Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Watch Those Church Newsletters, Guys

Though I am tempted, I will comment no further on this case, as this writer for Christianity Today has done such a thorough job:

Mark Driscoll plagiarism case

Okay, a brief word, perhaps.

This is yet another instance of how the anti-intellectual strand that pervades evangelicalism can hurt the very evangelical witness they want to give.

Evangelism should, first and foremost, be truth-telling.  Once again, academic standards of citation are not, principally, about protecting ownership of original material (that's copyright).  They are about truth-telling: acknowledging when our thinking has been helped by someone else's, acknowledging when we find someone else's way of expressing our thoughts to be more helpful than whatever we could formulate, tipping our hat to our intellectual and spiritual parents.

It's really not that hard to drop a footnote and say, "Hey, isn't it cool how so-and-so said this?"

But an evangelicalism that mocks and derides academia cannot learn from it even those forms of truth-telling that can only help its witness to the truth.

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