Driscoll Charged with Plagiarism

Mark Driscoll, manly authoritarian preacher at Mars Hill in Seattle, has been hit with a pretty convincing charge of plagiarism. By, of all people, Janet Mefferd, host of the Christian radio show most notable for allowing right wing Christian celebrities to spout off about Obamacare conspiracies.

Mefferd questioned Driscoll about the alleged plagiarism on her radio show, and got a series of huffy non-answers. Right Wing Watch has the clip. Mefferd and her crew responded by posting a marked example of Driscoll’s lifting, and a series of scans(pdf) showing several others.

Browsing through the examples, it looks like Driscoll did a sort of “freshman paraphrase” of several texts. He essentially copied the sentences, substituting a word here or there to make the thoughts his own. Oddly, he did cite his sources sometimes but not others, while usually failing to simply quote the relevant text.

This would all be a less serious charge if Driscoll hadn’t already made his feelings known on the issue of plagarism:

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

All of us are guilty of deception to some degree. Its prevalence, however, does not change the fact that deception is a demonic, satanic issue.

Driscoll could simply ‘fess up to the crime and apologize. It likely wouldn’t cost him much status, and Driscoll is too much admired by many of the reformed set for him to suffer for long. But Driscoll strikes me as the kind of man who would regard an apology as a sign of weakness, and that is something he will resist until the last possible moment.


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