Doug Wilson and Plagiarism: Stolen Valor and a Lost Opportunity to Encourage Others

“When you have wit of your own, it's a pleasure to credit other people for theirs.” ― Criss Jami, Killosophy link

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What is it in our souls that induces us to take credit for something that we know we didn't do? 

One of my favorite science fiction trilogies is The Lamb Amongst the Stars by Chris Walley. It is Christian in flavor and the writer is a professor at Wheaton College. The story takes place thousands of years in the future. In this future universe, people believe in Jesus and continue to await His return. Evil is somehow relegated to the sidelines and the faith is lived out openly in the society as a whole.

However, as the story begins, evil commenced its intrusion in the lives of the people. The first indication that something was going wrong is when a famous singer with a beautiful voice decided to artificially enhance a recording, making it appear that she could hit notes she had never been able to sing before. However, she did not tell people she was doing this. Some of the people who figured this out were confused. She was a wonderful singer. Why did she feel the need to pretend to sing something she was unable to sing?

How many stories do we hear of successful people who have enhanced their resumes by pretending to be a war hero or a Rhodes Scholar? Greg Kelley, a high school football star who was convicted of sexually abusing a small child in Texas, told somebody he was a Marine Sniper returning from Afghanistan. Then there was the case of stolen valor by a pretend Navy Seal who was a speaker at men's retreats. See how he is confronted by a real Navy Seal.

Doug Wilson and a plagiarized book

On December 9, 2015, Rachel Miller noted apparent plagiarism in a book written by Doug Wilson and Randy Booth (Yes, that Randy Booth) called A Justice Primer (read the reviews)which she was reviewing for her blog. This book was published by Canon Press. Apparently, Kevin De Young had recommended the book. Never forget that Doug Wilson is the darling of the YRR/TGC set albeit with hearty chortles directed at his rather abrasive, yet roundly admired personality. Here is a portion of DeYoung's review as posted by Rachel Miller. I wonder if he has alerted his audience about the plagiarism….

Douglas Wilson and Randy Booth, A Justice Primer (Canon Press, 2015). I thought this was a book on social justice, economics, and big picture politics. It’s actually a book about how the Bible would have us judge each other (or not) in the mad, mad world of blog warriors and internet vigilantes. This book is full of refreshing wisdom. I hope it reaches a wide audience. And if you already know that Doug Wilson is a good-for-nothing scoundrel (and I don’t know him personally and do strongly disagree with him at times), then that’s an indication that you really need this book.

What is Canon Press?

I bet you will not be surprised to learn that this is a boutique press started by Doug Wilson and friends so that he could get his books published without any difficulty. From their website:

Canon Press is a publishing house located in Moscow, Idaho.

At Canon Press, we create and provide products that sketch a vision of a whole life—a whole culture: A life full of beauty, tradition, education, community, laughter, and celebration—unashamed of Christ, and sharply at odds with the values of modernity; a mature culture with the church at the center—living out the good life one family at a time.

We believe our book, audio, and visual selections reflect this exciting life that God has given us under the sun. 

The plagiarism exposed.

Miller became concerned when preparing for her December 9 post and decided to document those concerns more clearly on December 10, 2015 in a post titled Justice, Character, and Plagiarism. Miller carefully shows examples of the many instances of alleged plagiarism in the book. 

She lists examples of plagiarism of original materials written by others.

Four are excerpts from other known authors: Tim Challies, Iain Murray, Greg Bahnsen, and Ellen G. White.

She points to a significant amount of plagiarism in one chapter.

The largest and most significant example comes from a chapter in A Justice Primer entitled, “Justice and Character.” In these images there are both yellow and blue highlighting to illustrate that the material comes from two separate sources. The yellow text is from an article by Paul Rose, and the blue text is from a devotional by Wayne Blank.

Southern Slavery:As It Was, another Doug Wilson controversial tome, was also noted to have problems with plagiarism.

This is not the first time Doug Wilson has been accused of plagiarism. From Miller's post:

This is a significant amount of unoriginal work, and it’s not the first time that Doug Wilson has had a book with plagiarized material. Southern Slavery: As It Was was written by Doug Wilson and Steve Wilkins. When the plagiarism was uncovered, the book was pulled by Canon Press and later revised and republished as Black and Tan without Steve Wilkins as co-author.

In that same article, Miller quotes Wilson saying that the plagiarism in the Southern Slavery: As It Was  was all just an "unintentional mistake."

And this is the reason the issue of intentionality is so important to us (and to them). Both Steve and I are ministers of the gospel. If either of us intentionally stole the intellectual property of Fogel and Engerman, then we should resign from the ministry. We would be disqualified from our office, having disgraced it. That is the difference between intentional and unintentional in this, and it is not a trifle. It does not matter — if we have been out stealing stereos, automobiles, or ideas — we need to figure out another way to feed our families.

The responses of the authors and Canon Press.

In Doug Wilson & Serial Plagiarism, Rod Dreher, writing for the American Conservative, reviews the responses to the accusations of plagiarism. Guess what? Doug Wilson wasn't to blame. It was all his sidekick's fault.

Canon Press pulled the book.

Please read the full statement at the above link.

Canon Press has investigated the charges of plagiarism and improper citation in A Justice Primer, and it is abundantly clear that the editor and co-author, Randy Booth, plagiarized material in multiple instances from a number of different sources.

Randy Booth-It was all my fault and it was unintentional. 

This is a mea culpa for the citation omissions in A Justice Primer. A few years ago I approached Doug Wilson about a combined effort to produce a book on justice. He had begun to write some on the subject as had I. The idea was to blend the writing, and I was in charge of accomplishing this. As best I can tell, all the problems are mine and not Doug’s. 

…This is a serious mistake on my part (not differentiating my own material from others in my research and study). While this was not intentional plagiarism on my part, nevertheless I clearly did use their words without proper citation and for this I publicly confess.”

Doug Wilson-Nothing to do with me.

“I was disappointed to find out today that there are serious citation problems in A Justice Primer. In light of this, I am completely supportive of Canon Press withdrawing the book from circulation.

The Names on the Cover-another response by Wilson

Doug Wilson wrote a blog post about this dust up. Here are a few of his comments.

Bye, bye Randy.

In addition, Randy was serving as the pro tem presiding minister of the CREC. Resigning that position is a bit more complicated constitutionally, but that process has begun.

I take full responsibility but Randy gets punished.

… I want to take full responsibility for having my name on the cover of a book containing plagiarized sections, and where the contributions from the authors were undifferentiated. In such circumstances, when plagiarism is detected, the one who finds it has every right to look at the cover and decide right on the spot who is responsible. The names on the cover are the ones with the authorial responsibility, which is the primary responsibility according to contract, and the editorial imprint is the one with the publisher’s responsibility, also specified by contract.

…This reality is heightened by the fact this is the second time it has happened. While it should not have happened either time, it really should not have happened the second time. (The first time was almost twenty years ago with the booklet Southern Slavery as It Was, co-authored with Steve Wilkins.) Because it has happened before, and because I am operating in an environment of hyper-scrutiny, I should have taken special precautions against the possibility of this happening. Not doing so in an adequate way was solely my responsibility.

I mentioned that I needed to state a few specifics. One of them is that after I gave my sections to Randy for editing and blending, I did not do anything more. I looked at the manuscript when it came in, but did not read through the whole book, left to right. I do not know that doing so would have changed anything, but it could have. This is an example of practical responsibility.

Tim Bayly, BFF of Doug Wilson, thinks plagiarism is no big deal, especially if it involves pastors-bless their hearts.

Do you know how hard it is for pastors to mention who they are quoting in their sermons? Pastors have it really rough.

On December 10, 2015, Bayly rushed to the defense of his buddy in a post titled Justice Primer; is this really a scandal? 

I've always been sympathetic to pastors accused of plagiarism because I know, personally, how awkward it can be to stop in the middle of an exhortation to say, “this particular sentence is a quote from Calvin’s sermon on this text.” It robs the sermon of continuity and authority, even seeming to congregants to be pedantic. So, including a couple sentences from another source in our manuscript doesn’t mean we are going to stop in the middle of the sermon and identify the source of those ten or twenty words. And if we know we’re not going to stop in the middle of the sermon to identify the source, we easily get sloppy and don’t bother putting the sentence in quote marks and including the source in the manuscript.

Now then, years later we are under deadline and looking for material to pull into our book, and kabloom! Scandal erupts and we are left with egg on our face…

… Doug has to be firm in his response, but the rest of us should be understanding of pastors who write and get lazy in pulling in excerpts from their sermon manuscripts. 

Tim Bayly also points out that he (Bayly) has never had one original thought. 

I am in an increasingly snarky mood this evening and fear what I might say. I look forward to hearing from all of our readers on this one.

One final thing: I’ve often told the congregation I have the privilege of serving that I have not one original thought. That everything I say and write comes from someone I’ve learned from and although I’ll use attributions whenever appropriate, no one should think I have anything interesting or unique to say myself. 

When we plagiarize, we lose an opportunity to love and point outside to others. Instead, we make it all about ourselves, either in laziness or in an attempt build up our own egos. It is selfish.

One of the greatest joys that Deb and I have had with this blog is to encourage others to blog about the things that they care about. I still remember the day when Julie Ann Smith called me, crying her eyes out because she was being sued. This was prior to her starting a blog. I remember telling her that one day her ability to talk about her experience would bring comfort to others. Today, how many of us are fans of Julie Anne's blog, Spiritual Sounding Board? I love to quote her. I love it when she gets attention from the press for her stands on issues.

I remember when Eagle called me about starting his own blog. He asked me what he should talk about. I told him that he had things to say inside of his heart that were unique to him and that he needed to find out what they were. He is well on his way.

And then there is Nate Sparks, a new blogger, who blew away the topic of hypocrisy on the subject of abuse within the complementarian camp. I was so excited to feature his post at TWW last week. Then there are posts written by all of you about your trials within the evangelical wilderness. It makes me smile when your posts are read and commented upon.

We love to quote our readers and give credit for their many original thoughts. Poor Tim Bayly. He needs to read over here and see some truly original thinkers. I will often quote some of my pastors like Jim, Wade and Pete. I try to use their names and link to their churches or websites.

It is time for all of these self assured, excuse making, self absorbed, overblown egos to get down off their thrones and to quit pretending that they are the religious equivalent of Navy Seals. Instead, they need to encourage and love those whose words they use by carefully quoting them and even applauding them for their unique thinking. We are the body of Christ and it is about time that some of these gospel™ quoting pastors start living the real gospel by loving and giving credit to others instead of appropriating the God given talent of others and pretending that they are the ones who "thought of that."

PS: Tim Bayly: Here is how to do it. On your weekly bulletin, list the sources that you used for your sermons and quotes. However, that may mean having to give away some of the glory.

Comments

Doug Wilson and Plagiarism: Stolen Valor and a Lost Opportunity to Encourage Others — 191 Comments

  1. I wholeheartedly agree that it’s too hard to say, “this particular sentence is a quote from Calvin’s sermon on this text”. Besides, such pedantic verbosity would make for lousy preaching. Just say what preachers I know say, easy stuff like, “Quoting from Calvin’s Institutes…” or “As Calvin stated…” or “Calvin taught…”

    If that’s too hard, don’t quote anyone or simply give up preaching and find an easier gig.

    Says the preacher’s kid whose father still preaches at age 83 and has never found it too difficult to quote sources, even prior to his cataract surgery and despite severe hand tremors that make typing a challenge.

  2. BTW…here’s what I got up tonight.

    The President of Wheaton wrote a blog post for Crossway on how God hates complaining. Maybe its me but I get the vibe that he complains in the process.

    Also Kevin DeYoung wrote a post on why we should stay quiet on shootings. I ask if we should also shut up about child sex abuse especially when he’s a part of the Sovereign Grace Industrial Complex.

    Also Joe Carter had a post on why we need to sleep more. I ask when did Joe Carter go to medical school and is qualified to give medical advice. Plus…if he wants me to sleep more…confront Mahaney deals with he child sex abuse cover up, and then I can go to bed and sleep and not be up at 2:00 a.m.

    https://wonderingeagle.wordpress.com/2015/12/19/philip-ryken-says-dont-complain-kevin-deyoung-wants-you-to-shut-up-and-joe-carter-wants-you-to-sleep-more/

  3. I know, personally, how awkward it can be to stop in the middle of an exhortation to say, “this particular sentence is a quote from Calvin’s sermon on this text.” It robs the sermon of continuity and authority, even seeming to congregants to be pedantic.

    Ooookay. But we’re not talking about sermons here – we’re talking about *books*.

    Now then, years later we are under deadline and looking for material to pull into our book, and kabloom! Scandal erupts and we are left with egg on our face…

    So, their attitude towards book-writing is wait until the last minute, cobble everything together in a hurry, and hope and pray for the best? Hardly sounds like careful scholarship or good stewardship to me…

    Also, having been a seminary student myself, I have to wonder what would happen to a student at one of Wilson’s schools who submitted a paper or thesis that took the same cavalier attitude towards sourcing and plagiarism that the bigwigs seem to…

  4. I have not one original thought.

    Then what is going on between his ears?
    What makes pastors such special snowflakes that they should be able to commit fraud or copyright infringement with impunity? Especially those pastors who feel like it’s their God given duty to hold everyone else to a higher moral standard.

  5. I love you, Dee!!!!!

    Minor correction: CON sued me after I started blogging. When I called you, I wondered if I should continue writing and you encouraged me to continue (which my attorney later also agreed and encouraged as well). Maybe Dee should have gone to law school!

    I’ll never forget that day and how you heard my story, you believed me, you encouraged me. To someone in the midst of a crisis, that was exactly what I needed. Imagine what this world would be like if we all stopped to listen to people’s heartache, we believed them, and we gave them hope!!

    By the way, there is another new blog which I am very excited about. Our mutual friend, Been There Done That, has started a blog about Homestead Heritage. I know we both have shared her story on our blogs. This cult is still going on and so many have been harmed. Here is the link: http://homesteadheritageinfo.blogspot.com/

    Thank you, Dee and Deb, for all you do to help survivors.

  6. Doug Wilson comes across as the kid with chocolate smeared all over his face, who blames his buddy for doing the actual swiping from the store.

    I get the sneaky feeling that Doug’s contributions to these books were limited to adding his first and last name to the cover. He even admits that he never read the whole book before its submission for publishing. How could you be the co-writer when you never read the blasted thing, Doug?

  7. How surprising and what a coincidence that DW was involved in *two* plagiarism scandals, and each time it was the co-author’s fault! He ought to be much more careful in choosing his co-authors! tch tch tch. (Shaking head in disappointment.)

  8. But seriously, I think that any prospective co-authors would be extremely wise and prudent to cancel any pending contracts and/or refuse any offers to co-author books with the great-and-terrible Wilson. Let him author his own books, by himself, so that no plagiarism or errors can be allowed to creep in and be blamed on someone else.

  9. Oh, and thanks for the sci-fi book tip. Sometimes I get so busy writing that I don’t read enough. I hurried over to Amazon and bought a copy.

  10. As an associate pastor I have this annoying habit of cross checking the lead pastors material against what I can find on the internet. I have found that in doing so I have challenged my lead pastor to be more intellectually honest. I do not get much apprecatiation from this endeavor, nor should I, but I sense that he is more careful in his sermon prep and is more apt to quote the sources of his material, especially when I challenge him on his source material. I have no problem with pastors using material that is not their own. Why re-invent the wheel when it is not neccessary? But please don’t try and use the material as your own when it is to easy to cross-check on the internet.

  11. My pastor cites his sources, whether he is giving a sermon or writing a letter. In fact, the quote usually is displayed on the PowerPoint screen (lots of churches have their screens for sermon points) and it’s often combined with the author and name of book or other work, perhaps with the author’s picture and years he or she lived. It never seems awkward. Occasionally he paraphrases an author’s idea and he simply states that he’s paraphrasing C.S. Lewis or whoever. Contrary to what Slipshod Doug claims, it sounds perfectly natural. The flow is never interrupted at all. By the way, whenever we put song lyrics on the screen, we display the full copyright information and our license permission numbers, showing that we are paying for the use of the song. That information is also printed on every piece of music that is handed to the musicians and singers. We do our best to ensure that all lesson materials for classes, etc. is only printed with appropriate “permission to copy” designation. It’s only a bit of work, I guess, but not unreasonable or cumbersome. If I had written a book that people quoted, I would want them to give me credit! Even after I had died, I would want to be credited! Wouldn’t you?

  12. dee wrote:

    I am in an increasingly snarky mood this evening and fear what I might say.

    If I can’t be snarky about these guys then I’ll have to sit this one out.

  13. is possible that in a fundamentalist setting such as the Moscow Idaho scene, relatively uneducated (but still ‘intelligent’) folks neither understand the workings of how to footnote and document sources OR understand the legal implications of plagiarism;

    so the Wilson scene is damned one way or the other: they are either uneducated OR they are unethical (or both). I don’t think they have to worry about being sued . . . I hear the local courts take care of the favored one. And that ‘uneducated’ ‘we-didn’t-realize ploy will go down well with a base that is likely second-generation home-schooled in a milieu that abhors ‘educated liberals’, ‘the media’, and ‘the guvmint’ . . .

    as for ‘unethical’ . . . do they even know what the word means ? I ask having read up on some of the background of this crew and their captain… fundamentalism in any religion leads to no-good, but in our faith, it is heart-breaking how many people it can hurt who are vulnerable to its evil

  14. Nancy2 wrote:

    So poor Tim Bayly “has never had one original thought”.
    Makes me wonder what his IQ is.

    God knows, I don’t…(but I strongly suspect that it can be written without taking up TOO much space on a page).

  15. Nancy2 wrote:

    So poor Tim Bayly “has never had one original thought”.
    Makes me wonder what his IQ is.

    God knows, I don’t…(but I strongly suspect that it can be written without taking up TOO much space on a page).

  16. refugee wrote:

    How surprising and what a coincidence that DW was involved in *two* plagiarism scandals, and each time it was the co-author’s fault! He ought to be much more careful in choosing his co-authors! tch tch tch. (Shaking head in disappointment.)

    ROTFL!!

  17. Bill M wrote:

    dee wrote:

    I am in an increasingly snarky mood this evening and fear what I might say.

    If I can’t be snarky about these guys then I’ll have to sit this one out.

    Precisimundo, my brother!

  18. Christiane wrote:

    as for ‘unethical’ . . . do they even know what the word means ?

    You have nailed it perfectly. They either don’t (making them silly wee dopes), or they do & they bloody well don’t care. (Making them more than a wee bit sociopathic). You pays your money & you takes your choice.

  19. Okay–say that I am REALLY trying to be fair!! I am thinking of the actual mechanical process of taking notes. I can see a hodgepodge of scraps of paper with small quotes jotted down by hand but the screen shots of the book show ENTIRE pages have been plagiarized. Somehow I don’t think Booth was handcopying with paper and pen when a copy machine was available 25 or more years ago so how does he not notice that entire print pages don’t have any citation? Just wondering here!!

  20. Christiane wrote:

    is possible that in a fundamentalist setting such as the Moscow Idaho scene, relatively uneducated (but still ‘intelligent’) folks neither understand the workings of how to footnote and document sources OR understand the legal implications of plagiarism;
    so the Wilson scene is damned one way or the other: they are either uneducated OR they are unethical (or both). I don’t think they have to worry about being sued . . . I hear the local courts take care of the favored one. And that ‘uneducated’ ‘we-didn’t-realize ploy will go down well with a base that is likely second-generation home-schooled in a milieu that abhors ‘educated liberals’, ‘the media’, and ‘the guvmint’ . . .

    I’m sure there are instances where homeschoolers parents are not teaching to the extent and depth that a trained classroom teacher would. I wonder how many homeschool parents actually teach trigonometric functions, chemistry, quotes, citations, and bibliographies? I wonder how many mothers with a high school education are able to teach all of the things our schools require for a diploma?

  21. Eagle wrote:

    Also Joe Carter had a post on why we need to sleep more. I ask when did Joe Carter go to medical school and is qualified to give medical advice. Plus…if he wants me to sleep more…confront Mahaney deals with he child sex abuse cover up, and then I can go to bed and sleep and not be up at 2:00 a.m.

    Ha! No kidding! Then we would all sleep just a little better. By the way, Eagle, your writing (ISTM) attempts to convey the facts with a gentle humility. Not an easy feat to pull off. You fill a unique niche.

  22. Nancy2 wrote:

    I wonder how many mothers with a high school education are able to teach all of the things our schools require for a diploma?

    It really just depends on how invested a parent is in their child’s education, and on what curriculum they use. Theoretically, a parent with a high school diploma should be able to teach to at least that level.

    We use an online curriculum. This past week I helped my sixth grade son with his worksheet on the Pythagorean theorem. A few months ago I helped him on his lesson on balancing chemical equations.

    That said, your comment is not without merit. My husband’s parents were more invested in the Patriarchal ideology, and he only has about a seventh grade education. My two oldest kids have already covered material that my husband never learned.

  23. Julie Anne Smith wrote:

    after I started blogging. When I called you, I wondered if I should continue writing and you encouraged me to continue (which my attorney later also agreed and encouraged as well). Maybe Dee should have gone to law school!

    Whoops-as the years go on, I lose more and more of my brain! Sorry about that. As for law school-then I couldn’t be as blunt as I am on this blog.

  24. Julie Anne Smith wrote:

    Our mutual friend, Been There Done That, has started a blog about Homestead Heritage. I know we both have shared her story on our blogs.

    GO READ THIS BLOG!!!!!!

  25. Why does Doug Wilson and his kind think they have to write books? It seems like everywhere you turn there is another book written by a “pastor” and they cover every topic imaginable. Who gave these people such wise insight into what people want to read? Is it because they have such vast experience on the subjects they “write” about, or is it, as I think it is, for the money. I have had a few of my smaller works printed that I have written over the years. Nothing too impressive. Yes, someday I would like to write a book of my own and get it published. But I don’t in my wildest imagination think that every time I turn around I should write a book that is non fiction about Christianity that people would like to read. These men like Wilson and Booth have such over inflated egos that there just isn’t enough books for them write their own true thoughts so they steal others writings.

  26. EricL wrote:

    How could you be the co-writer when you never read the blasted thing, Doug?

    I think this is going on a lot in the Calvinista circles where pastors spend more time running around, pushing their brans.

  27. refugee wrote:

    How surprising and what a coincidence that DW was involved in *two* plagiarism scandals, and each time it was the co-author’s fault!

    ROFL.

  28. Does anyone have Warren Throckmorton’s ear? I sent him information on another significant case of plagiarism and asked him to blog on it and he hasn’t. He has the evidence. If you know him, please give him a nudge. Get back to Dee and she can get back to me. Thanks.

  29. EricL wrote:

    Oh, and thanks for the sci-fi book tip.

    Make sure you get the first book. The one I posted was book 3.

    Please let me know if you liked it. It truly is one of my favorite stories of all time but you might not agree.I was traveling in Norway with some Norwegian friends and I would sneak back to my hotel room early to keep reading Book 2. It was a huge book and I lugged it around with me for 3 weeks.

    I plan to purchase it for my Kindle so I can keep it to reread one of these days.

  30. @ Andrew in Texas:

    Thank you for doing what you are doing!I have some friends who are always cross checking sermons, including supposed “facts” that prove to be urban legends. Let us know if you ever get into hot water for speaking the truth!

    As Christians, we should be the first to give kudos and recognition to others for their original thinking and work. It is a wonderful way to encourage one another as well.

  31. As an occasional preacher in the past (kicked out of the structural ecclesiastical kingdom, so do not anticipate preaching again in this life), I considered being scrupulous about quoting sources one of the most important ways of honoring Jesus in the pulpit. Truth, full disclosure, utter transparency, must be modeled for others to embrace its importance. I am thankful for a healthy fear of God regarding how one presents him/herself in the pulpit.

    Placing full quotes with comprehensive attribution in a power point slide is not that difficult, or in the bulletin. I sometimes just read the quote directly from the book and held the book up to the congregation so that they would perhaps look for the book themselves.

    The church suffers from the self-marketing schemes of ministers…we underestimate the intelligence and wisdom of the average parishioner. Truth, delivered simply, without adornment and flourish, may be an acquired taste but it would benefit all of us if we change our diet from flash to what is real and true.

  32. Tree wrote:

    Even after I had died, I would want to be credited! Wouldn’t you?

    Kudos to the efforts at your church!! Thank you for giving us an example of how it can be done. After I die, I don’t want to have to face someone whose ideas I had stolen to make myself look good. I want to meet people whose ideas I loved and encouraged.

  33. Bill M wrote:

    If I can’t be snarky about these guys then I’ll have to sit this one out.

    You are welcome to do so. I was a bit tired last night and I became irritated as i rethought through the stuff with Doug Wilson’s pedophile pals and his treatment of one of the victims.

  34. I find myself much more at ease in a liturgical setting as I get older–and, perhaps, wiser; the emphasis on Scriptural interaction in the liturgy, plus the OT, NT and Psalm readings, the shorter homily (hence, less emphasis on the minister’s wisdom), is a place where my wife and I find rest.

    I think if I were to be given opportunity to lead a church’s preaching ministry, I would take a year to read through the Sermon on the Mount–10 minutes each Sunday with an emphasis on interaction regarding what Jesus looks like in the Scriptural context and eliciting congregational input regarding how the church can imitate Him in our cultural context.

  35. Christiane wrote:

    I don’t think they have to worry about being sued .

    Of course not-the Calvinist boys stick together. For example, he used some material of Tim Challies. Challies loves Wilson. No problemo.

  36. zooey111 wrote:

    God knows, I don’t…(but I strongly suspect that it can be written without taking up TOO much space on a page).

    Didn’t you know that he is considered brilliant by the gospel™ boys?

  37. nancyjane wrote:

    Somehow I don’t think Booth was handcopying with paper and pen when a copy machine was available 25 or more years ago so how does he not notice that entire print pages don’t have any citation? Just wondering here!!

    Now that is a great comment.

  38. harley wrote:

    Yes, someday I would like to write a book of my own and get it published.

    Please do that. These days, it is easier to get things published via self publishing.

    Did you know that the movie, The Martian, which I loved was based on a book that I loved as well. That book was self published. Can you imagine? So, maybe you have a blockbuster hiding in your soul!

  39. Perhaps the plagiarism was:

    1. Dishonest
    2. Lack of education on how to cite sources
    3. Condescension – too complicated for the simple-minded audience
    4. Rush to press – needed to get some $$$ rolling in before Christmas
    5. Poor eyesight – even a glance through the proof copy should have spotted a glaring lack of citations (for a work that relied heavily on outside sources)
    6. Sloppiness – in which case I’d be thinking why should anyone be taking instruction from such a sloppy teacher?

  40. “Never forget that Doug Wilson is the darling of the YRR/TGC set albeit with hearty chortles directed at his rather abrasive …”

    Rather abrasive? Your godliness far exceeds mine. That is the understatement of the century!

    I remember receiving feedback on a paper I wrote for a professor at Southeastern which complained that I quoted from too many sources. But had I not done so, then I would have been guilty of stealing direct quotes and ideas that were not my own, and could have been in jeopardy of being suspended or expelled. Hello? If I’ve learned anything from the likes of Mark Driscoll and Doug Wilson, besides not being an a$$ for Jesus (in the King James Version sense, of course), it is to cite my sources. Oy!

  41. The life of a celebrity pastor must be challenging – always having to come up with a new speech, a new book, or some wow-daddy-wow revelation to shoot through cyberspace. I think of John Piper and his parade of Piper Points on Twitter – oh, how he must grunt and strain to stay fresh for his followers. I suppose all his stuff has been original – who else would talk like that?! Do we know that all that Driscoll Drivel tweeted and re-tweeted was his own? It has been reported that he improperly copied text for a book or two written by others without quotation or attribution. Yes, it must be challenging to stay on your throne by dropping nuggets of gold … even if you had to borrow from, but not credit, others. But, what the heck, the New Calvinist camp is forgiving of such failings as long as the reformation stays on track.

  42. On the other hand, it wouldn’t bother me one bit if these Christian celebrities preached word-for-word Jonathan Edwards’ sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” … while also letting the fire of that message expose and refine their own ministries.

  43. Max wrote:

    . Yes, it must be challenging to stay on your throne by dropping nuggets of gold … even if you had to borrow from, but not credit, others. But, what the heck, the New Calvinist camp is forgiving of such failings as long as the reformation stays on track.

    It is just the same old, same old tribal politics. They are no different than politicians.

  44. William wrote:

    Rather abrasive? Your godliness far exceeds mine. That is the understatement of the century!

    Sarcastic understatement was intended. William wrote:

    I remember receiving feedback on a paper I wrote for a professor at Southeastern which complained that I quoted from too many sources. But had I not done so, then I would have been guilty of stealing direct quotes and ideas that were not my own, and could have been in jeopardy of being suspended or expelled

    I, too, argued that point. Let’s face it. I was 17 years old in my first year of college. What in the world did I know? I tried to explain to the professor who was, I guess, used to people faking it. Maybe he was as well.

    One of things we learned early on was the provide links to everything that we say that came from other sources. That way, our readers can hold our feet to the fire to keep us honest.

  45. Cousin of Eutychus wrote:

    I find myself much more at ease in a liturgical setting as I get older–and, perhaps, wiser; the emphasis on Scriptural interaction in the liturgy, plus the OT, NT and Psalm readings, the shorter homily (hence, less emphasis on the minister’s wisdom), is a place where my wife and I find rest.

    Me, too. Our church has a Saturday night service that is attended by about 200. The pastor is self effacing and the liturgy is well vetted (centuries.) I’ll think of you tonight.

  46. Max wrote:

    Yes, it must be challenging to stay on your throne by dropping nuggets of gold …

    I had a very bad visual when I read this.
    Dropping nuggets of gold?
    Kind of like bird droppings? (Had the ‘bird store’ in my brain due to something Dee said up thread.)
    I am now fighting against visuals of Tywin Lannister and a few Calvinista darlings squatting and doing business. These are not pictures I want to see.

    But I suppose this is what the underlings are supposes to think. It is the underlings’ job to be awed and amazed by the droppings of the darlings.

  47. dee wrote:

    It is just the same old, same old tribal politics. They are no different than politicians.

    More political, than spiritual, for sure! In an article “The Characteristics of a Tribe” by Sourav Pyakurel, the following are listed as important: Definite Territory, Common Language, Blood Relationship, Endogamy, Common Culture, Common Religion, Common Name, Political Organization.

    One definitely sees all of the above drivers in the New Calvinist movement. They have a territory and language of their own – none but the reformed can enter and dialogue. Blood relationship? … I swear there is a blood pact among the who’s-who in this new reformation – they protect it at all costs. Endogamous? … only the chosen elect may come. The indoctrinated share and promote a common culture and religion, which elevates one man above all others – Calvin. Political? You bet! Democratic and Republican movers & shakers could learn from their strategies … they have nearly Calvinized the largest non-Calvinist denomination in America with barely a whimper from the SBC millions.

  48. Christiane wrote:

    as for ‘unethical’ . . . do they even know what the word means ?

    Perhaps they’ve redefined words like “ethical” to suit their own tastes?

    That was one of L. Ron Hubbard’s techniques for setting up a system of totalitarian control. (In Scientology, “ethical” means “that which promotes and protects Hubbard and Scientology”.) And it worked. Of course, it has also made him universally despised by everyone outside of his cult bubble, but you know, there’s a trade off to everything…

    But still, as Zooey said, either Wilson and his cronies don’t know that the condemnation is coming from outsiders, or they know and just don’t care. Doesn’t speak well of them either way.

  49. Plagiarism is coveting, stealing, and lying – a trifecta of sin in a single act. Why would a preacher take credit for something he didn’t do? Because he thinks he’ll never get caught and because he thinks the payoff is worthwhile.

    About two years ago, I discovered a video of a skit from 2007 that appeared to be based upon a piece I wrote for The Door in 2000. After I contacted the megachurch that had gotten over 100,000 views from the video, their lawyer sent me an email telling me that their content was “very different” from mine and that they believed they had earlier content that predated my article. However, she didn’t send a copy of the earlier content or mention what it was. That made me suspicious. I poked around one of Rev. Humongous’s books from 2007 and it didn’t take long at all to find my old bit rolled into one of his homespun anecdotes with no attribution. The plagiarism was very obvious. I contacted the publisher. The publisher added an attribution to the book in the next printing.

    In a Religion News Service article (see link below) that later came out about the incident, Rev. Humongous stated, “I feel strongly about giving credit and have done so over and over again in sermons and books. We first used this idea in a sermon illustration video, which I sincerely thought was an original concept developed before the author’s article. To be above reproach, I asked my publisher to give this author credit, which is already reflected in the most recent reprinting of the book where this illustration is used.”

    Above reproach? Six months after my first contact with his church? The video and the anecdote were both built around my writing. In addition, the skit was reproduced by other pastors, some of whom posted videos of their own and gave credit to Rev. Humongous. They were inadvertent plagiarists. Rev. Humongous, who is very influential and is admired by many, has never manned up about his plagiarism of my work in any way. Sadly, this appears to be typical.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/is-pulpit-plagiarism-on-the-rise-some-blame-the-internet/2014/06/05/8902d034-ecd4-11e3-b10e-5090cf3b5958_story.html

  50. Also with homeschooling there are many different options. I homeschool my 6th grader but he is part of a charter school where he has school twice a week where he is being taught Math and English. And my friends two older homeschool children graduated high school finishing two years of college.

  51. Mara wrote:

    I had a very bad visual when I read this.
    Dropping nuggets of gold?
    Kind of like bird droppings?

    I know what you mean. I got the same vibe when @ Max described Piper as “grunting and straining” to come up with Piper Points. That wording made me wonder, “Where are these Piper Points coming from!?” 😉

    Yes, I know it’s gross, but it’s late for me here. My mind is going in odd directions.

    G’nite all.

  52. Godith wrote:

    Does anyone have Warren Throckmorton’s ear? I sent him information on another significant case of plagiarism and asked him to blog on it and he hasn’t. He has the evidence. If you know him, please give him a nudge. Get back to Dee and she can get back to me. Thanks.

    Can I take up for another blogger? Sometimes when you are blogging several factors come into the reason why it isn’t posted…..you just don’t have enough time to research the issue, you have about 10 other blogs in the pipeline, or sometimes, you just don’t want to fight that particular fight….sometimes you have so many battles going, you just can’t take on another one.

  53. refugee wrote:

    But seriously, I think that any prospective co-authors would be extremely wise and prudent to cancel any pending contracts and/or refuse any offers to co-author books with the great-and-terrible Wilson. Let him author his own books, by himself, so that no plagiarism or errors can be allowed to creep in and be blamed on someone else.

    In all probability, their writing relationship is probably defined by contract, and I would be extremely surprised if it was not setup to ensure that the co-author is the fall guy.

  54. And if you already know that Doug Wilson is a good-for-nothing scoundrel…then that’s an indication that you really need this book.

    I’m so glad deYoung knows exactly how much education/enlightening I need about the concept of justice based solely on my opinion of Doug Wilson.

  55. Nancy2 wrote:

    So poor Tim Bayly “has never had one original thought”

    This made me think- this may be a positive qualification for the position of “yes man”

  56. K.D. wrote:

    Let me get this right….lying for Jesus is okay?

    Here are a couple thoughts on that:

    “no lie is of the truth” 1Jn 2:21

    “But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.” Hebrews 12:8

    So, maybe God is letting DW know that no lie is of the truth, for the sake of his spiritual growth and benefit. If so, hopefully he is open to the discipline of the Lord, able to face his failure squarely and go forth in a better direction.

  57. “But seriously, I think that any prospective co-authors would be extremely wise and prudent to cancel any pending contracts and/or refuse any offers to co-author books with the great-and-terrible Wilson. Let him author his own books, by himself, so that no plagiarism or errors can be allowed to creep in and be blamed on someone else.”

    In Wilson’s own blog post, he appears to permanently swear off co-authoring books with anyone else ever again. Well hey, when His Patriarchal Majesty is surrounded by so many idiots, I guess he just has no choice.

  58. dee wrote:

    Did you know that the movie, The Martian, which I loved was based on a book that I loved as well. That book was self published. Can you imagine? So, maybe you have a blockbuster hiding in your soul!

    Great book and great flick too!

  59. I wrote a 200-page thesis for grad school in 1999. It included extensive research, with a 15 page annotated bibloigraphy. The school was very clear about the dire consequences of plagiarism. You did not want to go there.

    My pastors always cite outside sources of quotes. The titles that have influenced a sermon are printed in the bulletin.

    The students in my school are taught appropriate citation use from third grade.

    Only lazy, dishonest or ignorant people plagiarize repeatedly. It’s also called stealing!

  60. The hotwater came in the form of subtle slights and isolation from the rest of the staff in planning. I was told by the lead pastor I need to be more diplomatic in how approach certain subjects, I asked him to clarify but he remained ambigous.

    I will be leaving this little church soon. The writing on the wall came for me when the executive pastor with the blessing of the lead pastor unilateral changed the church’s bylaws and elevated the role of the staff and demoted the role of our lay elder leadership. I asked him why he did this and he said, “Our church needs a new direction and vision. I asked what direction and vision required this change and he stated, “We are changing to an ARC like church model.” Enough said for me and my decision to leave was made.

    I find I learn a lot of my leadership when I challenge them, their responses are very telling.
    T. I@ dee:

  61. Andrew in Texas wrote:

    We are changing to an ARC like church model.” Enough said for me and my decision to leave was made.

    Wow! From the frying pan into the fire. Let us know if you ever want to tell you story. I am glad that you are getting out but an so sorry for the drama.

  62. Linn wrote:

    Only lazy, dishonest or ignorant people plagiarize repeatedly. It’s also called stealing!

    But think about those poor, poor pastors who just do not have enough time to be honest…

  63. NJ wrote:

    In Wilson’s own blog post, he appears to permanently swear off co-authoring books with anyone else ever again.

    Maybe he will switch to using a ghostwriter. Many of the big boys do that.

  64. Nancy2 wrote:

    Christiane wrote:
    is possible that in a fundamentalist setting such as the Moscow Idaho scene, relatively uneducated (but still ‘intelligent’) folks neither understand the workings of how to footnote and document sources OR understand the legal implications of plagiarism;
    so the Wilson scene is damned one way or the other: they are either uneducated OR they are unethical (or both). I don’t think they have to worry about being sued . . . I hear the local courts take care of the favored one. And that ‘uneducated’ ‘we-didn’t-realize ploy will go down well with a base that is likely second-generation home-schooled in a milieu that abhors ‘educated liberals’, ‘the media’, and ‘the guvmint’ . . .
    I’m sure there are instances where homeschoolers parents are not teaching to the extent and depth that a trained classroom teacher would. I wonder how many homeschool parents actually teach trigonometric functions, chemistry, quotes, citations, and bibliographies? I wonder how many mothers with a high school education are able to teach all of the things our schools require for a diploma?

    All I have to say is, as a university educator going back over a decade, who sees the effects of both the home schooling and formal schooling, I’ll take the average home schooled student in a heartbeat over the average public or private schooled student. It is not even close, trust me.

  65. dee wrote:

    NJ wrote:
    In Wilson’s own blog post, he appears to permanently swear off co-authoring books with anyone else ever again.
    Maybe he will switch to using a ghostwriter. Many of the big boys do that.

    And pay $200 grand to juice the ghosted book onto the Best-Seller List?

  66. I wonder how hard it would be for an author to run their manuscript through Grammarly or TurnItIn? I know if I do not do that in my doctoral work, I will get slammed (which means an F and academic issues)

  67. Mara wrote:

    I am now fighting against visuals of Tywin Lannister and a few Calvinista darlings squatting and doing business. These are not pictures I want to see.

    Remember where Tywin bit the big one…

  68. Max wrote:

    But, what the heck, the New Calvinist camp is forgiving of such failings as long as the Reformation stays on track.

    For The Revolution, Comrades.

  69. Thank you, Dee–there is something very special in being remembered…

    dee wrote:

    Me, too. Our church has a Saturday night service that is attended by about 200. The pastor is self effacing and the liturgy is well vetted (centuries.) I’ll think of you tonight.

  70. dee wrote:

    Christiane wrote:
    I don’t think they have to worry about being sued .
    Of course not-the Calvinist boys stick together. For example, he used some material of Tim Challies. Challies loves Wilson. No problemo.

    Screwtape loves Slubgob. No problemo.

  71. Nancy2 wrote:

    So poor Tim Bayly “has never had one original thought”.
    Makes me wonder what his IQ is.

    “I grew so rich that I was sent
    By a pocket borough to Parliament;
    I voted always at my Party’s call
    And never thought of thinking for myself at all!”
    — Gilbert & Sullivan, HMS Pinafore

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpJ_IAUs8nI

  72. Cousin of Eutychus wrote:

    I find myself much more at ease in a liturgical setting as I get older–and, perhaps, wiser; the emphasis on Scriptural interaction in the liturgy, plus the OT, NT and Psalm readings, the shorter homily (hence, less emphasis on the minister’s wisdom), is a place where my wife and I find rest.

    Eutychus, like you, this is why I am much more at home in the Orthodox Church. The sermon is not the high point of the liturgy – usually being about 15 minutes in length. And what I appreciate about our priest is that he is extremely personal with our parish, often asking different individuals their opinion about something from the text that we are reading that Sunday. When you think about it, hour long sermons are a bit lengthy for a lot of people to follow. While I am able to listen to a long sermon, I must say that I glean far more out of a shorter sermon that is packed full of wisdom. I can remember a lot more from a short sermon than a long one.

  73. When I write something, a lot of times it comes from my own life experiences. I wander what would happen if Doug Wilson wrote of his own experiences. Of course, he would probably steal things for that too. If I wrote my life story, I guarantee it all would be true. Most people would have a hard time believing it. I am having my 17th foot surgery on my left foot on December 30th of this year. Try dealing with all of that while getting ready for Christmas with family coming in on Tuesday afternoon. But I just laugh and go on. I bet good old Dougie boy couldn’t do this.

  74. Dee, I can just imagine what Tim Bayly might say in response to your blog post. “Where is the husband of this blog queen?” (i.e.- It seems hubby doesn’t have his household under control and is failing at his headship role.) Or, “Feminism is alive and well in the evangelical church, as the latest blog article at The Wartburg Watch testifies.” Don’t you know you have no right to address any wrongdoing on the part of pastors? That is not a right given to you as a derivative of the image of God. 😉

  75. Max wrote:

    On the other hand, it wouldn’t bother me one bit if these Christian celebrities preached word-for-word Jonathan Edwards’ sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” … while also letting the fire of that message expose and refine their own ministries.

    Oh, NO NO NO Max! “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” is one of the worst sermons ever published. It heaps on condemnation upon condemnation, with the capacity to disturb the soul of a Christian to despair. If I had been sitting in Edward’s congregation hearing that sermon for the first time, and believed every word that was preached, I doubt I could view God as a loving Father ever again.

  76. Linn wrote:

    I wrote a 200-page thesis for grad school in 1999. It included extensive research, with a 15 page annotated bibloigraphy. The school was very clear about the dire consequences of plagiarism. You did not want to go there.
    My pastors always cite outside sources of quotes. The titles that have influenced a sermon are printed in the bulletin.
    The students in my school are taught appropriate citation use from third grade.
    Only lazy, dishonest or ignorant people plagiarize repeatedly. It’s also called stealing!

    Ah….but you see, the members of the Privileged Party of Patriarchal Pastors to which Doug Wilson and Tim Bayly belong are the exceptions to the rule.

  77. I’m sure there are instances where homeschoolers parents are not teaching to the extent and depth that a trained classroom teacher would. I wonder how many homeschool parents actually teach trigonometric functions, chemistry, quotes, citations, and bibliographies? I wonder how many mothers with a high school education are able to teach all of the things our schools require for a diploma?

    One common misunderstanding about homeschooling is the idea that mom does all of the teaching. I “homeschooled” my brood of 7 for 23 years. I looked at my job as a mom/teacher/principal. If my child was doing a subject that I either didn’t like or was beyond my ability, I found someone qualified to teach. My kids learned chemistry from a PhD chemist, high-level math from my engineer husband, etc. In that respect, I think homeschoolers can achieve higher level education in that we can hand-select teachers for each subject.

  78. @ K.D.:

    Another reason Warren Throckmorton may not have blogged on the topic in question yet is that, even if he’s in the process of doing so, that process is likely to be lengthy. Whatever anybody else does, Throckmorton is not into publishing material he hasn’t thoroughly researched. IOW, if he’s investigating possible plagiarism, he’s likely at least to try to contact all the parties involved.

  79. dee wrote:

    The pastor is self effacing and the liturgy is well vetted (centuries.) I’ll think of you tonight.

    But I thought liturgy was for hell-bound papists and protestant perdition liberals who don’t know the Lord?

  80. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Throckmorton is not into publishing material he hasn’t thoroughly researched.

    He has done a thorough job covering the shenanigans at Gospel for Asia but he can get sidetracked also. Recently he got sucked in by a hit piece in Politico on Carson. Hopefully by bringing this up I won’t start a round of political bickering here.

  81. @ Law Prof:

    All I have to say is, as a university educator going back over a decade, who sees the effects of both the home schooling and formal schooling, I’ll take the average home schooled student in a heartbeat over the average public or private schooled student.

    As someone who was homeschooled, just a word of caution: you only see the ones who actually make it to your university. I.e., not the families where, say, the child should have been in speech therapy years ago but still can’t get out more than one or two intelligible words at age 7, and on top of that is prone to become aggressive and violent and not under control. Or where the 13yo is a budding pyromaniac who attacks and bites other children when she gets upset, and all her mother does is blame her behavior on the nitrates in the Canadian bacon she had for lunch. Or where an adult child is so despondent because of her parents’ years of emotional abuse she tries to kill herself three times in one weekend. (All real families that I knew. The girl who tried to kill herself also says that a boy who used to babysit for them turned out to have been raping his sister for years. Let’s just say I believe her.)

    There are deep-seated problems with abuse and neglect in the homeschooling community that need to be addressed, that a lot of times people outside the community don’t even know about (and people inside the community are trained not to talk about). Just a plea for awareness that it doesn’t universally produce geniuses and whiz kids. You probably know that, but I just had to point this out for completeness’ sake.

  82. The Deebs ran a post on Docent a few years ago. IMO this is not much different from plagiarism and apparently there is a huge amount of pastors paying for Docent’s services. There are definitely ethical issues involved and we now know, in the case of Mark Driscoll, who was once the featured spokesperson for Docent, he had no problems with Docent or plagiarism.

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2013/12/02/the-relentless-pain-of-the-weekly-sermon/

    I would love to know all the pastors utilizing this service. We know both Mark Driscoll and Matt Chandler have used it. Chandler, in an endorsement of Docent on their web page, even made mention that he initially struggled with the ethical issue of having others do his work for him. He said he thought it was cheating or being lazy. (Not sure if the web page still has the sound-bite, but I do!)

    Some of these celebs are, to borrow a phrase from Kevin D. Young, so “crazy busy” that it seems they must justify this cheating in their minds.

  83. @ Muff Potter:

    I am neither Protestant or Catholic but it seems like in that sort of structure the “pastor” would operate more as a facilitator than the center of attention, the expert, the fount of wisdom,etc.

  84. .Andrew in Texas wrote:

    I will be leaving this little church soon. The writing on the wall came for me when the executive pastor with the blessing of the lead pastor unilateral changed the church’s bylaws and elevated the role of the staff and demoted the role of our lay elder leadership. I asked him why he did this and he said, “Our church needs a new direction and vision. I asked what direction and vision required this change and he stated, “We are changing to an ARC like church model.” Enough said for me and my decision to leave was made.
    I find I learn a lot of my leadership when I challenge them, their responses are very telling.
    T. I@ dee:

    This seems to be one of the big tactics to gain power. My former church was taken over by YRR. It was historically run by the members. Over the course of a few years, every single event, program or committee has been either phased out or taken over. Everything is now run by paid staff and they lead the volunteers.

  85. @ Law Prof:
    Thank you for this report on what you are seeing. My wife, with a two year secretarial college degree, did most of teaching for our two sons’ education. We diligently sought out good curriculum, and some outside assistance when needed. Both sons gained admission to good colleges and received generous academic scholarships. They also tutored other students.

  86. Larry Morgan wrote:

    I wonder how hard it would be for an author to run their manuscript through Grammarly or TurnItIn? I know if I do not do that in my doctoral work, I will get slammed (which means an F and academic issues)

    Yep, all my Master’s work is required to go through Turnitin before we are allowed to submit…. These guys have no academic or intellectual credibility whatsoever. Lazy thinking, lazy practice.
    @ Darlene:
    I’m with you… this sermon read with authority could easily destroy the teeny tiny hope I have left that God’s character intersects in any way with what I have always understood as goodness.

  87. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    from Kevin D. Young, so “crazy busy” that it seems they must justify this cheating in their minds.

    There you go, Todd! “Crazy busy”. What was so hard about quoting your source?

  88. raswhiting wrote:

    Thank you for this report on what you are seeing. My wife, with a two year secretarial college degree, did most of teaching for our two sons’ education. We diligently sought out good curriculum, and some outside assistance when needed. Both sons gained admission to good colleges and received generous academic scholarships. They also tutored other students.

    You did a great job!
    I have taught grades 7-12 math in one private school and 3 different school systems, and I have seen both extremes. I did have one student who was homeschooled through elementary school so well that by 7th grade, his mother could no longer meet his educational needs (army brat). When this child came into the public system, he was so far ahead of his peers that he was moved into the advanced classes in the next grade level.
    I have also had a few students come in who were functioning below grade level, with zero social skills.

  89. Larry Morgan wrote:

    I wonder how hard it would be for an author to run their manuscript through Grammarly or TurnItIn? I know if I do not do that in my doctoral work, I will get slammed (which means an F and academic issues)

    Exactly, http://turnitin.com/.
    This is what the academics use for academic integrity. The fact that a professor, institution, publisher or writer does not use this calls to question the integrity of the institution, faculty, writer, or publisher.

  90. Nancy2 wrote:

    raswhiting wrote:
    Thank you for this report on what you are seeing. My wife, with a two year secretarial college degree, did most of teaching for our two sons’ education. We diligently sought out good curriculum, and some outside assistance when needed. Both sons gained admission to good colleges and received generous academic scholarships. They also tutored other students.
    You did a great job!
    I have taught grades 7-12 math in one private school and 3 different school systems, and I have seen both extremes. I did have one student who was homeschooled through elementary school so well that by 7th grade, his mother could no longer meet his educational needs (army brat). When this child came into the public system, he was so far ahead of his peers that he was moved into the advanced classes in the next grade level.
    I have also had a few students come in who were functioning below grade level, with zero social skills.

    It is a crap shoot on homeschooled kids. I have seen good ones and ones who are so far behind both academically and socially.
    And due to some problems, we homeschooled our son in Junior High. Actually my mother did, but she has a self contained certificate for the State of Texas Grade k-8 and taught 37 years…

  91. Andrew in Texas wrote:

    I find I learn a lot of my leadership when I challenge them, their responses are very telling.

    Very true, you typically will not discover what they truly are until you challenge them. The worst sort of sociopath will be glad to play nice so long as you’re useful to them. As a friend of mine in a church (pastored by one whom I sincerely believe to have been a sadistic NPD) once said: “You don’t discover what’s inside someone til you scratch their surface a little.”

  92. Darlene wrote:

    the capacity to disturb the soul of a Christian

    As Christians, we should not be concerned with hard preaching that convicts sinners by the Holy Spirit … unless we need to be disturbed to the point of repentance. With the condition of the church in America, I feel we could use a little disturbing of souls in both pulpit and pew. Just this morning, I learned of yet another child abuse report by a minister in our area. This, coupled with the steady stream of abuse posted by TWW, indicates to me that we ain’t scaring the devil much these days. We need to preach the Hell out of church in many places, but the soothing messages we are getting allows demons to slip into our midst comfortably and work their deeds unhindered.

  93. I had to write a term paper in college about one of Charles Dickens’ lesser-known works. I had to cite five sources and I ended up citing a Cliff’s Notes comment because, well, I hadn’t seen it in any of the other books I consulted. The instructor gave it back to me with a note saying I shouldn’t cite Cliff’s Notes. Well, it’s where I got the idea from, it wasn’t original to me! (I still got an A on the paper.)

  94. Law Prof wrote:

    The worst sort of sociopath will be glad to play nice so long as you’re useful to them.

    Nobody is as Concerned as a Sociopath, as Compassionate as a Sociopath, as Sincere as a Sociopath, as Polite as a Sociopath, as Nice as a Sociopath — until the instant you have Outlived Your Usefulness.

    As a friend of mine in a church (pastored by one whom I sincerely believe to have been a sadistic NPD) once said: “You don’t discover what’s inside someone til you scratch their surface a little.”

    “Over all this their good manners, their expressions of grave respect, their ‘tributes’ to one another’s invaluable services form a thin crust. Every now and then it gets punctured, and the scalding lava of their hatred spurts out.”
    — C.S.Lewis, Preface to The Screwtape Letters

  95. K.D. wrote:

    It is a crap shoot on homeschooled kids. I have seen good ones and ones who are so far behind both academically and socially.

    Check out “Homeschoolers Anonymous” for some of the horror stories.

  96. “Then there was the case of stolen valor by a pretend Navy Seal who was a speaker at men’s retreats. See how he is confronted by a real Navy Seal.
    ~ From the main body of dee’s article ~

    I understand the fixation by some some fundagelical men, pastor or no, with Navy Seals. I think it goes way back, back to the days of tribal shamans who often times worked in close partnership with the tribal warrior class. And the real sadness lies in the fact that noble ideals can be made to serve the ambitions and cupidity of venal men.
    The best counter I’ve heard yet to this old dynamic is this:

    “…Wars not make one great…”
    ~ Attributed to Master Yoda ~

  97. Muff Potter wrote:

    I understand the fixation by some some fundagelical men, pastor or no, with Navy Seals.

    It might surprise these guys that the Navy Seals tried to recruit my 4’8″ female friend back in the day because she was small and female. It’s not the boys’ club they think.

  98. Linn wrote:

    I wrote a 200-page thesis for grad school in 1999. It included extensive research, with a 15 page annotated bibloigraphy. The school was very clear about the dire consequences of plagiarism. You did not want to go there.
    My pastors always cite outside sources of quotes. The titles that have influenced a sermon are printed in the bulletin.
    The students in my school are taught appropriate citation use from third grade.
    Only lazy, dishonest or ignorant people plagiarize repeatedly. It’s also called stealing!

    Yes!!

  99. Mara wrote:

    It might surprise these guys that the Navy Seals tried to recruit my 4’8″ female friend back in the day because she was small and female. It’s not the boys’ club they think.

    Sometimes those small people can fit in places bigger people can’t. I recall the discovery of Homo naledi wasn’t possible except for that the anthropologists recruited six small women (out of sixty applicants, all qualified as cavers and climbers) to crawl through a space 18 centimeters (7 inches) wide. Just the thought of it gives me the willies. I’m glad there are people who can do that!

  100. There is no excuse for repeated plagorism, period… Most productive people are”crazy busy” and saying your co-author did it does not remove your guilt. Doug Wison has NO credibility in my book, and if the TGC, YRR’s continue to endorse him, they have lost all credibility…

  101. Speaking of ex-special forces people, I was actually one of the SAS men who famously abseiled down the outside of the Iranian embassy in London in 1981 to end a siege by killing all the kidnappers.

  102. God wrote:

    Actually, Nick was not one of the men. He just watched a news report about it on the telly.

    It has come to my attention that mistakes were made in a previous comment, which some people have taken to mean something that isn’t literally true. Whilst I did not in any way intend to mislead anyone, the very high standards required of a godly blogger such as myself have led me to conclude that mistakes were made for which I am in no way to blame.

    Even though my every word and deed was unimpeachably godly, what is acceptable for lesser men is not good enough for my high standards and I must therefore express my deep sorrow and regret that mistakes were made. I assure you all that I will personally make sure someone else investigates and finds out whose fault it was.

  103. @ Jeffrey Chalmers:
    I’m reminded of George MacDonald’s “Thomas Wingfold, Curate”, who’d been recycling his dead uncle’s sermons. Then it was discovered that the uncle had plagiarized famous preachers. “It was nothing but the old Spartan game of–steal as you will and enjoy as you can: you are nothing the worse; but woe to you if you are caught in the act! There WAS something contemptible about the whole thing. He was a greater humbug than he had believed himself, for upon this humbug which he now found himself despising he had himself been acting diligently! It dawned upon him that, while there was nothing wrong in preaching his uncle’s sermons, there was evil in yielding to cast any veil, even the most transparent, over the fact that the sermons were not his own.”

  104. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    God wrote:
    Actually, Nick was not one of the men. He just watched a news report about it on the telly.
    It has come to my attention that mistakes were made in a previous comment, which some people have taken to mean something that isn’t literally true. Whilst I did not in any way intend to mislead anyone, the very high standards required of a godly blogger such as myself have led me to conclude that mistakes were made for which I am in no way to blame.
    Even though my every word and deed was unimpeachably godly, what is acceptable for lesser men is not good enough for my high standards and I must therefore express my deep sorrow and regret that mistakes were made. I assure you all that I will personally make sure someone else investigates and finds out whose fault it was.

    We are all sinners, and dare not cast the first stone! Don’t listen to all the bitter losers out there. Where may I tithe to your clearly most Godly ministry?

  105. @ roebuck:

    I am greatly blessed by your godly attitude, and it is clear that you should be preaching at one of my conferences soon.

  106. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    @ roebuck:
    I am greatly blessed by your godly attitude, and it is clear that you should be preaching at one of my conferences soon.

    I will be honored. By the way, I would be blessed if would you consider writing a winsome blurb for my new book – I think I can guarantee that it’s going to be a best-seller, if you know what I mean. At least on the New York Times list 😉

  107. roebuck wrote:

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:
    @ roebuck:
    I am greatly blessed by your godly attitude, and it is clear that you should be preaching at one of my conferences soon.
    I will be honored. By the way, I would be blessed if would you consider writing a winsome blurb for my new book – I think I can guarantee that it’s going to be a best-seller, if you know what I mean. At least on the New York Times list

    Funny and good stuff…and sadly, so close to what these guys actually do….

  108. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Speaking of ex-special forces people, I was actually one of the SAS men who famously abseiled down the outside of the Iranian embassy in London in 1981 to end a siege by killing all the kidnappers.

    If you wouldn’t have said otherwise, I would have believed you…..then again, my father-in-law did some really heroic things in Vietnam and has the medals and scars to prove it….but never ever talks about it….found out about it from a 3rd party…

  109. What is Canon Press?

    I bet you will not be surprised to learn that this is a boutique press started by Doug Wilson and friends so that he could get his books published without any difficulty.

    i.e. a Kirk-owned Vanity Press.

    Just like Elron Hubbard and Bridge Publications.

  110. Tim Bayly, BFF of Doug Wilson, thinks plagiarism is no big deal, especially if it involves pastors-bless their hearts.

    “Ours is a High and Lonely Destiny…”

  111. When we plagiarize, we lose an opportunity to love and point outside to others. Instead, we make it all about ourselves, either in laziness or in an attempt build up our own egos. It is selfish.

    You really expect any different from a Cult Leader?
    From Elron Hubbard to Ayn Rand?

  112. It is time for all of these self assured, excuse making, self absorbed, overblown egos to get down off their thrones and to quit pretending that they are the religious equivalent of Navy Seals.

    Though in Douggie of Moscow’s case, that would be SAS or SBS instead of SEALs.

    I remember an article years ago about Fake Navy SEALs, including an interview with the retired SEAL who maintains the personnel database he uses to spot fakes. He said that a lot of Fake SEALs are preachers.

  113. I saw an article posted by a neo Reformed person that said Jesus died for the church. Where in scripture does it say that specifically? I only see the one that says He died for the sins of the world.

  114. @ God:
    Dear God (hey, you’re British!)

    Didn’t you copy parts of the Enuma Elish and Epic of Gilgamesh without attribution? Bad God!

  115. Chrstina wrote:

    I saw an article posted by a neo Reformed person that said Jesus died for the church. Where in scripture does it say that specifically? I only see the one that says He died for the sins of the world.

    This fae Colossians 1 (emphasis added, obviously!):

    For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in [Jesus], and through him to reconcile to himself **ALL** things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    Without having seen the article whereof you spake, I can’t really comment on it – I mean, Jesus did die for the church. But ISTM that we minimise the impact of the cross at our peril. Put it this way – I don’t want to become so afraid of the bogeyman of “universalism” that I create no-go-areas for God and miss his will that way.

  116. Chrstina wrote:

    I saw an article posted by a neo Reformed person that said Jesus died for the church. Where in scripture does it say that specifically? I only see the one that says He died for the sins of the world.

    When the neo Reformeds/New Calvinists speak about Jesus dying for the church they are usually referring to their doctrine of “limited atonement”. They believe that Christ did not suffer on the cross for everyone but only for those who, according to their doctrine, were individually identified and chosen by God for salvation before any humans existed. The selection was apparently arbitrary and the possibility of God choosing based on foreseen faith by individuals is specifically excluded. They deny that Christ suffered the deserved punishment for all people.

    I am pressed for time so can’t go into more detail now. I recommend a talk by Dr David Allen titled “For whom did Jesus die?” It is on Youtube and I suggest it as a starting point. Dr Adam Harwood spoke on the subject in the Truett-McConnell Spring 2014 Chapel Series. It is also on Youtube. William Birch, who comments here as “William”, writes on the atonement on his site http://www.williambirch.net. I suggest reading his piece on Piper’s views on the atonement before reading his others.

    Roger Olson has a chapter on the issue in his excellent book “Against Calvinism”.

  117. True… A better way to say it is another reason they have lost all credibility….plus,, plagiarism, once exposed, is harder to hide than CJ Mahaney’s offenses

    Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:
    Doug Wison has NO credibility in my book, and if the TGC, YRR’s continue to endorse him, they have lost all credibility…
    IMO they have already lost it by their continued support of C.J. Mahaney.

  118. It maybe another way of saying it all
    The endorsement of a repeat plagiarizer demonstrates another aspect of this crowd that puts ” their doctoral purity” above behavior which is historically biblically and culturally considered unacceptable.

    Further reason to not agree/sign membership covenants…. What new “sin” on the part of pew sitter will be considered “worthy of discipline” that the leadership can get away with?? I would be fired for repeat plagiarism… I have actually seen it happen!!

    Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    True… A better way to say it is another reason they have lost all credibility….plus,, plagiarism, once exposed, is harder to hide than CJ Mahaney’s offenses
    Todd Wilhelm wrote:
    Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:
    Doug Wison has NO credibility in my book, and if the TGC, YRR’s continue to endorse him, they have lost all credibility…
    IMO they have already lost it by their continued support of C.J. Mahaney.

  119. PS.. But, I guess when you are a “Apostolic Leader” with the YRR/TGC crowd, you are not accountable for behavior…. Humm, kind of like Royalty….

  120. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    It is time for all of these self assured, excuse making, self absorbed, overblown egos to get down off their thrones and to quit pretending that they are the religious equivalent of Navy Seals.
    Though in Douggie of Moscow’s case, that would be SAS or SBS instead of SEALs.
    I remember an article years ago about Fake Navy SEALs, including an interview with the retired SEAL who maintains the personnel database he uses to spot fakes. He said that a lot of Fake SEALs are preachers.

    Let me tell you, there are more fake SEALs, fake Green Berets, etc in the ministry. It is why my FIL will not attend church. More fake ” soldiers” than real ones…..he lives in Florida and for a brief time period attended a church with a guy why claimed to be a Green Beret as pastor.Come to find out…. He never made it out of boot camp.

  121. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Put it this way – I don’t want to become so afraid of the bogeyman of “universalism” that I create no-go-areas for God and miss his will that way.

    Nick, I was about to respond to Chrstina when a friend arrived. We soon got onto the subject of the proposed new constitution for our church, and in particular the opposition to my inclusion in the draft constitution of wording making it clear that salvation is available to all people conditional upon their repentance and faith in Christ. The reason given by the elders for excluding that wording is that they want to make it clear that our church does not adhere to “universalism” – a weak excuse if ever there was one. Excluding that wording of course leaves the door open for the New Calvinism being pushed by some of them.

    On returning to my desk and refreshing the page your perfect summation of my just completed “universalism excuse” conversation appeared. You will be quoted verbatim in the next elders’ meeting (with proper attribution!).

  122. JohnD wrote:

    When the neo Reformeds/New Calvinists speak about Jesus dying for the church they are usually referring to their doctrine of “limited atonement”.

    Yes. This is one of many “code” phrases that is so ingrained that many of them have not even bothered to question it. However, if you question it, then you are automatically relegated to the category of universalist. This is part of the indoctrination.

    The reason universalism is the only other alternative for then is that both views are deterministic and do not require any human volition.

    I just remind them that universalism and pre determined selection are on the same side of the determinst God coin.

  123. Lydia wrote:

    The reason universalism is the only other alternative for then is that both views are deterministic and do not require any human volition.
    I just remind them that universalism and pre determined selection are on the same side of the determinst God coin.

    Universalism and limited atonement both go against what Jesus himself said.

  124. William wrote:

    I remember receiving feedback on a paper I wrote for a professor at Southeastern which complained that I quoted from too many sources.

    William, if you won’t give the professor’s name, would you state the class? That is a new one for me…too many sources. That sounds plain lazy on the professor’s part, in my opinion.

  125. JohnD wrote:

    salvation is available to all people conditional upon their repentance and faith in Christ.

    This surely is irrelevant to the calvinist/armininian debate? Repentance and faith are universally accepted as requirements, the underlying cause is where the differences come in. So under calvinism, repentance is caused solely by the grace of God in bringing this about in the sinner, and in arminianism the sinner on hearing the gospel decides to accept it, likewise as enabled by grace, but with the ability to say no.

    Both sides believe in a limited atonement; either that God sovereignly restricts those to whom it will apply, or limited to those who choose to accept the gospel and the offer of forgiveness but not those who reject it.

    I love Spurgeon on this theme:

    “I know there are some who think it necessary to their system of theology to limit the merit of the blood of Jesus: if my theological system needed such a limitation, I would cast it to the winds. I cannot, I dare not allow the thought to find a lodging in my mind, it seems so near akin to blasphemy. In Christ’s finished work I see an ocean of merit; my plummet finds no bottom, my eye discovers no shore. There must be sufficient efficacy in the blood of Christ, if God had so willed it, to have saved not only all in this world, but all in ten thousand worlds, had they transgressed their Maker’s law. Once admit infinity into the matter, and limit is out of the question. Having a Divine Person for an offering, it is not consistent to conceive of limited value; bound and measure are terms inapplicable to the Divine sacrifice. The intent of the Divine purpose fixes the application of the infinite offering, but does not change it into a finite work.”

  126. Chrstina wrote:

    I saw an article posted by a neo Reformed person that said Jesus died for the church. Where in scripture does it say that specifically?

    Calvin’s Institutes?
    (They’re almost as long as the entire Bible…)

  127. Lydia wrote:

    JohnD wrote:

    When the neo Reformeds/New Calvinists speak about Jesus dying for the church they are usually referring to their doctrine of “limited atonement”.

    Yes. This is one of many “code” phrases that is so ingrained that many of them have not even bothered to question it. However, if you question it, then you are automatically relegated to the category of universalist. This is part of the indoctrination.

    The reason universalism is the only other alternative for then is that both views are deterministic and do not require any human volition.

    I just remind them that universalism and pre determined selection are on the same side of the determinst God coin.

    The article wAs by John Piper. It was arguing that if you leave the church, you leave Jesus. So you can’t love Jesus, but quit the church because Jesus died for the church. It makes it seem like Jesus died for the institution of church and to be ruled by authoritarian leaders who go around trying to discipline you. That’s not my understanding of why Jesus died on the cross.

  128. Max wrote:

    On the other hand, it wouldn’t bother me one bit if these Christian celebrities preached word-for-word Jonathan Edwards’ sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” … while also letting the fire of that message expose and refine their own ministries.

    Much of Piper’s work, including his books and sermons, are modern adaptations, either directly or in thought, of Edwards’ thought and theology.

  129. @ Burwell Stark:
    I wonder if Piper has a “Jonathan Edwards is my Homeboy” tee- shirt? I’ve actually seen those being worn by young Calvinists! The worship of old dead guys in YRR ranks is alarming (including some living, but spiritually-dead ones).

  130. Max wrote:

    I wonder if Piper has a “Jonathan Edwards is my Homeboy” tee- shirt? I’ve actually seen those being worn by young Calvinists!

    That’s disgusting!

  131. from the post: “When we plagiarize, we lose an opportunity to love and point outside to others. Instead, we make it all about ourselves, either in laziness or in an attempt build up our own egos. It is selfish.”

    When we plagiarize, we also lose an opportunity to establish integrity:

    – in publishing (as publisher, as writer)
    – as an academic authority to be taken seriously (administration, professor, teacher, researcher, grad student, etc.)
    – as an academic institution (school, college, seminary, grad school, etc.)
    – in academic, thoughtful, creative leadership.

    Plagiarism indicates fake.

  132. @ Max:

    Does he even wear t-shirts? Has he ever been seen in one? Haha

    I, too, have seen the shirts. It is sad, the YRR (who I do NOT consider traditional reformed) want all of Edwards intellect and theology but none of his piety. He was a man of deep prayer, which is not a quality or attitude I have seen in many 9M, TGC, etc., churches.

  133. Burwell Stark wrote:

    It is sad, the YRR (who I do NOT consider traditional reformed) want all of Edwards intellect and theology but none of his piety. He was a man of deep prayer,

    Out of curiosity, do you believe Edwards was “Traditionally Reformed” and what does that mean?

  134. Burwell Stark wrote:

    I, too, have seen the shirts. It is sad, the YRR (who I do NOT consider traditional reformed) want all of Edwards intellect and theology but none of his piety. He was a man of deep prayer

    Edwards was also fare more than a hellfire-and-damnation preacher. He founded a university, wrote books on the flora and fauna of North America (with emphasis on insects and spiders), and died from complications of a smallpox inoculation where he was trying to set a public health example (this was before the much safer vaccination with cowpox was invented). And he did not pound the pulpit — he composed his sermons in advance and read them off without any histrionics, preferring to let the words speak for themselves.

    Yes, he was a slaveowner, as was common among men of means of his time and place. Yes, his preaching could be depressing — depressing enough that some of his congregation committed suicide. (I wonder if he was bipolar — many prominent men in history were — and these depresso sermons and theology came from one of his down periods.)

    All in all, it’s a tragedy that this mover and shaker of British Colonial America is now remembered only for ONE hellfire-and-damnation sermon.

  135. Our pastor quoted from someone else’s work in his sermon yesterday. He named the author and where the work was published. It was easy and smooth and did not detract from the sermon.

  136. Lydia wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    If it had not been for his well heeled Puritan pastor maternal grandfather, I wonder if he would have been a preacher at all.

    Sort of the Pulpit as Inherited Family Business like you see in so many Megas and IFB splinter churches today?

  137. Bridget wrote:

    Burwell Stark wrote:

    It is sad, the YRR (who I do NOT consider traditional reformed) want all of Edwards intellect and theology but none of his piety. He was a man of deep prayer,

    Out of curiosity, do you believe Edwards was “Traditionally Reformed” and what does that mean?

    And “Agrees 110% Completely with Me” doesn’t count.

  138. Burwell Stark wrote:

    @ Max:
    Does he even wear t-shirts? Has he ever been seen in one? Haha

    I wear T-shirts.
    (Ever seen Art Nouveau versions of Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, or Fluttershy?)
    Patterned & illustrated T-shirts (prints or originals) are an old, old tradition in several fandoms.

  139. How hard is it to say, “I heard this from X” or “This idea came from Y”? Nobody doubts your intelligence when you cite your sources, but they do doubt your integrity when you don’t.

  140. Tim wrote:

    How hard is it to say, “I heard this from X” or “This idea came from Y”?

    Apparently, really, really hard, when we see the amount plagiarism going on by pastors.

  141. roebuck wrote:

    That’s disgusting!

    Get this picture in your mind: young Calvinists sitting around in Edwards’ homeboy tee-shirts and drinking Calvinus beer. Yes, it’s true – there is a Calvinus beer brewed in Switzerland with a picture of John Calvin himself on the label! You’ve gotta just love these preacher boys and the serious stuff they bring to Christendom!

  142. Max wrote:

    roebuck wrote:
    That’s disgusting!
    Get this picture in your mind: young Calvinists sitting around in Edwards’ homeboy tee-shirts and drinking Calvinus beer. Yes, it’s true – there is a Calvinus beer brewed in Switzerland with a picture of John Calvin himself on the label! You’ve gotta just love these preacher boys and the serious stuff they bring to Christendom!

    Thanks for that image Max! :-/ I’ll bet Calvinus beer tastes like vinegar, if not worse.

    These YRR preacher boys are not just carrying on like this to ‘appeal to the world’ – they are utterly in and of the world.

    Power, control, money. Not my trinity…

  143. Nancy2 wrote:

    Christiane wrote:
    is possible that in a fundamentalist setting such as the Moscow Idaho scene, relatively uneducated (but still ‘intelligent’) folks neither understand the workings of how to footnote and document sources OR understand the legal implications of plagiarism;
    so the Wilson scene is damned one way or the other: they are either uneducated OR they are unethical (or both). I don’t think they have to worry about being sued . . . I hear the local courts take care of the favored one. And that ‘uneducated’ ‘we-didn’t-realize ploy will go down well with a base that is likely second-generation home-schooled in a milieu that abhors ‘educated liberals’, ‘the media’, and ‘the guvmint’ . . .
    I’m sure there are instances where homeschoolers parents are not teaching to the extent and depth that a trained classroom teacher would. I wonder how many homeschool parents actually teach trigonometric functions, chemistry, quotes, citations, and bibliographies? I wonder how many mothers with a high school education are able to teach all of the things our schools require for a diploma?

    Let’s not derail into bashing homeschooling. Most homeschooling families I know (and there are a lot) outsource material once students hit high school age. They may do online courses, take local community college courses, or do co-ops in which parents teach a group of kids in areas that are their expertise.

  144. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    I’m afraid that reading that particular sermon in his accustomed manner would have been far more terrifying than pulpit pounding delivery.

    And yes, he was a very well educated man, but not exactly my favorite early New England colonist, for reasons that *very* much include that sermon + other writings by him. I wish he had thrown his drafts of that one into the fireplace, really.

  145. Max wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    the capacity to disturb the soul of a Christian
    As Christians, we should not be concerned with hard preaching that convicts sinners by the Holy Spirit … unless we need to be disturbed to the point of repentance. With the condition of the church in America, I feel we could use a little disturbing of souls in both pulpit and pew. Just this morning, I learned of yet another child abuse report by a minister in our area. This, coupled with the steady stream of abuse posted by TWW, indicates to me that we ain’t scaring the devil much these days. We need to preach the Hell out of church in many places, but the soothing messages we are getting allows demons to slip into our midst comfortably and work their deeds unhindered.

    Max, I was referring specifically to Jonathan Edward’s sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” Whatever kind of preaching you may think a congregation needs, they don’t need to hear about a God with ZERO compassion and ZERO love. Correction is meant to give us the desire to seek God and turn away from sin. Verbally excoriating a congregation without any reference to God’s mercy, grace and kindness is an overkill that will lead people to despair. There is no offer of hope in Edward’s sermon – zero, nada, none!

  146. Max wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    the capacity to disturb the soul of a Christian

    And by the way, Max, by posting only *part* of my quote, it changes the meaning completely. I said of Edward’s sermon, “It heaps condemnation upon condemnation, with the capacity to disturb the soul of a Christian to despair.” And I stand by those words. One of Edward’s parishioners committed suicide after hearing that sermon.

  147. numo wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    I’m afraid that reading that particular sermon in his accustomed manner would have been far more terrifying than pulpit pounding delivery.
    And yes, he was a very well educated man, but not exactly my favorite early New England colonist, for reasons that *very* much include that sermon + other writings by him. I wish he had thrown his drafts of that one into the fireplace, really.

    Ditto to all that you stated, Numo!

  148. Darlene wrote:

    There is no offer of hope in Edward’s sermon – zero, nada, none!

    I skim read it, and found this:

    And now you have an extraordinary opportunity, a day wherein Christ has thrown the door of mercy wide open, and stands in calling and crying with a loud voice to poor sinners; a day wherein many are flocking to him, and pressing into the kingdom of God. Many are daily coming from the east, west, north and south; many that were very lately in the same miserable condition that you are in, are now in a happy state, with their hearts filled with love to him who has loved them, and washed them from their sins in his own blood, and rejoicing in hope of the glory of God.

    Nevertheless, in all the ‘gospel presentatioins’ in Acts, there is no mention of hell to persuade people to believe, neither is there any reference to the love of God either.

    I can understand Max reacting against a wishy-washy Christian culture where the love of God trumps everything else. A kind of weak Jesus how knocks on the door of our heart, and politely requests if it would be too much for us to give him a few minutes of our valuable time.

    It’s not ‘what are you going to do with Jesus’, but rather ‘What is Jesus going to do with you’ if your first encounter with him finds you unprepared. And what of a church that failed to tell people they needed to be prepared.

  149. Chrstina wrote:

    The article wAs by John Piper. It was arguing that if you leave the church, you leave Jesus. So you can’t love Jesus, but quit the church because Jesus died for the church. It makes it seem like Jesus died for the institution of church and to be ruled by authoritarian leaders who go around trying to discipline you. That’s not my understanding of why Jesus died on the cross.

    That being the case, I think we’re barking up the same page of the hymn-sheet. The article uses a well-worn double-meaning of the word “church”. Firstly, the Church which is Jesus’ body, sustained entirely by him. And then, the subtle switch: “the church” meaning any one of a number of approved splinter-groups that exist by, and for, men.

    To love Jesus is to be part of the Church: you couldn’t leave it if you tried, any more than you can leave the human race.

  150. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    All in all, it’s a tragedy that this mover and shaker of British Colonial America is now remembered only for ONE hellfire-and-damnation sermon.

    Good point HUG. It’s easy to not remember the good that various people and groups have contributed to the betterment of humanity. The New England Calvinists are no exception. In our day of tweets, memes, and propaganda spin-meisters, it’s easy to demonize them with one-dimensional-screeds.
    The Puritans abolished debtor’s prison, brought about the humane treatment of the mentally ill, and were a driving force in the rise of abolitionism.
    Calvinist missionaries were also the ones who stopped the practice of human sacrifice (baby girls) among the Native Hawaiians.
    I’m a long time believer in giving credit where credit is due.

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  152. Ken wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    There is no offer of hope in Edward’s sermon – zero, nada, none!
    I skim read it, and found this:
    And now you have an extraordinary opportunity, a day wherein Christ has thrown the door of mercy wide open, and stands in calling and crying with a loud voice to poor sinners; a day wherein many are flocking to him, and pressing into the kingdom of God. Many are daily coming from the east, west, north and south; many that were very lately in the same miserable condition that you are in, are now in a happy state, with their hearts filled with love to him who has loved them, and washed them from their sins in his own blood, and rejoicing in hope of the glory of God.
    Nevertheless, in all the ‘gospel presentatioins’ in Acts, there is no mention of hell to persuade people to believe, neither is there any reference to the love of God either.
    I can understand Max reacting against a wishy-washy Christian culture where the love of God trumps everything else. A kind of weak Jesus how knocks on the door of our heart, and politely requests if it would be too much for us to give him a few minutes of our valuable time.
    It’s not ‘what are you going to do with Jesus’, but rather ‘What is Jesus going to do with you’ if your first encounter with him finds you unprepared. And what of a church that failed to tell people they needed to be prepared.

    Ken, I still stand by what I said regarding Edward’s sermon. I know what it’s like to hear a sermon wherein the members are being smashed to pieces, and as those words go into the soul despair washes over your whole demeanor. The message being communicated is that I am a worthless piece of trash fit for destruction. My faith is a sham – maybe I never really was saved in the first place. All the begging God will not cause His wrath to relent and I will be destroyed in the lake of fire. And then….then….at the very end of such devastating words the preacher tosses out a bone – after you are distraught and hopeless. Such a bone of mercy being tossed after being hammered over and over that you are a wretched, wicked, hypocritical sinner – not a true believer in Christ – such a bone means NOTHING!

  153. There are few positive things I can find in Calvinism. The first time I heard the Calvinist message of salvation (this was after I was a Christian) – I was in shock. I thought, if I had ever heard this message while I was an agnostic – I would never have come to Christ. But thankfully the Christians that spoke to me about Christ were kind, compassionate, and empathetic. Oh….and they used that very analogy of Christ knocking at the door – it was the very use of that analogy that grabbed my heart and prodded me to take a chance and test to see if God was real. Heaven forbid if I had met Calvinists – I would have walked out that door.

  154. @ Darlene:
    Well, yes, what with that spider suspended over the flaming pit of hell image, and more. I read this (the 1st time) as part of an American lit survey course, when I was 16, and just could *not* believe anyone could think, write or declare such things.

    I stand by my 16-y.o. self’s impressions of this thing. Subsequent readings have more than confirmed my initial impression.

    You know (meant for Ken) there are very good reasons that Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote what he did about his ancestors. (He even changed the spelling of his last name, as one of his grandfathers, who spelled it Hathorne, was a “judge” during the Salem witch trials…)

  155. Muff Potter wrote:

    Calvinist missionaries were also the ones who stopped the practice of human sacrifice (baby girls) among the Native Hawaiians.

    Not just baby girls. People of all ages.

    Yes, they did some good there, although they sorely misunderstood both the Native Hawaiians and their culture. But they had FAR more respect for them than did their grandchildren, who overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy (complete with parliament), imprisoned its last queen and basically stole the ground from under the Native Hawaiians’ feet. And yeah, it was the very secular grandchildren, literally, who did that.

  156. @ Muff Potter:

    I think part of it is that we were only told one side of the story in early education concerning the Pilgrims. If anyone has ever read John Cottons treatise on the Indians, they might be shocked. And that is Just one small slice of the problem.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cotton_(minister)

    Just another reason I get chills when the YRR promote Puritan theology and practice. Piper is big on them.

  157. @ numo:
    Btw, i grew up in a state that was founded as a refuge for religious dissenters, including many who had been kivked out of New England. I guess I’ve never been fond of that brand of religion, though i do love New England itself and would like to get up to Cape Cod one of these days…

  158. I, too, understand the importance of holiness and repentance. After all, the whole reason for the existence of this blog is (one might say) to call the professing church to repentance: to stop cleaning the outside of the church, by making sure there are no gays in the pews or women in the pulpits, whilst allowing the inside to remain rotten with greed, materialism, pride and lack of compassion for the very people for whom Jesus displayed particular compassion.

    But I do not believe Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God is a good call to repentance. Consider the famous words from John 3:16:

    For God so hated sin that even the killing of his only begotten Son was not too high a price to pay to sate his bitter rage.

    The biblescribshers tell us that God does not change. I agree with Darlene: Edwards’ fleeting window of mercy likewise does not change the fact that his God hates those sinners, from everlasting to everlasting. He hates them utterly, and personally. To the very end of eternity, Edwards’ sinners will remain in the hands of an angry God who wants them dead and tolerates their existence only by a great effort of self-control.

  159. Darlene wrote:

    And I stand by those words. One of Edward’s parishioners committed suicide after hearing that sermon.

    I knew Edwards’ sermons drove some to suicide, but I didn’t know it was THAT sermon.

    Though in retrospect, I can’t think of a sermon more depressing.
    Or more of a beatdown.

  160. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    He hates them utterly, and personally. To the very end of eternity, Edwards’ sinners will remain in the hands of an angry God who wants them dead and tolerates their existence only by a great effort of self-control.

    At which point, Satan becomes the greatest hero in all history.
    Because Satan rebelled against THAT.

  161. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    Because history and show businesss probably have in common the insistence that you be known for one big thing. If you pull a move like writing a fantastic script for a Pink Panther film nobody wants you to write The Exorcist and then when you write the Exorcist nobody wants you to write comedy anymore.

  162. Darlene wrote:

    Ken, I still stand by what I said regarding Edward’s sermon. I know what it’s like to hear a sermon wherein the members are being smashed to pieces, and as those words go into the soul despair washes over your whole demeanor.

    I agree. When I was in school (back when Wild Poodles Roamed The Earth), we were required–by the State Regents Board–to study Edwards’ wee poison pen letter. My mom was the teacher of the class, & she started by saying, “This is, in my opinion, the worst sermon ever preached. It does nothing but tell lies about God. But the Regents have spoken, so here goes”, & read it to us.(So that, she explained, we could avoid wasting our time with it).
    That was it. End of study. Oh, wait! She did mention those suicidal parishioners before [literally 😉 ]closing the book on J Edwards & Co.

  163. zooey111 wrote:

    When I was in school (back when Wild Poodles Roamed The Earth), we were required–by the State Regents Board–to study Edwards’ wee poison pen letter.

    That’s because as a structured essay to make (and pound home) a point, it is a masterpiece. Perfectly structured, perfectly focused, every word and sentence building to the climax and presentation of the thesis. On-target and on-message from word one.

  164. Lydia wrote:

    I think part of it is that we were only told one side of the story in early education concerning the Pilgrims. If anyone has ever read John Cottons treatise on the Indians, they might be shocked.

    Given “Massachusetts Puritan”, I would guess it as an analogy to the Book of Joshua, casting the New World as God’s Promised Land, the Puritans as the Israelites — and the Indians as the Heathen Canaanites upon The Land.

    (Something I noticed in HBO’s Deadwood, set in 1876 Dakota — the second most common name for the local tribesmen were “Those Heathens”. Echo of the Puritans?)

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