Hello CRN.info family! Sorry I’ve been away for so long. I’ve had alot of really incredible opportunities over the last few months that have needed my full attention. It’s nice to have a few weeks off to breathe.
I recently heard news about a new policy that LifeWay is implementing. For those of you that do not know, Lifeway is the publishing company of the Southern Baptist Convention. They have decided to place “Read with Discernment” labels on materials from select authors that they feel “may have espoused thoughts, ideas, or concepts that could be considered inconsistent with historical evangelical theology.” Info on these labels can be found here and here.
Among the authors on the list are Rob Bell and Donald Miller (no surprise there). The bios that LifeWay supplies for these authors are far from biased. They also leave the door wide open for more authors to be affected by this spiritual witch hunt. “You may contact [them] anytime to notify [them] if you encounter a title that you have a concern about. If [they] agree that it is not appropriate, [they] will remove it from the website immediately.”
These labels actually say so much about modern Christianity. They imply that there are books that can be read without discernment. As if there are certain authors with whom we should all just sit back and soak everything in as truth – no questions asked. This isn’t surprising though, right? I mean, most of the Christian subculture banks on the facts that its followers are not going to think for themselves and ask tough questions about what they are hearing. If people did, Christianity and the church might look dramatically different. So, when books that question any part of our traditions, the leaders must warn the followers to “read with discernment.”
I really hope that we can eventually find ourselves in a place where we read everything with discernment and compare everything with the scriptures. A place where Christians don’t need warning labels from publishing companies about authors that may find fresh insight in ancient and true scriptures.
Anyhow, I just feel like these labels are a huge step back for the faith. What’s next – approved book lists so we ONLY read the truth that the denominations agree with?