Would Mark Driscoll Fail A Course In His Own School?

In 2009, Mars Hill Church launched the Resurgence Training Center. Also known as RE:Train, the program is designed “to train leaders and fuel the leadership engine of our multi-site and church planting movement at Mars Hill church.” (p. 3). The program is set up like an academic institution in that there is a catalog of policies and the courses lead to a “Master of Missional Leadership.” (see pages 4-5). Mark Driscoll is listed as one of the teachers in the school (see pages 8-9).
The catalog begins with a warning:

It is the Resurgence Training Center’s expectation that students will follow school policies and procedures. The student assumes personal responsibility for fulfilling the appropriate course of study and completing the graduation requirements for the Resurgence Training Center. Ignorance of a policy which appears in published student documents, particularly the catalog or student handbook, is not a valid reason for granting exception to any policy. (p. 2)

Claiming ignorance might not get you any grace. Readers may be able to tell where this is going.
One of the policies for which students are responsible is the plagiarism policy. The catalog defines plagiarism on page 12:

Students found plagiarizing are subject to discipline. The most common errors in handling written sources are  the following: (1) failure to use quotations marks when quoting, (2) failure to make a thorough paraphrase when attempting to put someone else’s idea into one’s own words, and (3) failure to give credit to the source of the information.
The standard disciplinary response to substantial plagiarism is an immediate “F” for the course and the student placed on probation. This action may be either decreased or increased for reasons determined by the professor or academic dean. appeals for any such actions can be made to the academic dean and the ad hoc appeals committee.

Given the documented citation errors identified here and elsewhere, I think Rev. Driscoll might have to face some form of discipline. He has reproduced material verbatim from sources without citation, inadequately paraphrased and failed to give credit to sources of information (see this post for a summary in just one book).
On paper, this policy is hard to square with Tyndale House’s remarkable statement that Peter Jones’ work was “adequately cited” in Driscoll’s A Call To Resurgence. My point is not to drag out old charges but to wonder out loud if the distance between what we expect from students and what we expect from church leaders has gotten too great. The definition of plagiarism in Mark Driscoll’s own school is more stringent than the one used by a publisher of his books.
See also:
Spokesperson: Thomas Nelson Working With Driscolls to Address Real Marriage Citation Issues

Spokesperson: Thomas Nelson Working With Driscolls to Address Real Marriage Citation Issues

I asked Harper Collins Christian Publishing Director of Corporate Communications, Casey Francis Harrell for comment regarding when the print edition of Real Marriage would reflect the changes now seen online. In response, Ms. Harrell said in an email:

We are aware of the issues that have been raised about Mark and Grace Driscoll’s REAL MARRIAGE, and we are working with the authors to address them as efficiently and effectively as possible in all formats.

Thomas Nelson has addressed two of the several issues which have been raised here and elsewhere.

Publisher Thomas Nelson Alters Mark Driscoll's Book Real Marriage To Correct Citation Problems

On January 9, I compared a section of Mark & Grace Driscoll’s book Real Marriage to Justin & Lindsey Holcomb’s book Rid of My Disgrace. In that post, I noted that the Driscolls did not give adequate credit to the Holcombs for some material adapted from the Holcombs’ book on recovery from sexual assault. While some supporters of Mark Driscoll have minimized concerns about plagiarism and  inadequate citation, the publishers involved apparently consider the problems to be important. First, Thomas Nelson added an acknowledgment to Dan Allender* in Real Marriage and now the publisher has made more changes in the book to more appropriately cite the Holcombs’ work.
The image below shows the original version compared to the Google version (p. 125) now online:

With these corrections, Thomas Nelson addressed the precise issues that I pointed out in the January 9 post. The current version is much better and gives appropriate credit to the Holcombs.
Thomas Nelson should get some credit for this reaction to concerns over plagiarism. In contrast to Tyndale House, Thomas Nelson apparently viewed the citation of the Holcomb’s work as less than market standards. Recall that Thomas Nelson pulled David Barton’s book, The Jefferson Lies when it became clear that the book was filled with factual errors. Now, they have taken a less drastic course but nonetheless tacitly acknowledged problems which require action.
I would say that the several publishers involved have a lot more work to do to make appropriate corrections. Now that Thomas Nelson has moved to make these changes, Tyndale House may feel additional pressure to rethink the findings of their investigation regarding citation of Peter Jones’ work in A Call To Resurgence.
*This now shows up in the Google version as well.
UPDATE: Thomas Nelson issued a statement to me today regarding the changes being made to Real Marriage. Click the link to read the statement.

Summary of New and Old Citation Problems in Mark & Grace Driscoll's Real Marriage

In this post, I am going to summarize the remainder of instances of citation problems and recycling in Mark & Grace Driscoll’s book Real Marriage. In addition, I will add links to the previous issues discovered.
First some issues I have not written about previously.
On pages 53-54, the Driscolls write about “contract v. covenant marriage.” To me, this use seems similar to their use of Dan Allender’s relational styles of abused women (“tough girl, good girl, party girl”). First, from Real Marriage, p. 53:

Understanding contract versus covenant is essential to marriage. In a contractual marriage two people with two lives negotiate the terms of their marriage. This tends to make marriage more like a business deal where two individuals living parallel lives monitor each other’s contributions to see if the terms of the marriage negotiation are being upheld. For many men and women, the questions are: Is my spouse keeping up his/ her looks, making his/ her share of the income, doing an equal amount of the chores, and having enough sex with me, or not? And if at any point I do not believe my spouse is keeping up his or her end of our business arrangement, I simply nullify the deal and file for divorce according to the terms of a prenuptial agreement in which the divorce was organized before the marriage began.
A covenant is not like a contract. This is important for men to understand because most men, especially professionals, think contractually, which is fine for business but death to a marriage. The concept of covenant appears literally hundreds of times throughout the Bible. At the most basic level, a covenant is a loving agreement between two parties that bonds them together . a Some covenants are made between God and people, such as the new covenant of salvation. b Other covenants are made between people, such as the covenant of marriage.
Driscoll, Mark; Driscoll, Grace (2012-01-03). Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together (p. 53-54). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I don’t know who coined the distinction first but their discussion reminded me of the concept of contract v. covenant marriage in Gary Chapman’s 2003 book Covenant Marriage. Click this link to see the relevant portion of Covenant Marriage.
In a previous post, I pointed out instances of recycling material from one book to another without disclosure. In Real Marriage, the Driscolls recycled additional material from Death By Love (authored with Gerry Breshears).  From Real Marriage, pages 94-95:

Bitterness is often unrelated to the magnitude of a sin, but instead correlates to how much you love the offender. If a stranger sins against you in a significant way, you are likely to be angry, but not bitter. If a spouse sins against you— even in a little way— however, you are likely to get bitter because you have higher expectations for your spouse’s relationship with you. And we can even become bitter against God, like Naomi (meaning “pleasant”), who changed her name to Mara (meaning “bitter”) because “‘ the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.’”

Click this link to compare the section in Real Marriage to a discussion of bitterness in Death By Love.
A third section is the Driscoll’s treatment of John Wesley’s marriage on pages 97-99 in Real Marriage. The Driscolls provide an account of John Wesley’s marriage to Molly Vazeille. The marriage was a disaster by any standard and the Driscolls contrast it with the happy marriage of John’s brother Charles. The narrative is told with footnotes for direct quotes from John Wesley but no citation of the source(s) for the many facts provided about the rest of the story. The material is not common knowledge and had to come from research on Wesley’s life. In one instance, the Driscolls cite a very good book by Doreen Moore titled “Good Christians, Good Husbands” but do so in relation to a direct quote from Wesley. The details of Wesley’s failed marriage are presented without citation.
From an academic point of view, the lack of citation makes it impossible to track down their claims. For instance, I would like to know their source because one aspect of the narrative seems incorrect. From page 98:

John Wesley had poured his life into his ministry of Methodism . But in February 1751 things changed when, at the age of forty-eight, the never-married John Wesley was crossing London Bridge when he slipped on ice and broke his ankle. He was then taken into the home of forty-one-year-old Molly Vazeille, a wealthy widow with four children. Without even a passing mention in his journal, the two were married eight days later.
Driscoll, Mark; Driscoll, Grace (2012-01-03). Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together (p. 98). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

According to Doreen Moore’s research (p. 21) and a letter by John Wesley’s brother Charles, Wesley had already disclosed he was going to marry Molly Vazeille before he injured his ankle on the bridge. The Driscolls make it seem as though Wesley didn’t know Molly prior to the injury. However, he was taken there apparently because he had already announced his intention to marry her. Small matter perhaps, but worth noting for those who are interested in the life of Wesley.
Other posts on Real Marriage:
Mark Driscoll’s Real Marriage and Robert Brannon’s Male Sex Roles: Coincidence or Something More?
More Citation Problems in Mark Driscoll’s Book Real Marriage; Leland Ryken’s Worldly Saints and More
Anti-Plagiarism Campaigner Says Mark Driscoll Did Not Adequately Cite The Work Of Peter Jones
Writing Recycling: A New Wrinkle in the Mark Driscoll Plagiarism Controversy?
Mark and Grace Driscoll’s Real Marriage Compared to Justin and Lindsey Holcomb’s Rid of My Disgrace
Kindle Edition of Mark Driscoll’s Real Marriage Adds Dan Allender to Acknowledgments

Mark Driscoll's Real Marriage and Robert Brannon's Male Sex Roles: Coincidence or Something More?

Chapter 3 of Mark and Grace Driscoll’s book Real Marriage is addressed directly to his male readers. In the chapter on Men and Marriage, Driscoll says that men are to be tough and tender but proposes that some men are too tough (tough chauvinists) and some are too tender (tender cowards). They are not terms of endearment.
As I read through this section, some of the terms seemed familiar. Indeed, Driscoll’s designations and descriptions for three of the tough chauvinists and one of the tender cowards appear to be restatements of Robert Brannon’s 1976 descriptions of male sex roles. Another of Driscoll’s tender cowards appears to be reminiscent of Dan Kiley’s Peter Pan Syndrome.
Let me state upfront that I am not accusing Driscoll of plagiarizing Brannon’s or Kiley’s work. I cannot prove Rev. Driscoll had access to Brannon’s or Kiley’s material. It may be a coincidence that these exact labels are used in this typology.  Perhaps he studied Brannon in college and later came up with the labels without recollecting where he had heard them. Regarding Kiley’s popularization of the concept of the “Peter Pan Syndrome,” I don’t see the lack of citation as a serious problem. The concept of a man who will not grow up is not particularly novel and has been referred to in a variety of ways. However, with regard to Brannon, if Driscoll was aware of Brannon’s material, then he should have credited the author as a part of the expanding the typology. This situation is comparable to Driscoll’s use of Dan Allender’s typology of female responses to abuse (“tough girl, party girl, good girl”). Apparently, Thomas Nelson, the publisher of Real Marriage, believed the Driscoll’s use of Allender’s work required acknowledgment because the publisher recently added a note to Allender in the Kindle version of Real Marriage. If Driscoll did indeed rely on Brannon for these designations and the accompanying descriptions then a similar notation in Real Marriage should be added.
First let’s look at Brannon’s typology and descriptions of gender roles. In his 1976 book chapter, “The Male Sex Role: Our Culture’s Blueprint of Manhood and What It’s Done for Us Lately” from the book The Forty-nine percent majority: the male sex role, edited by Brannon and Deborah S. David, Brannon describes four dimensions of the male role:

1. Anti-Femininity (“No Sissy Stuff”): The stigma of all stereotyped feminine characteristics and qualities, including openness and vulnerability.
2. Status and Achievement (“The Big Wheel”): Success, status and the need to be looked up to.
3. Stoicism and Independence (“The Sturdy Oak”): A manly air of toughness, confidence, and self-reliance.
4. Adventurousness and Aggressiveness (“Give ‘Em Hell!”): The aura of aggression, violence and daring

The article is too long to reproduce here. However, some description from the article is necessary to demonstrate the similarity to Driscoll’s content.

 1. Anti-Femininity (“No Sissy Stuff”): the Stigma of Anything Vaguely Feminine
The earliest lesson: Don’t be like girls, kid, be like. . . like. . . well, not like girls.
A “real man” must never, never resemble women, or display strongly stereotyped feminine characteristics. (emphasis in original)
This stigma of femininity (i.e. “effeminacy”) applies to almost everything: vocabulary, food, hobbies, sexual orientation and even choice of profession. What follows from this is that men who are most intensely concerned with their own masculinity seldom desire close and prolonged contact with women
If everything associated with females is so potentially stigmatizing, it’s not hard to guess how much real intimacy with women themselves a manly man is supposed to want.
Men who are most intensely concerned with their own masculinity seldom desire close contact with women.
Open displays of anger, contempt, impatience, hostility, or cynicism are not difficult for most men.  But emotions suggesting vulnerability, and even extremely positive feelings such as love, tenderness, and trust are almost never acceptable.
Also, men in general are far more reluctant than women to reveal personal information about themselves. Jourard (1971) found that men reveal less than women, no matter who the audience, and that both sexes reveal less to men than to women.

Compare Brannon’s work to Driscoll’s character, “No Sissy Stuff Sam” on page 45 of Real Marriage:

Brannon calls the next aspect of the male role, “The Big Wheel”:

II. Status and Achievement (“The Big Wheel”): Success, Status, and the Need to be Looked Up To
One of the basic routes to manhood in our society is to be a success: to command respect and be looked up to for what one can do or has achieved.
The most visible and sought-after source of status in our society is what we loosely refer to as “being a success”. The business tycoon, the politician, the movie star and the sports hero enjoy an automatic kind of status, and will often be viewed as masculine role- models on this basis alone.
Men who haven’t “made it” by the standards of the mainstream often find other battlegrounds to fight on, other routes to status before smaller but highly appreciative audiences. A neighborhood bar may have a champion dart thrower, with a standing bet to lick any man in the house…In truth, almost anything pursued seriously can become a source of status, and status itself is the ultimate prize.
The act of lovemaking was once considered a natural function and the male prerogative at that. With the widespread discussion of female orgasm, not to mention multiple orgasm, and the appearance of hundreds of sex manuals telling men how to bring any woman to the brink of ecstasy in 35 easy steps, a whole new proving ground for male competence (and status) has appeared.

Now consider Driscoll’s “Success and Status Stewart.”

Going in Brannon’s order of presentation, the next male role is “The Sturdy Oak.”

III. Stoicism and Independence (“The Sturdy Oak”): A Manly Air of Toughness,
There is another paradigm of masculinity which has nothing directly to do with social status. There is a distinct sense of strong manliness, not usually belligerent or looking for trouble, but  tough and self-possessed, which somehow emerges from the variable combination of quiet confidence, self-reliance, determination, indifference to opposition, courage, and seriousness.
A “real man” never worries about death or loses his manly “cool.”
A father may decide on a firm punishment for his son and stick to it, when understanding and support are what’s needed.

For Driscoll, “The Sturdy Oak” is a tender coward (p. 46). Driscoll emphasizes the aloof nature of the sturdy oak to create a character who doesn’t engage with his family.

Brannon’s final male role characteristic is a description of aggression that is expected from males.

IV. Adventurousness and Aggressiveness (“Give ‘Em Hell”): The Aura of Aggression,
Violence, and Daring
There is another deep and rich vein in the male gender role that also smacks of strength and toughness but is not fundamentally wholesome, constructive, or benign. It is the need to hurt, to conquer, to embarrass, to humble, to outwit, to punish, or to defeat or most basically in Horney’s useful phrase, “to move against people.”
Although both this paradigm and the former (i.e. the Sturdy Oak) draw on toughness as a defining feature, in this case the underlying theme is one of attack and not defence.

Driscoll’s version of “Give ‘Em Hell” gets the name Hank and sounds a lot like Brannon.

Driscoll preached this typology in a 2009 sermon titled Marriage and Men. In the sermon and in Real Marriage, Driscoll adds a character called “I’m The Boss Bob” to his list of tough chauvinists and “Little Boy Larry” (where he invokes the Peter Pan), “Hyper-Spiritual Henry” and “Good Time Gary” to his list of tender cowards. Other than the added characters, Driscoll’s typology is different in that Brannon taught that the labels described role pressures that most men experience. Driscoll makes these designations to be different types of men. As an academic matter, I think Brannon’s typology is more useful because, as with any typology, one can see combinations of types that better describe individual people. Furthermore, given varying life circumstances, some men may experience one type of pressure at one time of life and another more keenly at another time of life.
I asked Neil Holdway, treasure of the American Copy Editors Society how he viewed Driscoll’s typology as compared to Brannon’s. After reviewing the two sources, he said there are some suspicious elements but one cannot be sure what inspired Driscoll since Driscoll has not spoken on the matter and Brannon is not the only person to write about gender roles. However, he added, “If Driscoll drew on the work of Brannon and any others, he should have cited it in some way — with attribution within the text or with footnotes, as Brannon did so well with his work.”
It is certainly fine to build on someone else’s work but it is important to give credit for the inspiration and material used. As noted above, this case may be similar to the citation problems with Dan Allender’s work. Thomas Nelson has addressed that, making it clear that the Driscolls did borrow from Allender. If Driscoll was aware of Brannon’s work, then a similar response may be forthcoming.

More Citation Problems in Mark Driscoll's Book Real Marriage; Leland Ryken's Worldly Saints and More

In addition to issues already raised about Mark & Grace Driscoll’s book, Real Marriage, I have found other instances where material was not cited, cited with errors, or recycled from other books. Today, I want to examine pages 115-117 from Real Marriage.  First I provide the sentence from the Driscolls’ book and then the apparent source. The sentences in Real Marriage are provided in the order they are written in the book. I have provided screen caps of 2012 Real Marriage and Leland Ryken’s 1986 book Worldly Saints at the end of this post. Much of this material appears to come from Ryken’s book published by Zondervan without citation. Driscoll is aware of Ryken’s book. He recommended Worldly Saints in a 2002 sermon and on the Resurgence website just last year. Other books are also used without citation which I point out below.

From page 115 of Real Marriage:

Tertullian (AD 155– 220) and Ambrose (AD 340–397) were said to prefer extinction of the human race to continued sexual intercourse.

On page 40 of Worldly Saints:

Tertullian and Ambrose preferred the extinction of the human race to its propagation through sin, that is, through sexual intercourse.

From Real Marriage (p. 115):

Origen (AD 185– 254) was so convinced of the evils of sexual pleasure that he not only allegorized the Song of Songs but also took a knife and castrated himself.

From Worldly Saints (p. 40):

Origen took Matthew 19:12 so literally that he had himself castrated before being ordained.

Real Marriage (p. 115):

Gregory of Nyssa (AD 335– 394) taught that Adam and Eve were created without sexual desire, and if the fall had not occurred, the race would have reproduced itself by some harmless mode of vegetation.

Worldly Saints (p. 41):

Bishop Gregory of Nyssa claimed that Adam and Eve had originally been created without sexual desire, and if the Fall had not occurred, the human race would have reproduced itself by some harmless mode of vegetation.

Real Marriage (p. 115):

Chrysostom (AD 347– 407) said that Adam and Eve could not have had sexual relations before the fall.

Worldly Saints (p. 41):

Chrysostom said that Adam and Eve could not have had sexual relations before the Fall.

Real Marriage (p. 115):

Jerome (AD 347– 420) threw himself into thorny brambles to overwhelm himself with pain when he began to desire a woman sexually. He also beat his chest with a stone to punish himself for feeling sexually tempted.

From S. Drury, Terror and Civilization: Christianity, Politics, and the Western Psyche, (see image) (p. 96):

St. Jerome beat his chest with a stone to drive away the evil desire he had for a dancing girl he saw in Rome…Saint Benedict stripped himself naked and rolled around in thorny bushes to chastise his body for its lusts.

While I can’t be dogmatic about it, I can’t find a story about Jerome in the thorn bushes. However, there are multiple sources which describe Benedict’s naked roll in the thorns. For instance, an account from Legends of the Monastic Order as Represented in the Fine Arts by Anna Jameson has Benedict sending temptation away via his painful ordeal:

Real Marriage (p. 115):

And he (Jerome) believed that a husband was guilty of adultery if he engaged in unrestrained sexual passion with his wife. 17

There is a footnote here which points to William Cole’s 1966 book Sex in Christianity and Psychoanalysis and published by Oxford University Press. Cole refers to a catechism which cites Jerome as follows:

A wise man ought to love his wife with judgment, not with passion. He will govern the impetuosity voluptuous impulses, and will not be hurried into indulgence. There is no greater turpitude than that a husband love his wife as an adultress.

While Driscoll’s interpretation of Jerome is fair, a fuller reading indicates Jerome’s grudging approval of marital sex, within reason:

It is disgraceful to love another man’s wife at all, or one’s own too much. A wise man ought to love his wife with judgment, not with passion. Let a man govern his voluptuous impulses, and not rush headlong into intercourse.
There is nothing blacker than to love a wife as if she were an adulteress. Men who say they have contracted marriage and are bringing up children, for the good of their country and of the race, should at least imitate the brutes, and not destroy their offspring in the womb; nor should they appear in the character of lovers, but of husbands.

Real Marriage (p. 115):

Augustine (AD 354– 430) was sexually active before his conversion and later decided that sex within marriage was not sinful, though the lust and passion associated with it was sinful. Because of this, he often commended married couples for not engaging in sex and referred to it as a form of animalistic lust. 18

This sentence is footnoted appropriately.
Real Marriage (p. 115):

Saint Francis made women out of snow and then caressed them in order to quiet the lust that burned in him.

From Drury’s Terror and Civilization (p. 96):

Saint Francis tried to cool the lust that burned within him by caressing figures made of snow.

As noted by this blogger (who contacted Driscoll to find his source with no reply), this telling of the Saint Francis legend appears to be incorrect. There is a legend involving St. Francis and snow figures but the story is different in very important ways. An important source of St. Francis legends is the work of Bonaventure who quoted from Celano. The legends of St. Francis as recorded by Celano are here. The story involving snow figures is as follows:

How the devil, calling to Francis, tempted him with lust, and how the saint overcame the temptation
116 At the hermitage of the brothers at Sartiano, he who is always envious of the children of God, presumed to do the following against the saint. For seeing the saint continuing to increase in holiness and not neglecting today’s profit for yesterday’s, he called to Francis at prayer one night in his cell, saying three times: “Francis, Francis, Francis.” He answered, saying: “What do you want?” And the other: “There is no sinner in the world whom the Lord will not forgive if he is converted; but whoever destroys himself by harsh penance will not find mercy forever.” Immediately the saint recognized the cleverness of his enemy by a revelation, how he was trying to bring him back to lukewarmness. What then? The enemy did not stop short of inflicting upon him another struggle. For seeing that he could not thus conceal his snare, he prepared another snare, namely, the enticement of the flesh. But in vain, for he who had seen through the craftiness of the spirit could not be tricked by the flesh. The devil therefore tempted him with a most severe temptation of lust. But the blessed father, as soon as he noticed it, took off his clothing and beat himself very severely with his cord, saying: “See, brother ass, thus is it becoming for you to remain, thus is it becoming for you to bear the whip. The tunic belongs to the order; stealing is not allowed. If you want to go your way,
117 But when he saw that the temptation did not leave him in spite of the scourging, even though all his members were marked with welts, he opened his cell and went out into the garden and cast himself naked into a deep pile of snow. Then gathering handfuls of snow, he made from it seven lumps like balls. And setting them before him, he began to speak to his body: “Behold,” he said, “this larger one is your wife; these four are your two sons and your two daughters; the other two are your servant and your maid whom you must have to serve you. Hurry,” he said, “and clothe them all, for they are dying of cold. But if caring for them in so many ways troubles you, be solicitous for serving God alone.” The devil then departed quickly in confusion, and the saint returned to his cell glorifying God. A certain spiritual brother, who was praying at the time, saw the whole thing by the light of the moon. But when the saint found out later that this brother had seen him that night, he was greatly distressed and commanded him to tell the thing to no one as long as he lived in this world.

While I am not an expert on St. Francis, my research into this story leads me to believe that both Drury and Driscoll are wrong about the story (and it is a story with no way to know if it is true). In this case, Driscoll’s copying seems to have led him into presenting a false picture of the St. Francis legend.
Real Marriage (p. 115):

Thomas Aquinas (AD 1225– 1274) taught that sex was only permissible for purposes of procreation. Aquinas saw sexual intercourse as duty alone. Anything beyond this was immoral. He wrote, “For if the motive for the marriage act be a virtue, whether of justice that they may render the debt, or of religion, that they may beget children for the worship of God, it is meritorious. But if the motive be lust . . . it is a venial sin.” 19

The footnote here goes to an online version of Aquinas’ Summa Theologica. However, the section in Real Marriage looks very much like this section from this book:

Real Marriage (p. 115)

Early in the sixth century, Pope Gregory the Great wrote that although marriage was not sinful, “conjugal union cannot take place without carnal pleasure, and such pleasure cannot under any circumstance be without blame.” 21

This sentence is appropriately footnoted.
Real Marriage (p. 116):

The Church eventually began to limit the days on which sex was permissible and continued adding days until half the year or more was prohibited, with some priests going so far as to recommend abstinence from five to seven days a week.

Worldly Saints (p. 41):

The Church kept multiplying the days on which sex was prohibited for married people until half the year or more was prohibited, with some writers going so far as to recommend abstinence on five of the seven days of the week.

Real Marriage (p. 116):

The Catholic Church’s view through the Middle Ages was that sexual love, both in and out of marriage, was evil.

Worldly Saints (p. 40):

The dominant attitude of the Catholic Church throughout the Middle Ages was that sexual love itself was evil and did not cease to be so if its object were one’s spouse.

Real Marriage (p. 116):

By the fifth century priests were forbidden to marry, which has, at least in part, resulted in a global scandal as sexually unhealthy and unholy men entered pastoral ministry.

Worldly Saints (p. 40):

By the fifth century clerics were prohibited from marrying,

I am going to stop there because I think this is enough to indicate the nature of the problems. While this is a relatively short section of Real Marriage, it seems clear that at least Leland Ryken and Shadia Drury should have been cited. Some of the material matches up exactly with the sources I have supplied while other information is included without any sourcing. In at least two cases, copying appears to have compromised the facts.
Worldly SaintsImage pages 40-41; reference to sources on church history (Although Ryken did not footnote each sentence in his book, he supplied his sources for the discussion in a footnote)
Real MarriageImage pages 115-116

Anti-Plagiarism Campaigner Says Mark Driscoll Did Not Adequately Cite The Work Of Peter Jones

Yesterday, I highlighted the work of the American Copy Editors Society against plagiarism. I learned about their work from Neil Holdway, treasurer of ACES and editor of Chicago area paper Daily Herald (incidentally, where Janet Mefferd once worked. Holdway was her boss there). I asked Holdway about the Mark Driscoll controversy and specifically about the initial allegations of his old colleague regarding Mark Driscoll’s use of Peter Jones’ work. In his response, Holdway took issue with the results of Tyndale House’s investigation, saying

I disagree with Tyndale’s assertion that Peter Jones was adequately cited in the 14 pages called into in question in “A Call To Resurgence.” As written in our task force’s e-book on fighting plagiarism in journalism, “Telling the Truth and Nothing But“:

“We broadened our definition of plagiarism to cover the realm of ideas, encouraging practitioners throughout the industry to more generously and forthrightly cite the seminal, distinctive work of others from whom they draw inspiration in creating their own original works.”

Specifically, Holdway disagrees with the following claim in the Tyndale statement:

Pertaining to his Tyndale book, A Call to Resurgence, Tyndale believes that Mark Driscoll did indeed adequately cite the work of Peter Jones.

On page 320 of A Call To Resurgence, Driscoll includes this footnote:

See, for example, truthexchange.com or Peter Jones, One or Two: Seeing a World of Difference (Escondido, CA: Main Entry Editions, 2010).

According to Holdway, this one citation wasn’t adequate to give credit for the 14 pages of material which relied heavily on Jones’ writing and ideas.
Holdway also addressed Tyndale’s findings regarding Driscoll’s intent by citing the following passage in the ACES ebook:

“An unavoidable complication in any discussion of plagiarism is intent. Was the plagiarism deliberate? Was it inadvertent? Any effort to define journalistic standards must, in our view, consider the recipients of the journalism, not just the producers. Plagiarism harms the creator of the original material, our craft, our industry — but just as crucially, it is a violation of the audience’s trust. Whatever the motivation, the outcome is the same: Everyone suffers.”

Holdway added:

The controversy could have been avoided so easily with more, well-placed, what I would consider proper attribution — saying the outline was “inspired by Peter Jones” or “presented by Peter Jones,” for example, or of course in a footnote as he had done elsewhere. Again, as the e-book on plagiarism says:

“Journalists might understandably start the conversation with a question: How much information — a word, a phrase, a sentence — can be copied without committing plagiarism? That’s the wrong approach. It is more productive to look for reasons to attribute information more often, more clearly, more generously.”

In my opinion, Tyndale’s statement is inadequate in at least three other ways.
The extent of the problem was not addressed adequately by Tyndale or Mark Driscoll. Neither Driscoll nor Tyndale addressed the many other instances of plagiarism and recycling which have come to light. The closest the statement came to such an acknowledgment was a vague reference to a review of other books.
Driscoll did not take direct responsibility for his books (“mistakes were made” – see also). According to the statement still up on the Mars Hill website (click Downloads), responsibility for the “citation errors” in the book on the Apostle Peter was assigned to a research assistant and a team of people. However, Driscoll’s name is on the label as the author. Furthermore the Tyndale statement refers to a review of Driscoll’s books that involve others:

We are also making changes to our content development process to avoid these mistakes in the future. In addition, we are working with all of our past publishers to review other books we have published. If other mistakes were made, we want to correct them as soon as possible.

What is a “content development process?” Is that the same thing as authoring a book? How many people are involved and what are they doing? If anything, this statement leaves unanswered many questions about ghostwriting and authorship by committee.
In my opinion, Tyndale’s investigation should have involved independent scholars/experts. When Jonah Lehrer was being investigated by Wired magazine, an independent scholar reviewed the allegations as well as other columns written by Lehrer. The independent investigation turned up many instances of plagiarism and recycling of previous material. For understandable reasons, Tyndale House had an interest in cleaning up the situation as soon as possible. They have financial interests in A Call to Resurgence and future books by Driscoll. Even with the best of intentions, these factors make objectivity difficult to achieve.
From a public relations standpoint, Tyndale House’s December statement may have helped quell media interest in the story, it did not adequately address the scope of the matter. It seems to me that there are still important questions to explore.
Next week, I intend to provide additional instances of inadequate citation and recycling without disclosure in the Driscolls’ book Real Marriage.
To see the material in A Call To Resurgence compared to Peter Jones’ work, click here.
For all posts on this topic, click here.

American Copy Editors Society: Leading The Charge Against Plagiarism

When Tyndale House first responded to allegations of plagiarism in A Call to Resurgence by Mark Driscoll, the publisher claimed that Driscoll’s citation of Peter Jones was proper and conformed to “market standards.” Many people disagreed with Tyndale which has raised questions about what “market standards” should be.
I learned yesterday about one effort to address the question of standards. I spoke to Neil Holdway, treasurer of the American Copy Editors Society (ACES) and an editor with the Chicago area Daily Herald. In April, 2013, ACES joined with nine other associations of journalists for the National Summit on Plagiarism and Fabrication which was a part of ACES annual conference. As a component of their efforts to raise awareness and suggest standards, the groups, along with 24 media and educational organizations, released an ebook about plagiarism titled Telling the Truth and Nothing But (download here).
I spoke with Neil about the Driscoll controversy, but in this post, I just want to raise awareness of the association’s efforts to address plagiarism in media. In the ebook, plagiarism is defined as

…presenting someone else’s language or work as your own. Whether it is deliberate or the result of carelessness, such appropriation should be considered unacceptable because it hides the sources of information from the audience. (p. 5)

The report also deals with recycling material.

The practice of reusing previously published material raises an intriguing question: Can one self-plagiarize? Perhaps a better way to frame the discussion is to consider the term “recycling material without disclosure,” as discussed in a Poynter Institute post about Jonah Lehrer’s serial reuse in The New Yorker and Wired of material he had previously written for other publications. By any name, what Lehrer did was wrong: In no case should journalists copy material they have written for previous employers. (p. 13)

Although the exact situation of recycling in material from book to book is not addressed by the ebook, Holdway told me that the principles about recycling which are outlined in the book could be applied to the case of Driscoll’s use of material from past books in newer ones. Perhaps with the efforts of ACES and like-minded groups, a consensus will develop relating to market standards on recycling.
Among many other questions, I asked Neil what his thoughts were about the allegations of plagiarism directed at Mark Driscoll. I will have his response on that subject in at least two future posts.  For now, I hope you will check out the ebook and related resources from ACES.

On The Allegations Of Plagiarism Against Mark Driscoll (UPDATED)

As first reported by Religion News Service, Seattle pastor Mark Driscoll was accused of plagiarism by Janet Mefferd during a November 21 interview with Driscoll about his new book A Call to Resurgence. Originally, the charges related to the new book and material from the work of Peter Jones. Then several days later Mefferd produced more material from another Driscoll book which added to her claims.

Since then, professor Colin Garbarino weighed in at First Things by flunking Driscoll on grounds of plagiarism. For his part, Driscoll has yet to respond to the newest claims. Some have come to his defense. Fellow Patheos blogger, Christian Piatt, likened the response of critics to a “witch hunt” and says Driscoll “deserves better.”

My interest in this has nothing to do with the people involved. In my recollection, I have never heard Driscoll speak and haven’t, until now, read anything he has written. Mefferd has favorably interviewed some people I have criticized on this blog and so my opinions here are not influenced by any desire to defend her against Driscoll’s advocates. When I heard about the claims, I became curious and wanted to check them out for myself.
After looking into it, I think Mr. Driscoll has some explaining to do. Mefferd put together two pdf files of material which I examined. The material which triggered the original allegations is, to me, less convincing than the material she then located. In the case of Peter Jones and Driscoll’s new book, I believe Driscoll should have cited Jones more than he did. He should have made it clearer that his use of terms was derived from Jones as the source. However, the second wave of claims raise more direct concerns of using material, word-for-word, without citation. You can see Mefferd’s evidence here (A Call to Resurgence and one section of Trial) and here (another section from Trial).

To help compare one of the passages from Trial: 8 Witness from 1 & 2 Peter, I have reproduced the relevant section of New Bible Commentary on I Peter from Mefferd’s materials. Then I looked up the web copy of Trial on Driscoll’s website. The side by side comparison is below. The bold print highlights the words that have been changed or altered in some manner from the original.

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.

UPDATE: Mefferd says she has more evidence of plagiarism which she will disclose on her program this afternoon. They are now on her blog. The first claim relates to copying the terms “good girl,” “tough girl,” and “party girl” without citation in his book Real Marriage from Dan Allender’s book The Wounded Heart. Driscoll also uses these terms with similar descriptions in his book Death by LoveThe second concern relates to Driscoll’s book Who Do You Think You Are? in comparison to a blog post by Ron Edmondson on forgiveness. These instances are not as blatant as the material first published in the New Bible Commentary, but they do raise important questions about the lack of citation. In the Death by Love book, Driscoll cites unnamed “experts” as the source but does not name Allender. He should have.
It is certainly possible that Driscoll heard the Allender terms at a workshop or from a friend and did not know who used them first. The issue may be sloppiness.  However, in my view, these new concerns are not frivolous and should be taken seriously.

See also:
More allegations of plagiarism surface against Mark Driscoll (Religion News Service)