Did This Pastor Plagiarize?

By Lillian Armstead

Material written by Mark Driscoll, a pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, is being investigated for plagiarism, according to Warren Cole Smith.  Plagiarism is the use of another person’s writing material without properly acknowledging the original author.

Crossway publishing, who distributed one of the pastors books, “Death by Love,” stated, “We are in touch with Mars Hill and are conducting an internal review to ensure that our books published by Mark Driscoll have proper citation and documentation.”

The publicist for Crossway, Janni Firestone, added, “As of right now, we’re not sure when the internal review will be complete.” The pastor has already published 9 books with Crossway.

NavPress released a statement last week stating that Driscoll was under investigation, “We have chosen to respond to Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church directly and will keep the conversation private among both parties.”  However Driscoll has not had any of his books published with NavPress.  NavPress would like to determine if the pastor plagiarized material from Dan Allender’s Book, “The Wounded Heart” in his book’s “Real Marriage” and “Death by Love.”

Pastor Driscoll was questioned while appearing on the syndicated talk show with Janet Mefferd. The host questioned Driscoll during a live program about allegations of plagiarism.  She later posted the material being questioned online.  Shortly thereafter she apologized to the pastor for going to such drastic measures to put him in the spotlight.  Her apology did little to help the pastor redeem his innocence, because Janet Mefferd was merely telling the truth.  The pastor released a statement, “Mistakes were made that I am grieved by and apologize for.”  Driscoll however never mentioned his latest scandal with the publishing company.

According to Ithenticate, a technology firm, Pastor Driscoll’s plagiarism problems are no longer confined to just the church community; his problem with plagiarism is  ranked as the third most controversial story of the year in the world of media with other stories that dominate public interest.

Jonathan Bailey from Ithenticate noted, “The allegations [Driscoll] worked to silence the criticism against him, adding, the scandal raised serious questions about journalism in matters of religion and those questions will not likely die away any time soon.”