Lifeway Knows Best (?)

I can’t believe that Lifeway Christian Stores have decided to put a warning label on certain books that cautions “read with discernment”. I didn’t know there were any books that were to be read without discernment! I guess as long as we agree with a particular opinion we can just go wild and read with pure abandon. I hear that Rob Bell, Brian McLaren and Don Miller are among some of the targeted authors.

It cracks me up:>) It’s so silly I can’t even get mad.

57 thoughts on “Lifeway Knows Best (?)

  1. Existential Punk

    Matt,

    i have never heard Brian deny what you say. i think a lot of Scripture is taken out of its historical and cultural contexts. There are different interpretations of that passage and it needs to be looked at in its original language and historical context rather than just a literal, face value reading in my opinion. i believe Jesus can meet people outside the ‘box’ of Christianity. Who is to say your interpretation of the passage you refer to is the correct one. Could i be wrong in my interpretations? Yes, of course. We are all human and none has a monopoly on interpretation and all truth. We need to be welcoming to different views and be charitable to others in our disagreement. Throwing terms like heretic is so unhelpful and unloving! i think we can agree to disagree in a generous way. i have many conservative friends and we agree to disagree all the time in a loving way.

    i see the Bible as the story of G-D interacting with his creation. It is not, imho, a manual or BASIC INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE LEAVING EARTH (BIBLE acronym i learned in my fundie days!)! It was written by humans, translated by humans and interpreted by humans. That does not mean there are not truths in the Scriptures. G-D is absolute but we as humans cannot claim absolute knowledge. G-D is knowable but is a mystery as well. We do not even use all of our brain capacity so we are arrogant to claim to know and understand G-D completely! i just no longer see it as the inerrant word of G-d and this does not make me a heretic. Just someone with a different perspective.

    You are free to your opinions. Just tone it down and remember we are not your enemies, but your sisters and brothers in Christ. Different opinions/views is what makes the body of Christ and the world more interesting and beautiful.

    G-D Bless and Pax!

    Warmest Regards,

    EP

    Reply
  2. Matt

    I’m not going to apologize for what I said, maybe the in manner I said it but not the content.
    Mclaren denies Jesus as the only true way to the Father. That is not only discrediting what Jesus did on the cross, but calling Jesus a liar.
    There are ambiguous things that we cannot necessarily hold to as truth claims, but we have to hold somethings as definitive. Jesus held a lot as definitive, in fact everything He said was definitive truth.
    Mclaren seems loving and genuine, but is contradicting Jesus.

    Reply
    1. Drew Tatusko

      I think it’s much better to let Jesus decide who is calling him a liar. I think God is big enough to handle it somehow. Maybe it’s my silly belief in the idea that God is sovereign even over our systems of belief which was witnessed in Jesus’ preaching of the Kingdom of God that got him killed but for which he raised from the dead leaving us to found a new kingdom built on grace not on law…

      If you read Jesus’ Kingdom sayings, then McLaren makes sense. He is post-denominational and post-ideological evangelical. Barth, purveyor of neo-orthodoxy contra natural theology and other of these various liberal movements in the early aand mid 20th century, also held beliefs which sound quite universalistic even though he never said outright that he was a universalist.

      I also think that looking at the meaning of Christ’s narrow-gate without taking into account the various eschatological statements about the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God is myopic and distorts the possibility that the resurrection is so radical that God’s Kingdom will encompass literally everything some day. Universalism is present in the Scriptures as is the exclusivism of the cross. It is a tension the writers and redactors did not resolve. So it is a tension we ought not resolve, but let God resolve in God’s good pleasure.

      Glad you feel the same way. Peace.

      Reply
  3. Matt

    Hmmmm,
    To disagree is one thing.
    Mclaren denies many fundamental truths behind Christ’s teachings and still claims Christ.
    That is why I call him a heretic.
    I hope that he can come to the knowledge of truth.

    Reply
    1. gracerules Post author

      Matt – I can respect the fact that you disagree with Brian Mclaren but I think you have crossed a line when you label him a heretic. I also resent that you believe you have a monopoly on the truth. In fact, I think you are being uncharitable and bearing false witness and think that an apology and recantation is in order. What is it specifically that you think Brian believes? I think a lot of the comments about people in the emergent conversation are false and when and if people take the time to get to know them through reading their writing or hearing them speak they find out that the comments about them were false. For instance – check out this post over at Tony Jones blog…
      http://blog.beliefnet.com/tonyjones/2009/04/calling-kevin-deyoung-to-account.html

      Reply
  4. matt

    Well, I think you’re attacking for the wrong reasons.
    I haven’t read any books by Dmiller, Rbell, or BMclaren but I have heard interviews with Mclaren.
    McLaren is a wolf and a heretic.
    So knowing that, I understand why they would not sell his books.

    Reply
    1. queermergent

      Matt,

      i do not see Liz attacking but making an observation. So, i find your comment unwarrented.

      Also, you are making broad strokes here about a fellow brother in Christ and a dear friend of mine (Brian McLaren). Just because someone says something you do not agree with does not make that person a heretic and a wolf. No one has a monopoly on interpretations of scripture. How do YOU know what YOU believe is correct? i have seen Jesus in Brian, especially in how he reacts to people like you.

      i am really sick and tired of us people who share Christ tearing our fellow brothers and sisters apart because we disagree with them. We are called to love one another, and that includes our brothers and sister AND our enemies. NONE of us, including myself, has a monopoly on truth.

      G-D bless!

      Existential Punk

      Reply
      1. gracerules Post author

        Matt, My intention was not to “attack” but I certainly did want to point out that I disagree with Lifeway putting warning labels on books (or refusing to carry them) just because the author interprets scripture differently than a particular brand of Christianity. I believe that kind of attitude becomes an obstacle to further knowledge of God (I assume we can all agree that no one has exhausted that pursuit) and I can’t see any benefit in stopping people from hearing different opinions and insights. I am thinking it was that kind of attitude that Luther faced in his day and even the kind of attitude that Jesus faced when he disagreed with the religious establishment of his day.

        Reply
  5. queermergent

    i have a friend, Rachel Held Evans, who is getting ready to publish her first book, which tells her journey from Fundie to open-minded Christian. She blogs about this same issue as it could affect her book.

    Her great blog can be found here:
    http://www.rachelheldevans.com/

    i agree, Liz, that their mindset is weird! i do not shop in Christian bookstores anymore and have not for several years. Mostly what i read is hard to find there and i shop at local indie bookshops, Amazon, B & N or Borders.

    EP

    Reply
    1. gracerules Post author

      Guy – I think you are right – from what I can determine they got a lot of flack from all sides (from one side blasted for carrying the books at all and blasted from the other side for the warning). The interesting thing is that it appears they have now stopped carrying most of the books that carried the warning. I just went to their online store and they did not have any books by Rob Bell, Brian McLaren or Donald Miller. They did have “The Shack” available which surprised me as I had heard it was one of the books with with warning label.

      Reply
    1. gracerules Post author

      Exactly! I guess it is just too scary for them to let people hear other insights/beliefs/opinions and decide for themselves. They think they have to “control” things to some degree – although they probably see it as “protecting”. The mindset is wierd.

      Reply

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