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Posts Tagged ‘Collin Hansen’


I posted on this topic a few years ago.  But recent studies have brought this topic back to the surface.  The Gospel Coalition has a number of posts about this issue of integrity.

 

Collin Hansen

Collin Hansen notes the professional price to be paid for plagiarism.  Sadly, politicians seem to pay no such price.  But as pastors, getting fired should not be what motivates our heart in anything.  He doesn’t suggest this should be our motive by the way.  But after learning a prominent evangelical pastor used Collin’s work without credit, he learned that evangelicalism has a different approach.  I guess it would be similar to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Steve Brown used to tell us that a borrowed illustration should be noted the first time, “then it’s yours.”  He was speaking tongue in cheek of course.  Surely we aren’t expected to footnote our sermons for influential ideas.  But, if we are quoting someone we should not that with a simple “As Jonathan Edwards noted…”.  We can credit people for their important ideas, and should.  It is about integrity, not fanning the ego of the one whose work benefited us (see the interesting comments on Collin’s post).

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Yesterday I went to a pastor’s seminar sponsored by Phoenix Seminary, the Alliance Defense Fund and the Center for Arizona Policy.  One of the speakers was Wayne Grudem, relating material from his new tome Politics According to the Bible.  I say tome because it is a mammoth 600 pages.  But it looks good.

The first chapter covers some of the errors people make in thinking about politics and Christianity.  It was interesting to see who Gregory Boyd gets farther and farther from a biblical worldview (Shane Clairborn’s Jesus for President seems to have been influenced by his governments are satanic error).

Grudem’s basic argument is that God’s people (in Scripture) have often influenced governments.  Joseph had a profound influence on Egypt, Daniel was instrumental in Babylon, Esther changed policy under Xerxes, and Nehemiah served as governor under the Persians.  Paul dialogued with Felix about faith and righteousness.  So, Grudem’s view in light of Scripture and our particular circumstances here in America is one of Christians influencing government as one way in which we do good works and love our neighbors.  He then goes on to examine particular issues pertinent to our circumstances today: economics, health care, environmental issues etc.  Here is a sermon of his, Biblical Principles Concerning Government.

Since we are in an election cycle, the issue of politics is a hot topic.  Mark Dever at Capitol Hill Baptist recently preached Jesus Paid Taxes from Mark 12 (which Grudem referenced yesterday).  Collin Hansen thinks it is the best sermon on politics he’s heard.

Justin Taylor also has a few posts (here and here) on another book that is about to be released called City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era.  Tim Keller has written the forward.  One author, Michael Gerson lectured on The City of God at the Kuyper series for the Center for Public Justice.

Carl Trueman has a new book on the subject out as well called Republocrat: Confessions of a Liberal Conservative.  There are some sample pages available.

Politics are important since we do live in the world.  I think these are books and sermons that will help us think biblically politics and our relationship to the state as individual Christians and churches.

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[Since Justin Taylor blogged about a new article on this subject, I thought I’d pull this out of the archives.  He connects buying papers in seminary with pulpit plagiarism and ghost writing, as does Jared Wilson.   Additionally, Collin Hansen and D.A. Carson have written about pulpit plagiarism. ]

Between Two Worlds brings this problem to our attention.  First he links to Oversight of Souls, which laments an article encouraging pastors to use the sermons of other, better preachers.  Second, he links back to an old post of his from April 2005.  At that time, E. Glenn Wagner had recently resigned from one of the larger churches in Charlotte, NC for doing this.  I’m sad, because I have benefited greatly from his books.  Maybe he was so focused on his writing ministry that he neglected his pulpit ministry.  I don’t know.

Read the comments in both links- they are telling.  This is a huge problem.  Sadly, one reported that many of the pastors of the faster growing churches do this.  If they credited the sources, and the people knew they weren’t putting in hours studying the text, fine.  But these guys typically don’t do that.

As a pastor, I believe I must spend time understanding the text, and my people.  If I utilized another’s sermon- I would rob myself, and my future ministry because I am not grappling with God and the text.  I may have a “better” sermon, but I won’t be a better Christian or better pastor.  I view this as a means of grace, not just a task to be completed.  I would also be tempted to not exegete my people, applying the text to their circumstances.

My sermons may not be as good as those used by pastors who plagiarize, but I sleep well at night (well, sometimes).  This is one thing I will not have to wish the Savior did not see when I stand before His white throne.  Unfortunately, there will be plenty of other things.

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