This is the second installment in the continuing series that exposes the blatant plagiarism of Mr. Jim Johnson (“Instructor”: * Rocky Mountain Bible College). It was our intention to open this series with a review of Johnson’s plagiarism found in his currently **deleted Part 5 of Destroying Free Grace Theology.
In the thread under the first in this series, Jim Johnson’s Plagiarism, Part 1 Greg Schliesmann included this important observation in regard to Johnson’s plagiarism and deleting of the Part 5 article from his series. Greg noted,
“Johnson tries to portray his plagiarism (of Bib Sac) as an issue of copyright infringement, which he can rectify by contacting the copyright holders and asking for permission to reprint their articles (probably without fully explaining how he used/plans to use them). However, plagiarism is different than simple copyright infringement in that the author deceptively passes of the work as his own. That is deception. That cannot be rectified.”
Let’s begin Part 2 of Jim Johnson’s copyright infringement and blatant plagiarism.
Those of us who reject the teachings of Zane Hodges on the Gospel commonly known as the Crossless gospel (ReDefined Free Grace Theology) initially paid little attention to the series by Jim Johnson, Destroying Free Grace Theology. Ironically virtually no one in the Crossless camp has paid any attention to that series either.
Upon release of Johnson’s Part 5 in his series it was detected that he had plagairized an article from Bibliotheca Sacra (Bib Sac) in its entirety, without proper permission. Furthermore, at various points Mr. Johnson manipulated the Bib Sac article. I made a brief mention of this copyright infringement in previous thread discussions.
For others, I will summarize what I see:
1. The original Hawthorne articles at issue were published in a two-part series in Bibliotheca Sacra (Bib Sac) (24 pages total).
2. Johnson copied and pasted ALL of the first Hawthorne article (14 pages) and a section from the second Hawthorne article.
3. Johnson incorporated these articles into his own article in such a way that gave the distinct impression that they were written by Mr. Johnson.
4. The only credit given to Hawthorne was buried in a footnote:
“Much of this section is adapted from the following articles, Ralph Rogers Hawthorne, The Significance of the Name of Christ, Bibliotheca Sacra Volume 103, Number 410 April 1946; Number 411, July 1946; Number 412, October 1946.”
5. There is no clear break in Johnson’s article where Hawthorne’s articles begin or end.
6. In the section where Johnson copied and pasted Hawthorne’s article, right in the middle of Hawthorne’s own writing, Johnson injects this line: “Hawthorne quoting Walvoord shows that Christ is the Angel of LORD by the use of four lines of evidence.”
This is blatantly and purposely deceptive because he injected that line right into Hawthorne’s own article! He therefore gives the distinct impression that the section (i.e., the words surrounding Hawthorne’s “quote”) is written by Johnson! In actuality, the ENTIRE section is copied from Hawthorne VERBATIM, and so it is extremely misleading to pretend he is quoting him in a particular part of the section, when in actuality, the WHOLE section is directly taken from Hawthorne.
7. Mr. Johnson periodically changes a word written by Hawthorne, apparently in order to “make it his own” and evade copyright infringement. Apparently, this way, Mr. Johnson thought he could say he “adapted” Hawthorne’s articles rather than simply admitting he copied almost 20 pages of Hawthorne’s articles verbatim. To give you an example of how egregious this is:
HAWTHORNE:Notice that Johnson changed “utmost importance” to “paramount importance.” The ENTIRE 20 pages are like this where Johnson randomly changes a word here and there to constitute his “adaptation.”
It is of utmost importance to see that the name of Christ is not revealed in the New Testament alone. There are numerous Messianic passages in the Old Testament—vastly more than it is generally realized. Indeed, one guarantee of the Lord’s Messiahship rests on the unmistakable fact that a considerable amount of prophecy concerning Him has been fulfilled literally in minute detail. Herein lies the proof that further events prophesied also shall yet be brought to pass in their predestined time and order.
It is of paramount importance to see that the name of Christ is not only revealed in the New Testament alone. There are numerous Messianic passages in the Old Testament— very much more than it is generally realized. Indeed, one guarantee of the Lord’s Messiahship rests on the unmistakable fact that a considerable amount of prophecy concerning Him has been fulfilled literally in minute detail. Herein lies the proof that further events prophesied also shall yet be brought to pass in their predestined time and order.
8. Now Johnson issued an apology on his website in which he:
a) characterizes this as a “human” oversight
b) indicates that his apology was prompted by a person who read Lou’s comment
c) indicates he was unaware that this violated Federal copyright law (apparently he thought changing a word in every paragraph made it okay)
d) criticizes Lou for mentioning this issue publicly
e) criticizes all free grace people who oppose the crossless gospel for being unwilling to listen to his arguments (ironically, he is the most unwilling to consider or interact with any arguments that contradict his view! In fact, I quoted him in an earlier post where he directly stated he would not interact with us because we would contradict his doctrinal view).
f) hurls unsubstantiated insults at everybody on our side of the debate as if to shift the blame and placate his own conscience
g) tries to play the issue down by indicating that he called Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) after his plagiarism was exposed by Lou, and the staff person at DTS/Bib Sac did not sound as concerned as Lou!
9. The general character of his apology is anger geared toward us rather than humility for, or even an acknowledgment of his purposeful deception.
Lou, I apologize for suggesting giving him the “benefit of the doubt” without having asked for more information first.
In the three articles Johnson has posted since withdrawing Part 5 of his series, he has not shown any sign of genuine humility, regret or repentance for his plagiarizing other men’s work. Instead he is combative, and angry that he was caught.
Mr. Jim Johnson is identified as an “Instructor” at the Rocky Mountain Bible College (RMBC). What follows is taken from a tab at the RMBC website labeled: Student Life: Christian Life & Conduct. The exact same wording is contained on page 21 of their 2006-2008 Catalog (viewable on-line) under the heading, “Student Life” on page 21.
CHRISTIAN LIFEThe RMBC standards for Christian Life & Conduct are applicable to “its board, faculty, staff and students.” In light of RMBC’s standards above what would RMBC’s response be to a student who might have submitted a paper the same way Johnson published a work that is not his own?
Students at Rocky Mountain Bible College & Rocky Mountain Seminary will be involved in a number of activities, including evangelism, Christian service projects, and ministry. Students are expected to work closely with their local churches. Additionally, a faculty member will mentor each full-time student to give guidance in Christian growth and ministry involvement.
We live in a world whose standards are determined by our culture. As believers, our standard is to live in a manner worthy of our calling (Eph. 4:1) as put forward in the Word of God. We believe that eternal life is a free gift to everyone who believes (John 3:16). We also believe that a close personal relationship with God is offered only to those who abide in God's love by obeying His commandments (John 15:10,14). We call this free grace and full responsibility.
Some of the responsibilities God commands of those who abide in Christ are to put off the works of the flesh, to be an example of the believer, to be holy even as God is holy, to put on the new man, to walk by the power of the Holy Spirit, and to evidence the fruit of the Spirit.
Believers are called to a life of separation from all worldly and sinful practices. Students who demonstrate an ungodly lifestyle will be subject to discipline and dismissal.
Rocky Mountain Bible College & Rocky Mountain Seminary are committed to the same godly standards for its board, faculty, staff, and students.
Closing note to Mr. Johnson
Jim, the 8th Commandment, “Thou shalt not steal,” is still in the Bible.
**Once the copyright infringement and plagiarism of Hawthorne’s Bib Sac article was uncovered Mr. Johnson removed the article from his blog. Johnson said he would be reposting it in the near future. We will at that time review and compare it against the original he published, which we have archived. We will look to see just how much of the original has been altered. Once the review is complete, if we find that it is strikingly different than the original, we will forward it to the editors at Dallas Theological Seminary’s Bib Sac to assist them in protecting Bib Sac from Johnson’s misuse of their articles.