Christian Publishing Full of Rotten Fruit
Although few talk about it publicly, I continue to be astonished by the rotten fruit in the Christian book publishing industry. I feel almost forced to say this at the outset:
There are still good publishers. There are still good authors. There is still some good material being produced.
It's just not mostly in the popular categories/circles (makers).
Checking out Christian retailing online the other day was a real downer. Among the top-selling books/authors making their rounds through evangelical circles: “Jesus Calling,” “The Power of I Am” (Joel Osteen), Thom Rainer, Rick Warren, Jen Hatmaker, Steven Furtick and “Half Truths” (Adam Hamilton).
Among the product created around the “Jesus Calling” publishing phenomenon: “Jesus Calling Deluxe Edition,” “Jesus Today,” “Jesus Calling Women's Edition” and “Jesus Calling Large Print Deluxe Edition.”
Anyone who has paid attention to the research of Warren Smith regarding Sarah Young's “Jesus Calling” mess should be dismayed. That this non-biblical book has become the publishing sensation it has indicates biblical illiteracy is at epidemic levels within the American Church.
Rainer, who runs the Southern Baptist Convention's LifeWay Publishing Division, a cash-cow for the denomination, doesn't like to answer uncomfortable questions about LifeWay's business practices. He finally blocked me on Twitter for asking questions about Alex Malarkey. He is a major change-agent within evangelicalism.
Osteen … what more needs to be said? “The Power of I Am”? “I Am” is the self-identifying name God used to announce … Himself. Of late, American evangelical “leaders” have begun using the phrase to describe themselves.
What's next in Christian bookstores, mini golden calves?