Lifeway Wants It Both Ways

I was in our local Lifeway bookstore yesterday to pick up a few needed items for church. While there I decided to grab the newest Rob Bell book, "Jesus wants to save Christians". As I was browsing through the book I noticed a warning lable on the shelf underneath it. It basically stated, "Read with discernment. This book may contain thoughts, ideas and concepts that could be considered inconsistent with historical evangelical theology blah, blah, blah."

I went home and searched the website that was listed on the bottom of the sign and discovered that only four authors were being "discerned" against. Bell, Donald Miller, Brian McLaren, and the book "The Shack". Which oddly enough a fellow church member just gave me to read. It seems all four hold different beliefs then what Lifeway, a Southern Baptist Convention book store, agrees with.

I have some real problems with the way Lifeway is handling this "read with discernment" issue.

First, shouldn't every book be read with discernment? Are you telling me that every book that Lifeway sells say the exact same thing? No. That's why they have hundreds of books lining their shelves, most of which will never be read. They make a living selling books that although they might all be labeled "Christian", say totally different things.

Ex. They sell the "Left Behind" series next to Hank Hanegraaff's, "Last Disciple" which share 2 totally different views of the end times. So much so that Tim Lahaye, one of the authors of Left Behind, threatened to pull his books from Tyndale, the same company that produces the Hanegraaffs series. Which side of the fence does Lifeway stand there? Why not a note of discernment on one of those books. Because obviously you can't agree with both books and authors.

Secondly, and this is what makes me the most aggravated with Lifeway, they want to ability to say, "We don't agree with these books and authors", but they sure were willing to take my $20 for it yesterday. If you disagree with a book or author so much that you put a warning label on it, then have the guts to refuse to sell it regardless of what financial hit you may take. Lifeway wants it both ways. They want to cover their backside from all the fundamental SBCers but they don't want to miss out on the cash cow that is Bell, Miller, McLaren and "The Shack". All of which are best selling authors and have made their "Christian" publishing companies very wealthy.

I'm generally not into boycotts, but this may be the last thing I ever purchase from a Lifeway store.


Brandon said…
I stopped shopping there when I found out I could buy the same books from at half the price with free shipping.

I still have a problem with the Christian book stores and their insane markups.
Joel Smith said…
Mike, you make an excellent point. That warning is kind of like those notes in packing material that say, "Do not eat." The only reason for it is to prevent dummies who would injest it from suing.

Life Way wants the bucks from the faithful. The disclaimer was a way to keep the masses happy ... and spending their conservative, Southern Baptist dollars.

I wonder if they put a warning labels on the CDs of antiTrinitarians Philips, Craig, and Dean?
Kristie said…
I only go to Lifeway to purchase Testamints.


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