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Home > When Do We Cross the Line into Plagiarism? > All Reviews
While there are gray areas, there are also black-and-white guidelines.
Collin Hansen, D. A. Carson, Sandy Willson, Tim Keller, Matt Perman, and Glenn Lucke
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Much Originality and no plagiarism makes for dull preaching-Charles Spurgeon
Yes, Virginia. There is originality in sermons, as surely as the goat has left the building, payday someday, and footprints in the sand. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy, if they can make an honest effort to recall where the idea originated.
I do recall a colleague who vigorously asserted, "All of my stuff is good and original." Then he sheepishly added, "The stuff that's original is not good, and the stuff that's good is not original." Just give the credit and especially if asked.
Years ago my wife and I visited a church and I was stunned to hear the pastor preach an entire chapter out of Alan Redpath's book on Joshua, without attribution. Before he came to our home for a get acquainted visit, I put the book on the coffee table. "Interesting!" was his only comment when he saw it. We did not attend his church again. I know this happens, maybe much more than we realize. But that doesn't justify it. Thanks for a helpful treatment of the subject.
What is the correct way to use your illustrations? I always note that they are quotes, and I keep the citations and where they were found in my notes, but I don't always stop the flow of the sermon by saying, "That story was published by _________ in __________. Is that enough??
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