Friday, January 14, 1994
Dr. Henry M. Morris
Institute for Creation Research
P.O. Box 2667
El Cajon, CA 92021
January 14, 1994
I am surprised at your misreading of Scripture. You wrote that Matthew 18 is "quite irrelevant," but
"I Corinthians 6 is more relevant." No. I Cor 6:1-11 discourages lawsuits among Christians. I have
neither brought nor threatened a lawsuit. Yes, lawsuits seek remedies for crimes against the plaintiff only.
But my proposal that we find "one wise man who will be able to decide between his brothers" (I Cor 6:5)
does not mean that I must address only Austin's actions against me, or that I "have abrogated the
procedure of Matthew 18:15-17" as you claim. I proposed selecting "one wise man" on August 19, 1993
so we could resolve our disagreement quickly, quietly, and honestly.
Nor is Mt. 18:15-17 "quite irrelevant." It contains Christ's clear, simple, and authoritative instructions for
resolving serious allegations among Christians. Yes, some translations of 18:15 read, "If a brother
trespass against thee," but the words "against thee" are not found in the best Greek manuscripts. I gave
you the Greek reading in my last letter. In 1967, Zondervan published The New Testament from 26
Translations with Dr. Curtis Vaughan as General Editor. In discussing Mt. 18:15 they wrote on page 75,
"The words 'against thee' are now recognized as not adequately supported by original manuscripts."
Other texts make this clear. Paul, in I Cor 5:9-13, gives instructions similar to those of Christ in
Mt. 18:15-17. Covetousness is strongly desiring something that rightfully belongs to someone else. It
precedes stealing in general and plagiarism in particular. Paul tells the church to judge covetousness
and other sins committed by Christians. Notice, these sins are not restricted to those that have harmed
the accuser. In other words, wrongdoing by a Christian does not have to harm a particular person for "the
church" to deal with it. The Bible is full of instances where one believer admonished another for sins
against others. Therefore, you have no basis for insisting on what my charges are.
The broad pattern of Austin's plagiarisms is highly relevant in seeing his plagiarism involving me. This
pattern (and the other example from ICR) harms the creation movement. This has serious, direct
consequences for me and many others. That is reason enough to bring the broader problem to "the
Your proposed "Agreement for Binding Arbitration" has other flaws. I explained most of them before, so
will not repeat them here. One not specifically mentioned is that your signature, Henry, agreeing to
binding arbitration must also be on the agreement. The arbitrator might make several possible rulings
that you, not Austin, would have to carry out. For example, something may need to be published in Acts
I stand by my previous letters, which have addressed all the issues you have raised. If you and Austin
ever decide to allow a Christian arbitrator to rule on all alleged plagiarisms in a Biblically prescribed
manner, I will contact David Coppedge by letter and send you a courtesy copy. Until then, we have
nothing more to discuss on this matter.
Walter T. Brown, Jr.