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Sep 19, 2008

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Mark

isn't Max Lucado former Church of Christ, not Disciples of Christ?

michael

A friend sent me a link to the AJC article. Your response is a good one.

peter lumpkins

Michael,

Thanks.

Mark,

You may be correct though I think the DC and CC would have identical views of baptism.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

David Phillips

Peter,

Max was a Church of Christ. However, while I do not specifically know his views on baptism, he was not liked (hated may be the better word) within the CoC community because he rejected many of their views. In fact, I believe they even removed CoC from their name.

A google search reveals their church has a baptistic view of baptism according to this baptist press article:
http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=20752

His book In the Grip of Grace was as good a work on Romans as you will find in book form, and I believe it was in this book he public departed ways with the CoC in a nice way.

I understand what you were saying, but I wanted to clear that up with Max. He is much more evangelical than CoC.

peter

David,

Thanks. I appreciate that and stand corrected. A friend corresponded via email and said substantially the same.

Of course, the larger point, as you recognized, is that, regardless of what "best-selling author" I could mention, there are going to points of disagreement--sometimes substantial points--with authors we sell in retail stores. And, if LifeWay is going to serve a broad evangelicalism, they cannot afford to pick on a particular issue like female pastors. They are not required to profile volumes. But to effectively censor volumes is quite another matter.

If I am not mistaken, the last time I was in LifeWay, they had a copy of The Five Gospels by The Jesus Seminar. Though I loathe the volume, I have no reservations in them carrying it. The advantage we offer that unsuspecting customers do not receive at Amazon.com, Barnes & Nobles, Books-a-Million, etc is that right beside The Five Gospels, we can place a half-dozen volumes which contest The Jesus Seminar findings. Not to mention a staff to offer a "heads up" to people who may be considering the purchase of such a book.

For my part, that's the best of both worlds--freedom for the customer to purchase contestable volumes (from our Baptist perspective) co-existing with our freedom and responsibility to balance out such a purchase in consideration of another volume.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

Camel Rider

Peter,
We actually agree on this one. I think this plus their decision to put "Read with caution" stickers on anything they consider to be "iffy" theology makes them look petty.

I realize that they fall under our SBC umbrella but why this and nothing else. What comes next? ....remove Amy grant and Sandi Patty (divorced)....old Ray Boltz stuff (gay), anyone that has a private prayer language....where does it stop?

Dave Miller

I agree with your view of this Lifeway action, though I do not agree with what you seem to be saying about Sproul or Lucado (if, in fact, you are recommending they not be sold - I'm not completely sure).

I think Lifeway should sell all forms of Christian literature and materials, as long as they are fundamentally sound.

Whatever the standards, there should be no in-between. If the material is unacceptable, don't sell it. I can't imagine the justification for the "behind the counter" thing.

Either sell it or remove it.

peter lumpkins

Dave,

Thanks. No, I think we agree completely. I have no reservations with either Sproul or Lucado. Nor do I have any with most any Christian author--or, even non-christian, for that matter, depending on the subject matter. If they serve a broader evangelicalism, it seems to me, it is a must not to stack the shelves with "Baptist only" materials.

The freedom we have, as I mentioned earlier, is that we can place solid works on the shelves right beside those works we judge a threat to wholesome faith.

With that, I am...

Peter

Donald Andrews

Peter,
While it may or may not be the right way to handle the magazine issue, it is true that female pastors are not in line with our beliefs and biblical Christianity. The article jumps on the Sarah Palin quote of the glass ceiling. As always these articles approach the church in nothing more than a worldly way of thinking.This is not about a glass ceiling, but rather about understanding and obeying God's word. I agree that Lifeway carries alot of books and authors they should not. We are in disagreement with Sproul and others on important issues and should be cautious concerning what is promoted in Lifeway stores.

Byron

Peter,

I don't know about Max Lucado, but I see no problem with Lifeway selling books by Sproul, with one exception. Obviously, he is wrong on baptism, but not on everything else. So in my mind, only his books which disagree with Baptist principles should be excluded from sale at Lifeway (if then!). And I consider infant baptism to be a Scriptural error, but not a barrier to Christian fellowship, though I do not think you were implying that it was. Personally, I'm in a rather odd position of being technically Baptist due to church membership, but not actually Baptist in terms of personal beliefs (I prefer the term "Baptistic" because my beliefs are historically Baptist for the main part). So the issues of infant baptism and other Baptist principles do not concern me as greatly as other SBCers.

And, for the record, I spent about a year listening almost every morning to Adrian Rogers while driving to work, until my radio station decided to move it to another time slot which was inconvenient for me. What a prince of a preacher! I actually cried the day that he died, and I appreciated his preaching ministry very much. I realize I would not agree with him on several issues, but it was always a pleasure to listen to him preach.

Dave Miller

Byron, if I understand Peter rightly, I don't think he is really advocating banning Sproul or Lucado. I think he is saying that if we are going to withdraw this magazine from shelves, we would have to withdraw a lot of books.

I was told something years ago by one of my profs at Dallas (Howie Hendricks, I think). "Read books you disagree with. If you only read those books you agree with, you just reinforce your prejudices. Reading books from the other side is how you sharpen your theological skills."

Lifeway can carry a wide assortment of Christian book and magazines without damaging Christian minds.

Byron

I found an official statement from LifeWay concerning this. The TinyURL link to it is below. Or you can click on my name in this comment to get there.

http://tinyurl.com/4rstxh

I disagree with LifeWay on this, but not for all of the same reasons. A lot of people enjoy reading Max Lucado (probably for his devotional material, but I don't read him), and R.C. Sproul for his apologetics. Obviously, both of these people are not Baptists, so they hold non-Baptist principles on certain issues. However, concerning R.C. Sproul at least, I've never seen a book of his in Lifeway in favor of paedobaptism or other non-Baptist principles, and do not expect to. So I do not see what problem there is, if any, with having his material for sale. He is, after all, a Christian, and his focus is on teaching and apologetics (which is all I've seen in LifeWay), which Baptists would hold in common for the most part (except for soteriology, I suppose). So I have to agree with Dave Miller on this one, for the same reasons.

In the end it all comes down to money. Profit explains why LifeWay sells what they do. And this is understandable, because they are a business. You don't see too many businesses hurting their bottom line unless some core principle on a non-negotiable issue has been violated. The official statement claims the magazine was removed because it "...clearly advocated a position contrary to our denomination's statement of faith, The Baptist Faith & Message." But I don't believe it. Call me cynical, but I think this has much more to do with offending paying customers than upholding principles (even though I agree with the BFM on this point).

Byron

Dave Miller, I forgot to tell you: good points. I agree. I guess it can get even stranger, though. There can be more than one "other side." :)

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