Zombies, Plagiarism And Mark Driscoll Helped Me Write This Blog Post

First, let me thank Mark Driscoll for his help writing this blog post and give him full credit for inspiring the title.

With all of the allegations of plagiarism and controversy swirling around Mark Driscoll on social media, it is nice that Driscoll can take time to teach us all how to write better blog posts.

I am referring to his article yesterday titled “6 Simple Ways To Write Better Blog Posts.” You’ll have to read it to understand why my title was inspired by Driscoll. I want to give credit where credit is due.

(Did my lead get your attention? See point #3 – “Grab attention with your lead”)

On the same day Janet Mefferd revealed two more books by Driscoll which appear to include content without credit to the original author, Driscoll offers bloggers advice on how to get their message out. Since I am a blogger and I want to write better blog posts, I thought I should check it out.

Have A Tasty Bite Of Blog

After a juicy title, Driscoll suggests that bloggers write in “bite-sized chunks.” Ok, good thought.

I have to say that I lolled (laughed out loud) when I saw Driscoll’s blog post. Even if adventitious, the article still comes across as a clever rejoinder to the controversy over plagiarism, in an in-your-face sort of way. In the post, he touts his writing background and education at Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow School of Communications. His reference to his education made me wonder if WSU had any guidelines about citation of sources. And you know, they do. Intentional plagiarism is described as:

  • copying entire documents and presenting them as your own;
  • cutting and pasting from the work of others without properly citing the authors;
  • stringing together the quotes and ideas of others without connecting their work to your own original work;
  • asserting ideas without acknowledging their sources, reproducing sentences written verbatim by others without properly quoting and attributing the work to them;
  • making only minor changes to the words or phrasing of another’s work, without properly citing the authors.

According to the university website, one may also engage in “accidental appropriation of the ideas and materials of others due to a lack of understanding of the conventions of citation and documentation.”  Let’s review. Driscoll included entire passages from the New Bible Commentary in his book on 1 & 2 Peter without citation (see point #6, Show and Tell below). There are uses of other author’s ideas without proper citation which have surfaced. By the standards of his own school, the situation doesn’t look so good.

Social Media Calls People To Action!

In his blog post, Driscoll suggests using social media to get the post exposure (ok, will do) and to call people to action. I am struggling with the call to action. On social media, many have called on Driscoll to acknowledge the issues and correct them. That sounds like a good call to action.

Show and Tell Shows and Tells

And then finally, Driscoll suggests using pictures to get across the message. Here’s one with a side by side comparison of the New Bible Commentary and Driscoll’s book on 1 & 2 Peter.

As Rev. Driscoll says, “You cannot just tell; you have to show whenever you can.”*

*From Driscoll, M. (2013, December 2). 6 Simple Ways To Write Better Blog Posts. The Resurgence.com.

See also:

On The Allegations of Plagiarism Against Mark Driscoll (12/2/13)

Amarillo Paper Reports on Mark Driscoll's New Church
CBS News 5 Phoenix Reports on Mark Driscoll's Mars Hill Past
Phoenix and Seattle News Media Cover Mark Driscoll's New Venture
Former Mars Hill Elder Tells Perry Noble, "You Are in the Dark" about Mark Driscoll
  • TigandTag

    Did you see the comment left by Some1 under Journalist Accused of Comitting sin of Journalism? It may explain some things for those who have open minds. http://capthk.com/2013/12/04/journalist-accused-of-committing-sin-of-journalism/?utm_content=buffer68879&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer

  • melekish

    And I assume you see all of your other posts on this blog very “Christian”, “righteous” and not hurting to others’ feeling? Mr. Carpenter, put down your pride and try to learn how to listen to others. While you are accusing mr. Throckmorton for spending too much time on this, perhaps you too should spend less time in this cyber space to blindly defend someone you are already dead set to worship, (please give me the benefit of the doubt to plagirize your own words of accusation against mr. ken) Go spend some time with your family or someone important, don’t dwell in this discussion with your stubborn attitude. It won’t go anywhere. And btw, I am not a fan of mr. Throckmorton’s blog, neither am I a hater of Driscolll, I am just somebody who stumbled across this blog, read what has been going on, couldn’t stand your your way of logic in this conversation.

  • ken

    “At this point I’m pretty sure that you are willfully refusing to accept
    the idea that people can absorb material and then reproduce it later”

    Not at all, I certainly believe that is possible. I just don’t think that is a very likely situation with the case against Driscoll. Further I think you are deliberately using the example of “asborbed material” to confuse the issue.

  • melekish

    Yeah~ i agree with you, everything else is sinful except for your words…

  • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

    Two very brief paragraphs in what is little more than an internal study-guide is not substantial plagiarism. I once had a whole article I wrote and was published in a major journal, reproduced exactly without any citation of me or the journal. THAT’s substantial plagiarism.

    The passage is not extended. The commentary should have been cited, however.

    The real issue here is the refusal of people like you to give the benefit of the doubt, in keeping with 1 Timothy 5:19, and allow that it was likely a mistake. It’s that poisonous attitude toward leaders that is helping to destroy the evangelical church in America. That’s the major issue and it’s YOUR problem.

  • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

    Making false accusations is sinful. There’s even a commandment dealing with it (Ex. 20:16).

  • melekish

    See, this is what I don’t understand, mr. carpenter, you yourself accuse people without giving evidence, even in such judgmental way, why then are you so angry with the negative comments on Driscoll? Isn’t that hypocrisy?

  • http://thediscerningchristian.wordpress.com/ Chris

    Can’t tell if you’re a troll or not… if so, good job. If not, well, uh… see a therapist? I call Poe’s Law.

  • melekish

    Yup, the whole world make false accusation and sin but you..

  • http://thediscerningchristian.wordpress.com/ Chris

    Because Mark Driscoll is a dangerous fool and needs tearing down?

  • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

    ^ you’re a perfect example of the REAL issue here. It certainly isn’t Mark Driscoll, who is theologically orthodox and is (as yet) above reproach morally. It’s people like you who high-handedly violate the clearest of the Lord Jesus’ instructions and yet somehow imagines he’s not a rebel against the Lord Jesus. ” Whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” (Mt. 5:22).

    You have broken not only that command and thus will be liable to the hell of fire if you do not repent, but also the 9th commandment (Ex. 20:16) by bearing false witness. You must repent. If you do not, you need to examine yourself as to whether you are really “in the faith” (2 Cor. 13:5) or where you are just a self-deceived religious hypocrite. Deal with your sin.

  • http://www.covenantcaswell.org/ John Carpenter

    your scoffing. Do you take the Word of God seriously or are you just a mocking hypocrite?

  • http://thediscerningchristian.wordpress.com/ Chris

    Don’t worry about me. You and I definitely don’t share the same faith.

  • http://timfall.wordpress.com/ Tim

    Paul called the whole church in Galatia foolish.

  • TigandTag

    Yes, I think that is the greater issue here. There are many interests represented in this comment section. The good prof. has not tipped his hand.

    The intention is to force Driscoll out of ministry. In fact, Janet Mefferd stated that if and when he makes this right, he needs to get another job.

    I think that there is a larger goal as well. Not sure what that is, but Driscoll is not the only one on the hit list. Bob Jones University is not.

  • Warren Throckmorton

    Thanks for the heads up…

  • Warren Throckmorton

    melekish, thanks for stopping by…

  • Warren Throckmorton

    Tom – Makes Barton stuff look tame, eh?

  • melekish

    Yup, I sure am a mocking scoffer compared to you the holy righteous man who throws scripture around to judge people in your own way…

  • melekish

    Yea, thanks for your blogging, it was a fun read until… nvm

  • melekish

    Wahahahahaha, agree with Chris :)

  • TigandTag

    John, you lost your temper. The hostility on this blog does not excuse that, but I do understand.