The Christian media is now buzzing over the Mark Driscoll plagiarism scandal. Most notably, Andy Crouch published a great essay at Christianity Today about the whole mess that gets to the root of Driscoll's real problem:
Mark Driscoll is a human being, created in the image of God, with great gifts, real limits, and very likely a genuine calling to ministry. But "Pastor Mark Driscoll," the author of "literally thousands of pages of content a year," the purveyor of hundreds of hours of preaching, is in grave danger of becoming a false image. No human being could do what "Pastor Mark Driscoll" does—the celebrity is actually a complex creation of a whole community of people who sustain the illusion of an impossibly productive, knowledgeable, omnicompetent superhuman.
The real danger here is not plagiarism—it is idolatry.
Patheos noted that prominent Christian John Piper agreed with Crouch on Twitter. I don't think this scandal is going away just because Mars Hill now blames the whole thing on a "research assistant." I think a lot of Christians have become very nervous about what Driscoll has built himself into, and this plagiarism scandal simply gives them the opportunity to talk about their unease with Driscoll's self-aggrandizement. It'll be interesting to see how Driscoll responds to criticism from within the Christian community. He's not a humble guy, and he's prone to taking his persecution complex out for a spin at any opportunity. This could get messy.
(Thanks to ace Slog tipper Shawna for the links.)