Apr 19, 2014 fbook icon twitter icon rss icon
Religion

Pastor Mark Driscoll, Who Questioned Obama's Christianity, Accused of Plagiarism

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Pastor Mark Driscoll, of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, questioned President Obama's Christianity earlier this year in his new book, A Call to Resurgence.

"On January 21, 2013, Barack Obama placed his hand on a Bible he may not entirely believe to take an oath to a God he may not entirely know," wrote Pastor Driscoll, reported The Christian Post.

Pastor Driscoll also wrote: "Jesus alone will judge his soul one day, but in the meantime we are free to be confused by a man who says he's a Christian while ending his speech to America's largest abortion provider with, 'Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you.'"

However, Pastor Driscoll was accused of plagiarism by Christian radio host Janet Mefferd last month on her show.

Mefferd stated that Driscoll had used 14 pages from author and professor Peter Jones in A Call to Resurgence, but had only referred readers to Jones' website instead of footnoting the 14 pages Jones' original work.

During the show, Mefferd said, "14 pages of no footnote and no page citations."

"There's a footnote that says it comes from Peter Jones' work," responded Pastor Driscoll.

"It says, 'See for example,' it doesn't have anything," stated Mefford.

Mefferd repeatedly questioned Pastor Driscoll, who repeated his admiration for Jones and accused Mefford of having a "grumpy day."

Mefferd then posted more content on her website from another book by Pastor Driscoll that was allegedly plagiarised.

ReligionNews.com reported that Pastor Driscoll's book publisher, Tyndale House Publishers, issued a scathing statement in response:

Tyndale House Publishers was provided a recording of the show by representatives of Pastor Driscoll. A number of people at Tyndale reviewed the tape and were stunned, not only by the accusations, but by the belligerent tone of Ms. Mefferd’s questioning. When Ms. Mefferd asked Pastor Driscoll her first question to accuse him of plagiarism, she did not invoke Peter Jones’s name. The first person that Pastor Driscoll credited in his response was Mr. Jones. Pastor Driscoll also credits Mr. Jones in the section that Janet refers to in Mark’s book, A Call to Resurgence.

Several Christian writers/websites agreed with Mefferd's claims, including FirstThings.com, WadeBurleson.org and Warren Throckmorton on his Patheos.com blog.

However, yesterday Mefferd pulled the Nov. 21 show with herself and Pastor Driscoll as well as the documents backing her claims up.

According to RightWingWatch.org, Mefferd also apologized to Pastor Driscoll on her radio show yesterday: “The interview should not have occurred at all, I should have contacted Tyndale House [Driscoll’s publisher] directly to alert them to the plagiarism issue and I never should have brought it to the attention of listeners publicly. I would like to apologize to all of you and to Mark Driscoll for how I behaved, I am sorry.”

Mefferd has not commented about pulling her show or the documents, but one of her producers, Ingrid Schlueter, resigned after criticism of Mefferd.

Schleuter publicly complained about Pastor Driscoll's plagiarism scandal on SpiritualSoundingBoard.com, but the posts were removed.

Fortunately, Warren Throckmorton made a copy of Schleuter’s online posts before they were removed and posted them on his Patheos.com blog.

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.

...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.

Sources: JanetMefferdPremium.com, Patheos.com, SpiritualSoundingBoard.com, RightWingWatch.org, FirstThings.com, WadeBurleson.org, AudioOur.com, The Christian Post