We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Beware of Christian Book Stores

I have often said that Christian book stores are minefields of apostasy and heresy. There seems to be more aberrant stuff than good doctrine on the shelves. I came across an excellent article that discusses this very issue, and I am recommending that you check it out. It will be very good for you. http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/mwest/090319

4 comments:

Marie said...

Needless to say, I agree with the article. I was thinking of this mess a couple of weeks ago when I visited the local Christian bookstore, looking for a reasonably doctrinally-correct Easter book for my 5-year-old (after returning Maier's "The First Easter" to CBD). I also wanted to find some invitations for my daughter's believer's baptism next month.

I became increasingly irritated while in the store. Since you've just given me opportunity to air my beef, beef I will.

First off, the first thing you see when entering the store was the Easter/First Communion display, which was covered with Catholic "kitch". I think one of John Piper's books was on the Easter rack, but that was about it. All kinds of crucifixes and Precious Moments figurines.

Moving towards stationery, I had to pass the overpriced T-shirts that present the "Gospel message" by redcing Jesus Christ to a brand name. Pet peeve of mine. Salvation is more serious than Pepsi. Oh well. Briefly considering a multi-colored Ichthus necktie for my husband (NOT), then checked for baptism invites.

Again, overwhelmed by all kinds of Catholic invites and congratulatory cards - First Communion; Confirmation (which, last I checked, weren't even in the Bible); was told they don't carry baptism invites. The dude helpfully offered me some "inspirational" cards that were blank inside. They had Joyce Meyer quotes on the front. I declined.

Now we get to the juvenile section; lots o' Bibleman and Veggie Tales toys (I like Veggie Tales; not knockin' them); but this is a bookstore, is it not? There was one shelf of kids' books, Bibles on one side and everything else on the other. The selection was so small they weren't even grouped by subject or author. Many of them were fine children's literature, like the Little House books, but strictly speaking, were not Christian books. I was looking for "Peter's First Easter", but naturally they didn't have it. There were a couple of kids' Easter books. I caught mistakes in both of them, and finally settled on "Little Colt's Palm Sunday", a sweet tale told from the perspective of a donkey. (Hey, you can't go wrong with that).

By this time I'm getting frustrated and Natalia had to go to the bathroom. Our women's ministry team is getting together next Saturday to select the Bible studies we will do for all of next year and is looking for suggestions, so I thought to peruse a few. The first one I saw on a center rack was by the New Age-y Eugene Peterson. Facing him on the display was everybody's favorite prosperity-Word-Faith-modulist, T.D. Jakes. This guy has heresy coming out of his ears. I left before checking to see how many other false teachers this "Christian" bookstore stocks.

The store boasts a sizable music collection, which is good, I suppose...although relatively little of it was devoted to what most would consider worship music. My daughter likes some of the newer CCM groups, and while I don't mind her listening to them, I haven't really noticed any marked difference between them and the secular pop groups. (Jump 5, for instance, billed itself as a Christian group. The CD she has of theirs doesn't mention God once, in 14 tracks. Oh well. At least there's no swearing or inappropriate content, right?)

Christian bookstores are minefields. There's so much unsound material by false teachers and "fluff" it's relatively difficult to find anything solid. I guess old dead writers like Whitefield and Spurgeon just don't sell as well as this other....stuff.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Sounds like a Zondervan Family Christian Bookstore to me. Don't forget as you come in the door you have the blasphemous, heretical best-seller "The Shack" staring at you! And on the Bible shelf you will certainly find the aberrational and heretical "Dake Study Bible."

I can't be in one of these stores for five minutes and my anger is riled to the boiling point. My wifes says I shouldn't go in them because they just get me upset. Oh, well, the last time I went is was to get a cover for my new "Apologetics Study Bible." It's rare when I go for books, because I have most of the good ones they stock - which aren't many!

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

A commenter I will identify as "Ed D." has a link on his name that takes you to his site. His site is pro-evolution and anti-Christian so I am not posting his comment with the link. However, I would like to answer his comment so I am quoting him here:

"It is these stores that carry intelligent design and creationism books, too. You're right, they're blasphemous."

Since these books are part of the worldview of the Christian faith, they are not blasphemous (although there are some promoting Hugh Ross' idea of "progressive creation" that are compromising with evolution and even have heretical ideas - these are blasphemous in my opinion.)

4simpsons said...

Hmmmm . . . Bible lessons from Ed D. . . . I'm skeptical.

The concept of creation in the Bible is blasphemous?!