Wednesday, December 4, 2013

All Around the Web - December 4, 2013

First ThoughtsFlunking Mark Driscoll for Plagiarism | These are pretty serious charges. I hope Driscoll and his publishers respond sooner rather than later.
Mega-church pastor Mark Driscoll just can’t seem to avoid controversy. He’s crass and brash, and he says outrageous things. He’s always making some Christian somewhere uncomfortable. This time, however, it’s not about the words that he’s said. It’s that he’s claimed the words that other people have said.

On November 21, Janet Mefferd, a radio host, accused Driscoll of plagiarism. She pointed out that passages from his new book, A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future?, reproduce ideas from a book by Peter Jones published in 1999, Gospel Truth/Pagan Lies: Can You Tell the Difference? Driscoll blew off her assertion. Mefferd has uploaded a comparison of the similar passages, along with some other suspect passages, here.

If I had come across the Call to Resurgence passage, I’d have been concerned about the lack of citation, but I might have just shrugged it off as ineptitude.

Some of the other evidence that Mefferd found is more damning. In a book on First and Second Peter published by Mars Hill Church, Driscoll lifts whole paragraphs almost word-for-word from the entry on First Peter in the New Bible Commentary, published by IVP in 1994. These passages are at the end of the previous link, and Mefferd provides additional passages here.

Mark Driscoll - 7 Christmas sermon ideas
1. Compare and contrast
2. Play the songs
3. Honor the women
4. Read the phonebook
5. Open the Old Testament
6. Spotlight the characters
7. Learn from others

The Blaze - Supreme Court Will Take Up Obamacare Contraception Mandate
The Supreme Court has agreed to referee another dispute over President Barack Obama’s health care law, whether businesses can use religious objections to escape a requirement to cover birth control for employees.

The justices said Tuesday they will take up an issue that has divided the lower courts in the face of roughly 40 lawsuits from for-profit companies asking to be spared from having to cover some or all forms of contraception.

The court will consider two cases. One involves Hobby Lobby Inc., an Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts chain with 13,000 full-time employees. Hobby Lobby won in the lower courts.

Russell Moore - Moore to the Point – Supreme Court To Hear Hobby Lobby Case, Russell Moore Reacts | Click the link to listen to the short podcast.
Listen a Russell Moore shares his thoughts on the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the Hobby Lobby Case, regarding the HHS Mandate.

ERLC Press Release

WORLD Magazine - Life on other planets? Evidence is shaky, at best
Earlier this month, a report based on findings by NASA’s Kesler spacecraft made news when it claimed that Earth-like, habitable planets are surprisingly common. But closer examination reveals the report used assumptions, broad criteria, and extrapolated data to arrive at its questionable conclusion. 

“These scientists use very broad, loose definitions for earth-like and sun-like,” says Dr. Jay Richards, co-author of Privileged Planet. The report inflates the definition of “earth-like” by using vague, general standards for things like size and orbit, and it extrapolates data from a very limited number of planets that revolve around stars less massive than the sun.

For example, the researchers examined 42,000 stars and found 603 planet candidates, only 10 of which the scientists deemed earth-size and within the habitable zone. The team broadly defined earth-size planets as those having a radius up to two times that of earth. The habitable zone is described as the zone in which liquid water could possibly exist and included planets receiving up to four times as much light from their stars as the earth does from the sun. The data say nothing about whether these planets can actually support life, only that they meet some of the known criteria for habitability.

Les Miserable. Cookie Monster version

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