Mark Driscoll’s Plagiarism & A Response to Driscoll’s Review of “Pagan Christianity”

Someone recently asked me a question about Mark Driscoll. The person wrote,

“Frank, I read Driscoll’s review of your book Pagan Christianity and thought it was horrible. I’ve read your book twice and Driscoll’s review was so filled with misrepresentations that I lost a lot of respect for him. Have you or Barna responded to it? Also, I recently read about the accusations about Driscoll’s plagarism. Apparently he stole from Dr. Peter Jones and D.A. Carson verbatim even without giving credit. What do you think about that?”

Thanks for your question.

First, as for your last question, “what do you think about that?” — my answer is, “I try not to.” 🙂 It’s really of no interest to me.

I don’t know Driscoll. We’ve never met and we’ve never spoken to one another. In addition, I don’t follow his ministry so I have no idea what he’s doing or saying. In fact, I’ve never read a Driscoll book nor heard a Driscoll sermon. And I have no current plans to do so.

Second, I am aware that there are tons of accusations against him, both personal and non-personal, some quite severe and damaging, but I give no weight to any accusations on the Internet against those who are serving the Lord today because most of them aren’t true and most constitute gossip (which is a sin the last time I checked).

So my default setting is to treat others the same way I want to be treated (that’s somewhere in the NT, I think ;-)) and disbelieve any negative word about another human being unless I can verify it by multiple credible witnesses or the person admits it themselves. A.W. Tozer taught this principle perhaps the best of anyone I’ve ever read.

Thus if you want people to give you the benefit of the doubt when you’re being criticized or accused and to believe the best about you, then treat others the same way (Matthew 7:12).

See my article Don’t Believe Everything You Hear or Read and Rick Warren’s Horrific Tragedy & The Sickening Response of Some “Christians”

Third, since I have no relationship with Driscoll, it’s not my place to give any opinion on the recent allegations of plagiarism or any other allegation against him. If they are true, I expect that Driscoll will admit it, disprove it, or there will be multiple respected voices showing that the allegations were true or false.

But as I’ve said, I am monumentally disinterested either way. And I don’t wish to be a “busybody in other men’s affairs,” as that is also sin.

Regarding his review of Pagan Christianity, I’ve already addressed this years ago. Here’s what I wrote:

“Apparently Mark published a critique of Pagan Christianity some months back. I had no idea it existed except for the fact that people began telling me about it and asking if Mark had contacted me. Sadly, Mark never came to me or George to look at the critique before he published it.

For his own sake, I wish Mark had come to me and George to openly dialogue about our book before he reviewed it. One of the reasons is that every argument in his critique had already been answered and refuted by Jon Zens in his response to Ben Witherington. Click here to read it.

Mark’s review is simply a rehash of Witherington’s critique. (You can also view my response to Witherington’s critique of Reimagining Church by clicking here.)

If you know people who have read the critique that Mark Driscoll published on Pagan Christianity and are wondering if there’s a response to it (or are open to read one), feel free to send them to this blog post. Unfortunately, it’s impossible for our response to be placed on the actual critique because no comments are allowed on it. So no one can expose the errors in it on his site.”

See also Warning: The World is Watching How We Christians Treat One Another

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  • Don

    I agree … Pagan Christianity is HORRIBLE! Not the book, Silly, but the paganism that dominates Churchianity … that Frank and George so masterfully expose in the book. I’ve recommended the book to hundreds, and will continue to do so. A sharp arrow in our quiver!

  • I rarely comment but the attitude you display in this blog post is so Christ like that I have to this time! Thank you for opening the door of our Christian enclave to let a breath of fresh air in. Newspapers and T.V. news reports love to dwell on the negative and a huge swathe of Christianity appears to be no different. Nestled safely in our own little internet corners, we gather our weapons and rise up declaring, “Them’s fightin’ words! I’m game for a few rounds!”

    Your blog post reminds me to stop that and remember how Jesus handled his differences with others. Thank you.

  • Deborah Cockrell

    Thank you for your wise and godly counsel.

  • Greg Carlet

    Good words Frank. Thank you for this and all you do. I hope you and your family have a happy Thanksgiving.