Just days after a story in the Daily Beast speculated that famed megapastor Mark Driscoll might be in the middle of a "publishing downfall" and a potential separation from Christian publisher Tyndale House, the company responded, calling reports that the parties had split "erroneous."
"Despite claims to the contrary on social media and elsewhere, Tyndale is not cutting any ties with Pastor Mark Driscoll. In fact, we are planning to reprint the hardcover edition of his last book, 'A Call to Resurgence' as sales warrant it' (which is how all reprint decisions are made)," the statement read. "We also plan to publish a softcover edition of 'A Call to Resurgence.'"
The Daily Beast piece, written by psychology professor Warren Throckmorton and entitled, "Megachurch Star Mark Driscoll’s Publishing Downfall," claimed that the publisher had previously confirmed to the writer that "it does not plan to reprint Driscoll's 2013 book, 'A Call to Resurgence.'"
Pastor Mark Driscoll (TheBlaze TV)
Throckmorton also noted in the piece that Driscoll's upcoming book, "The Problem With Christianity," which was scheduled for publication in the fall, now has no publication date — and that it was removed from Tyndale's website.
The release from Tyndale, though, contradicted these claims, proclaiming that both books will be published. "The Problem With Christianity," Driscoll's newest project, will release at an undisclosed date, according to the company.
"This is a groundbreaking book that we believe will be greatly beneficial to the Church," Tyndale's statement continued.
When TheBlaze asked the publisher Tuesday why the book was removed from its website, a representative said that it is standard to remove a project when its publication date has been moved back, which is what happened in this scenario.
Throckmorton had speculated in the Daily Beast article, though, that controversies surrounding Driscoll possibly led the publisher to change its original plans — a notion Tyndale seems to be denying.
"The news seems to represent Tyndale’s reckoning with a series of controversies around Driscoll’s work, most notably allegations last year that he used another author’s ideas extensively without adequate citation. After an investigation, the publisher stood behind Driscoll — at least in public," Throckmorton wrote.
Tyndale didn't name Throckmorton in its statement, though it did mention Christian critics more generally before profusely defending Driscoll.
"It is disturbing to us to see how quickly some are willing to criticize fellow Christians. We believe that God works through all who sincerely desire to serve Him," the publisher said. "We believe Mark Driscoll sincerely desires to serve God, and we at Tyndale continue to support him and his desire to further God's Kingdom."
Throckmorton told TheBlaze that he had first reached out to Tyndale publicist Todd Starowitz last month to inquire about the company's relationship with Driscoll. Providing few details in response to his email query, Starowitz told Throckmorton that there is currently no publication date for "The Problem With Christianity."
And in a separate email, Starowitz said he did not expect that a hardcover version of "A Call to Resurgence" would be published, though Tyndale's latest statement affirmed that it will, indeed, be released. Both of these issues caused Throckmorton and others to question the relationship.
Throckmorton told TheBlaze that Starowitz has since emailed him to say he was mistaken on his reprint response, but that he had never indicated that the relationship between Driscoll and Tyndale was being terminated or in jeopardy.
Pastor Mark Driscoll (Image source: Twitter vis @PastorMark)
Throckmorton has taken to his blog to defend his Daily Beast report, noting that the information within it was derived from email exchanges he had with Starowitz. You can see some of those emails here.
It is important to note that Throckmorton did not say definitively that the company was separating itself from Driscoll. He did however write that, "despite Tyndale’s apparent support for Driscoll, the controversies seem to have taken a toll."
It's that "toll," however, that the publisher is denying.
As TheBlaze has reported, Throckmorton previously accused Mars Hill, Driscoll's Seattle-based church, of deleting “questionable sermon material” from message he delivered May 4 about Jesus making "mistakes."
The latest report comes amid claims that Mars Hill has laid off a number of staffers amidst a purported financial crunch.