Plagiarism?

First check out this article by Paul Chappell: Which Kind of Parent Are You?

Now take a quick peek for comparison at this article by Chip Ingram at Focus on the Family: Effective Child Discipline.

Permissive. Neglectful. Authoritarian. Authoritative….

Perhaps Chappell was loath to cite his source because the research was done by a sociologist and former Mormon missionary?

Would this kind of borrowing be enough to get a student expelled from West Coast Baptist College? I’ll leave it to you to decide.

111 thoughts on “Plagiarism?”

    1. FINALLY! I’d like to thank my kids, who woke me up too early on this cold Saturday morning.

      Now, as to the article. Why are permissive parents always labelled as bad or less than ideal on these types of articles? Not everybody wants to control their kids.

  1. Brother Darrell,

    Please you brother, amen. There is nothing new under the sun; it says that in the Old Testament.

    I just wish I was half the man Paul Chappell is, amen.

    1. There is nothing new under the sun – this is the IFB excuse for plagiarism. Amen. It’s amazing how you can justify sin by using a little Bible. Amen.

      Thou shalt not steal – it says that in the Old Testament.

      I don’t believe the typical IFB pastor has ever had an original thought. Their blogs, sermons, etc. are generally “borrowed.” I was the assistant pastor for a guy who prepared his sermons every Saturday night by reading and outlining the next chapter in whatever book he was reading. He never gave credit to whom credit was due (or should I say “tribute…honor” – it says that in the New Testament). Amen.

    2. There is nothing new under the sun.

      While this is true, it is considered the proper and respectful thing to do to give credit to another person when using his ideas. To purposefully not do this is stealing.

      Having said this, I also remember seeing such a chart many, many years ago, with various Biblical characters on each point; I don’t recall if any attribution was given or anything much about it.

      I’d tend to give PC a break, but I think he should have made it clear that it wasn’t his own work.

  2. As my father-in-law always says, “All work and no plagiarism…”

    But seriously, Chappell is not he first and will not be the last, even though it would 100% get a student expelled/suspended/disciplined for doing this. At least, as far as I know, he is not making money off this. The Sword of the Lord took David Wood’s “Operation GO” witnessing program, copied it, and is now reselling it as “The Soul Winner’s Club”. The reason for the theft? David Wood started teaching Baptists in the SBC to witness! I know this all to be fact. I also believe that God is/will judge the people responsible for stealing from a man’s hard work to make money off it themselves! As a person who is writing books and has some on the market, this is an especially sensitive topic, because I know how Baptists blatantly plagiarize and ignore copyrights.

  3. Not sure if this rises to the level of plagiarism.

    He used the 4 descriptions but explained them differently. He may have come across the descriptions somewhere other than Hill’s original study, where that author didn’t identify Hill as the originator.

    I wouldn’t attribute loathness on Chappell’s part in not citing Hill.

    1. I can’t judge motivations by saying he was loath to mention Hill. However, claiming ignorance for failing to research would not be an acceptable excuse. A student would still be disciplined for plagiarism if caught. The format that Chappel uses implies that these points were the results of his own personal research, which is misleading and dishonest. Even if he pulled from a source that did not give credit to Hill, he should have cited that source. But, he’s not the first preacher to “borrow” another’s research and make it sound like his own and he won’t be the last.

    2. So let me summarize your comment:
      “It is still plagiarism by every metric agreed upon, but let’s assume that Chappell didn’t just maliciously steal it. He’s probably just an ignorant rube instead.”

    1. This isn’t the same as saying a common fact such as “the earth is round.” It’s rather a list of descriptors copied verbatim.

      If the list is so common then why is Chappell representing them as his own original ideas?

      The ethical thing would be to at least precede the list with “It’s common to see parenting broken into these four types of styles….”

      I’d be interested to see one of the handouts from a psych class.

      1. Clearly this isn’t plagiarism.
        Chappell:
        1. Neglectful
        2. Permissive
        3. Authoritarian
        4. Authoritative
        Ingram
        1. Permissive
        2. Neglectful
        3. Authoritarian
        4. Authoritative
        See how 1&2 are in a different order? Thus it is now his own (Chappell’s)

    1. He has a long history of copying from groups/people that his society would not like; not only Focus on the Family, but he used to send his staff to the church-growth people’s (Hybles, Warren, one of those types) conferences.

  4. “Would this kind of borrowing be enough to get a student expelled from West Coast Baptist College?”

    Of course not. It would get the student an A.
    It would only get a student expelled at a real college.

    1. Well, it depends. Like all rules at fundy colleges, the anti-plagiarism rules are used to discipline students only when it is expedient to do so. E.g., if a young man who is “on fire for the Lord” and “totally committed to our mission” elects to plagiarize, then we can overlook it because we “don’t want to hinder the Lord’s work.” But if the young lady whose skirts never quite “check” decides to plagiarize (or, if we just want to say that she did), then suddenly we are scrupulously committed to academic integrity.

      I know for a fact that at Heartland Baptist Bible College, the instructors were ordered to “pass” young preacher boys that were in the inner circle, on the theory that it was more important for them to get their Heartland degree and go out and become preachers than it was for them to actually work hard, study, learn the material, and do the work.

      1. Let’s apply that theory to other areas, like medicine, for example. It’s far more important to have doctors and nurses out in the field serving than it is to make them spend hours studying.
        Or engineering. God knows we need those engineers out designing roads and bridges and buildings. They’re not doing any good in the library studying.

        1. It’s a fundy “college”. It’s likely unaccredited. It’s likely legalistic. The handbook probably isn’t available until you show up on opening day and pay your money, but if you check out the website you’ll probably see “old-fashioned” and “KJO”, etc. Translation: run. Run far, run fast, and don’t look back.

          Your nephew should get a real degree from a real college. He’ll likely be able to support himself that way. Then if he still wants to do something in the religious world he can go to seminary.

        2. I understand, but his family is in a strict church.

          On the plus, side they are very upfront about the fact that they do not give degrees, only diplomas (they are not pretending that it is like a regular college degree).

          He thinks he may be called to be a preacher, so the school may suit both him and his parents.

          Yes, they probably have strict rules; I did notice that they don’t make the handbook generally available.

          On the plus side, they clearly don’t believe in the “KJV is inspired” nonsense, but they do believe that it the version that English speakers should use. I can respect that opinion — it’s the Ruckman loony element that I don’t care for.

        3. If he’s called to be a preacher, I still stand by my advice to get a real degree from a real place and get a real job with real benefits.

          Chances are that once he graduates with a DIPLOMA, not even a phony degree, he won’t be qualified to work any secular job above a cook at McDonald’s. Any preaching industry job will likely be at low pay unless he’s in with a relative, and even then it might not be much.

          If he has a real degree he can support himself and do seminary afterwards. Or if he insists on a religious college, at least go to one that is regionally accredited. Liberty University is one such institution. I know it’s considered liberal by fundies, but it is semi-religious and it confers real degrees. He could perhaps minor in preaching and major in a field of study that could pay actual money.

          Perhaps the place isn’t KJO, but if it’s legalistic, the rules might very well kill his spirit. If he’s not one of the beautiful people who can get away with everything, he might very well bear the brunt of punishment when he’s not even guilty. If he is deemed one of the beautiful people, the resulting spiritual pride will get him someday.

          Money isn’t everything, but it does buy food, clothes, pay the rent, and fuel your vehicle. I don’t care how spiritual you are, you have to eat.

        4. GR, in my opinion, Heartland is a disaster of a Bible college. It is Sam Davison’s little kingdom and his whims rule. (To be sure, he isn’t a nasty guy like the HAC leadership, but I never think that dictatorship is a successful model for a college.) They are KJVO (and to say they aren’t Ruckmanite doesn’t really mean anything because hardly anyone is as nasty about it as Ruckman’s people are). KJVO is a heresy. Therefore, I suppose the question is whether your nephew would be comfortable at a college that promotes heretical teaching. It is a typical, “let’s sit around and congratulate ourselves for being better than everyone while simultaneously guilt-tripping ourselves constantly” model of IFB church.

          Heartland is located in a VERY bad, dangerous part of town. (Fun fact: it is the old Oral Roberts campus. They used to tout in their ads how they took over the property from those heretical charismatics.) They have a very contemptuous relationship to the local community. Many of their students get on welfare here in Oklahoma while they are students there. I’ve commented on this before, but students coach each other on how to defraud the welfare system and the school turns a blind eye, if not actively encouraging it. (E.g., I have seen, with my own eyes, a Heartland student on the phone falsely stating that her husband died so that she could continue her emergency welfare benefits.) Students are told that the police never write tickets to Heartland students because they did something nice for the police once, so their students drive like maniacs and then get pissed off when the police do, in fact, issue them tickets!

          There is no academic integrity. A former pastor of mine was an instructor there for one semester. He was ordered to give students passing grades even though they hadn’t done any of their work because “they had the call of God on their life.” He was also castigated for making his class “too hard.” (He basically ripped off PCC’s counseling class, so it can’t have been that hard!!)

          Bottom line: Heartland is a joke and a fraud.

  5. What I find interesting is that Chappell would borrow from a pastor/teacher who would probably never be allowed in his pulpit for being a “liberal.” The hypocrisy is so blatantly pathetic.

  6. There was a mild scandal in ATI one year when Bill Gothard handed out a tape about why rock music was evil and it later emerged that the tape was recorded by a Mormon teacher. The tape cut off abruptly at the end and apparently this was because Mr. Gothard had them edit out some rather bizarre ideas this guy had about altering your consciousness through music and accessing the divine, etc.

  7. Years ago I heard Chappell’s former music/youth pastor, Cary Schmidt, give a sermon on time management and it sounded very familiar to me. He used an illustration that was the matrix developed by mormon writer Steven Covey’s in his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – but never quotes this source.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=steven+covey+matrix&biw=1467&bih=699&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=XMFnVOmyKpb6oQTKqoKAAw&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=wnUWwLS2IP5B_M%253A%3BcPld4CwJk16TTM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fuciepro.files.wordpress.com%252F2010%252F09%252Fcovey-table.png%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fuciepro.wordpress.com%252Fabout%252Fmanaging-the-time-of-your-life%252F%3B1024%3B822

    IIRC, he gave that sermon at other venues/churches too.

    And I agree, all this would get Bible college students expelled – if they were not in some inner circle family.

    Why should they be allowed to be accredited if they will not personally support academic integrity?

  8. Dear Paul Chappell:

    One wonders … whatever happened to the eighth commandment? Whatever happened to that?

    Whatever happened to the days when preachers said, ‘I’m not going to live off other people’s work … I’m not going to enter ministry as a crook with a sackload of stolen goods on my back at my ordination ceremony. Whatever happened to that day?’

    Christian Socialist

  9. The 2 and year the college was running my sister and I both attended. And LBC was our home church… Alls I will say is that 2ppl turned in the same report and 1 got a A- and the other received a C… Only if the Dr had read the report he would have know it was all made up and there were 2 turned in. So with that being said I don’t think they would ever catch it if it was done. He has turned his separation of God and State to mixing it all up. He has a great way of getting out of things. Wish one day it would all catch up to him.

  10. What I find interesting is that Chappell would borrow from a pastor/teacher who would probably never be allowed in his pulpit for being a “liberal.” The hypocrisy is so blatantly pathetic.

  11. Dear Paul Chappell:

    One wonders … whatever happened to the eighth commandment? Whatever happened to that?

    Whatever happened to the days when preachers said, ‘I’m not going to live off other people’s work … I’m not going to enter ministry as a crook with a sackload of stolen goods on my back at my ordination ceremony. Whatever happened to that day?’

    Alexander the Coppersmith

  12. Not sure if this rises to the level of plagiarism.

    He used the 4 descriptions but explained them differently. He may have come across the descriptions somewhere other than Hill’s original study, where that author didn’t identify Hill as the originator.

    I wouldn’t attribute loathness on Chappell’s part in not citing Hill.

    1. What you’re saying is he may have stolen it from some other author without giving credit, rather than having stolen it from Reuben Hill without attribution.

      Now, how exactly is that better?

  13. Funny. The pastor at my former fundy church had no qualms preaching straight from the Sword of the Lord newspaper. Not even bothering to summarize any words he would sit up at the pulpit some Sunday’s and read an entire article.

    I guess it does get tiring to make up a fresh sermon of screeching, pulpit banging and making fun of your kids and the backslidden SBC church down the road.

    1. Funny. The pastor at my former fundy church had no qualms preaching straight from the Sword of the Lord newspaper. Not even bothering to summarize any words he would sit up at the pulpit some Sunday’s and read an entire article.

      I guess it does get tiring to make up a fresh sermon of screeching, pulpit banging and making fun of your kids and the backslidden SBC church down the road.

      Hey, Redgrosbeak, at least give me credit for my quote…plagariser…or whatever you call it.

    2. I would fault him for raiding an inferior source at least as much as for not being original.
      As one of my teachers used to say, “If you’re going to steal, rob the First National Bank, not the corner shoeshine boy.”

      1. I always like to say, “If you’re going to steal, rob the First National Bank, not the corner convenience store.”
        He should have plagiarized from the big boys themselves instead of someone else who was probably plagiarizing, too.
        See, Big Gary, because I changed a word or two, it isn’t plagiarism, right?
        I was just being serious! (a saying I made up after hearing Tim Hawkins say it)

        1. I think you just flunked the test, by stealing from me instead of, say Henry James or Flannery O’Connor or somebody else worth looting.

  14. Since you asked…
    I would love some feedback from SFL readers.

    I struggle in this area myself. I typically speak several times a year in my church. Sometimes, my message is greatly influenced by one or two messages I’ve heard on the passage of Scripture in question. I don’t know that I ever plagiarize word-for-word. But as an example: I recently took an outline from another pastor, reworded points 1-4, omitted his point 5, and added my own point 5. I didn’t use the same supplementary verses he used on all the points. And all but one of my illustrations were unique.

    Question: how much credit should I have given the original speaker?

    Granted, public speaking is a tad different than a blog post, but I struggle mightily with this issue.

    1. Its not academia, just preaching.

      “Its hard to give credit for ideas developed over millennia of great thinkers, etc…”

      “If I gave credit to the named writer/speaker where I saw it, that writer may have not given proper attribution either, but I stand by the wisdom of what I say after fully researching the statements I am passing along to you…”

      Basically make a self effacing statement of humbleness and you should be good. I would not give credit to a specific person, cause they probably stole it from the evolved wisdom.

      1. Sorry that was harsh.

        Replace last sentence with “I would not give credit to a specific person, because in rhetoric there are few truly original thoughts, and there is probably a line of succession you can’t possibly trace back.”

      1. I may not have finished that thought. Emphasis is on YOUR sources. They, of course, may well have had other sources. But unless you know the original source, you can just tell where you got it, without having to trace it back to the beginning of literary history (which would be a major research project in many cases).

    2. I don’t find it hard to cite a source in a sermon. “In my studies for this message, I read so and so who with this one line– __________________–caused me to pause.” I don’t necessarily give page and book unless I am quoting a good deal from a source. I often paraphrase them–but put a name to the thought.

      To me it is important that the congregation sees that I don’t rely on myself but I am standing on the shoulders of other believers and those who have gone before me. I think they need to see how to find other sources in their own studies as well.

        1. lol–thanks for putting me in my place. Although I will note that even a woman’s testimony was acceptable when there were others to verify….and UncleWilver has affirmed my testimony.

      1. Leanne, my cites are similar to yours. I give my source for things I quote or paraphrase. I’ll say something like, “In Barnes Notes, Albert Barnes states ‘……………’ and I feel that is a good explanation of this passage.” I have a message I used to give about children’s ministry and it’s importance (mainly that children are people that should be treated like people and not dumb kids, tools, or just to be conned into saying the “salvation incantation”). I would start it by giving the book and author I got the idea from. People like Chappell need to get over their fear that someone might read a book by someone else. If their parishioners start using their brains, they might read the NIV and go to a liberal church and next thing you know, the women are in trousers and the men have beards. I think some of them don’t cite sources because so many good commentaries were written by Calvinists and Methodists and Anglicans and they don’t want folks to realize the truth is out there.

        1. ” …the women are in trousers and the men have beards.”

          Would that be better or worse than the women with beards and the men in kilts?

    3. What you did could be called “making it your own” – good public speakers always are influenced by what they hear and read. I tend to either directly cite a source or even just insert a “one writer/commentator put it this way” since reading a bibliography is just not useful in most public speaking contexts.

      It’s subjective, but if I spent a great deal of time assimilating and developing something from a variety of sources, I taught it as something that stood on its own. I think it was understood and I would certainly in any discussion on it tell people where certain ideas or concepts or even phrases came from. Its just how my thought process works.

      Most writers or speakers who were being honest with you (especially the good ones) would likely be willing to tell you where the kernel of even moderately original ideas came from, there are thousands of years of thinkers that go before, its likely that if you have a truly “original” idea about a scripture passage its probably crazy.

    4. IFBPK: a sincere question.

      My suggestion would be to state that you heard some/most of these points given in a message by X, and thought it would be a blessing. So, you have prayed about the message, made some changes, and are going to preach it today to your church.

    5. I’ve preached a message out of Haggai a few times that I heard at a Spanish speaking church in Mexico while on a mission trip over 20 years ago. I didn’t understand a word of it other than the fact that the preacher kept having folks turn from Haggai to Ezra and back. It also seemed to be a thought-provoking message. After the service, I asked an American missionary who knew Spanish what the gist of the sermon was and write down the four points he gave me. I reworded every point and studied the ideas out for myself. Every time I preach the message, I start by telling this story.
      I don’t even know the name of the brother that brought the message, but, I feel it is only right to give “honor to whom honor is due.” I probably would never gotten the original idea all by myself.

  15. Would this type of borrowing get a student expelled?
    NO…as long as they hid the evil neo-evangelical they stole it from and cut and past KJB verses in for the NIV ones.

  16. Come on, let’s not throw stones. Even Elmer Gantry plagiarized from Robert Ingersol.

    And you know who else was a plagiarist? The REV. DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR, that’s who! You’re not a racist, are you?

    1. Hmmm. Are we disclosing our issues today?

      It may well be that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a plagiarist. It does not mean that he borrowed intentionally with intent to defraud. I have a fairly good memory, and I can state ideas clearly. However it may found on occasion that my memory is too good, and includes phrases that I have read or heard from elsewhere. It is impossible in today’s world to meet the three-word threshold, where three words in a row is enough to conclude you have copied another’s work.

      I would have to be very careful in my writing. Not that I would borrow intentionally, but I am educated enough and well read enough that the ideas have become a part of me and how I think. A defense might have to fall back on my writing style, which is (I think) fairly distinctive.

      And Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in his speeches and written work so successfully combined ideas and works into a unique message that people are almost willing to forgive him the “plagiarism.”

  17. Hmmm. I really have to wonder what the difference is between “Authoritarian” and “Authoritative” is.

    The Love component? Well, just about every fundy parent would say they are high on love, wouldn’t they? Except that a punitive insistence on obedience is not love. Even God has had a problem with the concept, more than once either wanting to or actually wiping out His people because of a pique over people not listening to Him. And not that He speaks often or clearly, mind you! He wants His people to read His mind (and not make decisions on their own).

    I respectfully submit that “Authoritative” always becomes “Authoritarian” when children show a desire to make their own choices.

    The authoritative parent actually raises the child to be helpless and always dependent. They value obedience, not intelligence or initiative or maturity. Funny that they don’t have a parenting style that is high on love, high on learning independence, and yet protective and nurturing. Oh – they call that “permissive,” – which it isn’t. It is just a parenting style that respects the fact that the children are growing up, that the parent is not God, and that a part of growing up is making one’s own decisions even in very important matters.

    I would have participated more on the boards except that I am no longer receiving emails from SFL. Why? is a concern. If I do receive notices they are days late. I subscribe. Nothing in my accounts appears to have changed. I hope the situation can improve.

      1. Yes. Authoritative parents are confident, or at least really good at acting confident, and they expect that if they set off in a direction the family will follow. They are concerned with the daily tasks of parenting, and when they are pretty sure they have the answer to a parenting problem they go with it. Authoritarian parents, OTOH, are concerned with authority and must always watch for challenges to their authority. They are always worried that if they don’t keep their family members properly rounded up they will wander off. Their parenting is all about being top dog.

    1. “I respectfully submit that “Authoritative” always becomes “Authoritarian” when children show a desire to make their own choices. ”

      Yep. If the parents don’t take a stricter stand when the Perfect Formula For Raising Obedient Children breaks down, they are in danger of becoming “Permissive”.

    2. take a college EDU course! But to simplify it into one sentence: authoritative parents include children in the decision making and household-rule making….authoritarian parents make the decisions, set the rules, and that’s that.
      So if my Dad decides to leave a church without telling the family until we have left the parking lot…no consideration of his daughter never seeing her 9 year old friend again…no discussion with anyone, etc. That is not authoritative, but authoritarian. Notice the parenting style has nothing to do with the choices that I (the child) makes, but rather how the parent chooses to interact with household.

  18. Back when I was fundy, I read a book by Cary Schmidt that used these exact descriptors for parenting…I think it might have been “Hook, Line, and Sinker,” if I’m not mistaken. And LBC DID make money off of that.

  19. Wonder if Paul Chappell was mentored by another fundy plagiarist, Danny Lovett, former president of TTU, who was caught (by students, not faculty) with “borrowed” material in his book on evangelism.

  20. Having no idea what either article is about (since I’m too lazy to look at either), I will say that those four parenting styles (permissive, neglectful, authoritarian, authoritative) are commonly taught in college classes for education majors, even in secular universities. It’s kinda like learning Piaget’s stages of development…everyone teaches it, but everyone agrees that these are not going to be consistent rule of law without any exceptions.

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