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Plagiarism again, response to Sheep’s Crib

J. A. Gillmartin has posted his response to my arguments on pastoral plagiarism (post 1, post 2) at his blog The Sheep’s Crib. I think my argument can be best made by encouraging you to read his post and compare it with what has been said here, not only in my posts but in the wealth of good comments and the items I linked from Justin Taylor.

I do not think Gillmartin’s post adds significantly to the discussion, so I will not give a detailed response. Here are just two points.

1. He argues that stewardship would suggest we use all available good resources. I wholeheartedly agree. He claims I disallow the use of bound, printed sermons. I never said that. In fact I would encourage the use of such, at least from good expositors. I said clearly that we ought to learn from others, but then preach our own sermons.

2. He accuses my argument of being “neo-pharisaic” (his term). He is concerned about adding non-biblical requirements to believers, here particularly pastors. But, is the requirement of laboring in the Word an unbiblical, human addition? I agree that adding unbiblical requirements is damaging and dangerous (legalism). I also believe that negating biblical commands, telling people they need not do what the Bible says, is also damaging (antinomianism). In 1 Tim 5:17 the elders who rule well are defined as those who labor (the word here suggests toil) in preaching and teaching (see the commentaries for supporting argument that ruling well is defined as laboring in this way). Timothy is exhorted to “devote” himself to teaching (1 Tim 4:13) and he is to watch closely his teaching (4:16). Indeed his carefulness concerning his own life and his teaching will lead to the salvation of others (4:16). Search the Scriptures. The requirement for pastors to be men steeped in the Word as a result of real labor to understand them is a thoroughly biblical one. Leaning too much on the work of others, skipping the hard work ourselves, avoids this biblical mandate and will stunt the growth of pastors and the churches they lead. To encourage men to avoid this mandate is serious error.

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