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LifeWay Under Fire … Again

LifeWay’s retail operations are under attack again.

Here’s the backstory on how it all started:

A denominational worker’s tweet over the holidays sparked a social media campaign alleging the Southern Baptist Convention’s bookstore chain values profit more than doctrinal fidelity and that an inner circle of “evangelical intelligentsia” calling the shots doesn’t listen to the rank-and-file.

Before Christmas Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research, posted a tweet characterizing people concerned about an apparently collegial reference to Pope Francis by author John Piper as “the same 15 Calvinists who are mad at everyone — for everything.”

Stetzer’s comment inspired #the15, a growing number of people using a highway marker with the number 15 as their Twitter profile picture to show anger against a denominational elite they say maintains power by ridicule, marginalization and attacks on anyone who questions its authority…

Continue reading at Baptist World Global

Some of the arguments against LifeWay’s hypocrisy are dead on, even if that means I’m siding here with Calvinists I might otherwise not cozy up to.  We’ve covered that in various posts over the years here at Christian Book Shop Talk and at Thinking Out Loud, such as:

I’ve somewhat given up hope that things will ever change at the big house the Southern Baptist Convention built at One LifeWay Plaza in Nashville. Their days of greatest influence are over anyway.

But you can read the most recent dust-up at the respected blog, Pulpit and Pen.

You can also follow-up in real time on Twitter with the hashtag #the15.

So glad we don’t have LifeWay stores in Canada. And that I don’t carry any LifeWay materials in my store. And very few B&H titles. And am now discontinuing all my Beth Moore as they sell through.

 


Tangentially: When everybody’s done criticizing The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, please read — and actually read the book itself — his new title The Grave Robber and tell me if you can find anything off base doctrinally in it.


Another sidebar to this: The Baptist World Global article notes that “[J.D.] Hall called on churches to issue a statement that they will no longer purchase material from LifeWay…” Calvinists have been forsaking mainstream Christian retail for a decade now and buying through their own channels, such as Westminster and Monergism. It’s a rather meaningless threat.


Wow! Still can’t believe I’m siding with the Calvinists on this one. I guess hypocrisy is indeed the greatest sin.


Speaking of which: Our staff are still working out our response to the whole Sarah Young / Jesus Calling situation. Starting next week, the books won’t be on visible display.  Here’s an article from earlier this month in case you missed it.

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