Douglas Wilson’s Book Pulled Over Plagiarism

Co-author Randy Booth takes responsibility for the book's mistakes

Wilson faced accusations of plagiarism over a 1996 booklet he co-authored with Steve Wilkins titled Southern Slavery: As It Was. He later wrote about the accusations: “I won’t go into how it happened, but the end result was that some passages from a book that should have been cited weren’t cited (Time on the Cross), and it was entirely and completely accidental. It was an embarrassing editorial screw-up, not plagiarism.”


Canon Press has pulled from shelves A Justice Primer, a book by evangelical pastors Douglas Wilson and Randy Booth, after acknowledging significant plagiarism. Blogger Rachel Miller first discovered and documented the passages lifted without citation. This is the second time one of Wilson’s books has faced plagiarism charges.

“Canon Press has investigated the charges of plagiarism and improper citation in A Justice Primer, and it is abundantly clear that the editor and co-author, Randy Booth, plagiarized material in multiple instances from a number of different sources,” the publisher said in a statement.

Wilson—known for his advocacy for classical education, his national debates with atheist Christopher Hitchens, and his provocative punditry on all topics—founded and heads the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches (CREC). He pastors Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho. Booth is a CREC pastor at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nacogdoches, Texas. Canon Press was originally an arm of the CREC, but the church sold the publishing company in 2012. Wilson’s son, N.D. Wilson, is now one of the owners.

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