Dear Patheos: What Expectations Did You Have?

In January 2017, evangelical bloggers at Patheos received an email from Patheos Evangelical Channel manager Barton Gingerich about changes coming to the site. BN Media had just purchased Patheos and planned to make changes to the writer’s agreement.

One change was the level of participation expected from bloggers. Tier 1 bloggers would be expected to write three times a week; tier 2 bloggers only had to post twice. Tier 1 bloggers would be paid slightly more.  In my email, Gingerich added this personal note to me:

Warren, due to your incredible frequency and important posts, you are a Tier 1 blogger.

In January 2017, my posts were “important.” By mid-2018, they didn’t fit the “strategic objectives” of the organization and my blog was completely removed from the site with only a day’s warning. In my view, my style or content had not changed during that time period. Since Patheos has not informed me, I don’t know what they think changed.

I feel this is important for me to say since Patheos Director of Content Phil Fox Rose sent an email to some bloggers yesterday implying that I knew their expectations “many months ago.” This email was sent to me by several Patheos bloggers:

As some of you know, Patheos decided to end its partnership with Warren Throckmorton. This was done after long and thoughtful consideration. The decision was not made based on a triggering event or post, and Mr. Throckmorton was advised of our expectations many months ago. This is not reflective of some change in policy. It was a specific case. This decision should not give any blogger reason to think their status is in question. We’re sorry the lack of details allows for speculation, but our commitment remains as always to be the place where conversation about faith is happening in the most robust and dynamic way. Nothing will change that. If you would like to discuss this further, please reach out to Ben, and I’m happy to talk too.

What were the expectations and how did I fail to meet them? Since I was not aware of any expectation relating to my blog (beyond the same agreement all other bloggers sign), I don’t know what Mr. Rose is talking about.

I suspect that current bloggers would like to know what the “expectations” are.

This isn’t a good way to treat people. I don’t need every detail about why they now don’t like my “important posts,” but I would like a rational explanation of the key factors that went into their business decision.

The Blog at Patheos is “410 Gone”

I hope to have more to say about it soon but for now, I can report that I am blogging here now at  Patheos leadership informed me yesterday that my blog no longer fit their “strategic objectives.” Since I don’t know what those are, I can’t say how I didn’t fit them.

In any case, thanks to friend J.D. Smith, the blog was quickly migrated with the content to this ad free site. The downside is that I have been unable as yet to find out from Patheos how to get my comments moved along with the posts.

What a strange turn of events. Patheos was at the center of the Mars Hill Church and Gospel for Asia stories and now they host Mark Driscoll and K.P. Yohannan. All of the those Patheos links about Mars Hill and GFA are now erased. The content is here and archived elsewhere but admittedly, it will be harder to find.


Patheos Links of Interest: Kirk Franklin, Anxious Bench, Godless in Dixie, Stacy Dash, Kyle Roberts

Reading an Anxious Bench post by Thomas Kidd, it occurred to me that Patheos is a very diverse site. With that in mind, I decided to go exploring. Here I am going to post some links I found interesting. I am not recommending everything said by these authors but am posting them because I think they might be of interest to readers.
Should Evangelicals Embrace the “Benedict Option”? Well, should they/we?
We Love Close Calls… Until They Happen to Us – Nice devotional post on waiting through hard times by Kirk Franklin. Wait, what? Kirk Franklin blogs at Patheos?! Nice.
I Was Wrong – Stacy Dash apologized for her defense of Bill Cosby.
Stop Saying that Teaching Children Creationism is Child Abuse – A good one from the Atheist channel’s Neil Carter.
“Can We Go Home, Now?” My Mom, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Our Longing for Home Kyle Roberts on the Progressive channel writes a truly touching reflection on his mom’s wish to go home.
I hope to go exploring more often…

Happy 5th Anniversary Patheos and 5 Blog Highlights

Patheos is celebrating five years in business and to help out with the fun, I’ve been asked to post some highlights of my brief time here along with a video.  Since I have only been on board since October 31, 2013, I have come late to the party but have picked out five posts and an honorable mention category to honorably mention.
I thought I would celebrate by remembering my first post, the most viewed post, the most “I can’t believe I’m reporting this” post, a post I hated to write, and the last post.
First post: Rick Green: 5,000 Likes On Facebook Could Trigger A Senate Run For David Barton (UPDATED) – I did several posts on David Barton’s flirtation with a primary challenge to Texas Senator John Cornyn. Despite Cornyn being quite conservative, the Texas tea party thought him soft on Obamacare, immigration and the national debt. Much to the dismay of comedians and columnists everywhere, Barton eventually decided not to run.
Most viewed postA Former Mars Hill Pastor Speaks Out and Why Others Are Afraid: The Mars Hill Church Non-Disclosure Agreement – The various stories coming out of Mars Hill Church have been quite popular with readers. I have met some wounded brothers and sisters over the past several months. Former Mars Hill members and staff have begun to speak out and push the church leadership for reconciliation and healing of various offenses ranging back to at least 2007 for many and before that for others. More on this topic is available here.
The most “I can’t believe I’m reporting this” postDavid Barton And Kenneth Copeland: PTSD Can Be Cured By Bible Verses And Rebuking Satan – The title says most of what is important about this one. On a Kenneth Copeland broadcast, Copeland said psychology and drugs were of no help to soldiers with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Rebuking the devil was offered as a cure. Barton agreed and added that just warriors shouldn’t have regrets which lead to PTSD. The Gospel Coalition’s Joe Carter called the advice “gospel destroying” and “demonic.”
A post I hated to writeParliament Spokeswoman: Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill Has Passed (UPDATED) – Introduced initially in 2009, I fought Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill from the beginning. The saga of the bill which originally proposed the death penalty for same-sex affection of any kind became a global story with the world keeping watch on the nation of Uganda. Eventually, Uganda’s strong man president Yoweri Museveni decided the bill helped him politically in Uganda and in the face of a torrent of international pressure to scrap the matter, he agreed to support and sign the bill.
Last postMars Hill’s Board of Advisors and Accountability Hints at Secret Meetings – Besides this one, the last post was about Mars Hill Church’s Board of Advisors and Accountability. The BOAA has defended pastor Mark Driscoll and the other two executive elders despite multiple charge which have been filed. The latest post includes comments from the BOAA board chair.
An honorable mention goes to the Mark Driscoll plagiarism scandal – The month after I started at Patheos, I wrote my first post examining the accusations of plagiarism against Mark Driscoll. The first post evaluated the claims made by Janet Mefferd and the eventually I found many other instances of plagiarism in Driscoll’s books (see this handy chart for all of the citation errors I have found to date).
I have enjoyed blogging at Patheos and appreciate the hard working folks on the staff. Looking forward to the next five years!

Blog News: I'm Moving To Patheos

Not all of the details are final but I should be fully moved to Patheos by sometime next week. The new address is here:
Some details remain. All of the comments are not yet showing up there; this will be accomplished soon.  Some of the ancient embedded videos may not show up since they have been removed from their sources.
The comment system there is the Disqus system so to continue commenting you will need a free account with that service. You will get that information when you first begin to comment. Go ahead and try a comment there and see how it goes.
All of the links will still work and redirect the reader to the new location. All of the content will be there.
I want to say thanks to the dedicated folks at Patheos and elsewhere who have been working with me to make this happen.
I am looking forward to joining their group of diverse writers. Patheos offers a wealth of interesting content; I hope you will check out some of the other writers there. And by all means, keep pointing your browser my way