Tyndale, LifeWay, and Business Pressure: Revenue Streams of Lifeless Water

The following is reprinted by permission from the Facebook page of  Don Green. Don’s post speaks to the well documented scandal revolving around the publication and sale of the now-discredited book, “The Boy who Came Back from Heaven”. Don wrote:

The Tyndale House Publishers and LifeWay Christian Resources scandal matters because of the lies, subsequent cover-up, and exploitation of Alex Malarkey perpetrated by these two organizations. But it matters for a much greater reason. It is a proxy battle over accountability in the dissemination of biblical truth. Tyndale and LifeWay prefer the present international embarrassment because it is less costly to them than actually eliminating other spiritual tripe from their inventory. They cannot acknowledge even the most minimal doctrinal responsibility without threatening their business model.

This proxy battle plays out closer to home, too. Other than John MacArthur and Phil Johnson, it’s hard (if not impossible) to find a nationally-recognized Christian leader speaking out about this scandal. Who knows why? Even as an obscure pastor of a small church in the Midwest, I realize you can’t get swept up in the latest gossip on Twitter and Christian blogs. There’s not time for it and it distracts you from your pulpit.

But isn’t it odd that those same men have had time to pontificate on the Ferguson riots, the latest news on the homosexuality front, and most anything else that is socially fashionable? Why is that?

Here’s a potential news tip. Many of these men have books in print by the same jokers that brought you “The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven”, “Heaven is for Real”, “Left Behind”, and on it goes. Go to most any nationally-known Christian publisher’s website and review their list of authors. You’ll see what I mean.

Publishers don’t flinch at publishing Kevin Malarkey alongside your favorite Bible teacher. It’s about multiplying revenue streams.

But for the author/Bible teachers whom we otherwise respect, they face a dilemma. Do they publicly criticize the publisher with whom they have a business lunch scheduled later that month? Do they jeopardize their place on the conference speaking tour or their next book contract by going on the record with a secular reporter who wants a quote for the scandal?
Given a choice, Christian authors with a national audience don’t want a smaller publisher who actually cares about doctrine. Smaller publishers lack the marketing and distribution horsepower to push the author up the bestseller list.

So they join forces with the big-name publishers and assume that no one will ever connect the dots.

It’s at a time like this when the chickens come home to roost. At a time that most CRIES OUT for a moral voice to unconditionally condemn these publishing hucksters, the Bible teachers who are best able to be heard and could actually influence the direction this scandal takes are nowhere to be found.

So while every major newspaper in North America and Europe has reported on the Tyndale crisis, go to the blogs, websites, and Twitter feeds of your favorite Bible teachers today and you’ll find nothing about it.

The one thing you won’t have trouble finding is links to their latest books.
I don’t believe it’s an overt conspiracy. But it’s certainly the unspoken culture. Corrupt publishers and otherwise good men have a common interest in seeing this go away.
It’s socially uncomfortable and financially unprofitable to say and do the right thing. It would be bad business for author and publisher alike to do anything that suggested that they were accountable to a higher authority than their sales reports and marketing department.
In the meantime, a moral opportunity of great consequence for the true Church of Jesus Christ slowly slips into the night while the suits patiently wait for business to return to normal.

***end of post***

Thanks, Don. These are certainly words to ponder.

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

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