Tyndale House Publishers Refute 'Erroneous' Claims That It Cut Ties With Mark Driscoll

( [email protected] ) Jul 02, 2014 10:38 PM EDT
Mars Hill Church Pastor Mark Driscoll
Mark Driscoll is the pastor of Seattle-based Mars Hill Church. (Photo: Mars Hill Church)

Christian publishing company Tyndale House has released a statement denying "erroneous" reports that it had ended its relationship with controversial pastor Mark Driscoll and his Resurgence imprint.

"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). We also plan to publish a softcover edition of A Call to Resurgence," reads the statement released by Tyndale's Senior Publicist Maggie Wallem Rowe.

The publishing company also took a hit at Daily Beast report by Warren Throckmorton, who released the original story June 30 stating that the Mars Hill pastor was experiencing a "publishing downfall due to the controversy surrounding his "Resurgence" series.

"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 report continues.

"We believe that God works through all who sincerely desire to serve Him. 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," it concludes.   

However, Tyndale did delay the publication date of Driscoll's newest book, "The Problem With Christianity," as the company considers "the best season in which to publish it" and has "not altered our full intention to release it as a Tyndale title." Tyndale considers the upcoming release "a groundbreaking book that we believe will be greatly beneficial to the church."

On his part, Throckmorton says on his Patheos blog that he "reported accurately" and makes no apologies for the publication.

"My reporting regarding Tyndale House and Resurgence Publishing was based on information disclosed to me by Todd Starowitz, senior public relations manager at Tyndale. I reported it accurately as Mr. Starowitz now confirms," Throckmorton told the Christian Post.

"Tyndale House had ample opportunity to provide additional information last week in response to multiple questions from me but did not choose to do so. I hope Tyndale House will now fully accept the responsibility for providing incorrect information. ..."

Starowitz has since claimed responsibility, saying, "Warren, your quotes of my emails were accurate. With that said my second email said that we did not have anything further scheduled AT THIS TIME. In no way was that to suggest that the relationship had ended. On the first item, I was simply wrong. I didn't check with the appropriate people. I take full responsibility and the error was mine and mine alone. I also could not respond to your additional queries because I simply did not have the information I needed to respond."

Driscoll's "Resurgence" books have been shrouded in controversy from the beginning: the megachurch pastor was accused of plagiarism after reports surfaced that he had stolen the majority of his ideas from other sources. Later, Driscoll was criticized for attempting to boost sales of his books through a questionable book-buying plan.   

However, Tyndale House defended Driscoll at the time: Ron Beers, senior vice president and group publisher stated, "Because of the biblical manner in which Pastor Driscoll has handled this situation, Tyndale strongly stands behind him and looks forward to publishing many additional books with him."