Syndicated Christian radio host Janet Mefferd accused Seattle pastor Mark Driscoll of plagiarism on her Nov. 21 broadcast. Mefferd claimed that Driscoll quoted extensively from the work of Dr. Peter Jones for at least 14 pages in his book, A Call to Resurgence, without direct or proper citation.
“In this book,” Driscoll responded, “I took [Jones’] big idea and worked it out through the cultural implications but I wasn’t working specifically from his text.”
Peter Jones is an author and adjunct professor at Westminister Seminary California whose areas of interest include “ancient and medieval paganism.” Driscoll said that most of what he’s learned from Dr. Jones was acquired in conversations over meals where Driscoll was not taking notes.
“Don’t you think that it’s important when you’re using someone else’s materials that you footnote the person?” Mefferd pressed.
Driscoll acknowledged that he, in fact, did make mention of Jones in the footnotes once, though it was an unspecific citation without page numbers.
“If I made a mistake,” he said, “then I apologize to Dr. Jones, my friend…that was not my intent, for sure.”
But this did not satisfy Mefferd, who continued to press Driscoll: “It troubles me, though, Mark because I’ve read Peter Jones, I know Peter Jones … and this is his intellectual property and you don’t give him any credit for it.”
At this point, the interview grows tense. Driscoll accused Mefferd of “having sort of a grumpy day” and “giving me orders in front of an audience.” He said that he believed the question was “rude”, “unkind”, and the intent behind it “is not very Christlike.”