Bill Clinton had a hard time explaining his definition of “is.”

Richard Nixon wasn’t quite sure what “obstruction of justice” meant.

And Paige Patterson has redefined plagiarism.

After reading this story about Romanian plagiarist Paul Negrut, I’m left with the following questions and thoughts:

1. Would Paige Patterson sign the diploma of a doctoral candidate who submitted a dissertation that contained 80% uncredited and word-for-word copy of another published work?

2. Would Paige Patterson hire a professor to teach in the School of Theology who had republished another’s work under his own name, or the name of his university president?

3. Would Paige Patterson pass a student who submitted a term paper containing 80% uncredited and word-for-word copy from another author’s work?

4. How does the Southwestern faculty feel now, knowing that their president does not believe plagiarism exists when an author reproduces the work of another without source credit?

5. Why hasn’t Paige Patterson just “borrowed” W.A. Criswell’s commentary on Revelation and reproduced it verbatim to complete his New American Commentary on the Apocalypse?

6. What standard of academic credibility do the trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary wish to govern the school’s administration?

7. Does Southwestern Seminary have a policy regarding plagiarism that differs from Paige Patterson’s new definition of the term?

6 thoughts on “Wordgames…

  1. The president is empowered by the Conduct Policy to “make exceptions.” Presumably, he as already created a standing exception to the following provision:

    “The possession or use of firearms or other weapons on seminary premises by any employee, student, vendor, or other visitor is strictly prohibited. Any exception to this policy must be authorized in advance by the President.”

  2. Another interesting provision is the banning of “body piercings.” I guess that’s a preemptive strike against the Emerging Church in the US. A perhaps unintended consequence is that it also seems to prohibit the admission of students from the emerging church in Tanzania, Namibia, Congo, etc.

  3. Well,

    I asked about the gun thing on campus before and I was told that is a federal law that we can not have guns on the campus because it is a educational facility. I talked to chief about. The house is considered a private residence and off campus housing I know
    there are a bunch of deer rifles and shotguns out there. I thought it was quite funny one time when I was moving off campus. I went to go pick up my guns. As I was loading up the truck with the artillery I notice I was parked by the sign that said gun free zone.


  4. Ben,

    I only see two options in the teacher option of point 2. One of these guys you really don’t want to make mad. He is a good guy and I assuming you are not pointing to him. If you are then I still think he is a good guy. I also see that you are building a case and paving a road to the convention. Do you feel that they will give yall a chance to be heard on the floor. I hope yall get the chance.

  5. Baptist Blogger,
    I know you said you were taking a break, but I think you need to revisit this post for a couple of reasons. One, Baptist Press presents a completely different pespective of the issue you have raised regarding Negrut’s plagiarism. Point one, you said Patterson affirmed the dissertation of a candidate who plagiarized 80% of his work, yet provided no evidence. Who are we to assume you are talking about? Who is the plagiarist professor employed by SWBTS under the leadership of SWBTS? I do not see anything under the link you gave us referencing Negrut or anyone else you have shown to be a plagiarist. Without such evidence, this charge is wholly unsubstantiated. I think point four is substantially answered by the Baptist Press article that ran on March 5. Your comments on that issue would be appreciated.

    Remember the words of the Memphis Declaration:
    “5. We publicly repent of having turned a blind eye to wickedness in our convention, especially when that evil has taken the form of slanderous, unsubstantiated accusations and malicious character assassination against our Christian brothers.

    “Therefore, we commit ourselves to confront lovingly any person in our denomination, regardless of the office or title that person holds, who disparages the name of our Lord by appropriating venomous epithets against our brothers and sisters in Christ, and thus divides our fellowship by careless and unchaste speech.”

    We cannot protect our convention from unsubstantiated accusations and malicious character assassination if we engage in the very same thing. Your posts with regard to Paige Patterson are very close to transgressing the spirit of the Memphis Declaration if they have not already done so. You obviously have an agenda here. Perhaps you could enlighten the rest of us as to why you are so angry with Paige Patterson. Perhaps I am wrong about your feelings about Paige Patterson. If I am wrong, please correct me. I fail to see how anything “fired like a cannon” on the web can be considered “loving confrontation.” If these issues are true then the SBC should consider them, that need however does not jsutify the means in which they are rasied if they are raised in a less than biblical manner.

    Thanks for helping me with this issue.

    Chris Bonts

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