The good news: I’ve finished writing my book. Well, pretty much. I still have some holes to fill in and some significant edits to make before sending it to the publisher on April 1, but the bulk of it is done. I'm looking forward to the next step (collaborating with my editor to make it even better) as well as losing the ten pounds I've gained over the last month working until 3 a.m. with only a one-pound bag of animal crackers to keep me company.
The bad news: Once published, my book may very well end up with a warning label on it. That’s because LifeWay Christian Stores recently announced a decision to place stickers that say “Read With Discernment” on books from authors like Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, and Donald Miller.
Apparently, if a book contains anything that LifeWay (part of the Southern Baptist Convention) does not consider "consistent with historical evangelical theology," it gets a label. It also gets a label if it includes any salacious details about sex, (as in Rob Bell’s excellent book, Sex God) or, I don’t know, smoking a pipe and voting for a democrat (as in Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz).
Looks to me like they are just going after the Emerging Church. You can read their explanation here.
Thankfully, LifeWay has taken quite a bit of heat from writers and agents in the industry, which is encouraging. I guess we're all just wondering why LifeWay thinks that some books should be readwithout discernment.
Honestly, if I had the money, I’d go into a LifeWay store right now and buy up all the books that said “Read With Discernment” on them. Seems to me that those are the only ones worth reading!
Anyway, I had to chuckle. Having just finished writing over 50,000 words about my own faith experience, (much of which does not fit the Baptist mold), I can’t help but wonder if I’ll earn the “Read With Discernment” sticker myself.
Damn, I hope I do. : )