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Tyndale Releases Results of Mark Driscoll Plagiarism Investigation

(UPDATED) Publisher: 'After taking the necessary and important time needed to investigate all aspects of this issue, [we've] concluded the following...'
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Today, Tyndale House Publishers released the conclusions of a three-week investigation into allegations of plagiarism against Seattle megapastor Mark Driscoll that drew widespread attention. In the same public statement (copied below in full), Driscoll ...

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Displaying 1–11 of 11 comments

Matt Haferkamp

December 27, 2013  8:38pm

I do not think two wrongs make a right, I do not like what happened to Dr. Land. I do not think Mark committed plagiarism. But if Peter Jones is happy who am I to point fingers. It seems to me it is just people who want to beat up on Mark, not like their isn't some good reasons to do that but this isn't one of them.

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audrey ruth

December 21, 2013  4:58pm

Wow, what a huge difference between the way this situation with Mark Driscoll and the situation with Richard Land were handled. There shouldn't be any difference. Plagiarism is plagiarism. Sharon, I appreciate and agree with your comments: "If Mark Driscoll were not a celebrity pastor, with a great deal of power, the outcome would likely have been quite different. I now regret that I worked to sell Tyndale House products, including many Bible studies like the ones mentioned in the article, while in my 20s. I am now a university professor, and if any of my students had engaged in like behavior, they would have received a failing grade at best, and removal from the school at worst. How can we teach our children and students to be scrupulous and honorable in their dealings if we excuse poor behavior and dishonesty?"

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Gee Lowe

December 21, 2013  2:53pm

I guess the author from whose writing Driscoll plagiarized is glad that his idea will have a better chance to reach a larger readership. Therefore, he doesn't mind. Call that permitted plagiarism.

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ROBERT WINTERS

December 20, 2013  7:52pm

It is a rare person that does not use the ideas of another person. A specific quote should be noted as well as a series of ideas, but to bag upon one who uses the ideas of another person is hypocritical.

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Howard Baker

December 20, 2013  4:35pm

It is good to see that it strikes others as disturbingly odd that Christian leaders are held to a lower standard than undergraduate students in public universities, most of whom would have been expelled for such violations.

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Welby Warner

December 20, 2013  1:27pm

Tyndale House ought to observe the effects of another plagiarism accusation not so long ago that was directed at one of the politicians in Washington who also has tremendous support from many who claim to be Christians. Remember Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky who was reported to have included large portions of articles published by others in his speeches and writings without attribution? When some of his responses were reported and replayed on TV many who saw it concluded that Senator Paul did not know what plagiarism was. Similarly when the response of Tyndale House, prefaced with its "nuanced" definition that allowed them to say no plagiarism occurred, it may be easy to conclude that Tyndale House has no clue as to what ordinary people understand by the term plagiarism.

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Melinda Lane

December 20, 2013  11:20am

Yes, Galen, without a warning, if Sharon's university operates by the same rules as the graduate school I attended. The plagiarism policy was distributed at the beginning of the school year and referenced again at the beginning of each semester. Failure to follow that policy resulted in a failing grade at best, because the students were made aware of the institutional standards and had access to them online throughout the semester. It's a pretty standard academic practice.

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Welby Warner

December 19, 2013  7:33pm

I find it so sad and disappointing to see that Tyndale House and Mark Driscoll have used the methods of the non-christian world to enable them to conclude that "plagiarism", in their extended definition of the term, did not occur. It then becomes contradictory and confusing to see them admit that mistakes were made. If plagiarism did not occur, then there was no mistake. It just highlights the way that those who claim to follow the Lord Jesus Christ use methods that he would not use to justify their actions. Note the way they have begun by defining plagiarism, including all kinds of intentions and purposes. The simple popular accepted meaning of plagiarism is the use of other people's words without attributing those words directly to the other person. It normally has nothing to do with the intentions of the writer. The definition agreed upon by Tyndale House and Mr. Driscoll appears to be the application of experienced lawyerly skills, instead of a simple search for the truth.

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Galen Currah

December 19, 2013  4:19pm

"If any of my students had engaged in like behavior, they would have received a failing grade at best, and removal from the school at worst." Without a first or second warning?

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NORMAN STOLPE

December 19, 2013  3:48pm

Andy Crouch's column explained well, celebrity status is not just getting cut some slack, as Sharon Homer-Drummond's comment suggests, it also attracts more attention and scrutiny than a lesser known person would, which might let their flaws slip through the cracks. As a pastor who preaches almost every Sunday and a writer at a much more modest level, I do not have a research staff or copy writers, I have to do all of that myself (I have worked with editors whom I appreciate). That means I must be self-vigilant. When the work ascribed to a prominent name is the work of a team, extra care must be taken to insure integrity, including how the work is represented. I have also done some of that writing in my career, trying to be as diligent as possible to protect the reputation of those for whom I wrote and to insure that the work was presented honestly (without insisting on credit for myself). A spiritual issue lurks behind celebrity. Hero worship is dangerously close to idolatry.

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Sharon Homer-Drummond

December 18, 2013  9:23pm

If Mark Driscoll were not a celebrity pastor, with a great deal of power, the outcome would likely have been quite different. I now regret that I worked to sell Tyndale House products, including many Bible studies like the ones mentioned in the article, while in my 20s. I am now a university professor, and if any of my students had engaged in like behavior, they would have received a failing grade at best, and removal from the school at worst. How can we teach our children and students to be scrupulous and honorable in their dealings if we excuse poor behavior and dishonesty?

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