You may also like...

33 Responses

  1. Corby says:

    RE Lifeway – I’ve never been comfortable with the term “Christian retail.” On the one hand, it’s great that we have the freedom and ability to create resources to encourage and equip people, which then requires a way to distribute and pay for those things be it physical or digital. On the other hand, our human/sin nature finds an opportunity to make money. And because it’s a “ministry” and anything God does never fails, it has to keep going (which is a lie, there is a difference between God stopping something and the idea that God can fail which is impossible, we fail, but I digress).

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with someone making their money, little or loads, off of a book or resource. I have a couple in the works at the moment. It’s when making money and fame are their goal for creating it that I have a problem with it. When they create it because they want to be known or famous, under the guise of equipping the saints, I have a problem with that.

    One church I worked at we were developing a specific ministry strategy. We were told by the lead pastor that we could “literally write the book” for churches’ ministry and it was clear he was appealing to our vanity, to be known and make the church as a brand known. It kind of made me sick in the moment while I tried to smile and nod.

  2. Michael says:

    I wanted to sell lots of books because I wanted to be able to pay my bills.
    My extreme introversion makes fame something to dread.
    Where I see the profit motive doing big damage is in the bible software industry…

  3. EricL says:

    Lifeway’s exit out of retail stores means the end of the Christian chain store. Good riddance to all the Jesus Junk and pushing of the Mega Sellers. But sadly, most of the small indie Christian bookstores all now gone too, at least in my area.

    I’ll admit that I never shopped any of the Lifeway stores here in SoCal (stores they took over after buying out Berean Christian Stores). I walked around a few times, but nothing intrigued me.

    I also rarely go to the only remaining indie store near me, called Selah. (Last time I went in there was about 2 years ago to purchase a new Bible). Amazon is just too convenient.


    I think this is a better article about the bookstores closing.

  5. Michael says:

    I don’t even know if our local Christian bookstore is still open…I thought it useless 10 years ago or more.
    Amazon was cheaper by far and stocked most of what I needed…and I didn’t have to get past stacks of “The Patriots Study Bible’…

  6. EricL says:

    Good article, Josh. It points another thing that may have hurt Lifeway stores in particular: that it was an SBC store, so its selection was limited to that stream of Christianity. The market for Al Mohler bobble-heads is rather limited 🙂

    Another good point, Lifeway continues on as SBC’s main publishing house, online store, and as a resource center (my tribe uses some of its online programs for testing of potential church planters).

  7. The stores closing is just a fact of our world. I used to love going to music stores and browsing through the thousands of albums for half a day. Those don’t exist anymore either. Bookstores have been slower to fall, but they are mostly gone now. I don’t know if it is good or bad. It just is. EricL said it right:

    Amazon is just too convenient.

  8. Jean says:

    The link to RCs, Nones and Evangelicals goes to the previous article.

  9. EricL says:

    Thanks, Jean. Update on that link about RCs, Nones, and Evangelicals:
    I’m sure Michael will fix it soon.

  10. Michael says:

    The back end blew up…attempting to fix…

  11. Michael says:

    The link should work…the site might not…

  12. Nathan Priddis says:

    What are your thoughts on the bible software producers? Is there a specific direction or content you are concerned by?

  13. Michael says:


    The cost of the programs is such that many of us can no longer afford them. The content available is awesome…if you can buy it.

  14. Nathan Priddis says:

    Thanks for clarifying.
    Regarding software content and producers:
    Do you have any thoughts regarding Michael Heiser’s content? I dont have much curiosity of his employer’s software, as I do of his personally produced content.

  15. Michael says:

    I don’t have any of his works.

  16. This is the first I read of the Clayton Jennings mess, having previously ignored it. Read another article too. Disgusting. Sounds like the 2 Timothy 3:6 personage. His parents apparently forgot about Eli’s judgement.

  17. Outside T. Fold says:

    Ha! St. John Chrysostom! I commented about on this site him last week! I’m so cutting edge! Especially about that amazing 4th century preacher! Wheee!

  18. Outside T. Fold says:

    ⬆️⬆️hm. Too many exclamation points?

  19. Outside T. Fold says:

    Having now read the article on St John (Au-Mouth*) Chrysostom, hooray for the author. As I mentioned in my comment in last week’s Linkathon, I know St John Wow Au-Mouth for only one sermon (but what a sermon). Nice to get a backgrounder. Shocker! He comments about politicians only and has some ideas about treating the poor that are, well, kinda different from many who are building up their treasures on earth.

    *Au — you DO know your periodic table of elements, right?

  20. j2theperson says:

    Ugh. Clayton Jennings is such a creeper. I don’t understand the compulsion some men have to send females d*** pics. It’s not like it’s their most attractive feature. In some respects, they’re hilarious; the one with him squatting on the ugly, tan carpet, knees awkwardly angled outward, boxers dangling at his ankles is ridiculous. I mean, does he really expect some woman to look at that and say, “Well, I wasn’t sure about you, but now I’m convinced; take me now!”?

    But, it’s horrible that he’s sending this to a 16 year old girl. Clearly he’s a dangerous person and on the path to raping someone if he hasn’t already.

  21. Em says:

    J2 @ 8:56. Well said… A scary delusionist

  22. Nathan Priddis says:

    I think I may have had to totally different takeaway.

    I had ideas in my head by age 4′-5, but with no idea of their source. One was Heaven.
    It was vital I reach this place, but there was nothing after. I did not expect to actually do anything or have stature. Nor did I concern myself with the nature if the place. It didn’t matter, because I would not matter. It was strictly a matter of arival. This has begun to change radically in recent years.

    The fact that the Body of Christ is diverse is obvious, but have we overlooked the diversity of historical Ages? I don’t really think an early ascetic ( example Chrysistom) would be impressed by a modern man such as myself.

    Pursuit of holiness is hardly how I think of modern humans such as myself.
    I don’t think our technology will amaze the ancients as much as we might think. I suspect they may be more amazed at us, and our manner of life, and in a very negative way.

  23. Duane Arnold says:

    Nathan Priddle

    I like your thinking…

  24. Babylon's Dread says:

    In essence the young lady in the leaving bethel audios went from a cult, to bethel, to a reformed evangelicalism. She isn’t done changing. I appreciate hearing the effect of Bethel’s excesses on her but I felt like I fell into another sect listening to these guys guide and direct her through her testimony.

    These guys made me laugh by indicating that if you preach the real Gospel people will want you dead. I am pretty sure they aren’t having that problem. Though discernment ministries do inflame.

  25. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I agree with Baba about this young lady. She is 18 yrs old, was in a cult, went to Be them ( which in my opinion and putting the best spin on it are absolutely nuts) and was led by a Facebook post into Calvinism — all in 18 months.
    We are to listen to her for spiritual direction?

  26. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Darn spell check – she went from the cult to Bethel.

  27. Babylon's Dread says:

    Terms matter, words are critical the debate about losing one’s salvation is fraught with terminology traps. The article by Michael Horton is unhelpful and doesn’t seem to actually resolve.

    The question is really simpler than it is made to seem. Can a person who has believed and received the benefits of that faith fall into unbelief? The book of Hebrews is a faith journey.

    The debate was very strong when I was much younger. Those who are my age have now lived long enough to see many, many defections from the faith. And while I am certain some of those never actually carried saving faith, it would be hard to persuade that to be true of all.

    Evangelicalism has volumes written by former converts…

    The debate is no longer interesting to me and I still believe in the security of the believer. Terms matter, I have no such confidence in the security of the unbeliever.

  28. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    For those who may think one cannot walk away from the gift of their faith, how would you define an apostate?

  29. Duane Arnold says:

    “…how would you define an apostate?”

    The emperor Julian…

  30. Em says:

    I do not believe for one nanosecond that a born-again child of God can walk away, renouncing his faith and dying… That said, it does seem to me that the parables of the seeds do a good job of explaining those we see that put on an enthusiastic show for a time and then walk off into a carnal sunset…

    But then i am tainted with evangelicalism. ? ?

  31. pstrmike says:

    ” . . . but I felt like I fell into another sect listening to these guys guide and direct her through her testimony”

    That was my impression as well.

    Having visited Bethel, I did not agree with everything I saw or heard while I was there, but I would not say they are a cult. Not my cup of tea, but there was an undeniable sense of Spirit upon that place. What Lindsay described was cultish in my opinion, but I have also long since came to the conclusion that the rabid disciples are worse than the teacher. A mixed bag, for sure.

  32. Nathan Priddis says:

    Paul was believed by the Judean Church to have been Apostate. Acts 21:21.

    It was believed he instructed the Diaspora to no longer trim the baby boys on the eighth day. He formerly ascribed to his Pharisee doctrines but later moved away. (Apostasia)) I doubt this is an Evangelical understanding of the word. I suspect a modern definition would relate to moral traditions, especially same sex issues.

    So my understanding is apostasia represents movement

  33. Brian W Daugherty says:

    (Warning: some of the questions asked on the Christian manager’s ‘questionnaire’ to the former employee are not only out there, they ask specifically and explicitly about certain bizarre (and banned) sexual practices, without being profane or vulgar, if that makes sense).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from Phoenix Preacher

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading