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AFN Alleges “Deception” Over New Waterbrook Title

God and the Gay ChristianThe OneNewsNow.com website of the American Family Network (Don Wildmon) is charging Waterbrook Multnomah with “deception” and ‘selling their souls for mammon’ in the publication of what they see as a gay-friendly title. And that’s just the headline of the story.  The book in question is God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships by Matthew Vines.

A strongly-worded article attacks the publisher, the author, and the author’s organization, The Reformation Project, which states its purpose as, “…we strive to create an environment Christian leaders will feel the freedom (without feeling forced) to take the next step towards affirming and including LGBT people in all aspects of church life.”

Part of the article’s contention is that by releasing the book under the Covergent imprint, the company is masking the association with Waterbrook Multnomah, when in fact they all share the same staff. A teaser for the article on another page states, “Christian publisher Multnomah playing a shell game by printing counter-biblical books under another name.” The article also links this to the recent public relations disaster at World Vision, which also hinged on the question of being both gay and Christian and working for a ministry organization.

You can read that article here. (OneNewsNow uses code which prevents us from copying and pasting any of the actual content. Strange. Never encountered this before.) The article has also appears at RenewAmerica.com

Publisher marketing for the $22.99 (US) hardcover includes an endorsement from Rachel Held Evans, and continues:

As a young Christian man, Matthew Vines harbored the same basic hopes of most young people: to someday share his life with someone, to build a family of his own, to give and receive love. But when he realized he was gay, those hopes were called into question. The Bible, he’d been taught, condemned gay relationships.

Feeling the tension between his understanding of the Bible and the reality of his same-sex orientation, Vines devoted years of intensive research into what the Bible says about homosexuality. With care and precision, Vines asked questions such as:

– Do biblical teachings on the marriage covenant preclude same-sex marriage or not?
– How should we apply the teachings of Jesus to the gay debate?
– What does the story of Sodom and Gomorrah really say about human relationships?
– Can celibacy be a calling when it is mandated, not chosen?
– What did Paul have in mind when he warned against same-sex relations?

Unique in its affirmation of both an orthodox faith and sexual diversity, God and the Gay Christian is likely to spark heated debate, sincere soul searching, even widespread cultural change. Not only is it a compelling interpretation of key biblical texts about same-sex relations, it is also the story of a young man navigating relationships with his family, his hometown church, and the Christian church at large as he expresses what it means to be a faithful gay Christian.

No, it’s not “likely to spark heated debate;” the heated debate has already begun.

But the watchdog websites fail to realize that in their total disdain for the book, all they succeed in doing is drawing more attention to it. That’s how we found out. And by not allowing us to copy and paste any of their content, their arguments and concerns are lost to people who don’t click through; meanwhile the publisher marketing blurb gets a free ride.

UPDATE: World Magazine in an article titled Can a Divided Publishing House Stand? points out that this is the same publisher that owns John Piper’s Desiring God. Meanwhile, Charisma Magazine titles their article A Shameful Day in Evangelical Publishing.


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