:
Personal statement from Pastor Brian Houston – Re: Mark Driscoll
Let me be clear about one thing. Mark Driscoll and I stand poles apart on women, their place in society, and their role in the Church.
Hillsong Church has a long history of involving women in every area of church life both on and off the platform, and my own wife Bobbie is my co-Senior Pastor.
I think our leadership styles and relationship with staff and key people have also been vastly different.
So why am I using our platform to interview Mark? We come from different backgrounds, theological positions, and church expressions. I genuinely want to know! Did he really say those things? Does he believe those things? Does he have any regrets? Has he been misrepresented? What has he learned and what can we all learn? And where to from here?
I have met Mark just twice. Before his very public resignation from Mars Hill Church, a mutual friend introduced us over a cup of coffee in Seattle. We talked about life, ministry, and his previous exposure to Australia. The second time, I was standing in line at Starbucks in California bleary eyed and jet lagged when another customer in the line said hi. It was Mark Driscoll and his daughter.
A lot has been said. There’s lessons to be learned. I’m looking forward to asking the questions and hearing from Mark directly. Will we agree afterwards or agree to disagree? Time will tell. I doubt we will agree on everything, but everyone deserves an opportunity to be heard.
Mark will not be speaking at the conference. It’s an open interview with Mark and his wife Grace. Let’s see what he has to say.
I think it is head scratcher that Brian Houston implies Mark Driscoll hasn’t had a chance to be heard. I wonder if Rev. Houston will then give the former Mars Hill folks some time and space to be heard.
The rationale is curious given the size and prominence of the conference in Australia. Most hosts do the exploration of these matters before a conference rather than live during it. Houston appears to be distancing himself from Driscoll even as he gives him an incredible platform to shape his comeback in the way he desires.
The statement may have been in response to this report on the Australian Broadcasting Network. Houston’s response to Driscoll’s views on gender appear to relate to this report.