For reasons that will become obvious, certain details in this blog are quite vague. But I think you might get the point.
I wrote a book once. Actually, more than once. The books had to go through a lot of stages to be accepted for publication. I have been published by a few different Christian publishing companies.
My writing is normally within a particular doctrinal area – creationism. So my material is checked by experts in the field. Some organizations would, understandably, not carry my books if they did not chime with the thinking on my chosen topics within their organizations, even on secondary matters. In the interests of honesty, I must tell you that I want to make sure that my thinking is moderated by such experts, who I respect highly. Therefore, there may be large sections of my books that read very similarly to books written by these experts. Now, I will always attempt to give these people credit. Personally, I like to use footnotes. But, some publishing companies are not too happy about too many footnotes being used, and I am not sure how many is too many. Besides, some of the comments I make are my own! You might say – “Why are your thoughts so similar to those of _____?” The answer is easy. I genuinely believe the same as they do; not by chance, but because I respect this said expert highly and my thinking is heavily influenced by that person. Do I really have to keep stating this over and over again on every page?
So – am I guilty of plagiarism? I don't think so. Do you? Maybe a little. Maybe I need to go back and put more footnotes in.
By now, some of you might have clicked what in the world I am talking about. I am just realizing that I could myself have been criticized in the same way as somebody else recently was. I am a bit disturbed about how these rows are developing, and how gas is poured on the flames.
If you don't know what I am talking about… well, maybe you should thank God for that, as you are not getting caught up in arguments and accusations between Christians.