Mark Driscoll and D.A. Carson Believe Plagiarizing Pastors Should Resign. Uh Oh!

"Plagiarists are always suspicious of being stolen from." Samuel Taylor Coleridge link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Copyright.svgCopyright

I have been startled by the number of people in the Christian world who do not seem to think that plagiarism is a big deal. My husband often says that some Christian leaders seem to have their own set of ethics which overlook child sex abuse, plagiarism, and acquisition minded mega church pastors. A few Christians claim to have "gospel" values which apparently give a pass to pastors who are rich and famous because that means, of course, that God is "blessing" the ministry. He says it would be nice if such church leaders accepted, as a minimum, the law and basic ethics as stated in the rules of secular institutions. Instead in some cases, it appears that certain Christian churches and leaders have the ethics of Bernie Madoff.

We had intended to post this on Wednesday but experienced some technical glitches. We are looking at some interesting aspects of the Driscoll plagiarism scandal.

Could the devil and women be to blame for Driscoll's situation?

In a rather bizarre (and we think significant) post by Mark Driscoll written on 11/23, two days after his ill fated interview with Janet Mefferd, titled We Even Lie About Our Lying , Driscoll discusses deception.

Deception is where we twist the truth into a weapon for harm and destruction. Cheating in school. Half-truths on a resume. Falsifying reports at work. Double-billing clients. And, pastors are notorious for “borrowing” material.

All of us are guilty of deception to some degree. Its prevalence, however, does not change the fact that deception is a demonic, satanic issue. In Genesis 3, God creates our first parents and speaks the truth to them, and then Satan comes and lies to them. They sin against God. Further on the Bible says, on more that one occasion, that Satan deceived them—Eve in particular.

How could Driscoll write this without taking into consideration the growing scandal? Or did he? Is it an admission of sorts? Is he saying that "the devil made him do it?"

Then there is the rather curious allusion to the deception of Eve. Driscoll has long been know for his rather unusual views on women. He harped a great deal about Grace Driscoll's sin prior to their marriage and appears to say she was the problem in their marriage. He seems to present Queen Esther as a trollop who was a willing participant in her sad tale of human slavery link.

When that particular message came out, I wondered how he could blame Esther for the misery to which she was subjected. In the same manner, could he be implying that Janet Mefferd is deceived by Satan? That she is the one to blame for his current misery?

This post is either divorced from the reality of his situation or he is throwing the blame onto others, especially Satan and women. They are the problem, not him. This is a case study for the psychologists

Janet Mefferd exposes what appears to be a word for word lifting by Driscoll from a work by D A Carson

The following is a quote from Janet Mefferd link  You can see the actual documents that she presented here.

From the 11/26/13 post/show:

..we also revealed that Pastor Driscoll has lifted material from another source — word for word — in another of his books, “Trial: 8 Witnesses From 1&2 Peter.” This was a book published in 2009 by Mars Hill Church. On pages 7 and 8, Driscoll lifts and publishes, under his own name, an entire section from “1 Peter,” New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, Ed. D. A. Carson, 4th ed. (Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), p. 1370.

There is more. From Janet Mefferd post/show 11/27/13 linkYou can see the actual documents that she presented here.

under the section called “Peter the Author,” Pastor Driscoll again directly lifts and publishes, without attribution or proper footnotes, two more sections from page 1369 of “1 Peter,” New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, Ed. D. A. Carson, 4th ed. (Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994).

It is difficult for us to imagine that these are isolated incidents. We predict more revelations to follow.

Is it all about the money?

A. Does Tyndale House, a publishing company which has entered what might be a lucrative contract with Driscoll, seem concerned about Mefferd's assertions? Short answer: nope!

1. They think Mefferd is the problem. Here is a quote from Tyndale which was published by Jonathan Merritt on his blog at Religion News Service.

Tyndale House Publishers was provided a recording of the show by representatives of Pastor Driscoll. A number of people at Tyndale reviewed the tape and were stunned, not only by the accusations, but by the belligerent tone of Ms. Mefferd’s questioning. When Ms. Mefferd asked Pastor Driscoll her first question to accuse him of plagiarism, she did not invoke Peter Jones’s name. The first person that Pastor Driscoll credited in his response was Mr. Jones. Pastor Driscoll also credits Mr. Jones in the section that Janet refers to in Mark’s book, A Call to Resurgence.

Tyndale has taken immediate steps as in the process of reviewing the section of Pastor Driscoll’s book that has been called into question. Pastor Driscoll has also reached out to Mr. Jones and we expect to be able to release some information on his reaction to the interview very soon.

2. They responded a few days later and exonerated Driscoll. Once again this response was sent to Jonathan Merritt at Religion News Service here.

Tyndale House takes any accusation of plagiarism seriously and has therefore conducted a thorough in-house review of the original material and sources provided by the author. After this review we feel confident that the content in question has been properly cited in the printed book and conforms to market standards. 

Here are two points to consider.

1. Tyndale House has a lot riding on a mega book deal with Driscoll. There is big money here.
2. It appears this response may have been written without taking into consideration Mefferd's newest accusations of a word for word copying of DA Carson's work. The second comment only discusses a singular book. We shall wait to see what they say about the D A Carson material. They should say something.

Here is an excellent assessment of Tyndale House's problem by Trey Medley at WhyTheology link.

The response of Tyndale House sends the message that they are not to be respected by readers, nor to be trusted by authors because rather than investigate plagiarism, they may just side with their superstar author. This is particularly sad given its prior excellent history. 

Frankly, TWW believes that Tyndale House has a hot potato on their hands.They are between a rock and a hard place. Hopefully, they will do the right thing.

B. Why did Justin Taylor call for an author's boycott of Janet Mefferd's show? Could it be business related?

Since Taylor has not walked this comment back, we have to assume he is standing by it. Could it have something to do with his position at Crossway? Link

As of August 15,(ed. 2013)  Crossway is pleased to announce the appointment of Justin Taylor to the position of Senior Vice President and Publisher for Books, held previously by Allan Fisher. Justin came to Crossway in 2006, serving most recently as Vice President for Book Publishing.

“It is my delight,” Lane Dennis said, “to welcome Justin in his new role as Crossway’s Publisher for Books. Justin has already made a tremendous contribution to our publishing program 

Here is a link to books written by Mark Driscoll which were published by Crossway. It is always a messy business when you confuse business advice as theological advice. Taylor would be wise to excuse himself on opinions that have to do with any authors who publish under his company's label. At the very minimum, ethics might suggest that he should admit to the financial ties between the authors and his company. This same situation appears to have happened before.

C. Justin Taylor apparently also supported CJ Mahaney this year. Could it be business related again?

Justin Taylor, along with Kevin DeYoung and Don Carson, supported CJ Mahaney during the awful child sex abuse scandal via this statement posted on May 24, 2013

It appears that they received some pushback even, most likely within The Gospel Coalition, forcing them to add the following statement

This statement reflects the views of the signatories and does not necessarily speak for other Council members, bloggers, and writers for The Gospel Coalition.

Justin Taylor was promoted to his current position at Crossway three months after this *courageous* stand on behalf of a man who presided over one of the messiest church situations of the century. Here is a link to CJ Mahaney books published by Crossway. Once again, a simple statement by Taylor regarding his business ties would have been welcome.

Who believes what about plagiarism?

I am going to build a case for what would seem to be the logical steps to take if it is determined that Driscoll plagiarized.

A. How does Driscoll's alma mater, Washington State University, view plagiarism? (Thanks, Eagle, for this idea.)

Mark Driscoll says he went to a top school for communications. It appears that university take plagiarism quite seriously. Please refer to this lengthy presentation on academic integrity. It looks like he won't be able to blame them for not educating him.

The Academic Integrity Program at WSU has the main goal of graduating students with a strong foundation of knowledge and experiences achieved by fostering personal accountability for their academic work.

B. D.A. Carson is a professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. How do they view plagiarism?

It came as a bit of a shock to us that Driscoll appears to have copied, word for word, from one of D A Carson's works in light of of TWW's  post from last Friday in which we quoted Carson's view on plagiarism. Here is part of that quote link.

Taking over another sermon and preaching it as if it were yours is always and unequivocally wrong, and if you do it you should resign or be fired immediately

Here is a synopsis of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School's view on plagiarism link.

Like Carson, they take this issue, very, very seriously.

All the individuals, being in the image of God, are to be respected for their intellectual contributions.

Therefore, any form of plagiarism and cheating will not be condoned within the ACTS community. Plagiarism whether intentional or indirect, gives the impression that the words or ideas in one’s writings are one’s own, even when some reference to the original source is made in the footnotes or bibliography. Cheating is an expression of fraud and deception, giving the impression that the person’s performance is better on quizzes or exams than they deserve.

Any person, who breaks the standard of academic integrity by cheating or plagiarism, will be dealt with seriously by the professor involved and will be reported to the Academic Probation Committee of ACTS. This may result in a failure of the course, expulsion from the Seminary of registration in ACTS or a revocation of a degree already granted by one of the Seminaries of ACTS.

(Copied and adapted from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Handbook for Participants, Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Studies, 1997 Edition, p.29-30) 

C. What does Justin Taylor believe about plagiarism

Well, he is against it, which is a good start. In this post, he reviews the opinions of some theologians (including D A Carson), ending with this statement. Referring to their stand against plagiarism he says:

If this is true in the classroom, how much more so behind the pulpit in the house of the Lord?

D. What does The Gospel Coalition believe about plagiarism

In fact, The Gospel Coalition did an entire series on plagiarism back in 2010. See this post by Collin Hansen which also includes links to the other theologians and pastors who wrote in response to how to deal with plagiarism in the pulpit. This will also include a link to D.A. Carson's statement which we have already covered. Here is an excerpt from Hansen's post.

I learned, though, that evangelicals tend to hold a different view about plagiarism. I was told that pastors live by a different set of rules from the media and the academy. Whether preaching a sermon or even writing a book, I was told, pastors shouldn't be expected to cite all their references or feel the need to rework someone else's material in their own words. Apparently this sort of thing happens all the time among pastors. In this case, it wasn't worth even writing the pastor a note to caution him against such actions in the future.

E. What does Mark Driscoll himself say about plagiarism? He says you must quit your job!

In his book, Vintage Church, Driscoll spoke out against preaching other pastor’s material. Link

Do not speak anyone else’s messages. Doing so amounts to plagiarism, unless you get permission. Worse, it subverts God’s work in and through you… If you use the work of others, you are not a teacher, and you should quit your job and do anything but speak. (p. 105)

It appears that some theologians and pastors, including Driscoll himself, believe that plagiarism should lead to a pastor's resignation. I am quoting them, not me. Assuming their own stated standards, what should happen if it is proven that Driscoll plagiarized? 

Driscoll should resign his pastorate if he believes in, and follows, his own rules. His friend, D A Carson, should encourage him to do so since he also believes the same thing.

This will be a fascinating situation to watch. Do the rules, set by the big boys themselves, apply to them or just the rest of us? D.A. Carson and Mark Driscoll have both said that pastors who plagiarize should step down from the pastorate. We shall be watching this situation very carefully. It appears that there is a "word by word" copying of Carson's work. If it is true, and if Driscoll does not resign, it will be evident that the rules apply only to those outside of the megapastor celebrity crowd. This will be damaging to the *gospel truthiness* that they claim to possess.

But wait! Maybe he had a ghostwrite and can blame him?

Not according to First Thoughts which featured an article by Carlo Garbarino.

Of course, perhaps Driscoll isn’t a plagiarist. Maybe he employed a ghostwriter who is a plagiarist. It’d be convenient to have a scapegoat right now. But even if it was his ghostwriter, I’ll still fail him because we university professors don’t actually approve of ghostwriting. I know it’s typical in Christian publishing, but it’s still lying. Ghostwriting is lying, and plagiarism is stealing, and there seems to be a lot of it going around.

My final thoughts

TWW sincerely believes that, for some of these pastors and church leaders, the mission of the church is being diluted by the big business of publishing and selling books, audios, tiny books, etc. Take a good, hard look at the lifestyles of men like Driscoll, Furtick, Young and others.  Million dollar homes are now the norm. Private jet transport and first class seating is now an expectation. Designer clothes make the man.

We have written about pastors who do not pastor and, instead, have become *talking heads.* Even the talking head part is being called into question. On Monday, we shall present some rather startling information. Well, at least it was surprising to us. If we didn't know about it, we bet many others have not heard about it as well. 

Lydia's Corner:  Isaiah 6:1-7:25 2 Corinthians 11:16-33 Psalm 54:1-7 Proverbs 23:1-3

Comments

Mark Driscoll and D.A. Carson Believe Plagiarizing Pastors Should Resign. Uh Oh! — 130 Comments

  1. Plagiarism is rampant. In my city at one of the largest Presbyterian churches (PCA), it was discovered shortly after hiring a new pastor a few years ago that he had plagiarized about 1/3 of his master’s thesis. Did the institution who awarded him his degree do anything about it in retrospect, like rescind the degree? No. Did the PCA church which hired him let him go? No. The pastor promised to “do the right thing” and “rewrite” his entire thesis to make up for his plagiarism … but as far as I know, several years later, he has still not done so. If local churches and seminaries aren’t willing to assign genuine consequences in cases like this, I guess I’m not surprised that Driscoll assumes it’s okay for him to steal intellectual property.

  2. What will Driscoll and Carson do to get out of this one?

    1) “All Animals are Equal, but SOME ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.”
    2) “GOD WILLED IT!”
    3) “The Jezebel Spirit Did It!”

  3. Well said. They are all business partners, and their business partnerships matters infinitely more to them than any supposed fellowship in Christ.

    None of these business partners have EVER publicly taken issue with their fellow business partners, but they are all very quick to take issue publicly and in writing with anyone and everyone they consider an “other.” I am still trying to wash the slime off of me after reading Justin Taylor, D.A. Carson, and Kevin DeYoung’s vile defense of C. J. Mahaney last May.

    They can (and almost certainly will continue to) fool most of the people most of the time, but the God Who Sees is not fooled. Good thing He is a full of mercy.

    As American citizens, they have whatever freedom the law allows to make as much money as they want

  4. Driscoll should resign his pastorate if he believes in, and follows, his own rules. His friend, D A Carson, should encourage him to do so since he also believes the same thing.

    First rule of CELEBRITIES(TM):

    NOBODY TELLS A *CELEBRITY* ANYTHING OTHER THAN WHAT THE *CELEBRITY* WANTS TO HEAR.

    GOD-TALK OR NO GOD-TALK.

  5. It’s Janet’s fault. She started it. She put a pastor in a negative light. Women are responsible for all of mens’ evildoings. Especially women who call pastors out.

  6. Regardless of what Mark Driscoll himself says about plagiarism, I don’t think that even the D.A. Carson quotes will bring him down. Within his circle, he’s above all that, and the loyalty factor will enable him to shift blame to others. It’ll take a sex scandal to bring him down.

  7. __

    “Are MerkyD Publications Just A state of Mind?”

    hmmm…

    “Any author, who breaks the standards of Tyndale integrity by plagiarism, will be dealt with in the strongest appropriate manner. This may possibly result in a forfeiture of all future publication goodwill between said author and this publisher…”  

    Skreeeeeeeeetch!

    wake up, wake up, wake up!!!

    Your dream’in !

    (grin)

    hahahahahaha

    Sopy
    __
    Time for editorial comic relief? Mamas and Papas-”California Dreaming” -cover – Sungha Jung
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAhZZc_Bwps&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  8. Dee:

    Why did Justin Taylor call for an author’s boycott of Janet Mefferd’s show?

    Methinks he doth protest too much.
    Perhaps he would prefer to let some of his own “sleeping dogs lie”?

  9. Dee, can you point me to your writings on ‘talking heads’? I have been thinking for awhile that many of these pastors are not actually shepherding any flocks, they are just writing books and crafting sermons to support their books.

  10. Julie Anne wrote:

    It’s Janet’s fault. She started it. She put a pastor in a negative light. Women are responsible for all of mens’ evildoings. Especially women who call pastors out.

    It’s always the “fringe” women bloggy types that are tools of Satan who call out the precious ones that have really great stacks of books y’all. I’ll never forget the tweet by Jack Graham the day after my WFAA interview aired blaming the enemy attack for his failure to report child sexual abuse.

  11. Anon wrote:

    Perhaps he would prefer to let some of his own “sleeping dogs lie”?

    Fascinating comment. Can you get us started?

  12. Ted wrote:

    It’ll take a sex scandal to bring him down.

    Nah-he’ll blame it on Grace again and his boyz will love it.

  13. Amy Smith wrote:

    blaming the enemy attack for his failure to report child sexual abuse.

    The Devil made me do it may be the new cry of the NeoCalvinists.

  14. “Driscoll should resign his pastorate if he believes in, and follows, his own rules.”

    Not so fast, Dee. Driscoll was mentored by CJ Mahaney for a time. MD may have learned well from CJ that pastors don’t need to follow their own teachings :(

  15. Bridget wrote:

    Driscoll was mentored by CJ Mahaney for a time. MD may have learned well from CJ that pastors don’t need to follow their own teachings

    Darn, you are right!

  16. Ted wrote:

    Within his circle, he’s above all that, and the loyalty factor will enable him to shift blame to others. It’ll take a sex scandal to bring him down.

    Nope – that won’t work. Didn’t work for CJ.

  17. Julie Anne wrote:

    Ted wrote:

    Within his circle, he’s above all that, and the loyalty factor will enable him to shift blame to others. It’ll take a sex scandal to bring him down.

    Nope – that won’t work. Didn’t work for CJ.

    Or Jack Graham, a Furtick “overseer.”

  18. Well Marc…I am waiting for your letter of resignation here..! Yeah I thought so…Really think WWW should organize a boycott of all Tyndale house publishing. Really NOT interested in contributing to a corrupt organization. You know like tithing at Mars Hill? Wink..Wink..! (ed.) I really wish the sheep of this world would learn to sight the wolves so instead of these men getting fat off the land we would spot them and run them out of town preferably tarred and feathered!!

  19. Funny observation about mark’s blog! Driscoll probably doesn’t write all of his own blog posts. Lots of eager young “research assistants” (code term for ghost writers). Perhaps why a post about lying could slip in at a time like this.

    Plagiarism is not easy to get out of. You can’t call it “accidental” because there is no such thing as excusable plagiarism. Don Carson would not accept the “it was an accident” excuse from one of his young students. I’m genuinely curious to see how Dr Carson reacts to this. His professional allegiances and his scholarly reputation give him limited options.

  20. I have been reminiscing about when I didn't know anything about Mark Driscoll, C.J. Mahaney, Steven Furtick, and others we discuss here.

    Now that was a case where ignorance was bliss. :-)

  21. @ Deb:

    Good question, Deb! This could create an interesting divide between the popular-level neocals who produce mostly fluff (Furtick, Mahaney, Driscoll, etc) and the more intellectually/academically oriented neocals who attempt legitimate scholarly research (Carson).

  22. On a lighter note, there is an anecdote about Charles Spurgeon told by D. Martin Lloyd-Jones in his book “Preachers & Preaching,” in a section harshly condemning sermon plagiarism. Spurgeon was famous for his photographic memory, and in this instance there was a comical outcome.

    ————
    There is, for example, the famous story about Spurgeon and one of the students in his college that was brought to him to be reprimanded on one occasion. This was the story. This young man had been preaching in different churches on Sundays, and reports concerning his preaching had been coming back to the college. Some said that his preaching was very good, but adverse criticisms began to come in to the effect that this young man was repeatedly preaching a sermon of Mr. Spurgeon’s. The Principal of the college had of course to deal with this; so he sent for the young man.

    He said to him ‘I hear that you are going round and preaching one of Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons. Is this true?’

    The young man replied,’No, sir, it is not true.’

    The Principal pressed him but he still persisted in saying that it was not true. This went on for some time so at last the Principal felt that the only thing
    to do was to take the young man to Mr. Spurgeon himself. So they went together and the case was put before Mr. Spurgeon.

    ‘Well now,’ said Mr. Spurgeon,’you need not be frightened. If you are honest you will not be punished. We are all sinners,but we do want to get at the facts. You have been preaching a sermon on such and such a text?’

    ‘Yes, sir.’

    ‘And you have divided up the subject as follows?’

    ‘Yes, sir.’

    ‘And you say that you have not been preaching my sermon?’

    ‘That is so, sir.’

    This questioning went for some time, until at last Mr. Spurgeon was beginning to feel somewhat impatient; so he said to the young man, ‘Well, are you saying, then, that it is your sermon?’

    ‘Oh no, sir’ said the young man.

    ‘Well, then, whose sermon is it?’

    ‘It is a sermon of William Jay of Bath, sir’ said the student.

    Jay was a famous preacher in Bath in the early part of the last century and some of his sermons had been printed in two volumes.

    ‘Wait a minute,’ said Spurgeon, and turning to his library, he pulled out one of the volumes and there was the sermon, the exact sermon-the same text, the same headings, the same everything! What had happened? The fact was that Mr. Spurgeon had also preached William Jay’s sermon and had actually put it into print with other sermons of his. Mr. Spurgeon’s only explanation was that it was many years since he had read the two volumes of Jay’s sermons and that he had forgotten all about it. He could say quite honestly that he was not aware of the fact that when he had preached that sermon he was preaching one of the sermons of William Jay. It had registered unconsciously in his memory. The student was absolved of the charge of preaching one of Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons, but was still guilty of theft!”

  23. @ Mr.H:

    I had great concern about The Gospel Coalition from the beginning due to some of its dubious council members – Mahaney, Driscoll, MacDonald, to name a few.

    In hindsight. Carson and Keller should have been more cautious about who they aligned themselves with.

  24. Further on the Bible says, on more that one occasion, that Satan deceived them—Eve in particular.

    This is an amusing error since it flatly states in 1 Tim. that Adam was NOT deceived…as Driscoll and his fellow comps love to proclaim all the time. Tee hee hee.

  25. __

    gleeful?
    gleeful?
    gleeful?
    gleeful?
    gleeful?
    gleeful?
    gleeful?

    SKReeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetch!

    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

    Rejoice?

    What?

    We rejoice that Jesus is leading a hose of captives free without the ‘help’ of the ‘questionable’ leadership of Mars Hill Pastor, Mark Driscoll.

    …we rejoice in the truth that the Lord will perfect His saints until His ‘faithful’ return!

    Your Word Unfailing!
    Your Love is unchanging!
    Your promises unshakeable!

    ALL OF MY HOPE, … IS IN YOU, LORD!
    ALL OF MY HOPE, … IS IN YOU, LORD!
    ALL OF MY HOPE, … IS IN YOU, LORD!
    ALL OF MY HOPE, … IS IN YOU, LORD!
    ALL OF MY HOPE, … IS IN YOU, LORD!
    ALL OF MY HOPE, … IS IN YOU, LORD!
    ALL OF MY HOPE, … IS IN YOU, LORD!
    ALL OF MY HOPE, … IS IN YOU, LORD!

    YaHooooooooooo!

    Sopy
    ___
    inspirational relief: Hillsong (From their New 2013 Album)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYDcBfQEa64&feature=youtube_gdata_player
    __

  26. Hester wrote:

    It flatly states in 1 Tim. that Adam was NOT deceived…as Driscoll and his fellow comps love to proclaim all the time. Tee hee hee.

    Driscoll is flustered.

  27. We have written about pastors who do not pastor and, instead, have become *talking heads.*

    Well where’s the fame and glory in ministering and pastoring? There aren’t any fawning, adoring crowds involved.

  28. That Bad Dog wrote:

    The student was absolved of the charge of preaching one of Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons, but was still guilty of theft!”

    As always, the famous guy gets a pass on his explanation.

  29. dee wrote:

    The Devil made me do it may be the new cry of the NeoCalvinists.

    So obviously they all should quit since the Devil repeatedly gets them in chokeholds.

  30.   __

    “What’s My Line?”

    hmmm…
      
    Q. Is Driscoll testing the limits of Christian propriety?

    What?

    Skreeeeeeeeeeeeeeetch! 

    bump!

    (crash)

    Does Mark Driscoll have ‘The Right Stuff”? 

    hmmm…

    Goooooood question.

    __
    Comic relief: Chuck Yeager Pushing The Limits (in “The Right Stuff)”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Cq7hf4ylvY&feature=youtube_gdata_player
    Bonus: What’s My Line? 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehSTtttb0xQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  31. Mr.H wrote:

    Funny observation about mark’s blog! Driscoll probably doesn’t write all of his own blog posts. Lots of eager young “research assistants” (code term for ghost writers). Perhaps why a post about lying could slip in at a time like this.

    Usually blog posts are written and scheduled well in advance of the actual post date. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a collective “rut roh” when it was posted.

  32. @Dee

    This is somewhat off topic, but after for all the mega churches, all the conferences, all the expertise on leadership, all the billions spent on Christian resources and all the celebrity pastors, why isn’t the US a leading country in the Christian faith? As Christians we dive right into what everyone has to sell and yet very few communities truly reflect the love of Christ. Take Elevation Church for example: 14,000 attend each weekend? If Elevation truly had the impact in Charlotte that it claims then Charlotte would be heaven on earth. I lived there and it’s a great city, but Elevation’s impact on local society is not that impressive. Maybe it is time for pastors to shepherd their flocks and focus on them, not on publication deals.

  33. Doug wrote:

    Maybe it is time for pastors to shepherd their flocks and focus on them, not on publication deals.

    You are definitely preaching to the choir.
    Doug wrote:

    Take Elevation Church

    My sentiments exactly.

  34. Julie Anne wrote:

    It’s Janet’s fault. She started it. She put a pastor in a negative light. Women are responsible for all of mens’ evildoings. Especially women who call pastors out.

    Especially if they have a “tone”. Has Janet been accused of “slander” yet?

  35. Of course they won’t apply their own standards to themselves. Those are for the sheeple. They are above all that. They are God’s chosen, the purveyors of pure doctrine and truth, real leaders, spiritually superior. And anyone who questions them is attacking God. Therefore the normal rules don’t apply. Those are only for the little people. And, of course (though none will admit this as a reason), there’s a lot of money at stake.

    If I sound cynical, it’s only because I’ve experienced this very dynamic first-hand before. I think it was Dorothy Sayers who said that the time to really start worrying is not so much when people simply do evil, but when people start redefining the evil they do as a good. Well people, we are there. There are two valid responses to evil for a Christian: resist it, or flee it. And there’s certainly no shame in the latter.

  36. dee wrote:

    Amy Smith wrote:

    blaming the enemy attack for his failure to report child sexual abuse.

    The Devil made me do it may be the new cry of the NeoCalvinists.

    At which point they’re plagiarizing Flip Wilson.

  37. Of course they won’t apply their own standards to themselves. Those are for the sheeple. They are above all that. They are God’s chosen, the purveyors of pure doctrine and truth, real leaders, spiritually superior. And anyone who questions them is attacking God. Therefore the normal rules don’t apply.

    “ARE THEY GOD’S CHOSEN? ARE THEY GOD’S CHOSEN?”
    – Gordon Dickson, “Soldier, Ask Not”
    (any SF litfans out there remember the context of this line in the novella?)

  38. @ Deb:

    Completely agree! Carson and Keller are being put in increasingly awkward situations by their “friends.”

  39. You know what I was wondering? How would these guys react if someone like Richard Dawkins was found to have plagiarised in multiple books – would they give him a free pass? Of course they wouldn’t! They’d hold it up as proof of the depravity of all atheists. Yet they can really sit there and pretend it’s no big deal that Driscoll (or his ghostwriters) have repeatedly committed THE cardinal sin of writing?

  40. Here in Texas we called those talking heads “empty suits”. Usually the term is reserved for politicians but lately I have heard it used for pastors. Oh, regarding the plagiarism issue, at my university we were required to hand write and sign the honor code at the top of every test and paper. This was considered a binding contract and failure to abide by it meant the student immediately failed the class. There is even a plagiarism board who reads every senior project, thesis, and dissertation. It is a pain in the butt to deal with but worth it to maintain the integrity of the institution.

  41. __

    ….and the proverbial evil spirit answered and said to Mark Driscoll, I recognize Jesus, and I know all about the Apostle Paul, hmmm..the Wartburg Watch as well,,,

    …but who are you?

  42. @ Hester:

    One thing I never understood. Don’t gender complementarians realize one could argue that Eve being deceived makes her a tad less guilty in a way, since she was suckered, but Adam had heard straight from God and knew he was disobeying?

    Eve was kind of acting out of ignorance, but Adam knew what he was doing.

    IMHO, therefore, Adam’s mistake there seems a little more grave then hers, if we are going to nit pick about it.

  43. Both Carson and Driscoll have stated that pastors who preach others’ sermons should be fired? That practice was S.O.P. for years in SGM! Even The Bald One did it!

  44. @ That Bad Dog:
    I doubt the sermon was word-for-word, Driscoll’s plagiarism of Carson was word for word for almost 3 paragraphs, Driscoll doesn’t have a photographic memory of that in-depth detail, he gets too many items wrong in his preaching for that.

    Also, ‘conversations’ with another pastor would not register in his “photographic” memory, as that is a visual memory and conversations lodge in our auditory memory.

  45. @ Daisy:
    Eve is never told by God not to eat from the tree. It is Adam who is, before God makes Eve. So, if you want to assign guilt, why did Eve think that touching the tree would kill her? Who fed her that B.S.? The serpent sure picks up on her ignorance in that instance.

    In old Jewish Midrash texts, the serpent slowly slithers towards her, backing her towards the tree until she is forced to bump into it, at that point he says to her “surely you will not die (if you touch the tree)?” Once she realizes she isn’t dead, she no longer has any qualms about eating the fruit.

    So, who taught Eve that touching the tree would kill her? Likely it was Adam, he exaggerated to make her stay away (like the headless horseman tales were told to keep kids out of the woods). If you argue it was God on their evening walks, my comment would be “Does God exaggerate or mislead?”

  46. dee wrote:

    he’ll blame it on Grace again

    Yeah, she’ll have let herself go, and he wouldn’t have married her any way if he had known everything, so that’s a very good general all-round excuse for anything…

  47. @ Val:

    Yours is an excellent point! It appears that Adam embellished what God said. That should be a lesson for all of us!

  48. @ Deb:
    I wonder how life would be if we were always as eager to encourage as to criticise?
    I do not know Mark Driscoll whose work I neither endorse nor support, and have no “axe to grind” (I wonder who said that first? – should I credit them?)
    As a retired preacher I often quoted from various sources and tried to attribute correctly both in preparatory notes and in final delivery. However humans are fallible and I may have misquoted, wrongly attributed, or even forgotten to credit sources on occasion. Was this deliberate plagiarism, certainly not! It was human error. I no doubt also quoted material from memory without realising that it was someone else’s – do you suppose that all jokes, anecdotes and tales are all the original genuine invention of the person delivering them?
    Isaac Newton wrote to Robert Hooke, in 1676, of standing on the shoulders of giants but actually the phrase originated from as early as 1159 (John of Salisbury) who himself might have borrowed it. So should we discredit Isaac Newton as a plagiarist?
    The world of music is also littered with examples of note combinations, chord sequences, and phrases that … have appeared elsewhere.
    I have no doubt that Mr Driscoll, had the matter been pointed out politely would have agreed to corrected his work with an appropriate attribution in a second edition should there be one.
    Wild accuations of plagiarsm in such circumstances seems to me more about senationalism and agrandising the accuser than attempting to achieve anything remotely helpful. As I understand it Mr Driscoll was not making an academic submission largely or substantially on the basis of someone else’s work, neither was he republishing either a substantial part or the whole of someone else’s work as his own.
    Most of us would be pleased to have contributed something of sufficient value to be quoted by someone, with or without attribution.
    Isn’t it time we all grew up a little and became more gracious?

  49. This entire incident only reinforces what I think about most of the modern mega-churches today…and why it only me and Jesus together on Sunday mornings….

  50. Pam wrote:

    You know what I was wondering? How would these guys react if someone like Richard Dawkins was found to have plagiarised in multiple books – would they give him a free pass? Of course they wouldn’t! They’d hold it up as proof of the depravity of all atheists. Yet they can really sit there and pretend it’s no big deal that Driscoll (or his ghostwriters) have repeatedly committed THE cardinal sin of writing?

    This is so true! This is truly SOP within the “church”. “Leaders” lay burdens on others under which they themselves could not stand. Straining out an atheist’s gnat and swallowing Mark’s camel.

  51. Christain wrote:

    Was this deliberate plagiarism, certainly not!

    And you know this how?
    Christain wrote:

    I have no doubt that Mr Driscoll, had the matter been pointed out politely would have agreed to corrected his work with an appropriate attribution in a second edition should there be one.

    You do understand that we are dealing with more than one book, right? The second example is word for word.
    Christain wrote:
    Wild accusations. Darn, I thought showing the material side by side would prove the point.

    Wild accuations of plagiarsm in such circumstances seems to me more about senationalism and agrandising the accuser than attempting to achieve anything remotely helpful

    Christain wrote:

    Isn’t it time we all grew up a little

    Thank you for your advice.

    And I do not believe that you have no axe to grind. And your joke surrounding a colloquialism shows a basic misunderstanding of intellectual property.

    .But, then again, the church in America likes to point fingers at the world and refuse to look at our own problems. My husband often tells me that would be nice of the church showed, at the minimum, the same standards of the world. Instead, our standards are often lower as is exemplified in your comment.

    Secular institutions have a better understanding of the problems of intellectual property than many in the church. Quick lesson: plagiarism is stealing and even Driscoll himself said a pastor should step down.

  52. Pam wrote:

    if someone like Richard Dawkins was found to have plagiarised in multiple books – would they give him a free pass

    They would be all over it like a cheap suit. And they would hold him up as an example of the depravity of atheists.

  53. Mandy wrote:

    Here in Texas we called those talking heads “empty suits”.

    Wait until the blog post on Monday. You will see how these empty suits fill themselves up.

  54. Daisy wrote:

    Eve was kind of acting out of ignorance, but Adam knew what he was doing.

    Better yet- they put these easily deceived women in charge of the kids.

  55. Val wrote:

    Driscoll doesn’t have a photographic memory

    Driscoll is known for exaggeration. I no longer accept anything he says on face value.

  56. gus wrote:

    Yeah, she’ll have let herself go, and he wouldn’t have married her any way if he had known everything, so that’s a very good general all-round excuse for anything…

    Blame the wife. It is an interesting phenomenon that I have seen. When these guys are on top of the world, they talk about themselves. As soon as they are in trouble, they bring the wife in. Furtick did it recently. Suddenly it was “Holly and I wanted to build this big house.”

  57. @ Christain:
    No one here is talking about social conversations at the coffee shop during which we throw ideas to/at each other willy nilly. Or about good jokes which laughingly bounce through generations.

    Plagiarism is pertinent when we give sermons or lectures, oral preparations built on the work others. I was a college prof and was careful in presenting ideas/systems, as I am sure you were, too. For me, it was for the sake of the students, to help them understand the building and passing of knowledge, so they would know the relationship between history and present, between past voices and mine/theirs, between integrity/humility and the blowing one’s own horn. I unwittingly got things wrong occasionally, and when I later discovered it and when it was pointed out to me, I openly repaired it. That process itself was good learning for the students—how to handle mistakes.

    But here we are talking about books, and more than one, and in several places. And it is imperative that we give credit where it’s due in books, which are central to the establishment of our history. Integrity is not necessary only in academic books—things written down stay a long time.

    Integrity is a habit of being, a way to approach the world and find one’s place within it. It is about giving truth proper honor, and respecting your fellow humans as much as you do yourself. When we maintain integrity in our written work, our casual conversations are underlined by the same awareness of all that we stand upon. As a retired pastor, surely you know this.

    You say these are wild accusations, but the material has been provided, so it is not, at least, wild. You can declare it incorrect, if you find it so.

    An honest human will want to repair mistakes. You say Driscoll’s plagiarism was not deliberate—-well, unless you live next to the man, it is naïve to draw such a conclusion. But when it happens several times, questions about bad habits also arise. And the reasons for these bad habits. And what has been Driscoll’s response so far?

    You say it might have been politely pointed out and changed in later editions, but that shows some lack of integrity on your part, if for no other reason than that the original book then stays out in the public with its theft left intact and unremarked.

    I know, more deeply than I knew when young, how important are integrity and accuracy, especially for the ongoing character of a community. That is why the most distressing aspect of this fiasco, so far, has been the “no, it’s not” response of Tyndale.

    I am obviously also distressed by such as yourself, a retired pastor. When did it become godly to excuse theft (even if merely a mistake made several times in different books) and instead criticize/chide those who exposed it and who are trying to come to terms with it?

  58. Christain wrote:

    Most of us would be pleased to have contributed something of sufficient value to be quoted by someone, with or without attribution.
    Isn’t it time we all grew up a little and became more gracious?

    Agree.
    But it is Driscoll himself who ungraciously lectures everyone on what the rules are – but then does not follow those rules himself. What is that called?

    Oh! the delicious irony.

  59. Seriously the most fascinating aspect in this mess is how will DA Carson respond? Either way I predict a lose/lose situation. He comes down hard on Driscoll then that will create more problems for that camp and a fissure. If he gives Driscoll a pass on plagiarism then he risks his academic integrity. If that happens I would be fascinated to know if in his career as a professor at Trinity if he gave any student a pass on plagiarism. If Driscoll gets a pass from Carson and it comes out that Carson has disciplined a student at Trinity for plagiarism then I see a lawsuit.

  60. TedS. wrote:

    Oh! the delicious irony.

    This is going to be one of the more fascinating “work arounds” in the past few years. We will learn much about the integrity of today’s Christian leaders and Christian publishing companies.

  61. This all makes me so glad that I have a pastor who pastors. He would rather lead a small group and help people through a problem than speak at a large conference. And he is a good speaker.

    The church really needs more pastors today.

  62. Eagle wrote:

    If Driscoll gets a pass from Carson and it comes out that Carson has disciplined a student at Trinity for plagiarism

    Here is the problem. They have to come up with an out for Driscoll due to the money involved in the publishing venture. If they do, they will forever be dogged by the fact that they let *a celebrity who helps them acquire profits* and then *discipline* the little guy in their churches. They will shoot themselves in the foot.

  63. Anonymous wrote:

    This all makes me so glad that I have a pastor who pastors.

    You are indeed blessed. Did you know some pastors don’t even think they should have to do their own sermons? Tune in on Monday.

  64. Christian, your points are spot on and well spoken.

    Unfortunately, we seem here to have devolved into a snarky mess intent on bringing down the neocals, especially if they are comps.

    How much better if we had grown to refute them intellectually and by not being just as sorry spoken as they.

  65. Daisy wrote:

    @ Hester:

    One thing I never understood. Don’t gender complementarians realize one could argue that Eve being deceived makes her a tad less guilty in a way, since she was suckered, but Adam had heard straight from God and knew he was disobeying?

    Eve was kind of acting out of ignorance, but Adam knew what he was doing.

    IMHO, therefore, Adam’s mistake there seems a little more grave then hers, if we are going to nit pick about it.

    One more thing. Eve was deceived and ADMITTED IT. Adam sinned willfully then BLAMED God and Eve. So obviously, male leadership over women makes perfect sense, right? sigh

  66. linda wrote:

    we seem here to have devolved into a snarky mess intent on bringing down the neocals, especially if they are comps.

    I believe that Meffered is a comp and a Calvinist herself. And if you look at our posts, we have gone after non-neocals starting with Paige Patterson, Jack Schapp, Benny Hinn Ed Young Jr., and Joel Osteen. There are more but you get my point.

    Unfortunately it is the NeoCals who are currently in the news. We review the news each and every day looking for interesting stories. However, this group is dominating the news so they will dominate the stories here.

  67. @ Anonymous:

    “…I have a pastor who pastors”
    +++++++++++++++

    “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  68. I once saw a photocopied piece of sheet music for “I exalt thee”. In the song-writer field was the word “Unknown”.

  69. @ Elastigirl:

    But no big deal. It was only the product of years of experience on my guitar, let alone my heart & soul, which I copyrighted to protect it so that some numbskull wouldn’t jot it down incorrectly, copy it and pass it around for others to recopy and pass around only for me t run across it years later ascribed to some unknown. My song. My song that I wrote.

    I mean, that Pete Sanchez wrote.

  70. @Eagle

    I guarantee you that, in all of his years of teaching and research, Carson has never let an instance of plagiarism slide. I have several syllabi for courses he teaches at Trinity. Very clear: plagiarism = failing grade and possibly expulsion (although the expulsion has to come from admin, not Carson himself).

    If I had to bet, I’d say that Carson will just ignore it and refuse to comment. He is very aloof in general and that will most likely come to play here. If he decides to say anything, it will probably be some condescending little statement, i.e. “I am too busy working on my important research and various projects to pay attention to every little issue that arises..”

  71. @ Elastigirl: Great comments. Unfortunately, a *lot* of church people play very fast and loose with composer/lyricist credits – just like people out there in the music biz.

  72. @ dee:
    Another term in Texas is “all hat and no cattle” indicating that the whole thing is for show and without substance.

  73.  __

    Paul Wilkinson wrote:

    I keep wondering what Tyndale House founder, and Living Bible author Ken Taylor would think of all this.

    …paraphrase da proverbial footnotez, perhaps?

  74. dee wrote:

    Did you know some pastors don’t even think they should have to do their own sermons? Tune in on Monday.

    Oh so not surprised. Someone hits on a “great idea” for a sermon series and the next thing you know, it’s been licensed and is for sale, along with accompanying literature, mailouts, billboards, special music, etc., etc.

    At least with Scientology it’s clear it’s all about the Benjamins.

  75. TedS. wrote:

    But it is Driscoll himself who ungraciously lectures everyone on what the rules are – but then does not follow those rules himself. What is that called?

    POWER.

  76. Val wrote:

    Also, ‘conversations’ with another pastor would not register in his “photographic” memory, as that is a visual memory and conversations lodge in our auditory memory.

    “I SEE Things…”

  77. TedS. wrote:

    But it is Driscoll himself who ungraciously lectures everyone on what the rules are – but then does not follow those rules himself.

    One of the most priceless experiences of my Christian life came courtesy of a friend in the congregation we were part of in Glasgow. I’d just given a sermonette on how we’re supposed to fly on wings like eagles; we occasionally get to see same in the Scottish Highlands and their flight is almost perfectly effortless.

    Well, let me tell you that my sermonette was absolutely brilliant; an eloquent, passionate and moving tribute to the flight of these magnificent birds interwoven with timeless scriptural truth. Until Chima pointed out to me: “I liked what you said, Nick, but I don’t see those things in your life”.

    (This will work best if you now imagine the sound of a balloon deflating, or perhaps a whoopee cushion.)

    It has been said that many of us believers are educated beyond our level of obedience. Equally, there are famous preachers who believe they can educate beyond their level of obedience. I do wonder, though; was Fiscal simply never blessed by friends like Chima; or are they simply in the heap of bodies behind the bus of his ambitions?

  78. @ Christain:
    I’m confused by your post, because however noble your intent, you are not dealing with the facts. The facts include 14 pages of plagiarized material, including some paragraphs lifted word for word – out of written texts. The analogies you use simply don’t fit. Are you trying to redefine the conversation, or did you simply fail to perform due diligence before commenting? I think most of us would be more prone to listen to your point if you knew what you were addressing.

  79. Christain wrote:

    I have no doubt that Mr Driscoll, had the matter been pointed out politely would have agreed to corrected his work with an appropriate attribution in a second edition should there be one.

    I have to agree, Christain, that your analogies really don’t work (Newton was not being credited, for instance, with inventing the phrase “standing on the shoulders of giants”, but for a large body of ground-breaking and game-changing work, the central insights of which were original to him. Nobody’s ever found plagiarism in the Principia).

    But as for your hypothesis, that’s easily tested. If Mr Driscoll makes it his urgent business to issue a second edition, with the necessary attributions added, we will know you have judged him fairly.

  80. Val wrote:

    Do you think he meant pornographic memory but accidentally said photographic memory?

    Well, I associate the phrase “I have a pornographic memory” with a Rowan & Martin skit from the Sixties. Sock It To Me!

  81. Mr. H. it was interesting that not all that long after Carson publicly stated that Mark Driscoll was basically doing ignorant trolling on British evangelicalism that Driscoll pulled out of the Gospel Coalition but saying everything was hunky dory and there were no hard feelings. If memory serves, which it may not.

  82. @ Daisy:

    Don’t gender complementarians realize one could argue that Eve being deceived makes her a tad less guilty in a way, since she was suckered, but Adam had heard straight from God and knew he was disobeying? Eve was kind of acting out of ignorance, but Adam knew what he was doing.

    That would be the logical implication, yes, but I’m not at all sure they realize that.

  83. Good point, Wenatchee. Dr Carson has probably begun to distance from Driscoll. Like I said, he will likely refrain from any direct public comments on this.

    I’ve noticed that Tyndale and Mars Hill have become quite silent at this point. Perhaps it’s due to the holiday break, but I can’t help but think that the blatant copy-pasting uncovered in Driscoll’s 8 Witnesses book has complicated things for his defenders.

  84. I think the reason why I posted what plagerism was that as a counselor I have seen common ideas usedby others in their writings. But great points made well in this article. Mark by his own confession should step down. Also I believe that a congregation can yearly audit their elders in meeting criteria in Timothy and Titus

  85. dee wrote:

    @ WenatcheeTheHatchet: You are famous! See Janet Mefferd’s new blog post.

    Can you link to it Dee. I don’t see it at her blob.

  86. Pingback: New Twist In Mark Driscoll Plagiarism Scandal: ‘You May Not Go Up Against The Machine’ | SecularNews.Org UNITED STATES

  87. @ dee:

    I know WTH is famous. People keep coming to my blog looking for him.
    The only person being searched for on my blog more than him is Grace Driscoll.
    Mark takes a piddly third. I’ll bet that rubs his (Mark’s) ego the wrong way.

  88. __

    DO NOT PA$$ GO: “Religion Expert Reaps A Whirlwind, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    Accidental or otherwise, Mars Hill Reverend Mark Driscoll has been identified as having published multiple infraction examples of what appears to be United States copyright infringement, as can be identified by the standards held by the U.S. Copyright Office.

    “Accidentally quoting someone without giving credit is still plagiarism.” ~ Jeremy Riggs

    ‘Religious’ copyright abuser(s) get A free pass, now?

    OK?

    Let me get this straight, Mars Hill Reverend Mark Driscoll, by his actions, makes in all appearances, a mockery of U.S. Copyright standards, and he gets a free pass?

    What?

    “In A Pig’s Eye?”

    A religion expert who sows to the wind,

    Perhaps, reaps a whirlwind?

    huh?

    U.S. Copyright standards are not mocked, what you sow, you shall reap?

    -snicker-

    could b

    Take a differing view?

    hmmm…

    Good luck

    hahahahahaha

    Sopy

  89. Mara wrote:

    @ Mara:
    Uhm. I can’t find the Mefferd mention of WTH either.

    It was part of the social media that was scrubbed by Janet M. when she apologized . . .

  90. American Evangelicalism is dying because it is a big business composed of celebrity preachers. Bad behavior such as Mark Driscoll’s behavior is enabled. It isn’t called what it is or others such as ghost writers are thrown under the bus, such as the response of DA Carson’s assistant when Carson’s office was notified by Jonathan Merritt. And seminaries , such as Western Seminary, are even involved in enabling this behavior. They are all part of the big business publishing-Evangelical complex. They all cooperate to prop up that sagging edifice of big money religion. It is a corrupt system in which money and power speak louder than ethics.

  91. Mara wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Rowan & Martin skit from the Sixties
    You can not be old enough to remember this.
    You must have watched reruns.

    Wasn’t reruns. I was in Boy Scouts at the time, and our Scout meetings were held on the same night that Laugh-In was on, so I could only watch it haphazardly for the first couple years. I am very familiar with Dan & Dick and their rotating variety case.

    And then there was Laugh-In‘s spinoff, Turn On — which lasted for exactly one show. (And I missed it!) As they said around the schoolyard, “Turn On got turned off.”