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phat8594
02-06-2014, 07:07 AM
I was just thinking about this the other day....

Does anyone have any sort of feelings on Christian authors / pastors using 'ghostwriters', and then claiming authorship?

Cow Poke
02-06-2014, 07:45 AM
I think it would be clearly problematic if there weren't an agreement between that author and the ghost writer. I see your point, though, and maybe I need some clarification. If the work is mostly the ghost writer's, and independent of the Pastor's expertise, knowledge, experience, etc, I'd see a problem. However, I've actually done some ghost writing myself (nothing "big time") for others, and I'm basically just putting into words what they have difficulty expressing.

seanD
02-06-2014, 07:48 AM
It's what some of the early apostles did.

robrecht
02-06-2014, 08:17 AM
As long as the assistance of a professional writer ia fully acknowledged then it is considered ethical and it is not "ghost" writing since the writer is known and not a "ghost". The need for acknowledgement and full disclosure has been an evolving ethical requirement in publishing over the past 15 years. Previously, this was less of an issue.

Cow Poke
02-06-2014, 08:35 AM
That brings up the question I was not so effectively addressing. :smile:

Phat, Are there "Christian Authors" you know who conceal the fact that they used a "ghost writer"? I just checked a number of books in my library, and there seems to be a pretty common "in appreciation..." comment in the forward, or on the flyleaf, or something....

Can you give an example of what you would consider an offense?

Thanks

The Remonstrant
02-06-2014, 08:38 AM
I'll have to give my ghostwriter credit someday...

KingsGambit
02-06-2014, 08:40 AM
It's what some of the early apostles did.


I have heard this asserted several times before (though also disputed). If true, it would certainly make it difficult to demonstrate moral difficulty with the same practice today, especially as it is widely accepted (as robrecht points out).

I do not think this extends to academic work. Plagiarizing or hiring somebody else to write your dissertation is clearly wrong.

Cow Poke
02-06-2014, 08:44 AM
I do not think this extends to academic work. Plagiarizing or hiring somebody else to write your dissertation is clearly wrong.

Yeah, and with the web tools Academia has at their disposal, "be sure your sins will find you out". :smile:

KingsGambit
02-06-2014, 08:47 AM
Yeah, and with the web tools Academia has at their disposal, "be sure your sins will find you out". :smile:

Even Martin Luther King, Jr. got caught doing it.

One Bad Pig
02-06-2014, 09:35 AM
I have heard this asserted several times before (though also disputed). If true, it would certainly make it difficult to demonstrate moral difficulty with the same practice today, especially as it is widely accepted (as robrecht points out).
It is well-nigh undisputed that Paul used an amenuensis to write at least some of his letters. Depending on their working relationship, the scribe could more or less be trusted to put into writing the words Paul was speaking without verbatim taking down what he said.


I do not think this extends to academic work. Plagiarizing or hiring somebody else to write your dissertation is clearly wrong.
Right. Your dissertation is not just graded on your research, but how well you are able to communicate your findings.

Sparko
02-06-2014, 10:20 AM
Cow Poke ghost writes all of my posts.

Cow Poke
02-06-2014, 10:23 AM
I ghost write all of Sparko's posts, but he would never admit that!

Sparko
02-06-2014, 10:25 AM
Cow Poke is the humblest, most lovable person in Texas. And his dog Jake too.

Cow Poke
02-06-2014, 10:26 AM
I actually put my name in the hat for "most humblest human ever". I should be a shoe-in! :yes:

Sparko
02-06-2014, 10:29 AM
The only problem is that the hat belongs to a pirate.

Soyeong
02-06-2014, 10:30 AM
I actually put my name in the hat for "most humblest human ever". I should be a shoe-in! :yes:
Your name is in the hat, not the shoe.

The Remonstrant
02-06-2014, 10:31 AM
The devolution of a thread in progress.

Sparko
02-06-2014, 10:33 AM
Wasn't the whole bible (holy)ghostwritten?

ManwŰ S˙limo
02-06-2014, 11:30 AM
Not really. Human beings still wrote in their own style to specific instances and audiences often in their own name. They had a great source, but the source didn't write the documents Himself.

RBerman
02-06-2014, 11:31 AM
Does anyone have any sort of feelings on Christian authors / pastors using 'ghostwriters', and then claiming authorship?
I don't have feelings; I have opinions. I'm a man.

Anyway... the longstanding convention in publishing has been to make the credit for the ghostwriter as non-obvious as possible. That can be problematic, as in the recent case of Mark Driscoll who was happy to claim credit as the author of some books, but then when his ghostwriter was found to have omitted relevant citations from other authors used, Driscoll blamed the ghostwriter rather than taking responsibility as the man whose name was on the cover. That sort of thing could be avoided from the get-go with an explicit co-author credit, which strikes me as the more honest way to go.

This comes up in the music industry too. Elvis' manager "Colonel" Tom Parker forced songwriters to give Elvis a co-author credit, and thus a cut of the royalties, on the rationale that the song would become much more valuable once recorded by Elvis. If you look over the album credits of today's autotuned popstar mannequins, co-author credits are still mighty common; sometimes the list of authorial names who had a hand in the song is longer than the lyric sheet for the song!

princesa
02-06-2014, 12:07 PM
[QUOTE=RBerman;11052]I don't have feelings; I have opinions. I'm a man.

Anyway...QUOTE]

Thank you for the laugh! :)

phat8594
02-06-2014, 12:14 PM
Anyway... the longstanding convention in publishing has been to make the credit for the ghostwriter as non-obvious as possible. That can be problematic, as in the recent case of Mark Driscoll who was happy to claim credit as the author of some books, but then when his ghostwriter was found to have omitted relevant citations from other authors used, Driscoll blamed the ghostwriter rather than taking responsibility as the man whose name was on the cover. That sort of thing could be avoided from the get-go with an explicit co-author credit, which strikes me as the more honest way to go.



Yeah, I guess my question really revolves less around longstanding convention, and more around the moral implications of a Christian author / pastor essentially claiming authorship to something he didn't actually write. I understand that those books might 'sell better', but it seems to me that as a Christian (this is the big part for me) this is not a good enough reason to use a ghostwriter without making it explicitly clear that it was written by someone else (at which point the ghostwriter no longer becomes a ghostwriter). This is especially concerning, because our cultural understanding is that the author is the actual writer (unless there is the 'Author' with 'co-author' mention. After all, even secular books will call out the co-author. It seems to me that as much as people might call out the 'cult of personality'.

I am less concerned with the co-author situation, as an explicit mention of the other writer(s) is included as part of the authorship. How they divvy up the material / writing is really up to them, I guess.

Jedidiah
02-06-2014, 12:33 PM
Cow Poke is the humblest, most lovable person in Texas. And his dog Jake too.

That title is already taken. He could be second.

Sparko
02-06-2014, 12:44 PM
That title is already taken. He could be second.

I said in Texas. Not Alaska, Jed.

Thoughtful Monk
02-07-2014, 04:46 PM
I was just thinking about this the other day....

Does anyone have any sort of feelings on Christian authors / pastors using 'ghostwriters', and then claiming authorship?

For a book, no big feelings one way or another.

Big problem when the pastor is passing off someone else's sermon as his own work during service. I would much rather the pastor say "I am grateful to insert name for the insights I am sharing today." There is more of connection in a sermon than when reading a book and it think that's makes it a lot less acceptable to me.

Thoughtful Monk
02-07-2014, 04:48 PM
It's what some of the early apostles did.

I think your mistaking dication with ghost writing.

Jedidiah
02-07-2014, 06:22 PM
I said in Texas. Not Alaska, Jed.

Not Texas or Alaska. I am talking TWeb. But you are indeed correct. Thank you.

seanD
02-07-2014, 07:10 PM
I think your mistaking dication with ghost writing.

It's possible that the writers sat with the apostles at all times during the actual writing process, and it's also possible at times the writer used the gist of what he had heard from the apostle with the apostle's blessing, which might explain at times the different styles we see in the letters. OBP said it best on the first page.

Sparko
02-08-2014, 09:27 AM
The gospels (other than maybe Luke) never state an author's name, so "ghostwriting" would be a misnomer for them.

Rushing Jaws
02-09-2014, 03:58 PM
It is well-nigh undisputed that Paul used an amenuensis to write at least some of his letters. Depending on their working relationship, the scribe could more or less be trusted to put into writing the words Paul was speaking without verbatim taking down what he said.

Right. Your dissertation is not just graded on your research, but how well you are able to communicate your findings.

## ...which creates interesting questions for a doctrine of inspiration.

seanD
02-10-2014, 04:55 PM
## ...which creates interesting questions for a doctrine of inspiration.

Why?

RBerman
02-11-2014, 06:44 AM
## ...which creates interesting questions for a doctrine of inspiration.

It mainly just requires an added level of specificity as to exactly what processes were inspired.