I’ve written a couple times lately about evangelical preacher Mark Driscoll being caught plagiarizing in multiple books that he’s written. After trying (and succeeding) to intimidate a Christian right radio host into pulling those allegations from her show, Driscoll and Tyndale House have released a formal statement with the classic “mistakes were made” admission.
While Tyndale has made two brief statements, it has spent much of the past three weeks looking carefully into these claims, as has Pastor Driscoll. Tyndale House and Mark Driscoll take any claims of plagiarism seriously. Tyndale does not condone it in any of its works, and if discovered, the company takes action to correct it immediately. Driscoll has consistently spoken out against plagiarism in his writing and publishing. If any mistakes are ever made in that regard, he is equally committed to correcting such errors as soon as they are discovered. Pastor Driscoll has fully cooperated with Tyndale and both have worked together to carefully investigate the issue with respect to A Call to Resurgence.
Note that this is all in the passive voice — if “such errors” are “discovered,” as though it was just a computer glitch, not the deliberate stealing of material. And that continues:
In a separate issue unrelated to any Tyndale title, the radio host also made an allegation with regard to a study guide that was published in-house at Mars Hill. In this instance, Pastor Driscoll agrees that errors were made. He says:
In recent weeks, it was brought to my attention that our 2009 Trial study guide on 1&2 Peter contained passages from an existing work for which no proper citation to the original work was provided. The error was unintentional, but serious nonetheless. I take responsibility for all of this…Mistakes were made that I am grieved by and apologize for. As a Bible teacher, I know that Jesus loves us and uses everything for good. I know he cares very much that we do things in a way that reflects his glory. As a result, I have been praying that he would help me learn through all of this to become more like him and more effective for him.”
No, see, you’re not taking responsibility for all of this. You’re saying you take responsibility for it, but you’re actually doing the opposite by saying “mistakes were made” rather than “I made mistakes.” There is plagiarized content in at least four of his books and another Christian publisher whose material was taken without permission or attribution is pretty pissed off about it. Does he really expect anyone to believe that this happened by accident?
“I stepped away from my computer and those passages from other books magically appeared there and I didn’t notice. It’s a Christmas miracle!”
Bullshit. No reasonable person could believe that. Which is why this is the exact opposite of taking responsibility. But remember, Christians are the voice of morality and atheists are terribly immoral people.