Carson on Pastoral Plagiarism

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TGC Asks is looking at pastoral plagiarism this week. That link will take you to Collin Hansen’s introduction, where he provides the anecdote of a well-known evangelical lifting paragraphs of Collin’s work and putting them in a published book—and no one seemed to care.

Sandy Willson provides some helpful counsel on how to avoid plagiarism in the pulpit.

And here is an excerpt from Don Carson’s entry:

Taking over another sermon and preaching it as if it were yours is always and unequivocally wrong, and if you do it you should resign or be fired immediately. The wickedness is along at least three axes: (1) You are stealing. (2) You are deceiving the people to whom you are preaching. (3) Perhaps worst, you are not devoting yourself to the study of the Bible to the end that God’s truth captures you, molds you, makes you a man of God and equips you to speak for him. If preaching is God’s truth through human personality (so Phillips Brooks), then serving as nothing more than a kind of organic recording device in playback mode does not qualify. Incidentally, changing a few words here and there in someone else’s work does not let you off the hook; re-telling personal experiences as if they were yours when they were not makes the offense all the uglier. That this offense is easy to commit because of the availability of source material in the digital age does not lessen its wickedness, any more than the ready availability of porn in the digital age does not turn pornography into a virtue.

Check back throughout the week to hear from Tim Keller, Glenn Lucke, Matt Perman, and Collin himself

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