Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The State of Evangelical Publishing

Hearts & Minds Bookshop (in Dallastown, Pennsylvania) sounds like my kind of store. A Christian bookstore with an ecumenical balance and a very informative blog to boot.

Of course there's lots of buzz on among Christian bloggers about Osteen's latest weighty tome (ha!), but how about this take from a Christian bookseller concerning the latest bestsellers from Chuck Swindoll and Max Lucado:
These two men are perhaps the two quintessential evangelical authors. (And they both have sold millions of books!) Two months ago they both released brand new titles. Chuck has tackled perhaps the quintessential Old Testament summary verse, one of the most popular texts in the entire Bible, Micah 6:8. And he gets it way, way wrong. Max has tackled what is undeniably the most popular New Testament verse, John 3:16, and, guess what? He botches it.

What in the world is going on here, when two level-headed and esteemed evangelical pastors write on two of the most popular passages in the most popular book in the world, and neither can exegete their way to even using the correct words? This, dear readers, is what is wrong with evangelicalism. Despite their history of being Bible believing, and their passion for making Bible truth come alive in vibrant ways for ordinary folks, the desire to make it accessible and real and middle class has caused them to scrub down the passages, truncating their meaning, missing the point and, too often, superimposing a personalistic and middle-class message of self-improvement (with God's help, of course) onto a misreading of the text.
Read the whole post for context. I think Byron's comments on the state of Evangelical publishing are right on.

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