I had several candid, and I believe mutually respectful conversations about the charge Mark Driscoll plagiarized.
There is one thing that absolutely baffles me.
Why don’t key people simply say something like, “Plagiarism is serious. No one is above scrutiny. Let’s pray God is truly honored.”
It didn’t need to be long. It didn’t need to be specific. But massive amounts of silence is baffling.
One thing that makes me wonder how healthy things can be is when the constantly quoted Carl Trueman has all been ignored, even though he has written several, important pieces. Thabiti Anyabwile is the only major figure I could find who quoted Trueman on the celebrity problem in evangelicalism.
Yes, I am aware of Kevin DeYoung’s recent piece and the helpful interaction of Justin Taylor. But so many others who tweet and blog on all kinds of things are absolutely mum.
Finally, some have said this needed to be handled privately and not in the blogosphere. Granted, Janet Mefferd should have approached Driscoll privately. She has acknowledged as much. However, plagiarism and ghostwriting are rife within evangelicalism. I have talked to quite a few leaders about ghostwriting and publicly wrote about my own experience:
Everyone agrees ghostwriting is a huge problem. And that gets us back to the blogosphere and “Christian journalism” as Carl Trueman has written about:
Many Christian leaders know about the problem of ghostwriting. They know it is pervasive within the evangelical camp, but it is almost never talked about. So the track record of Christian leaders addressing plagiarism and ghostwriting is not particularly strong.
When we are willing to speak out about every imaginable issue, yet disregard something so wrong and rampant, there is a need for others to say what is clearly problematic, but clearly not popular.
So with all the problems of the Internet and social media, we ought to be glad for the potential good which can come from these kinds of checks and balances.