Back in 2013 Reformed social media went nuts over Mark Driscoll’s plagiarism.
Mortification of Spin even did a show about celebrity preachers and plagiarism and how it evidenced a deep flaw in the YRR movement.
Yet, even though several thousand [edited] unique visitors to thedailygenvan.com have read about P&R’s public, yet ambiguous, announcement of plagiarism in Derek Thomas’ Acts Commentary, I see no open concern or discussion about the importance of integrity in our Reformed circles in light of this. His book was nominated for awards and paraded as a great achievement on the Alliance of Confessing Evangelical blog. But now even after P&R’s announcement it is still being sold at various Reformed online bookstores....
Instead of a concern that we clean up our own act regarding plagiarism, I’ve seen 1. Efforts by ministers and elders to identify “the source” who first reported the plagiarism to P&R. 2. Efforts to get me to take down the public call for an explanation. 3. Accusations of me not loving Christ, the church, and good polity because public actions by a public figure and a public publishing house are being discussed publicly. 4. A virtual emotional meltdown over my decision to post the “appeal for an explanation” anonymously—-yet, why? So the good ole boys can hunt down the unloyal and punish?
I understand the emotional sorrow over these realities among those who are close to Thomas or have particularly benefited from his ministry. Yet, frankly, that is irrelevant to the matter at hand, and potentially adds weight to the need for a more reasonable public explanation and plan for future accountability at P&R than, say, bad note taking, whoops.
So here’s a question to ponder: could it possibly be that Reformed folks are just as big of sinners as non-Reformed folks and need accountability? Could it be that celebrity and the gospel-industrial-complex aren’t just a problem out there with those other guys?
So, are we allowed to pick apart people we don’t like but not allowed to criticize our own friends? That’s unhealthy, and worse ungodly, and in fact the reverse should be true. We should hold ourselves to higher standards.
On their Alliance podcast in 2013, Carl Truman, Aimee Byrd, and Todd Pruitt discuss plagiarism the lack of ethics and accountability in the YRR movement.