Justice, Character, and Plagiarism

UPDATE: Canon Press, publisher of A Justice Primer, has discontinued the book

Plagiarism

noun
1. an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author’s work as one’s own, as by not crediting the original author

In the process of writing my review of A Justice Primer, I ran across a sentence that seemed familiar. I searched and discovered that it was one of those quotes that has a million versions and no one knows where exactly it originated. While searching, I ran several excerpts from the book in a plagiarism checker and had unexpected results. I expected that many quotes would have links to Doug Wilson’s or Randy Booth’s websites, and they did, However, some quotes had links to other sites.

The images that follow are comparisons. Each image has a page from A Justice Primer on the left and a page from another source on the right. The verbatim (word for word) text is highlighted, generally in yellow. The paraphrased (similar) wording is highlighted in tan. None of the highlighted sections were attributed in the book to the original authors or sources.

Four of the instances are definitions: Bulverism, jurisdiction, poetic justice, weasel words (“Weasel words” requires three images because its definition spans two pages in A Justice Primer and two different sections of Wikipedia). Click on an image to enlarge, a gallery will open with all of these images. Click on the “x” in the left hand corner to return to the post.

Four are excerpts from other known authors: Tim Challies, Iain MurrayGreg Bahnsen, and Ellen G. White. Click on an image to enlarge, a gallery will open with all of these images. Click on the “x” in the left hand corner to return to the post.

The largest and most significant example comes from a chapter in A Justice Primer entitled, “Justice and Character.” In these images there are both yellow and blue highlighting to illustrate that the material comes from two separate sources. The yellow text is from an article by Paul Rose, and the blue text is from a devotional by Wayne Blank. The Bible verses are highlighted in tan because a different translation of the Bible was used, although the verses are grouped and used in the same manner as the Wayne Blank devotional.

The first group of images shows the side by side comparison of the book chapter pages and each source. Because of the way the two sources were woven together in the book chapter, the images may seem repetitive, but each image has pertinent details. Click on an image to enlarge, a gallery will open with all of these images. Click on the “x” in the left hand corner to return to the post.

These next images show the text of the book chapter with all of the copied text highlighted, along with the full text of the Paul Rose article and Wayne Blank devotional. This is to illustrate the amount of material taken from each source. Click on an image to enlarge, a gallery will open with all of these images. Click on the “x” in the left hand corner to return to the post.

Paul Rose
Paul Rose

Wayne Blank
Wayne Blank

This is a significant amount of unoriginal work, and it’s not the first time that Doug Wilson has had a book with plagiarized material. Southern Slavery: As It Was was written by Doug Wilson and Steve Wilkins. When the plagiarism was uncovered, the book was pulled by Canon Press and later revised and republished as Black and Tan without Steve Wilkins as co-author. Wilson wrote regarding the charges of plagiarism:

And this is the reason the issue of intentionality is so important to us (and to them). Both Steve and I are ministers of the gospel. If either of us intentionally stole the intellectual property of Fogel and Engerman, then we should resign from the ministry. We would be disqualified from our office, having disgraced it. That is the difference between intentional and unintentional in this, and it is not a trifle. It does not matter — if we have been out stealing stereos, automobiles, or ideas — we need to figure out another way to feed our families.

73 thoughts on “Justice, Character, and Plagiarism

  1. Natural Historian says:

    No doubt this is hard-core plagiarism. Had this been a paper written for my class it would be handed back with a score of 0 and the student would probably fail the course. My syllabus has examples of what constitute plagiarism and what you have shown here would be textbook examples. Most students today will know this is plagiarism.Where they struggle is changing the words but keeping the ideas and flow and not realizing that this is still plagiarism. Wilson hasn’t even attempted to soften the plagiarism by wordsmithing the original language and thus making it at least debatable. As it is there is no defense for him.

  2. Retha says:

    Sorry, this question is from someone who never been to university: Your article start with examples of dictionary-type definitions. Is it plagiarism to use dictionary definitions without attributing to the correct dictionary?

    I know that the rest is plagiarism. But if it is plagiarism to quote a definition without attributing, I need to sharpen my non-plagiarism skills.

    • ericpaz says:

      As a current doctoral student (who should be finishing up a term paper at the moment!), let me chime in: to use somebody else’s words without attribution is plagiarism by definition, absolutely no question. Regardless of one’s intention, for that matter.

      In academia you can face a serious ethics violation for so much as leaving out a footnote or forgetting to close a quotation mark. Outside of academia you may have a little more latitude (“Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines X as…” would suffice, for instance)—but Mr. Wilson is a college president. (Anybody happen to have a copy of the Academic Integrity Policy at New St Andrews? I happen to know for a fact this would definitely not fly at the Old St Andrews…)

      The reason this is so serious is that plagiarism is lying, cheating, and stealing. I like to phrase it that way for the moral shock value, but that is in fact exactly what it is: Cheating by stealing someone else’s words and lying that they’re your own. Douglas Wilson is shown to be a liar, a cheater, and a thief.

      • ericpaz says:

        Note, just after I posted I saw the NSA statement in Rose’s comment below, for those interested (I was).

      • Rachel Miller says:

        True. Wilson is not the college president. He’s a trustee and permanent member of the board of directors of NSA. He’s also a senior fellow, which relates to his status as a professor there. His son in law, Ben Merkle is the president.

      • ericpaz says:

        That’s fair; thanks for the clarification on his job title. The point stands that he holds a position of leadership over an academic institution that has a written code of integrity.

  3. Terri Rice says:

    Douglas Wilson wrote,

    “If either of us intentionally stole the intellectual property of Fogel and Engerman, then we should resign from the ministry. We would be disqualified from our office, having disgraced it. That is the difference between intentional and unintentional in this, and it is not a trifle.”

    Is he a man of his word? Hmm.

    I can actually see him standing on the two words in the above quote- “Fogel, Engerman,” and claim that the book on justice (?!) does not steal from Fogel and Engerman and therefore he need not resign.

      • ericpaz says:

        You called it: http://canonpress.com/a-justice-primer-read-statements-by-canon-press-and-the-authors-under-product-description/

        “As best as I can tell, the problems are all mine and not Doug’s.”— Randy Booth’s statement

        Except that’s not how it works. When two names are on the cover, that means both authors are taking credit for the entirety of the book. Therefore both of them have to take responsibility for any “problems” in the book.

        Unless perhaps Wilson is prepared to admit that when he signed his name to it, he wasn’t telling the truth about having anything to do with it? That’s also plagiarism, by the way.

      • CNW says:

        Mr. Spratt, as regards “what it means to have two names on a cover.”, this is a comment Rod Dreher made on his blog about that…”If any of the plagiarized authors were to take legal action, Wilson, as co-author, would be held responsible as well. You put your name on a book and put yourself out there as an author, you had better make sure that you can stand behind the text.” Hope that helps.

      • ericpaz says:

        Since you ask, I worked as senior copyeditor for a Christian publishing house for three years, and I’ve collaborated on a variety of professional projects.

        Having two names on a cover means both named authors are taking full credit for the entire contents of the work. Nothing more, nothing less.

        (The exception is if there is a specific demarcation given within the credits— Smith wrote chapter 1, Jones wrote chapter 2, Brown is the general editor…)

        There are no publishing semantics games here; it’s a simple matter of integrity. To put your name on the byline is to say “This was written by me.”

      • westerner says:

        cd spratt–As it happens I’ve co-written three books in addition to the ones I wrote solo and the dozens I have edited. If you are only responsible for part of the text, as was the case for one of mine, that needs to be made clear on the title page. Otherwise both authors share responsibility for the entire text.

        As Rachel has shown, it’s not hard or even all that time-consuming to do plagiarism checks these days. Google it and you will find a variety of options. This is especially true for topics such as those covered in A Justice Primer, since so many sermons and biblical discussions are presented online.

        A publisher like Canon Press–which puts out a number of books that feature compilations from blogs, sermons, and discussions–has an extra incentive to do a plagiarism check on its manuscripts before publication. It is admittedly easy to forget where you got that cool quote or idea and fail to credit the source. But easy does not mean justifiable. In press law, mistakes made by professionals who didn’t intend to cheat but should have known better are actionable.

        No competent publisher should find itself shocked and surprised about plagiarism right before the signing party. This is particularly true of Canon since they have already been burned by plagiarism in “Southern Slavery as it Was,” also co-authored by Doug Wilson? Why didn’t they put automatic plagiarism checks in place after that embarrassment?

  4. Stephen Rowe says:

    Not particularity surprising. If we know anything about Doug by now it’s that he does not learn from his mistakes. Maybe if he spent less time on his blog he would have more time to properly “cite his sources”.

  5. Cicero says:

    Bravo. Still looking through all the examples but what I’ve seen already looks damning. This must have taken quite a bit of effort! Thank you for compiling it all in such an easy to follow fashion.

  6. Rose Huskey says:

    Isn’t Randy Booth chairing the committee “investigating” the way sexual abuse has been handled in Christ Church? I know that he and Doug must be pals because Randy Booth is a permanent member of the New Saint Andrews College Board of Administrators.

    “Randy Booth
    Permanent Member
    Senior Pastor, Grace Covenant Church
    Nacogdoches, TX”

    I guess Randy Wordthief just forgot (or never bothered) to read the NSA statement on plagiarism

    “ACADEMIC INTEGRITY
    New Saint Andrews expects students to express themselves truthfully and honestly in all facets of their academic work and personal relations. Students must own as their own, all assignments, exercises, and examinations, oral or written, except
    where disclosed properly and fully in citations, footnotes, endnotes, bibliographies, and/or other appropriate forms, and only within the limits allowed by the instructor and commonly recognized academic standards. Students must have nothing to do with plagiarism, misrepresentation, misappropriation of the work of others, or any
    other form of academic dishonesty, whether intentional or the result of reckless disregard for academic integrity. Such academic dishonesty will constitute grounds for disciplinary action by the instructor and the administration up to and
    including dismissal from the College. We expect students neither to give nor to receive any assistance on their assignments, exercises, or examinations, oral or
    written, beyond that allowed by their instructor.” pg. 34
    New Saint Andrews College, 2015 – 2016 General Catalog

    Is this ironic or what? A book on justice whose text has been lifted willy nilly from the work of others? And, acknowledging the fact this is certainly not Doug’s first plagiarism rodeo his credibility as a co-author is certainly in the sewer.

    I suggest that the honorable way to proceed is to profoundly and publicly apologize, pull the book and refund all the money paid by unsuspecting readers. What a pair of feckless gits.

    Rose Huskey

    • Terri Rice says:

      Silly you, Rose, that’s just for the plebes. Spin for the leadership is acceptable. “Good golly, did that slavery book go out without the last page wherein I admitted I copy and pasted?”

    • CNW says:

      My friend Rose writes….”I suggest that the honorable way to proceed is to profoundly and publicly apologize, pull the book and refund all the money paid by unsuspecting readers.” I confidently bet 5 gazillion dollars that will never even come close to happening. No, The Douglas will bring out his best wordsmithyness to prove that these heinous allegations brought by his “enemies” are incorrect at best, and evil cast by evil-doers at worst. I look forward to his tortuous, pretzel logic, I’m sure it will be entertaining.

      • cdspratt says:

        Wilson fully and profoundly apologized, publicly.

        “I want to take full responsibility for having my name on the cover of a book containing plagiarized sections, and where the contributions from the authors were undifferentiated. In such circumstances, when plagiarism is detected, the one who finds it has every right to look at the cover and decide right on the spot who is responsible. The names on the cover are the ones with the authorial responsibility, which is the primary responsibility according to contract, and the editorial imprint is the one with the publisher’s responsibility, also specified by contract. Further investigation might reveal where particular culpability lies, but the responsibility for the project flows (according to God’s design) to the names on the cover.”

        and

        “I would first like to apologize to all the authors whose work was taken into this book and represented as quite possibly mine. I will be following this general public statement up with a letter to each of these writers in order to apologize directly. I would also like to apologize to Canon Press for urging this book project on them. They are the ones who have been financially damaged in very tangible ways by this. And last, I should apologize to New St. Andrews College. Academic integrity is the heartbeat of any academic institution, and even though the board has acted promptly and wisely in accepting Randy’s resignation, I am still distressed by the headache this has caused them.”

        The book has been remaindered.

        https://dougwils.com/s7-engaging-the-culture/110015.html

        Do you have the checkbook ready?

      • CNW says:

        Hmm, I’m not sure how many zeroes on a check it takes for a gazllion, Mr. Spratt. I’ll just use my debit card. And now, for me, a Christmas truce. You and I will never agree, but still, Merry Christmas.

      • Darrel Hawes says:

        Actually, the very use of the word “remaindered” obfuscates the issue.

        A quick search of the word online indicates that the word “remaindered” is normally used to indicate the procedure of dramatically lower the price of a *poor-selling* book, and often defacing each copy in some manner, in order to clear out inventory.

        That is not the case here. Sure, maybe it’s technically correct to say the book is remaindered because the publisher decides to *disown the plagiarized content* and lowers the price accordingly, but that is not how the term is most often used. At least not per my brief perusal.

    • ericpaz says:

      Note especially this phrase here: “Students must have nothing to do with plagiarism, misrepresentation, misappropriation of the work of others, or any
      other form of academic dishonesty, whether intentional or the result of reckless disregard for academic integrity.” (emphasis mine)

      So good, Mr. Wilson; we are all agreed that something can count as plagiarism and a lack of integrity even if it was not intentional.

  7. Sarah B says:

    Wow, this is beyond damning. Nice work, Rachel! Can’t say I’m surprised. Nor do I expect honest acknowledgement of what Wilson has done, and by no means will he seek out “another way to feed his family” when this way is so lucrative and easy! However, at the very least uncovering his second round of plagiarism is humiliating for him. Keep fighting the good fight of exposing Wilson for what he is: a fraud, a liar, and a thief.

  8. Patrice says:

    A narcissist sees everything ‘out there’ as reflections of self. He says, “I said that. See, here it is in this book I’ve not yet written.”

    But verbatim plagiarism is sheer laziness.

    Impressive work, Rachel. Thanks!

  9. Dinah The Gypsy says:

    Douglas Wilson in his usual alter ego of God need never apologize for anything. As God, Wilson can never err, not even minuscule trifles like lying, stealing, covering up crimes, victim abuse, or accepting a bribe to enroll a known pedophile in NSA and then boarding him with a family with children.

    • Dave A A says:

      Dinah– what evidence do you have that Wilson accepted this bribe or knew ahead of time that Sitler was a pedophile? I agree with the rest of your comment, but unless you can cite sources, this statement is exactly what Wilson will pick up on to claim his opponents are just lying liars making up lies against him. It’s not unreasonable to me, BTW that these things MAY have happened.

    • 60guilders says:

      The Sitler incident and the boarding incident are two different events with two different people. Sitler was a known pedophile, while, so far as I know, no one knew that the boarder was prone to having sex with underage girls before the event happened.
      There’s no need to make the situation sound worse than it was–the reality is quite bad enough.

  10. Rose Huskey says:

    CANON PRESS STATEMENT:
    Canon Press has investigated the charges of plagiarism and improper citation in A Justice Primer, and it is abundantly clear that the editor and co-author, Randy Booth, plagiarized material in multiple instances from a number of different sources. Such negligence and editorial incompetence is a gross breach of contract and obviously does not meet Canon Press’s publishing standards. As such, we have discontinued the book, effective immediately. Refer to the author statements below for more information. We would like to specifically thank Rachel Miller for bringing this to our attention so we could take the necessary steps to immediately correct such a serious error.

    RANDY BOOTH STATEMENT:
    “This is a mea culpa for the citation omissions in A Justice Primer. A few years ago I approached Doug Wilson about a combined effort to produce a book on justice. He had begun to write some on the subject as had I. The idea was to blend the writing, and I was in charge of accomplishing this. As best I can tell, all the problems are mine and not Doug’s. As a pastor I was drawing on a wide range of materials and notes that I had collected over a number of years to use in sermons or lessons with no intention of publishing that material, thus citations were often missing in my old notes. Concerning the ‘definitions,’ I didn’t see the need to cite those sources. I have also been a student of Dr. Greg Bahnsen for over twenty-five years, and undoubtedly some of his material has found its way into sermons and Bible studies over the years, which were cut-and-pasted as I prepared for this book. Regarding the material taken from Paul Rose (2003) and Wayne Blank, I freely acknowledge that I originally collected their material but did not have it cited in my notes from years ago. This is a serious mistake on my part (not differentiating my own material from others in my research and study). While this was not intentional plagiarism on my part, nevertheless I clearly did use their words without proper citation and for this I publicly confess.”

    [These comments from Randy Booth are almost identical to the excuses offered by Steve Wilkins, a co-author of Southern Slavery As It Was, who shared with Doug Wilson the ignominious disgrace of twenty-two examples of plagiarism in SAIW. Can you imagine any setting other than a corrupt church and corrupt ministry that dares to trot out the same excuse twice that “sources were mixed up over the years” and that somehow Randy Booth – not the sharpest pencil in the drawer at the best of times – was delusional to the point that he believed he had written this crap himself. The half assed apology from all three of the voices is not enough. Canon needs to return the money collected from selling this tainted book to the unwitting saps who purchased it; Randy Booth should be placed on a leave of absence from the pulpit and certainly should step down from his permanent chair on the Board of New Saint Andrews College and his position of chair of the inquiry into how Christ Church handled (should read mishandles) sexual abuse cases; and lastly Doug Wilson should make a public apology for associating with and supporting bumblefarts who commit these egregious errors in scholarly judgment. Now on to the finger pointing master himself.]

    DOUGLAS WILSON STATEMENT:
    “I was disappointed to find out today that there are serious citation problems in A Justice Primer. In light of this, I am completely supportive of Canon Press withdrawing the book from circulation. For further details on what happened and how, I would refer you to the statements by Canon Press and Randy Booth.”

    Rose Huskey

    • Terri Rice says:

      Good boy, Randy.
      Oh, and thank you ever so much, Rachel, you dear thing for finding this teensy tiny glitch wherein we palagiarized and, well, dammit, we were caught. But never you mind we will still be serving gobs and gobs of ice cream and hot chocolate at our book selling today and tomorrow so come on down and buy one or two books and see for yourself what a plagiarized book looks like.

    • CNW says:

      Doug will make this easier on himself by simply banning anyone who posts on his blog questioning, or attempting to have The Douglas flesh out his statement. Or explain how this doesn’t cast logical doubt on the propriety of Randy Booth heading the pseudo internal inquiry. Doug Wilson is Mr. Free Speech, you know.

  11. ericpaz says:

    “4. All that said, at an objective minimum, there is a gross citation problem in Driscoll’s book Trial, which needs to be acknowledged, owned and corrected. […]

    But what do you mean, we don’t know why or how it happened? Whose name is on the cover, man? […]

    “Just a few weeks ago I had the experience of opening a book I wrote only to have my eyes light upon something that I could never have possibly written, and which some helpful editor (or gnome in the printing press) had inserted for me. It was quite embarrassing, but I didn’t do it, although this leads to the next point. I am nevertheless responsible for it. My name is on the cover.

    Wilson, Douglas. “Mark Driscoll and Problems of Citation.” Blog and Mablog, 9 December 2013. Accessed 10 December, 2015. https://dougwils.com/s7-engaging-the-culture/mark-driscoll-and-problems-of-citation.html.

    • ericpaz says:

      (I include the link for the purposes of citation, but I don’t recommend anybody take too much time to read it unless they’re very curious to see a string of facile and spurious casuistries about how one can be “responsible for” something but yet “not guilty of it”, which may be useful for people who know the rudimentary principles of publishing integrity and have unexpectedly run out of low blood pressure medication.)

      • 60guilders says:

        Technically speaking, one might bear responsibility for something but not be guilty of it–i.e., the US embargo of Japan that led to the attack on Pearl Harbor.
        I doubt that applies here.

  12. Giorgio Gamma says:

    I read the statements of Booth and WIlson and both seem very reasonable. I definitely don’t think that it was Wilson’s responsibility to check if Booth plagiarized!
    Though I am quite sure that he’ll probably do that in the future.

    Even though I am in the academia and I am in general agreement with being careful about plagiarism…I have no doubt that this is a Western (fairly recent) invention….We would have to indict some Bible authors for sure for plagiarism! 😦

    The fact is – many busy pastors and teachers take notes for various talks and lectures, and many times for personal enrichment – without making meticulous notes about where the notes came from. These may be used later in various other contexts and circumstances, and it is simply too time consuming to go back and figure out where every quote came from.

    Sure even the rabbis said, Rabbi S said that Rabbi Z said that Rabbi Y said….but the fact is that much of the ancient world did not care about ‘quoting’ their sources, perhaps because all realized that most of what they know they probably learned from others.

    And most of the non-Western world today is puzzled and annoyed by this obsession with plagiarism…perhaps because they understand better than us the line of apostle Paul: ‘what do I have that I did not receive’?

    I will leave you with a quotation from Goethe on originality (a proper citation :))!

    People are always talking about originality; but what do they mean? As soon as we are born the world begins to work upon us; and this goes on to the end. And, after all, what can we call our own, except energy, strength, and will? If I could give an account of all that I owe to great predecessors and contemporaries, there would be but a small balance in my favour.
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

    • Patrice says:

      Georgio, it is a basic requirement that an academic writer think through their subject deeply enough to give it form in one’s own words. Copying others’ words is intellectual laziness at the most elementary level. Such a writer does not deserve any reader’s further attention.

      Moreover, why not acknowledge ideas that came before? Humility honors predecessors and contemporaries for their contributions. Careful attribution is also an excellent spiritual exercise for chasing away pride, something that apparently CREC males desperately need.

      Pastors and teachers are not academics (when they teach/preach) and the bulk of their materials are borrowed. It is to their congregations’ and students’ benefit that they make clear the long history of human discussion and learning. It they do not, they are inadequate preachers/teachers. It need not be done in the manner of academics, but it will be done if they care about their material and students/congregations.

      Educated people don’t quibble over such basics. I wonder whether you’ve had a poor education. Or are you indirectly pleading another agenda? Perhaps there’s another reason?

      • Patrice says:

        Oh, and yes yes yes, there’s nothing new under the sun. That’s an apt if simplistic response to the long 19th-20th century pursuit of originality. But this is not about originality, is it? We are not talking art here, we are talking scholarship.

      • Giorgio Gamma says:

        I haven’t had poor education, but thank you for asking! 🙂
        And I have no agenda, just an inborn instinct to defend the vilified!

        Again – while I understand the concept of attributing your sources and I am in general agreement with the practice (to avoid intellectual theft etc) – I think the West is too obsessed about this, and the more important question is: “Is this book useful and does it contribute positively to the subject it tackles?”

        That the authors did not quote some well-known and easily accessible dictionary definitions may be technically ‘plagiarism’ – but to me that is nitpicking.

        For the other texts that were ‘plagiarized’ – I find the explanation of Booth acceptable.

        And I do not think that it was the responsibility of Wilson to check and see if Booth has ‘plagiarized,’ but I am sure that he will probably do that in the future if he he co-authors another book.

        To attack Wilson on this issue seems unfair to me. And (FYI) NO – I do not know Wilson and I have not read any of his books!

        Again – if we were to follow the 21st century plagiarism rules, you may have to pull some books from the Bible (like Micah)! 🙂

      • Patrice says:

        Georgio (comment of 14th, 5:50pm), wanting to defend the vilified is excellent. Some are vilified for simple mistakes and others get just deserts. The trick is to know who is which, yes?

        The vehement online reaction is partly because of Wilson’s character (Booth follows behind). Doug enjoys being ultra-critical towards nearly everyone and has indulged in mean-spirited humor while doing so. His preening sense of superiority has ridden roughshod for decades.

        But setting that aside, I cannot understand why you are lackadaisical about plagiarism. I wonder whether, because you see flaws in individualism, you are willing to overlook laziness (at least) and stealing (at worst).

        Booth and Wilson teach the harms of plagiarism. In his blog, Wilson has been stringently critical of it.

        Neglecting definition citations might earn a mere mention but, put together with:
        —verbatim plagiarism and thinly veiled re-wording
        —inadequately cited material
        —the demeaning attitudes of these men towards those with whom they disagree,
        —the hypocrisy of not practicing what they preach
        —the fact that this is the second time Wilson has been found in such a position,

        …well, I am certain that these two are getting just deserts. It’s simply a matter of consequences.

        I wish you well, Georgio

  13. R. Scott Clark says:

    It puzzles me why some feel compelled to defend a practice that even the co-authors and the publisher admit was wrong. If they admit it was wrong and improper, then why the defense?

    It is true that the use of quotation marks, footnotes, and indented block quotes are relatively recent but wholesale copying and use of material without attribution or without any hint that it belongs to others has not been widespread in the West nor was it so in the ancient world.

    New Testament authors do mention when they quote or allude to other authors. The designation or signification of borrowed materials became considerably easier with the invention of the printing press. Pre-modern authors had ways of signalling when they quoting or alluding to other authors/texts/sources.

    It’s also amusing to see theonomists excusing, e.g., by minimizing as a “mistake,” what seem fairly described as violations of the 8th commandment. I understand that theonomy is specifically about the abiding validity of the judicial laws but didn’t Bahnsen say “the abiding validity of the law of God in exhaustive detail”? That would seem to include the 8th commandment.

    • Giorgio Gamma says:

      I have an inborn tendency to defend the vilified, especially if it is for what I consider technicalities, and if I find their explanations reasonable. And in this case I find Booth’s explanation acceptable, and I do not think Wilson should have to go through the trouble to see if his co-author plagiarized (though I am pretty sure he will probably do it in the future).

      Even if Wilson should have checked to see if his co-author plagiarized – I still think it is an overreach to accuse Wilson of plagiarism if Booth did it!

      [I realize the majority on this blog do not find their explanations reasonable – but I do, as I like to give a fellow Christian the benefit of the doubt!]

      • Ryan Bates says:

        You have an inborn tendency to defend the vilified, so you are admitting that Truth or Justice are not you primary concerns. You could have stopped right there. I know I stopped reading right there at least.

  14. Chris says:

    Mr. Wilson claimed that if there was plagiarism, it was unintentional. But this article https://unplag.com/blog/types-of-plagiarism/ reveals unintentional and intentional types of plagiarism.

    According to the article mentioned above, “word plagiarism” or “verbatim plagiarism” is the form of intentional plagiarism and there’s no other option.

    As for me, it’s quiet nonsensical to do such things if you’re creating a book and expect that wide audience will read your writing.

  15. Daniel Meyer says:

    Dear Mrs. Miller,

    In the graphic “A Justice Primer page 174 — Challies,” the direct quote in the last 4 lines of the highlighted text from Justice Primer page 174 should not be highlighted as plagiarism, as it is attributed (see footnote 16 on that page).

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