Sunday, October 23, 2005

Thomas Nelson Publishers Needs a Biblical "Align"ment
...which master do they serve?

"No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." -Luke 16:13

Dear Blogging Aficionados:

If some of you have wondered why I haven’t posted these past six days, it is because I am writing to you from down-under… I have been in the beautiful country of New Zealand since this past Wednesday. The Kiwi’s are such genuine people and the church here has been tremendously supportive and biblically sound. We have enjoyed rich times of fellowship and by God’s grace the ministry here has been received very well. I have been teaching almost solely on the gospel… for which there is a tremendous need in this country. Pastor Russ and the entire team here have been a joy to partner with and I will miss them tremendously when it is time to depart.

More to come later tomorrow on the New Zealand trip.

One of the great blessings of being in New Zealand this past week is not having to be bombarded daily with Christian TV, Christian Radio that is “safe for the whole family”, and needless evangelical twaddle that seems to never end. One such item that I came across a few days ago, however, I cannot let slide and must comment on. Thomas Nelson Publishers are at it again with their latest foray in the BibleZine™ format called, “Align.” This ‘zine is targeting young male professionals and here is what their own ad copy suggests: “created with today’s modern guy in mind. With an edgy, techo-savvy style and content that makes Biblical truth fresh and relevant, it might just make Bible reading the best part of your day. By putting one of the most readable versions of the Bible, the New Century Version®, together with articles about the topics you face everyday, we’ve created a ‘zine that will help you get deeper in the Bible, find out what God has to say for your life, and grow in your faith.”

It was unpleasant enough when the first edition came out a few years ago targeting teenage girls with nothing more than frivolous, sensual, unbiblical mixed messages with Scripture cleverly woven in and out of the ads and articles. Using the New Century Version is concern enough (only the Message paraphrase comes second in its contemporary nomenclature eisegesis meanderings); but this latest addition is nothing short of peddling the Word of God for profit (cp, 2 Cor. 2:17). Contrary to TNP claims that this ‘zine “will help you get deeper in the Bible, find out what God has to say for your life, and grow in your faith” it accomplishes the exact opposite.

If you haven’t “studied” the cover above, look at the themes they deem worthy to focus for men. Are you as outraged as I am at this kind of lack of biblical integrity technique and approach? Has postmodern thinking so dominated the Christian publishing industry that TNP thinks that serious believers in the Lord would be attracted by this sort of dribble?

Secular ownership of Christian music and publishers has been an issue I have been warning people against for almost fourteen years now. And here is one of the reasons for “sounding the alarm”… “Align.”

The only thing Thomas Nelson forgot to do, is to “align” its own publication with the Word of God.

I have never asked this of anyone on this blog before, but the time has come to act and act we must. Would you be willing to contact Thomas Nelson Publishers by email or phone and voice your disgust over this latest trend in dumbing down the Scriptures? Just click here or call 1.800.251.4000 and ask for the department responsible for the BibleZine™ product line... and then begin to minister to them! Be polite; be direct; be biblical; and be faithful.

May I encourage you to copy this article to as many as necessary, especially those in local church ministry, and ask them to confront this unfortunate mishandling of God's Word.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Steve
2 Cor. 4:5-7

24 comments:

DOGpreacher said...

Steve, thanks for the call to arms!

Aahhh...dear Mr. Spurgeon....a prophet indeed.

Book title: The Church On The
Downgrade.....
...at Hyperspeed!

A defender,
The DOGpreacher

pilgrim said...

"The only thing Thomas Nelson forgot to do, is to “align” its own publication with the Word of God."

Good point.

I've now seen 3 versions of the cover--the first two had dubious mention of women. Hmmm.

This goes beyond adapting a presentation to the culture-it adapts the message as well.

Matt Brown said...

Since the guy shows his bare foot on the cover, it's no wonder that there isn't some article about how to get a pedicure and still be macho.

Jonathan Moorhead said...

Are we asking for political action here? Steve Hays would be proud ;-)

BTW Steve, is there any chance that you will record, "Asleep in the Light" on a future album? I heard you sing the song at GCC in 1997 (I think) and it was wonderful.

Breuss Wane said...

The scriptures call us to "lose" our lives. The emphasis is on "losing" not "winning".

One also cannot find "priorities" in word or concept in the canon.

The Scriptures are self-relevant. Any effort to make it relevant imposes a damp veil on the glory of Christ.

This is, to paraphrase Mel Brooks, a stinkin' blasphemy. And that's putting it mildly. :-)

DaveMoore said...

New Zealand....awesome. The home of Frodo, Sam, & Middle Earth. Hope you got to check out the sights, Sledgehammer.

They have an awesome sport down under too….rugby. Not much flash, just good competition in a game with real athletes. The Air New Zealand NPC Final was this past weekend....hope you got to watch it.

Thomas Nelson....I just can’t believe these guys; what can you expect from the same people who publish Benny Hinn’s books. It must be the money$$$.

Dave

SJ Camp said...

I am not calling for political action... but biblical action. Biblical engagement on the issues is what we should be employing here.

Thomas Nelson Publishers has long forsaken biblical orthodox historical Christianity. Sadly, it is all about the money to them. For example, compare TNP to Crossway. Crossway is nonprofit; they are Christian owned, they are Reformed, and they are guarding the trust in the content of their material.

Nelson thinks that packaging will "make the Word of God come alive in a fresh new way"; that it equals relevancy, and therefore, impact. This is nothing short of a "stinking blasphemy" - good line Chad.

Grace and peace,
Steve

littlegal_66 said...

Since TN created this "BibleZine" for men, I'll try to keep my comments to a minimum, but Campi, you know how difficult that can be for me. (I'll split it into two posts). So, here goes, from a woman's perspective:

They should consider calling it "The Complete 'New-Age' Testament For Men."

Exactly what segment of the male population is being targeted, here? Is it the males within the new "Metrosexual" movement? (By the way, the "mod trend" of "Metrosexual" is defined as this: Of or pertaining to a straight, urban male who is eager to embrace and even show off his feminine side, especially when it comes to expensive haircuts, designer suits, and $40 face cream).

littlegal_66 said...

So where will Thomas Nelson go next? Who will they market their next "BibleZine" to........the manufactured group of "desperate housewives" (whatever that means) that has been glorified in today's society and promoted by some of our television shows? They've already marketed "Magnify" to kids, "Becoming" to young women, "Refuel" to teenage males, "Revolve" (as sledge referred to) to girls, and "Real" to the "hip hop" crowd. How about one called, "Surreal," for people who are obsessed with reality television? Oh, there's an endless supply of subcultures out there that Nelson could profit from! They are seeing those almighty $$$$$$$$$$'s, aren't they?

And Stevebo, are you giving Thomas Nelson your most recent mulligan, or should they be kicked off the golf course completely? (Under secular ownership, they certainly aren't playing in any kind of charity tournament these days).

P.S. I tried to be brief, but I failed miserably, didn't I? :-)

Des71 said...
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Des71 said...

Beloved Bloggers In Christ,

I just finished speaking to a customer service represenative from Thomas Nelson Publishing. She politely listened as I told her humbly that I was ending my relationship with TNP for numerous Biblical reasons. I'm ALIGNING myself 180 degrees from TNP. Very ironic, for today I received the audio Bible New Testament of the English Standard Version on CD. It is narrated by Gig Harbor, Washington native (The Evergreen State! YES!) Marquis Laughlin (www.marquisonline.org). It is easily the BEST audio version of the Bible I have ever heard! This is not hyperbolic exaggeration on my part, my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ. I STRONGLY suggest you add this audio Bible to your library.

The best prices including shipping and handling for this audio ESV NT Bible are as follows:

ISBN:1589263626
Overstock.com - $30.91
Amazon.com - $33.99

If you would like to hear before you buy, visit Crossway Bibles at www.gnpcb.org/esv

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Colossians 3:16, The Holy Bible, English Standard Version

God Bless,

Des71
His Afflicted Ambassador

I am severely afflicted; give me
life, O Lord, according to your
word!- Psalm 119:107, ESV

Therefore, we are ambassadors for
Christ, God making his appeal
through us. We implore you on
behalf of Christ, be reconciled to
God. - 2 Corinthians 5:20, ESV

Bhedr said...

No one trembles at the Word anymore. It is being used as a massaging tool instead.

Why don't we tremble at these verses? Revelation 22:18-19

Feeling somewhat grieved that my New Geneva Study Bible is from TNP.

The Critical theory warmed everyone up to Dymnamic theories and now its water away or bust.

I will go to the site and contact!

Scott said...

Thanks for coming out to NZ Steve. I had some friends who went to the weekend event and they really appreciated it. The church here is in great need of bible-based ministry, the church you spent time with is somewhat of an anomaly.

Bible-zines are selling well here too!

Greg said...

Blessings to you and yours, brother,

I have to admit, what bothers me most about the "Align" product (aside from the Bible being treated as a product), is that it claims to make "biblical truth fresh and relevent." Let's be honest - this phrase really means that God is irrelevent, and needs our help. Hebrews 4:12 makes it pretty clear that the Bible is relevent without any help from the guys in marketing.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Romans 1:20)

It's man who is irrelevent to God, not the other way around.

Greg Lawhorn

DaveMoore said...

Another example of Thomas Nelson’s lack of discernment is on their web site, showing a future release called “A Christ-Centered Approach to Physical and Spiritual Health through Yoga” By Susan Bordenkircher

I dunno..last time I checked, Yoga was part of pantheistic Hinduism, and the exercises themselves do not lend themselves to actual physical conditioning as they are for spiritual purposes, such as meditation, and attaining Karma via altered states of consciousness.

Mike Perrigoue said...

How can anybody take these Bible-zines seriously? I know we've become a shallow culture...but are we really that shallow? Have we lost all sense of reverence for a sovereign God? Oh yeah, I forgot, most Americans don't believe in a sovereign God. Hence, "Bible-zines"...

And so we see the continuing saga of Pelagius and Arminius wreaking havoc in the American culture.

cyd said...
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cyd said...

Here are some suggestions for future issues...

Malign: Evandalistic Outreach

Out-Of-Lign:
Featuring 'The Message' paraphrase

Clotheslign:
The Desperate Housewives Issue

Fishinglign:
Creative Ways To Hook People

Finelign: Compromise Without Guilt

Felign: Evangelism for Cats
(no, just kitten!)

Toe-The-Lign:
How Feet Affect Your Sole

Reclign: A Remote Gospel

and last but not least,

CalvinKleign:
Ministering To Metrosexuals.

littlegal_66 said...
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littlegal_66 said...

cyd: Thank you for giving my speculative "desperate housewives issue" and "metrosexual issue" working titles. ; )

How about, "What's-My-Lign?," for the career college student who needs some vocational direction?

As I said, there are so many untapped markets out there for Nelson......unlimited profit potential for them! (Hope they're not reading this thread and getting ideas).

P.S. All your titles were great! (I respect that wit--don't you have some contributions to the football thread?)

Denise said...

I emailed Thomas Nelson. But I doubt they will care. They just want to be the top selling publishing company in existance and that necessitates having a wide audience.

Another idea for the new Lign of titles:

Bee-lign: the line at the cash register at your local the "Christian" bookstore for the hippest author of the hour. (Gotta get all that stuff that goes with the latest book--journals, mugs, t-shirts, cd's, notepads, pencils, bumper stickers, etc...its enough to cause muscle strain holding it all when in lign.)

Denise said...

Hey we could call the whole series "Phunny Ligns". =P~~~

Denise said...

Thomas Nelson, a self-proclaiming "Christian" publishing house has come out with a book by Ed McMahon, Jonny Carson's side kick.

http://www.thomasnelson.com/consumer/product_detail.asp?dept_id=0&sku=1401602363

What in the world does this have to do with Christianity??

FaithMan777 said...

Thomas Nelson Publisher has been bought out by a secular company that is pushing anything that sells or could bring in "sweet" revenue. The lastest trend is Emerging Church Movement. If you do a google search, visit blogs and scout around you will see that this EC movement is Ecumenism, Universalism and Relativism. Top Authors and artists: Brian McLaren, Donald Miller & Dr. Phil's wife. These people do not believe the Bible to be the absolute truth of God.