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Thomas Nelson Pulls Controversial Title

With a strong American history theme, it’s not a title likely to be in stock at Canadian Christian retail; for that matter many U.S. Christian bookstores consider this to be part of Thomas Nelson’s mainstream publishing ventures with lower sales expectations for CBA booksellers. Nonetheless, we found it interesting to learn that The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed about Thomas Jefferson by David Barton was ultimately unable to stand up to the test of fact-checkers.  NPR reports:

Citing a loss of confidence in the book’s details, Christian publisher Thomas Nelson is ending the publication and distribution of the bestseller, The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson.

…The publishing company says it’s ceasing publication because it found that “basic truths just were not there.”

Since its initial publication, historians have debunked and raised concerns about numerous claims in Barton’s book. In it, Barton calls Jefferson a “conventional Christian,” claims the founding father started church services at the Capitol, and even though he owned more than 200 slaves, says Jefferson was a civil rights visionary.

“Mr. Barton is presenting a Jefferson that modern-day evangelicals could love and identify with,” Warren Throckmorton, a professor at the evangelical Grove City College, told Hagerty. “The problem with that is, it’s not a whole Jefferson; it’s not getting him right.”

The book’s publisher came to the same conclusion.

“When the concerns came in, from multiple people, and that had weight too, we were trying to sort things out,” said Thomas Nelson Senior Vice President and Publisher Brian Hampton. “Were these matters of opinion? Were they differences of interpretation? But as we got into it, our conclusion was that the criticisms were correct. There were historical details — matters of fact, not matters of opinion, that were not supported at all.” …

Read the whole story at NPR

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