New turn of the screw in the Pastor Mark Driscoll plagiarism controversy, especially regarding minister’s book Trial:
Warren Throckmorton has viewed a PDF of a new statement on Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church website (a PDF which, at the moment, won’t open in my Google Chrome for some reason; update, 11:53 p.m.: I can’t open it in Firefox, Explorer, or Chrome; was it taken down?).
The statement apparently shows the research notes taken by Justin Holcomb of Docent Research Group.
Throckmorton writes: “…Holcomb might better get the credit for the sections discussing the background of the books of 1 & 2 Peter.”
Throckmorton also writes, “It appears the Holcomb borrowed [see below] the material from the New Bible Commentary and then Driscoll changed a few words and included it under his authorship. There are multiple instances of this practice throughout the memo. What started in late November with Janet Mefferd’s accusations of plagiarism against Mark Driscoll has morphed into broader concerns over authorship and use of research materials.”
UPDATE — Throckmorton changed the above “borrowed” to “quoted.” He explains: “I changed this word from “borrowed” to “quoted” in the section above because there are quotes around the material starting just under the heading Who Wrote 1 Peter? also on page 147. Then the quote closes on page 148 with a footnote. However, the footnote is not to the New Bible Commentary but to a book by Peter Achtemeier. It is possible that the confusion is a matter of a mistake in this footnote which Driscoll just carried over to his book. In any case, with this new information, the focus seems to be more on Driscoll’s adopting this research report as his own work in the Trial book.”
When Throckmorton says “Holcomb might better get the credit for the selections,” I wonder if the researcher had become the ghost writer.
Ghost writing has been common — and controversial — in evangelical circles, wrote David Moore back in August. Moore called ghost writing “unethical.”
Apparently, Driscoll never has hidden his use of researchers. On the other hand, one wonders about the hand-off from Holcolmb to Driscoll — what assumptions were made, what was assumed about the information.
For example, “I didn’t know I was speeding, officer!” You’d still get a ticket, right? And would you be right to denounce the officer for bringing up the matter?
- Copyright infringement and plagiarism in the Mark Driscoll controversy (liturgical.wordpress.com)
- Andy Crouch’s Tragic Minimalization of the Very Serious Offense of Plagiarism (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- The Real Problem with Mark Driscoll’s ‘Citation Errors’ (christianitytoday.com)