Tim Clinton: Who You Gonna Blame? Ghostwriters!

On Wednesday, I documented that 59% of a 2005 column with American Association of Christian Counselors president Tim Clinton’s byline in Christian Counseling Today came from op-eds by Chuck Colson and Pete DuPont. When asked by the Christian Post about the matter, Clinton through his spokesman Jimmy Queen again blamed a former employee for lifting the material.

For the president of the AACC, this defense seems like a leap out of the frying pan into the fire. Blaming the ghostwriter lets Clinton maintain his “zero tolerance for plagiarism” but creates another conflict with his own code of ethics. Enter AACC code of ethics 1-880-c:

1-880-c: Avoiding Ghost Writers
Christian counselors shall resist use of ghostwriters, where the name of a prominent leader-author is attached to work substantially or wholly written by someone else. Authors give due authorship credit to anyone who has substantially contributed to the published text. Order of authorship should typically reflect the level of substantive contribution to a work.

Nearly 60% of Clinton’s column came from material we now know he did not write himself. He may have rearranged a few sentences but most of it was taken verbatim from op-eds Chuck Colson and Pete DuPont. Thus, even if Clinton didn’t know where that material came from, he knew it didn’t come from him. Mr. Plagiarizing Ghostwriter should have gotten first author credit if the AACC code of ethics is a guide.

Other Problems with the Defense

Clinton’s column, “Judicial Tyranny and the Loss of Self-Government” contains personal elements clearly intended to communicate that he is speaking in the first person. He begins with a personal anecdote involving his children. He wrote, “I don’t often write about political matters” leading the reader to believe that the words to come are his words about political matters.

In the middle of the two borrowed sections of text, he or someone inserts a connecting paragraph. Then at the end, it is Clinton writing again about a CounselAlert sent out in April 2005 on the issue of voting rules for judicial appointments. Only Clinton knows what he knew. However, if the situation is actually about ghostwriting, then I wonder what happens now?

The issue of ghostwriting came up in a big way for evangelicals during the demise of Mars Hill Church when Mark Driscoll’s “content management system” came into public view. No doubt many big name Christian authors use them. However, the AACC took a stand and said Christian counselors don’t do it. Now we learn that apparently at least one of them does and has done so for years.

What now?

Check a side-by-side comparison of Clinton’s “Judicial Tyranny and the Loss of Self-Government” and the op-eds by Colson and DuPont.

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(In the image, Tim Clinton is above Donald Trump’s head, to the right of V.P. Pence, Image: Johnnie Moore’s Twitter feed)

The Master’s University Placed on Probation by Regional Accrediting Organization

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges has placed The Master’s University on probation, citing a “climate of fear, intimidation, bullying, and uncertainty among significant numbers of faculty and staff” among many other concerns.  Grace to You preacher John MacArthur is also the current president of TMU.

Read the letter outlining the action steps required for TMU

The school must address issues in four broad areas to maintain accreditation. These concerns include board independence, personnel and management practice, operational integrity and leadership. Specifically, the action letter from the WASC says “The institution does not meet the WSCUC requirement for governing board independence since many members of the Board are employed by the institution or another organization for which the president has authority.” When board members report to the president in another capacity, they cannot truly supervise the president or carry out their fiduciary responsibility as board members.

Of particular concern is a finding of conflict of interest involving president’s son-in-law Kory Welch who functions as an administrator. According to the action letter, this individual oversees contracts which have gone to friends and relatives.

There is also mixing of staff and payments between MacArthur’s ministry Grace to You and TMU. For instance, on the 2015 990 form for Grace to You, John MacArthur’s son-in-law Kory Welch’s business were given nearly $790,000 for contract work.

According to the report, the conflict of interest had been known for six months without any action. This was not acceptable to the accrediting commission and they recommended the school seek legal counsel to “insure resolution of all reported conflicts of interest.” (p. 44 of the report)

The school has two years to remedy these matters. The WASC will send a team back to the school in November of this year to check on progress.

TMU Action Letter

TMU Accreditation Report

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Image: The Master’s University, by Lukasinla [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons 

The Silent Clean Up Continues

(In the photo above, Tim Clinton is above Donald Trump’s head, to the right of V.P. Pence, Image: Johnnie Moore’s Twitter feed)

As Professor Aaron New documents today on Twitter, AACC owner and Trump evangelical advisor Tim Clinton continues to quietly clean up his citation problems. Good thing too because failure to attribute your work properly is a big problem in professional circles. Look at what the American Counseling Association code of ethics (2014) says:

G.5.b. Plagiarism
Counselors do not plagiarize; that is, they do not present another person’s work as their own.

G.5.c. Acknowledging Previous Work
In publications and presentations, counselors acknowledge and give recognition to previous work on the topic by others or self.

Let’s see what Dr. New brings us today.

If you look at the right side of the tweet, you will see Dan Allender’s name added recently. This has happened since my articles on Clinton’s citation inadequacies have appeared. According to New’s count, 28 articles were on Clinton’s website (owned by AACC which is owned by Clinton) without the true author listed.

Good for Clinton that he is getting those authors names up there. I just wonder how he is going to address the other issues, such as the one I wrote about yesterday. The print article can’t be withdrawn and corrected quietly.

Prof. New asks a good question: Are any AACC members concerned about this? Mainly I have heard from people who don’t feel they can speak up because they fear repercussions. It remains to be seen how seriously Christian counselors take the matters raised over the past week.

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Once Upon a Time, Tim Clinton Borrowed from The WSJ and Chuck Colson

(In the photo above, Tim Clinton is above Donald Trump’s head, to the right of V.P. Pence, Image: Johnnie Moore’s Twitter feed)

Good sources, but you have to cite them.

Again, Professor Aaron New brought a potential citation problem to my attention and sure enough, it doesn’t look good. In the fourth issue of volume 12* of AACC’s flagship publication Christian Counseling Today, Tim Clinton’s byline rests on an article titled, “Judicial Tyranny and the Loss of Self-Government.” However, much of the article seems to be lifted verbatim from op-eds by Pete DuPont and Chuck Colson.

A fair use copy is reproduced here. The first page is clean as far as I can tell. However, when he begins to write about filibusters and the Democrats on page two, Chuck Colson and Pete DuPont enter in.  Here is the second page of Clinton’s article. You may have to click it to enlarge it. The material outlined in red is from Chuck Colson’s article, and the material outlined in black is from Pete DuPont’s op-ed.

Clinton’s Judicial Tyranny and the Loss of Self-Government

Check a side-by-side comparison of Clinton’s “Judicial Tyranny and the Loss of Self-Government” and the articles by Colson and DuPont.

Here is the link to Chuck Colson’s Breakpoint piece. The content from Colson’s piece included in Clinton’s column is reproduced below. Clinton rearranged some of it but there is much that is simply copied.

 The President “is to nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to appoint . . . judges of the Supreme Court.”

Publius, of course, was the pen name used by three of our nation’s founders when they wrote the eighty-five newspaper essays now known as the Federalist Papers. Among the authors was Alexander Hamilton, who wrote essay number 76, from which I just quoted. These fading words on a yellowed document reveal that what a handful of U.S. senators are doing today is a constitutional travesty.

These fading words on a yellowed document reveal that what a handful of U.S. senators are doing today is a constitutional travesty.

Democratic senators have for months been filibustering judges chosen by President Bush to serve on the federal courts. If the full Senate were allowed to vote on these fine judges, they would easily be confirmed. But a hostile minority is using the filibuster tactic to prevent such a vote — purely for ideological reasons.

In so doing, they are behaving as if the Senate is supposed to have equal say with the president in deciding who sits on the court. That is nonsense.

The Constitution could not be clearer. The nomination is made by the president alone. The Senate is to give its advice and consent — not demand ideological purity. Alexander Hamilton explained the intent in his essay number 76. “It is not likely,” he wrote, “that [the Senate’s] sanction would often be refused where there were not special and strong reasons for the refusal.”

The advice and consent clause, Hamilton continued, was intended to provide a check upon a president who would, say, appoint his brother, or engage in favoritism, or reward family connections or personal benefactors — nothing more.

And yet, today a Senate minority is using the filibuster to prevent a vote on highly qualified judges, like Bill Pryor or Miguel Estrada, an able Hispanic lawyer who was nominated and had to be withdrawn, and Janice Brown, an African- American judge from California. And the grounds for opposition is not what the constitutional framers intended; it’s ideological. They just do not like what these judges believe.

This filibuster should offend us for another reason. America’s founders, informed by their Christian understanding of the Fall, provided for a system of checks and balances so that no one branch of government would have power over the other. But today a minority in the Congress is holding hostage judges named to the court. This is a fundamental assault on an independent judiciary and, thus, a violation of the balance of powers.

Below is the material taken from the DuPont op-ed.

Sen. Barbara Boxer is a longtime opponent of judicial nomination filibusters. Or she was. Suddenly the light has dawned, and she realizes how wrong she was to oppose them: “I thought I knew everything. I didn’t get it. . . . I am here to say I was totally wrong.”

Other Democratic senators have had similar changes in belief: Joe Biden and Robert Byrd, Tom Harkin, Ted Kennedy, Joe Lieberman, Pat Leahy, Chuck Schumer and their erstwhile colleagues Lloyd Bentsen, and Tom Daschle have all vigorously opposed the use of the filibuster against judicial nominations. Mr. Schumer was for voting judicial nominations “up or down” without delay. Mr. Leahy flatly opposed a filibuster against Clarence Thomas’s Supreme Court nomination: “The president and the nominee and all Americans deserve an up-or-down vote.” Mr. Harkin believed “the filibuster rules are unconstitutional,” Mr. Daschle declared that “democracy means majority rule, not minority gridlock,” and Mr. Kennedy that “senators who believe in fairness will not let the minority of the Senate deny [the nominee] his vote by the entire Senate.”

But that was then, when Democrats controlled the Senate. Now, they are a frustrated minority and it is different. Mr. Leahy has voted against cloture to end filibusters 21 out of 26 times; Mr. Kennedy, 18 out of 23. Now all these Senators practice and defend the use of filibusters against judicial nominees.

This fundamental change in deeply held liberal beliefs has made a difference. Sen. Orrin Hatch notes that in the 108th Congress (2003-04) the Senate “voted on motions to end debate on judicial nominations 20 times. Each vote failed.” Of the 51 judicial nominees President Bush has put forward for the circuit courts of appeals, 35 have been confirmed, 10 have been “debated” without conclusion–filibustered–and six were threatened with a filibuster so no action has been taken on their nomination. Mr. Bush nominated Justice Priscilla Owen of the Texas Supreme Court for the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals almost four years ago. She has the highest possible rating from the American Bar Association but has been filibustered four times by a Senate minority that once devoutly believed filibustering was morally wrong and clearly unconstitutional.

Some of the above was omitted by Clinton (e.g., the sentence about Orrin Hatch), but most of this ended up without attribution in Clinton’s column.

In his response to Inside Higher Ed, Clinton said through his spokesman that he wasn’t directly involved in all of his online writing. In this article, it seems hard to make that case since the first page was personalized (“I don’t often write about political matters…”) and the end of the article was personalized. It would be great to hear directly from Dr. Clinton but he has yet to reply to my contact.

This isn’t the first instance like this. To see all articles in this series, click here.

UPDATE (8/16/18): To the Christian Post, Clinton blames an employee for this. I would like to be a reporter asking some follow up questions. For instance, the first page contained personal illustrations which Clinton clearly wrote. Did he not read the rest of the article and wonder where did all of that other information come from?  Also, 60% of the article came from Pete DuPont and Chuck Colson. If an employee really contributed 60% of the content for the article, then why didn’t the employee get first billing on the authorship?

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* The dating of Christian Counseling Today is confusing because the footer on the pages say the magazine was published in 2004. However, this can’t be true because in the editor’s introduction to that same issue Archibald Hart said that he wrote his column the morning Terri Schiavo died. Schiavo died March 31, 2005. Also, Clinton referred to quotes from Barbara Boxer which she did not say until March of 2005. Thus, the magazine couldn’t have been published in 2004 or even until sometime after April 2005. Furthermore, Clinton referred to legislative actions in Congress which happened in 2005, not 2004.

As additional evidence that the issue was published later in 2005, I was able to secure a photo of a copy of this issue of CCT received by the Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary in Jacksonville TX with a date of receipt: September 1, 2005. Somewhere around 2010, it appears that the AACC corrected this confusing dating and changed the date to match the calendar year of publication so that issues 1 and 2 were published in the last half of one year and issues 3 and 4 were published in the first half of the next year. In any case, when one considers the other statements in the magazine and Clinton’s article, it is clear that he wrote after Colson and DuPont, not before.

AACC President Tim Clinton Blames Employees, Grad Students, Etc. for Missing Citations

(In the photo above, Tim Clinton is above Donald Trump’s head, to the right of V.P. Pence, Image: Johnnie Moore’s Twitter feed)

This morning to Inside Higher Ed, American Association of Christian Counselors owner and Trump advisor Tim Clinton blamed former employers, grad students, research assistants, and third-party partners for the missing citations in his online publications.

Significantly, Clinton also told Inside Higher Ed through spokesman Jimmy Queen that some of his published works “have involved more of his direct involvement than others since he has often been assisted by graduate students or research associates.” To me, that sounds like he acknowledged that he didn’t write everything with his byline. If that is true, then why didn’t the grad students and research assistants get co-authorship as the AACC Code of Ethics requires?

Consider Jimmy Queen’s defense in light of the AACC Code of Ethics:

1-880: Writing and Publication Ethics in Christian Counseling
Christian counselors maintain honesty and integrity in all writing and publication ventures, giving full credit to whom credit is due. Christian counselors recognize the work of
others on all projects, avoid plagiarism of another’s work, share credit by joint authorship or acknowledgement with others who have directly and substantially contributed to the work
published, and honor all copyright and other laws applicable to the work.

Deja Vu All Over Again?*

This defense reminds me of how people close to Mars Hill Church described Mark Driscoll’s “content management system.” His stated intent was not to plagiarize but rather to pump out as much content as possible. For some of the online work, Driscoll functioned as a manager of content or as a kind of editor. He put his name on things others wrote which he approved but didn’t always double check (e.g., his book on I Peter).

To read all articles on this topic, click here.

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*Attributed to Yogi Berra – I thought I’d better footnote that.

James Dobson and Family Talk: Who Really Wrote These Articles?

(In the photo above, Tim Clinton is above Donald Trump’s head, to the right of V.P. Pence, Image: Johnnie Moore’s Twitter feed)

On Thursday, I brought to you news about the website maneuvers of American Association of Christian Counselors president and owner Tim Clinton after psychology professor Aaron New called out unsourced material in one of his online devotionals. Dr. Clinton has been removing articles identified in my post and in one case an article has been removed from the website of his new organization James Dobson’s Family Talk Radio. This morning, I submit Family Talk’s web team may have some more work to do.

Coping with Crisis

Currently, an article titled “Coping with Crisis” is hosted on Tim Clinton’s Family Talk blog page. However, if Clinton’s Bible for Hope can be believed (can we doubt anything with Bible in the title?), H. Norman Wright wrote that article. Clinton’s personal website also lists this article on his page without attribution to Wright.

UPDATE: After I wrote this, “Coping with Crisis” was removed from Family Talk’s website. It is available to view via the Wayback Machine.

Strive to Excel

Another article which may need scrubbing is “Strive to Excel.” Clinton has already removed it from his Medium, AACC, and personal pages. This article borrows material verbatim and without citation from a 1999 St. Petersburg Times article. Furthermore, this piece is taken from Clinton’s book with Max Davis, Ignite Your Faith without giving credit to Davis.  Go to the end of this post for a comparison of Clinton’s article with the 1999 newspaper article by Bruce Lowitt.

UPDATE: After I wrote this, “Strive to Excel” was removed from Family Talk’s website, It is available to view via the Wayback Machine.

Scrubbing in Progress

I see some scrubbing is underway. Clinton’s article citing Wikipedia without citation on respect has been scrubbed. The archived copy is here with the Wikipedia material in the first paragraph.

Family Talk Radio is aware of the situation because yesterday I asked them about another article which Family Talk attributed to Clinton which was actually written by Joshua Straub. That article was removed and I am waiting for some clarification about why. Since they are now scrubbing articles with uncited material, I can only assume that they know why they are doing it.

Celebrate Freedom

UPDATE: The articles I referred to above have now been scrubbed. Oddly enough, Clinton’s “Celebrate Freedom” post remains on the site even though he included inaccurate historical information from a source he didn’t cite.

UPDATE (8/13/18) – Ok, now “Celebrate Freedom” has been removed from Family Talk’s website. It is available to view here. It has also been removed from Clinton’s other websites.

Perhaps, Family Talk should just give me a call for the other posts which should be removed. I will have another one for you soon. Stay tuned…

A New Day A New You

UPDATE (8/13/18) – This piece has been posted at AACC‘s and Family Talk’s websites. It was also posted without an author back on 12/31/2010 on the AACC website. It has been scrubbed from the AACC website with that date but can be found via the Wayback Machine. Perhaps someone other than Clinton wrote it originally. In any case, it has material in it which appears to be lifted from a 1/4/10 Miami Herald piece by Jack Hardy titled, “New Year’s Resolutions Can Be Useful, Even When They Fail.”* Compare:

Clinton – It’s the “keeping them” part that gets us. In fact, 40 to 45 percent of people do make a New Year’s Resolution, and while it is true that 97% of resolutions are never fulfilled, 75% do make it past the first week, and 46% make it past the six month mark.

Miami Herald, Jack Hardy – Oscar Wilde wrote: “A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.” It’s true; statistics confirm that almost 97 percent of New Year’s resolutions are never fulfilled.   Even so, some 40 to 45 percent do use New Year’s Day to make resolutions and set goals.

While many may eventually ditch their resolutions, statistics show that setting goals is valuable. Research shows that 75 percent do make it past the first week; 46 percent make it past the six-month mark.

Not only is the phrasing and information identical, Clinton presents the information as the president of the AACC, an expert in mental health. However, he doesn’t cite his source. While any writer should take care with research, it is more necessary for mental health professionals to do so with social science data.

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Here is a pdf of Clinton’s article, “Press On.” (In Google’s cache for awhile)

Here is the archived copy of the original St. Petersburg Times article by Bruce Lowitt.

The articles use very similar words and phrases. Here are some examples.

Lowitt: At the start of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., the U.S. team was, like its gold-medal predecessor, little more than an afterthought — even in the mind of its coach.

Clinton: At the start of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., the U.S. hockey team was little more than an afterthought.

Lowitt: The Soviets were seeded No. 1, and deservedly so. They had won five gold medals and one bronze in the previous six Olympics. The seventh-seeded U.S. team could cling to one piece of history.

Clinton: The Soviets were seeded №1, and deservedly so. They had won five gold medals and one bronze in the previous six Olympics.

The U.S. team was seeded seventh.

Lowitt: The Soviets unleashed 30 shots in the first two periods to the United States’ 10. Only one dramatic save after another by former Boston University goaltender Jim Craig kept the United States close.

Clinton: The Soviets unleashed 30 shots in the first two periods to the United States’ 10. One dramatic save after another by goaltender Jim Craig kept the U.S. team close.

Lowitt: The explosion of cheers was deafening, and most of the 10,000 fans squeezed into the 8,500-seat arena began a chant of “USA! USA!” that never abated in the final 10 minutes.

Clinton: The explosion of cheers was deafening, and most of the 10,000 fans began a chant of “USA! USA!” that did not end for the final 10 minutes.

Lowitt: Later, Brooks pulled from his pocket a yellow card with a scrawled message. He said it contained the pregame message he read to his team:

“You were born to be a player. You were meant to be here.”

Clinton: After the game, coach Herb Brooks pulled a yellow card from his pocket with the scrawled message on it that he had read to his team just before the game:

“You were born to be a player. You were meant to be here.”

The quotes from the players in Clinton’s article were the same as in the Lowitt article although shortened. Read both pieces and decide for yourself.

*Hardy’s article isn’t available on the web. I was able to obtain it via the Miami Herald archives. A reprint of it is available via this chiropractic website.

Tim Clinton’s Bad History and Questionable Publishing (UPDATED)

(In the photo above, Tim Clinton is above Donald Trump’s head, to the right of V.P. Pence, Image: Johnnie Moore’s Twitter feed)

UPDATE (8/10/18) – Since I posted this information, Dr. Clinton or someone acting for him has deleted most of the articles referred to below. Archived copies of those articles exist and I have added links to them below.  The post has been edited to reflect those changes. Via Twitter, I asked Clinton for comment without reply as yet. While it is appropriate to remove content, it would be right to comment and take responsibility as well.

Sources continue to send other instances of Clinton’s web articles where information from other authors is used without citation. I plan to add them to this post as I find them. Check the end of the post and this link for additions. Family Talk Radio is also removing posts with borrowed material.

(Original post)

Oh my, you can find bad history in the strangest places.

Knowing my interest in historical claims, a colleague pointed out this historical faux pas in an article by Tim Clinton (also at James Dobson’s website), president and owner of the American Association of Christian Counselors. Dr. Clinton is also an advisor to President Trump.  Making this article of double interest is the lack of citation of the historical problem which is a problem according to the doctor’s own ethics code (1-880).

The article is a brief tribute to the founders of America and includes this paragraph:

In all, 5 of the 56 were captured and tortured by the British. 29 had their homes, businesses and property destroyed and eventually went bankrupt. Several lived off charity and died penniless. 9 were killed in the Revolution. 2 lost sons.

This information is lifted without citation from various sources (e.g., here). Much of it is inaccurate and exaggerated as documented by these pieces at Snopes and the Daily Signal. Dr. Clinton, which 9 were killed in the Revolution (implying they died in war)?

As of 8/13/18, Celebrate Freedom has been removed.

Press On!

This isn’t the first time for Dr. Clinton. Just yesterday, Dr. Clinton was called out by psychology professor Aaron New on Twitter about a piece posted on Medium.com. Here is that Twitter exchange.

In question was an August 7 article posted by Clinton on Medium about the 1980 USA Hockey team. After Dr. New pointed out the similarities between Clinton’s article and a 1999 article about the team’s win over the Soviet Union, Clinton deleted the tweet and the article from Medium and AACC.

Here is a pdf of Clinton’s article, “Press On.” (In Google’s cache for awhile)

Here is the archived copy of the original St. Petersburg Times article by Bruce Lowitt.

The articles use very similar words and phrases. Here are some examples.

Lowitt: At the start of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., the U.S. team was, like its gold-medal predecessor, little more than an afterthought — even in the mind of its coach.

Clinton: At the start of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., the U.S. hockey team was little more than an afterthought.

Lowitt: The Soviets were seeded No. 1, and deservedly so. They had won five gold medals and one bronze in the previous six Olympics. The seventh-seeded U.S. team could cling to one piece of history.

Clinton: The Soviets were seeded №1, and deservedly so. They had won five gold medals and one bronze in the previous six Olympics.

The U.S. team was seeded seventh.

Lowitt: The Soviets unleashed 30 shots in the first two periods to the United States’ 10. Only one dramatic save after another by former Boston University goaltender Jim Craig kept the United States close.

Clinton: The Soviets unleashed 30 shots in the first two periods to the United States’ 10. One dramatic save after another by goaltender Jim Craig kept the U.S. team close.

Lowitt: The explosion of cheers was deafening, and most of the 10,000 fans squeezed into the 8,500-seat arena began a chant of “USA! USA!” that never abated in the final 10 minutes.

Clinton: The explosion of cheers was deafening, and most of the 10,000 fans began a chant of “USA! USA!” that did not end for the final 10 minutes.

Lowitt: Later, Brooks pulled from his pocket a yellow card with a scrawled message. He said it contained the pregame message he read to his team:

“You were born to be a player. You were meant to be here.”

Clinton: After the game, coach Herb Brooks pulled a yellow card from his pocket with the scrawled message on it that he had read to his team just before the game:

“You were born to be a player. You were meant to be here.”

The quotes from the players in Clinton’s article were the same as in the Lowitt article although shortened. Read both pieces and decide for yourself.

This article is also in his book with Max Davis titled, Ignite Your Faith, and under another title at James Dobson’s Family Talk website.

THERE’S MORE

Dr. Clinton should also check in on this article titled “Do” since it has material taken from this article on a history website without citation.

Update (later the same day): Now this article titled, “Do” has been removed from the AACC website without comment. The article is still archived here

UPDATE: Clinton has removed all articles and apparently removed his account from Medium.com. An archived version of the page can be viewed but in real time, it is gone as of today.

UPDATE: See the comments section for three more examples provided by Dr. New. Here’s one from this article on the AACC website called “How About Some Respect.” The Wikipedia entry is an early version which was in turn adapted and used on LastFM.

(8/10/18) “How About Some Respect” has now been removed from the AACC website. However, it is available at the Internet Archive.

(8/10/18) Clinton also removed an article from both the AACC and Medium websites titled “Bounce Back.” Professor New referred to this piece in the blog comments section. This article is also available at the Internet Archive.

(8/10/18) Professor New alerted me that many of the articles on Clinton’s personal website have been written by other people. On his website, articles from a book titled the Soul Care Bible (edited by Clinton, Ed Hindson, & George Ohlschlager) appear with his name and photo but without attribution to the author. For instance, this article on forgiveness was written by Ev Worthington in the Soul Care Bible. On Clinton’s website  , it appears he wrote it:

There is no mention of Ev Worthington on the page. However, here is Worthington’s entry on forgiveness in the Soul Care Bible.  Clinton also has reproduced articles on adultery, honor, crisis, hope, parenting, suicide, divorce, addiction, legalism, and adolescent development on his page. None of these articles on Clinton’s website list the actual author.

UPDATE (8/10/18): His devotional section has now been removed from his personal website. Also, I have noted in several of the devotionals the use of material from Bible study books without citation. For instance, in this article on compassion, Clinton uses a quote without a citation and then uses material verbatim without quotes or citation. From the AACC article:

“Splagchnizomai” the Greek word for compassion literally means “to be moved as to one’s bowels” (for the bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity).

This appears to come from Thayer’s Greek Lexicon and can be viewed on the web:

σπλαγχνίζομαι; 1 aorist ἐσπλαγχνίσθην (cf. Buttmann, 52 (45)); (σπλάγχνον, which see); properly, to be moved as to one’s bowels, hence, to be moved with compassion, have compassion (for the bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity).

According to the code of conduct of Clinton’s former academic employer Liberty University (any writer or academic knows this), any direct quote should be cited and placed within quotes. In a devotional piece such as the one on the AACC website (although it is supposed to be a professional organization), a footnote could be used to give proper attribution. Although this might seem like a small instance, it is completely unnecessary. There is no reason why the use of the exact words from Thayer’s reference work can’t be cited as it should be.

Off and on through the afternoon of 8/10 timclinton.com has been down. There have been shifts in content through the day as well. However, no response has yet come to my inquiry.

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Image: Johnnie Moore’s Twitter feed

Willow Creek Association Addresses Bill Hybels Controversy at Opening of Global Leadership Summit (VIDEO)

After the resignation of Lead Pastor Heather Larson and all Willow Creek church elders last night, President and CEO of the Willow Creek Association Tom De Vries addressed the Bill Hybels controversy at the Global Leadership Summit this morning. Watch:

He seemed sorry for something and then said the Global Leadership Summit would continue doing good work as in the past. Many would disagree with De Vries self-justification. He said there will be three commitments. One is to promote an independent investigation of allegations against Hybels. A second commitment is to explore power dynamics between men and women in the workplace at the summit and then a commitment to extend the topic after the summit.

He also addressed why the WCA didn’t cancel the GLS this year. Essentially, he said leaders have to step out and do something (as if pausing isn’t doing something). Then he said they are doing it for the women attending and used numbers of host sites that don’t match his own website’s numbers. In other words, the world can’t go on without the GLS.

Imagine a World Without

It is this attitude (the world needs us) that turns me off and strikes me as presumptuous. I am open to reasons why the show must go on. Maybe somebody’s livelihood is dependent on it. I get that. But don’t tell me that the sun won’t come up or that women around the world would be lost without you.

I think this is what gets evangelical pastors — like Bill Hybels maybe?– into trouble. I think Mr. De Vries expressed some of that too. The GLS must go on  because we need it to. No, actually we don’t. Find some other reason.

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Image fair use from GLS conference website.

Willow Creek Church Elders to Resign by the End of 2018

UPDATE: In a statement issued at Willow Creek Church tonight, three steps were outlined. All elders of the church will step down by the end of 2018, the church will hire a consultant to assist with governance, and another committee of Christian leaders will conduct an investigation of the allegations of misconduct against Bill Hybels. Also, pastor Heather Larson announced that she is stepping down as a pastor. Essentially, it appears that the entire leadership team is moving aside.

The news of the elders and Ms. Larson stepping down was greeted with loud applause from the members of Willow Creek gathered in the meeting. Also speaking was Steve Gillan who will be the interim pastor during the transition. Gillan is currently pastor of Willow Creek North Shore.

The statements from elder representative Missy Rasmussen, pastor Heather Larson and interim pastor Steve Gillan can be seen in full here.

(Original post)

There are persistent rumblings out of Willow Creek that the elders of the church will resign over their handling of the Bill Hybels situation (for more on this, click here and here) perhaps as soon as tonight.

The elders have been under tremendous pressure due to their response to public and private allegations of misconduct against the former pastor of Willow Creek, Bill Hybels. Many inside and outside the church have questioned their reluctance to initiate an independent investigation of the allegations.

The church’s troubles have come into public view recently due to the start of this year’s Global Leadership Summit tomorrow. Many churches and simulcast hosts have backed out over the allegations. Five speakers including Denzel Washington have pulled out of the conference.

I will update this post as I get new information.

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Photo: By Ianphilpot at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18726346

Amid Scandal, the Global Leadership Summit Continues to Shrink

UPDATE: Just this morning, Willow Creek has deleted two more sites. I suspect this will continue through the beginning of the conference.

As the beginning of Willow Creek Association’s Global Leadership Summit nears, the number of host sites continues to decline. Despite the promotion of 600 sites on the conference website, a count of the number of publicly available sites has now fallen to 485. According to Willow Creek Association, there are additional private sites and some in prisons. However, for people wanting to sign up for the GLS, the number of options continues to decrease as the conference draws near.

Willow Creek Association continues to say that only 111 host sites have dropped out over the sexual misconduct allegations against Bill Hybels (e.g., to Christianity Today). However, a check of the sites posted on the GLS website indicates that more sites have dropped since I last checked.  At the beginning of 2018, Willow Creek promoted the GLS with claims of 700 host sites for the conference simulcast.

Leadership Reset

Sometimes in leadership, a leader must lead by not leading. What I mean is that followers simply won’t follow under some circumstances. I believe Willow Creek leaders are now in that position. I don’t think it matters what they do, they are compromised and their best leadership move is to step down. They may not believe it is fair and they may believe they have done their best. Nonetheless, the perception is that the situation is getting worse and that a reset is needed.

The GLS will be tainted by the Hybels’ controversy and the failure to handle it properly. Much of what is presented in the sessions will be compared to what has happened at Willow Creek. Maybe I’m wrong, but I sense that a situation is being set up where it will seem that the GLS speakers will talk about leadership without actually leading.

Christianity Today on Willow Creek and GLS

New York Times Sunday article with new allegations against Hybels which he denies.

Scot McKnight’s response to Willow Creek.

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Photo: By Ianphilpot at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18726346