Mars Hill church's former elder Sutton Turner regrets contract to get Mark Driscoll onto NYT bestseller list

(Mark Driscoll)

The former church elder of Mars Hill Church who signed a contract with a marketing agency to get Mark Driscoll's book onto the New York Times bestseller list says he knew at the time that the campaign was a "bad idea". 

Sutton Turner insists over several blog posts that he had warned the Mars Hill leadership against the campaign with the ResultSource agency because he felt it would not reflect well on the church.

He says his concerns, outlined in a letter to his supervisor in August 2011, went unheeded but he acknowledges that he went ahead and signed the contract in October that year even though his supervisor had by this time resigned.

The campaign with ResultSource artificially inflated sales of Driscoll's Real Marriage book by including in the total sales figures bulk purchases of copies made by Mars Hill from small independent bookstores which were then re-sold in the church's own bookstores.

Driscoll later apologized for resorting to the tactic, just one of many controversies that eventually played into his resignation as pastor of the church last last year. 

Speculation has been growing in recent weeks that Driscoll is planning a comeback after he launched a new website and e-book in the run-up to Easter.

Turner, however, appears to still be coming to terms with his experience under Driscoll.

In his blog post, Turner said he was "deeply sorry" to people affected by the bestseller campaign and added that he would not sign such a contract again if he had the chance. 

"When you stay in an organization and you do not agree with a decision, you have to own that decision as your own," he said.

"Unfortunately, I will always be linked to ResultSource since my name was on the contract even though I thought it was a bad idea.

"If given the same opportunity again, I would not sign the ResultSource contract, but honestly, my missing signature would not have stopped it. Someone else would have signed it anyway since the decision had already been made."

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