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(RNS) — Plagiarism: It’s the sin few in the wider Christian publishing world will publicly talk about.
But peel away the layers, and it’s undecorated lying and stealing — a practice rooted in the cult of Christian celebrity plaguing the North American church.
Month - Country - Publishers - Lawsuit - Christine
This month, one of the country’s largest Christian publishers settled a lawsuit in which Christine Caine, a best-selling author, was accused of lifting content for two recent books directly from author Carey Scott.
Scott sued Caine after discovering that portions of Scott’s 2015 book, “Untangled,” were copied word for word in Caine’s 2016 book “Unashamed” and repeated in “Unshakeable,” published in 2017. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
Caine - Christian - Author - Plagiarism
Caine is not the only high-profile Christian author accused of plagiarism.
Tim Clinton, president of the American Association of Christian Counselors, also appears to have repeatedly plagiarized other authors. Clinton denied he did anything wrong — and then blamed any plagiarism on graduate students and others who assisted him with his writing.
Mars - Hill - Church - Pastor - Mark
Former Mars Hill Church pastor Mark Driscoll saw his ministry unravel, in part, over accusations in 2013 of plagiarism. This year, best-selling author and blogger Ann Voskamp borrowed the words of Cynthia Occelli and “then put those words into her dad’s mouth” to create a folksy anecdote for one of her books, according to World Magazine. To her credit, Voskamp apologized, and the publisher later removed the quote.
We also see this kind of borrowing in the pulpit. Earlier this year, a church plant planned to hire a new pastor who would simply act out sermons from well-known pastors. Another pastor preached a sermon that left his congregation in tears — only to lose his job after a listener realized it was taken word for word from someone else’s sermon online.
Bible - Plagiarism - Scripture - Language
The Bible doesn’t specifically address plagiarism, but Scripture is replete with strong language...
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