Mark Driscoll accused of plagiarism by radio host

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Mark Driscoll accused of plagiarism by radio host

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Merritt's article was great; fair, balanced, thorough.
More worthy reads (if I may):

Mark Driscoll and Janet Mefferd: Plagiarism, Tribalism and Paganism (Wade Burleson)

The Mark Driscoll Experience (Frank Turk's recap of what went down outside the SF Conference)

and finally the best of the bunch:
If the Top Men take over, who will ask the hard questions? (Carl Trueman)

 

 

 

 

 

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Peter Lumpkins Link

Peter Lumpkins also has an article and discussion on this:

 

http://peterlumpkins.typepad.com/peter_lumpkins/2013/11/mark-driscoll-ge...

 

David R. Brumbelow

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Surpsied

I am surprised Driscoll didn't "see" this one coming . . . !

TylerR is the Pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Divernon, Illinois. 

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Ha!  Hilarious, Tyler. 

Ha!  Hilarious, Tyler. 

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Oh, wow.

PyroManiacs weighed in again on this yesterday, and they raise some very interesting questions about the alleged audio ending that Driscoll put out there.

What's unusual about this clip, I think, is that it turns out that it was allegedly recorded by the fellows at Mars Hill.  I had no idea that was ever done when one does an interview, but everyone lives the way they live.  It's obviously different than the end of the interview which went out live, and it bears another strange artifact: the voice of Mark's producer during the end of the interview.

That artifact is strange for one reason only: plainly, Mark's voice is over the phone; his assistant (I am told it is the voice of Justin Dean) is plainly not on the phone -- his voice doesn't sound like it's coming over the phone line but from another (better quality) mic. If they were doing a remote or some sort of studio-to-studio broadcast, that makes sense, but a phone interview?  Obviously they do it differently than many.

It seems to me we have to clear this one up, too.  By "we," I don't mean tiny, unable-to-hiatus me and then DJP.  I mean "we" the people tossing out accusations who are public people.  And I think there's an easy way to do this.

The version published to YouTube by the Janet Mefferd Show and Salem Radio has the breaks cut out, as podcasted radio often does. That audio is an air check, recorded from the output of the board in Janet's studio.  It is recorded on the Dallas end of the line.  While Ms. Mefferd's people have been adamant that they did not use the kill switch at any time for this interview (it's clear this is true during the interview earlier as Janet and Mark talk over each other a couple of times), it's possible, I guess, that someone's finger slipped.  However, it's unlikely that any fingers slipped on the Seattle side of the phone.  Since they were plainly recording the show, I say they (I think he means Mark Driscoll's sound people who were recording -JC) come forward with the whole thing including the breaks so we can see what Pastor Driscoll was doing while the listeners were listening to commercials.  I'm sure he got moral support from Mr. Dean as the interview was not conducted from a position of genuflection on the part of Ms. Mefferd, and it will speak to the authenticity of the whole "alternative ending" now provided by Mars Hill and Tyndale.

If this is true...If Driscoll not only plagarized in his book but then falsified the audio in order to 'prove' that he didn't do what Janet claimed and gave it to the publisher in order to 'clear his name'...then wow.  I really can't imagine that level of duplicity from someone who is a "Pastor".

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All I gotta say is

I listened to the interview last night...and if the tone and words of Mark Driscoll were rude and defensive and un-Christlike...then I am in big trouble.

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How far out of touch are you

if, like me, you had never heard of Peter Jones or Janet Mefferd until this article? 

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I don't think there's any

I don't think there's any question Driscoll's tone and words were defensive, and I'd also characterize them as petulant. 

 

But!  I actually have some sympathy for Driscoll in one specific regard; he obviously felt ambushed and no one likes that and one is not always going to handle that very well.  I don't think Mefferd was obligated to toss him softballs, but its a bit unseemly to go after  (read: badger) him as hard as she did  on two pinpoint items (to which confessing on air was probably pretty far off Driscoll's radar screen pre-interview) for 18 minutes and never really start talking about the book.  I doubt Mefferd would use this tactic on a sister in Christ in her own church with whom she had offense and expect better results.  

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Maybe a little out of touch

You can't keep up with everyone, Mark, but Peter Jones is pretty well-known as an expert on neo-paganism in the modern world. He's a prolific author and has a lengthy seminar/conference every year in San Diego that many Christian leaders attend.  He's a big fan of Mark Driscoll.  In fact, he told me Driscoll called him before before Driscoll went on Nightline with Deepok Chopra, and I have to say, Driscoll took what Jones told him and pretty much flattened Chopra (metaphorically speaking, of course.)  Funny --- I wouldn't feel the need to say metaphorically for any preacher but Driscoll! 

Janet Mefferd is a Christian radio talk-show personality.  She's bright and does a thorough job researching before interviews.  She doesn't put up with nonsense.  She stands up for the sheep if the shepherds get out of line.  

I think she pushed a little hard in the interview...I should say, too long on that one issue.  But it was Mark who called her "rude" and "unkind" and "UnChrist-like" and challenged her for giving him "orders."  He told her she needed to "grow" and said he was "trying to do her a favor" although his people asked for him to come on the show to plug his book.  He also claimed he was sick, which I don't think was her fault.  His tone was gentle, but his words did not reflect true humility in my opinion.  He was actually very defensive. 

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a word on the fallout..

The reactions to this interview in the ensuing comments around the blogos and beyond have been an interesting study..

First-I didn't see anything terribly wrong with the way Janet handled the interview, though I'm sure I listened with a bias towards her. Could have she let up on the whole footnote thing? Sure, but neither did I think that should have taken anything away from the real issue.

(To be taken with half grain of sand): I haven't a clue about what's considered professionally ethical or "normal" for this or any type of radio interviewing format; (an "issue" brought up by some of her jeerers)  I only know this much: Between what I've observed of Driscoll's integrity and character and what I've seen of Janet's...she is clearly the rose.

Here's what I wanted to address re: the fallout:
Not all are totally convinced of the many problems with Driscoll, but even those who'd agree we are dealing here with a 'proven problematic' (at best) leader/pastor/teacher in Christiandom, rather point to Janet and cry "Foul".  I've found this disconcerting and hard to step around (though probably just a personal problem:).

But all the more disappointing have been the sort of finger-pointing-gloating and unnecessarily disparaging comments made by those who well understand the Driscoll machine for what it is. We know, we get it!

Christians, myself included, too easily forget not only about who we are in Christ when things get heated up on the interwebs, but about the believers and un-believers who are quietly paying attention to our conversations. All to say we need more grace shown in the department of discrepancy and decorum.

Anyway..

I used to like Driscoll back around '06-'08 until became glaringly evident to me that he was, well, problematic. I've since observed his "rise" (decline) with a fair amount of sadness and frustration (particularly in my own fellowship sphere) for those who give him any level of credence.

So, I am very thankful for this interview on a few levels-not the least being that it was a woman who furthered the pulling-back of the curtain still obstructing the view of some. One can hardly not mention the rich irony in that Smile  I'll say it again..keep on talking, Mark..just keep talking.

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As far as the interview, it's

As far as the interview, it's hard to feel sympathy for Driscoll on this, and he clearly was passive-agressive in response, but I agree that Mefferd overdid it.

I really don't understand the audio thing. Doesn't Driscoll's recording prove he didn't "hang up?" Mefferd might have thought he dead due to the silence, but he obviously didn't, correct?

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yes, the audio thing

I didn't get it either - I listened to both endings provided and surmised it was likely an honest mistake (if only a bit careless on Janet's end). Not sure I'd get all excited that Driscoll/Dean recorded the episode either.

She apparently has some kind of an "update" coming up on todays show.
(source)

/or listen live

 

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Clearly Passive-Aggressive

I guess I missed that. I actually thought he was remarkably restrained. You are on a show to promote a book. Instead, you get "ambushed" about plagiarism. He said he would look into it and she should have dropped it and moved on. Let's say he is flat out guilty. Was he going to flat out admit it right there? Why continue and move into theft?

 

By the way, I have no bone to pick either way as I didn't know the host or neo-paganism expert until hearing about this interview.

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Another example

Janet Mefferd must have had this other example in the wings all along.  Apparently, Mark (or some editor/ nameless co-author) directly lifted word-for-word three paragraphs from The New Bible Commentary without attribution. This looks quite serious, actually.  

 

http://www.janetmefferd.com/blog/

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Sad

Sad, just sad.  Clearly, Ms. Mefferd's intention was to ambush and press home an attack based on an error, not necessarily a sin.  This should have been private and kind, not open and mean.

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Sean

If this is an 'error' and an 'ambush' or 'attack', then how do you (or Driscoll) account for roughly three word for word exact matches between his "Witnesses" book and the New American Commentary volume that Janet Mefferd documents?

Wow.  This is just...unbelievable.  Driscoll's gotten himself into a huge disaster of a mess, and I think he knows it.  Question is, will his fanboyz see it too?

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the main thing

Jay: "Question is, will his fanboyz see it too?"

I think the too much focus on the "gotcha/ambush..." perception we're seeing by so many is less to do with Driscoll's "fans" and more that people (fans or not fans) are just plain turned off by the way she went about the interview.   It's just how different people process things differently and not really an issue (so much).

So to each their own on that account, no need to keep those embers stoking..(not saying you were, Jay, just making a broader, hopefully helpful point in the conversation at large Smile

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no fanboy here

Jay, I think Driscoll is a mess on fire.   Suzanne is correct about at least my perception of Mefferd's tactics.  Is this how most plagiarists are dealt with?  Write the publishing company.  Write an article for Christianity Today or Patheos or whomever.  Write the elders at Mars Hill (I know, might as well buy a lottery ticket).  

Believe me, I can see how it would be tempting when the guy whose plagiarism you recognize calls you for book plug opportunity to bring him in and just sandbag him.  I'd say go ahead, do the interview, even bring up the possibility of plagiarism.  But do it in the context of the interview he was probably led to believe he would have.

The 'gotcha' interview has too much the odor of a weapon of carnal warfare.   

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I am not saying he didn't

I am not saying he didn't plagiarize.  Plagiarism can be intentional or unintentional.  If intentional, then sin.  If unintentional, then not sin.  Love would assume unintentional, and approach the problem privately and kindly.  Love would back off when the errant brother agreed to investigate the issue and correct any errors.

The interview was not conducted in love.  It was conducted in "gotcha".

 

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As for the second charge of plagiarism

if you look at the screen shots that Janet Mefferd posted on her blog (http://www.janetmefferd.com/blog/) you can see what happened in this case. Mark Driscoll (or likely a ghost writer filling in the gaps from notes he wrote) used the New Bible Commentary for the introductory information in that section and they simply (and presumably accidently) left out the reference to the NBC. It is published by Mars Hill Press, so that could happen easier than in a traditional publishing house. In the rush to get the book out a mistake happened...

Was it sloppy? Yes. Was it wrong? Technically. Was it theft? Not intentionally. I'm willing to give a pass on this and I hope he and his organization use this a learning opportunity to tighten up their operation.

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Driscoll

A brother and friend PM'd me this morning to object to the use of the term 'fanboyz' in my earlier post.  I'm thinking about what he wrote and may ask the mods to edit it at some point in the future because I can see where some would consider it incendiary and or detrimental.  I just wanted to note that here in case it does get changed.

In the course of thinking about that, I was looking around today on Driscoll, and ended up at Challies' review of Real Marriage.  One section in particular jumped out at me today although I hadn't given it much thought when I originally read the review.  I felt like it had bearing on this topic, so I wanted to quote it now:

What Book Is It?

Before I look at the book’s content, I feel that I need to speak briefly about the book as a book. What quickly becomes clear is that Real Marriage suffers from a lack of clear identity, a problem that may stem from what appears to be rushed or otherwise ineffective editing. I point these things out not to be petty but because they effect the final product.

In the first place, there is a kind of sloppiness and inconsistency to the book. One example of this is the way the chapters vary so much in style, some being very personal with others being abstract and coldly statistical; even the inline subheadings can vary from chapter-to-chapter (e.g. italics in one chapter, all caps in the next). There are also factual errors, like when the Driscolls state that Solomon was the child born of David and Bathsheba’s adultery (when, in fact, that child died and Solomon was born later); there are errors in footnoting, like when a footnote contains no reference to what they have stated; there are errors in punctuation where a statement ends with a question mark, and errors in flow where a chapter references things to come that do not actually come.

Added to the editorial sloppiness is the fact that there is little internal cohesion to the book. Real Marriage reads more like a series of seminars than a cohesive introduction-to-conclusion look at a subject.

That kind of says a lot about the book doesn't it?  Especially with these allegations? 

Am I accusing Driscoll of plagarizing in Real Marriage?  No.  But comments made about the editing and structure - and the voice and tone - carry new weight now.

 

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Ironic

Ironic that Driscoll, who ambushed MacArthur's conference, is ambushed himself.

 

What goes around . . . .

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the broadening picture

Worth a listen, I think, especially if you believe Janet was wrong in her estimation of and subsequent conduct with Driscoll:
http://www.janetmefferdpremium.com/2013/11/26/janet-mefferd-radio-show-2...

There's much more to this than "honest mistakes" and such.

Jay, well noted.  I'd forgotten about that part of Challies' review..interesting juxtaposition.

Because of his enormous growth in popularity it's become more and more difficult to "successfully" call Mark to account privately (or publicly) as people have rightly called for (which actually has been done in the past-to little or no avail). I think this growth is partly due to the orthodox teaching he does put out there, and also partly due to the well respected leaders he's been able to bring (and keep) aboard, so to speak.

Essentially, it's been hard to pin him on anything that will stick, damage control has served him well so far-although people have been waking up, especially since his showing at the SFC.  Now that plagiarism has been thrown into the mix, and handily so, there's something a bit more "real" and tangible for those still unconvinced.

Might it be that all things considered, Janet simply wanted a straight/er answer? instead of a sort of "musta made a mistake there, I'll check into it".  Is it not fair that when he attempted to turn the table onto his host, making her look the fool she should bring the issue back to where it belonged?

Anyway, just my thoughts as to why I found her justified in this.

~Grace & peace all~

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I hopped and skipped through

I hopped and skipped through that audio file and didn't hear anything about Driscoll, Suzanne. Did I miss it?

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A Wise Man receives instruction...

Because of his enormous growth in popularity it's become more and more difficult to "successfully" call Mark to account privately (or publicly) as people have rightly called for (which actually has been done in the past-to little or no avail). I think this growth is partly due to the orthodox teaching he does put out there, and also partly due to the well respected leaders he's been able to bring (and keep) aboard, so to speak.

Which actually dovetails in nicely with something I thought of a few moments ago.

There have been multiple instances where Driscoll has been called privately to address some of his earlier issues (by which I mean from years ago).  I know, for example, that MacArthur reached out to him privately, esp. in regards to the disaster that was his 'work' on the Song of Solomon.  I also know that John Piper had reached out to him as well.  Multiple people tried before the Elephant Room 2 Conference that culminated with him sitting with TD Jakes (Modalist) and James MacDonald (Universalist) and acting like they were all good Christian brothers.

In every case, the exhortation offered was summarily rejected or declined, usually rudely.  It wasn't until a few years ago that the team over at PyroManiacs finally became exasperated enough to start speaking openly about it via blog.  Then, of course, it escalated to the boldfaced lie - now disproven - that GCC 'confiscated' his books during the Strange Fire conference about a month ago.  Now it's obvious and open plagiarism in at least two of his works (Resurgence and the Peter book from Mars Hill Publishing).  Janet is now also alleging that there is more instances of this kind of thing, according to Twitter this morning.

Proverbs has a lot - and I do mean a lot (Prov. 1:5, 9:9, 25:12 just for starters) - of things to say about receiving instruction, and I really believe that if Driscoll had demonstrated any kind of sincere, honest, and heartfelt response to receiving those kinds of admonitions from years ago, he would not be in this mess.  It is because he repeatedly blew off wisdom and instruction that he's looking at making his ministry a complete and utter shipwreck (if it's not there already).  A Pastor, accused of plagiarism (which is what it is, really - not an accidental mistake)?  How can he ever grace a pulpit again with these kinds of moral failings and issues?  What else has to happen for people to say, "Mark, we love you and think you've got real gifts, but you are clearly disqualified now.  Let us help you rebuild your life and church."

In other words, what has to happen for Mark Driscoll to learn to receive instruction?   And the follow up is what happens to all the people that followed him and his ministry as the Pastor / Man of God?

Because really, that's the issue here.  Was this ever a work of God, per se?  Or was it just the latest in a long line of evangelical popularity cults?

I have no doubt that people have been saved under his ministry.  God can use anything, even animals, for His Glory, and I'm glad He does!  But will Driscoll's crowds dissipate now because the Emperor has no clothes and they've been fed a lie?  Or will they continue to build, like a wise man, on the Rock of God's Word and truth in spite of Driscoll's shenanigans (of which this is merely the very latest in a ignominious line)?

And will all of his devotees/disciples be able to pick up the pieces and continue to minister?  Or will they give up on the whole shebang and fall away?

That is the sad end of all this.  People will walk away from Jesus Christ because of all of this.  They will (rightly) not want anything to do with Mars Hill or Mark Driscoll.  They will hear 'preacher' and think 'hypocrite' (or worse).  And all of this - all of it - could have been abrogated or would have never happened if one man had decided to receive the instruction that any believer ought to be able to do.

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"It is not because the culture is always changing...but because we are always in need of being re-oriented to the Word that stands over us...that the church can never stand still." - M. Horton

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hmm..

Greg: "I hopped and skipped through that audio file and didn't hear anything about Driscoll, Suzanne. Did I miss it?"

The correct page popped up when I tried it just now:
Janet Mefferd Show-11/26/2013
November 26, 2013 by Janet Mefferd Show  
Filed under Radio Show...
Hour 2- Janet discusses whether or not Mars Hill Church Pastor Mark Driscoll is guilty of plagiarism.

Maybe try this:
http://www.janetmefferdpremium.com/2013/11/26/janet-mefferd-radio-show-2...

*wonders if "preview post" could be implemented in new version of SI* .. ;D 

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Jay wrote: Because of his

Jay wrote:

Because of his enormous growth in popularity it's become more and more difficult to "successfully" call Mark to account privately (or publicly) as people have rightly called for (which actually has been done in the past-to little or no avail). I think this growth is partly due to the orthodox teaching he does put out there, and also partly due to the well respected leaders he's been able to bring (and keep) aboard, so to speak.

Which actually dovetails in nicely with something I thought of a few moments ago.

There have been multiple instances where Driscoll has been called privately to address some of his earlier issues (by which I mean from years ago).  I know, for example, that MacArthur reached out to him privately, esp. in regards to the disaster that was his 'work' on the Song of Solomon.  I also know that John Piper had reached out to him as well.  Multiple people tried before the Elephant Room 2 Conference that culminated with him sitting with TD Jakes (Modalist) and James MacDonald (Universalist) and acting like they were all good Christian brothers.

In every case, the exhortation offered was summarily rejected or declined, usually rudely.  It wasn't until a few years ago that the team over at PyroManiacs finally became exasperated enough to start speaking openly about it via blog.  Then, of course, it escalated to the boldfaced lie - now disproven - that GCC 'confiscated' his books during the Strange Fire conference about a month ago.  Now it's obvious and open plagiarism in at least two of his works (Resurgence and the Peter book from Mars Hill Publishing).  Janet is now also alleging that there is more instances of this kind of thing, according to Twitter this morning.

Proverbs has a lot - and I do mean a lot (Prov. 1:5, 9:9, 25:12 just for starters) - of things to say about receiving instruction, and I really believe that if Driscoll had demonstrated any kind of sincere, honest, and heartfelt response to receiving those kinds of admonitions from years ago, he would not be in this mess.  It is because he repeatedly blew off wisdom and instruction that he's looking at making his ministry a complete and utter shipwreck (if it's not there already).  A Pastor, accused of plagiarism (which is what it is, really - not an accidental mistake)?  How can he ever grace a pulpit again with these kinds of moral failings and issues?  What else has to happen for people to say, "Mark, we love you and think you've got real gifts, but you are clearly disqualified now.  Let us help you rebuild your life and church."

In other words, what has to happen for Mark Driscoll to learn to receive instruction?   And the follow up is what happens to all the people that followed him and his ministry as the Pastor / Man of God?

Because really, that's the issue here.  Was this ever a work of God, per se?  Or was it just the latest in a long line of evangelical popularity cults?

I have no doubt that people have been saved under his ministry.  God can use anything, even animals, for His Glory, and I'm glad He does!  But will Driscoll's crowds dissipate now because the Emperor has no clothes and they've been fed a lie?  Or will they continue to build, like a wise man, on the Rock of God's Word and truth in spite of Driscoll's shenanigans (of which this is merely the very latest in a ignominious line)?

And will all of his devotees/disciples be able to pick up the pieces and continue to minister?  Or will they give up on the whole shebang and fall away?

That is the sad end of all this.  People will walk away from Jesus Christ because of all of this.  They will (rightly) not want anything to do with Mars Hill or Mark Driscoll.  They will hear 'preacher' and think 'hypocrite' (or worse).  And all of this - all of it - could have been abrogated or would have never happened if one man had decided to receive the instruction that any believer ought to be able to do.

 

Amen, Jay..a hearty amen to all of that.

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Jay wrote:James MacDonald

Jay wrote:
James MacDonald (Universalist)

 

This isn't correct, is it?

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DavidO wrote: Jay wrote:James

DavidO wrote:

Jay wrote:
James MacDonald (Universalist)

This isn't correct, is it?

Actually, according to his explicit doctrinal statement, it is not.  Good catch, DavidO.

MacDonald writes:

Salvation

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as the substitutionary atonement in our place, and that salvation is found in none other than Jesus Christ.  Before Creation, God chose those who would be saved and granted this unearned grace solely based on His sovereign good pleasure.  Jesus Christ’s death on the cross was the sole and complete payment for sins, fully satisfying God’s righteous wrath, for each person that turns from sin in repentance and places their faith in Christ alone by grace alone.  At salvation each person is made a new creation by the Holy Spirit, declared righteous before God, and secured as an adopted child of God forever.  Genuine faith continues in obedience and love for Jesus Christ with a life eager to glorify God and persevere to the end (Romans 8:37-39; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 12:13).

MacDonald does, however, seem to have myriad other theological issues, including his appearance and acceptance of Jakes at ER2, a definite tendency towards Charismaticism as in his teachings, and other theological baggage including the undealt with accusations of 'racism' at his detractors.

So to call him a 'universalist' is not correct, and for that I apologize.

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Isn't it

the responsibility of Peter Jones and his publisher to let Mark Driscoll and Tyndale know of any copyright issues? Is it really Janet Mefferd's business?

 

OR.... is this really an extension of the anti-charismatic attack that Strange Fire launched against Driscoll and others like him? Maybe attack is too strong but they certainly took it to a new level at TMS to directly oppose evangelicals who are not cessationists.

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Jay wrote:to call him a

Jay wrote:
to call him a 'universalist' is not correct

That's a relief.  I'm no real fan of MacDonald either (although I attended a session of his at a conference once and thought it was pretty good), but I would have hated to think he was wrong on something like that. 

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conversion of footnotes

What seemed to me to be quite telling is how you can see from the screenshots that the paragraphs from New Bible Commentary had two parenthetical citations for Tertullian and Eusebius. In the Driscoll book, citations were made via footnotes, not parenthetical notes, and so the references from Tertiullian and Eusebius were converted from parenthetical to footnote references. How does one NOT know they are plagiarizing if they take the time to convert the citation format?

And now new accusations are made regarding the Driscoll book on marriage:

http://www.janetmefferd.com/blog/

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This is clearly a problem. While I might not immediately fail a student who turned in such work, I would have a conference to determine what happened. I can imagine how a student might inadvertently leave out the source or reference. Some beginning students don’t know that quotes are to be set off in some manner to signal that the material is being lifted directly from the source. I like to measure twice and cut once, so I would check out the situation. However, in academic work, this is a serious problem and should be treated as such.

Given his many books, it seems unlikely that Driscoll is unaware of the rules regarding citations so the burden is on him to offer an explanation for how this passage (and others – see Mefferd’s sources) from the New Bible Commentary appears in his book without citation. It seems clear that he or someone interacted with the material since a few words have been changed. Perhaps he used a ghostwriter or research assistant and simply left that person’s work in the book as his own. Even if this is true, he is still responsible for the work and appropriate acknowledgement and repairs should be made.

After reviewing the material, I don’t think the concerns being raised can be accurately represented as a witch hunt. Efforts to characterize those who raise inconvenient facts as engaging in a smear campaign or witch hunt are misplaced and unhelpful (I have some experience with this). At the same time, if Driscoll addresses the legitimate concerns and questions properly, then the situation can probably be repaired in a manner that honors his Christian faith.

From Patheos

I'm wondering when Driscoll's going to comment on this.  At least an "I screwed up and didn't cite it properly" would be appropriate at a minimum, but to not say anything at all - even if Mefferd did ambush him on the podcast, which I think is a fair accusation in his defense now that I've listened to it - just gives the illustration that he doesn't care.

I'll bet his publishers aren't very happy about this. 

 

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"It is not because the culture is always changing...but because we are always in need of being re-oriented to the Word that stands over us...that the church can never stand still." - M. Horton

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Withdrawn

Before we go to break, I just want to say something really, really quickly to you. A few weeks ago, as many people know, I conducted an interview with pastor Mark Driscoll. And I received lots of feedback on that interview, both positive and negative, but I feel now that in retrospect, I should have conducted myself in a better way. I now realize the interview should not have occurred at all. I should have contacted Tyndale House directly to alert them to the plagiarism issue. And I never should have brought it to the attention of listeners publicly. So I would like to apologize to all of you and to Mark Driscoll for how I behaved. I am sorry.

Unfortunately, I didn’t anticipate that the story would go viral online the way it did and creating such dissension with the Christian community was never my aim. And so in an effort to right things as best as I can, I have now removed all of the materials related to the interview off my website, and also off my social media.

Janet Mefferd has apologized for handling this the way she did and has removed all her posts and links on the subject from her various media outlets.  There's more detail at Patheos.com.

 

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"It is not because the culture is always changing...but because we are always in need of being re-oriented to the Word that stands over us...that the church can never stand still." - M. Horton

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Withdrawn...and more

The part time producer of Janet Mefferd's radio show (Ingrid Schlueter) has resigned over this:

I was a part-time, topic producer for Janet Mefferd until yesterday when I resigned over this situation. All I can share is that there is an evangelical celebrity machine that is more powerful than anyone realizes. You may not go up against the machine. That is all. Mark Driscoll clearly plagiarized and those who could have underscored the seriousness of it and demanded accountability did not. That is the reality of the evangelical industrial complex...

...I've read much speculation online, which is understandable given the confusing situation, most of it dead wrong. Being limited in what I can share, let me just say that truth tellers face multiple pressure sources these days. I hosted a radio show for 23 years and know from experience how Big Publishing protects its celebrities. Anything but fawning adulation for those who come on your show (a gift of free air time for the author/publisher by the way) is not taken well. Like Dr. Carl Trueman so aptly asked yesterday in his column at Reformation 21, does honest journalism have any role to play in evangelicalism now? (It was rhetorical.) My own take on that question is, no, it does not. The moment hard questions are asked, the negative focus goes on the questioner, not the celebrity, when there is something that needs scrutiny. Those who have the temerity to call out a celebrity have tremendous courage. The easiest thing in the world is to do fluffy interviews with fluffy guests on fluffy books. So hats off to those like Janet who have the courage to ask at all. And my own opinion on Mr. Driscoll is that despite the bravado, despite the near silence of his Reformed peers and enablers, his brand is damaged, and damaged by his own hand.

More at Storify.

Carl Truman's article, BTW, is WELL worth the read, if for not other section than this:

Over at First Thoughts, Collin Garbarino offers some very perceptive comments on the Driscoll plagiarism affair.  He makes the point that such activity receives a failing grade at his university.  I would only add that at Westminster it also involves automatic suspension from the degree program followed by discussion with the powers that be about whether Christian ministry is really an option for the perpetrator.
One sentence in particular stands out: 'Ghostwriting is lying, and plagiarism is stealing, and there seems to be a lot of it going around.'   No further comment is necessary, for that says it all.

Can I just state how utterly disgraceful and unbecoming this is?  If the producer was forced out because Mefferd called Driscoll on his theft (which is what it is), then Driscoll ought to be embarrassed and the people who forced Ingrid out ought to be forced out themselves.  Disgusting.  Sad.  And unfortunately, completely predictable.

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"It is not because the culture is always changing...but because we are always in need of being re-oriented to the Word that stands over us...that the church can never stand still." - M. Horton