240 locations. The 85-year-old chain filed for bankruptcy protection in
2015, and now the end has come for the Christian retail giant that employed
3,000 and stretched across 36 states.
for turning most independent bookstores into karate schools or bakeries. But
there is another, more specific reason Family Christian Stores is gone.
denominator within evangelicalism resulted in poorly educated Christians who
have read more about Jesus in “Jesus Calling” than from the Bible.
industry in 1993, but that decade saw the worst kind of compromise with
error in the Church. If one looks at the top 50 bestsellers from CBA (the
Association for Christian Retail) currently, a Bible-believer couldn’t
recommend more than a handful, at most. Family Christian Stores stocked them
Communications of the world to be featured at the summer convention, Family
Christian Stores has taken a front-row, star-studded table at the front. A
powerful entity, Family was courted by publishers and their sales reps. The
result was a multi-headed monster that gourged itself on heretical books and
the Evangelical church in this country, came about from a tightly
coordinated effort. This ranged from celebrity pastors and ministry heads to
publishers and, yes, Christian retail.
simply remain for a while on the highway of “Christian” resources, and the
road is well traveled. If books are no longer sold by Family Stores, they
will be sold by Amazon, or Saddleback Church, or North Point, or Willow
Creek. Et cetera.
no longer have a home in bankrupt retail stores, they live and thrive in
conferences, mega-churches, and media.
myriad platforms to rake in the cash.
and social justice progressivism passes today for Christian resources. They
all contribute to the biblical illiteracy in this country.
(a Never-Trumper, socially progressive “evangelical”), Hillsong’s Brian
Houston and William Paul Young, who wrote “The Shack.”
community just another glitzy, over-confident Titanic.
only real priority. No vetting of books being peddled by publishers and
salesmen who were, in some cases, more pagan than Baal. Anything labeling
itself “Christian” was allowed in the door, more enthusiastically if the
book sold like hotcakes as we used to say.
retail, have no interest in a lecture by the likes of me. So the pollution
of the Evangelical waterways will no doubt continue.
heavily the works of people like the creationist scholar Henry Morris (the
house still publishes “The Genesis Record”), but only a few years ago found
itself in the quicksand of a new imprint, Emergent Village. There, one could
find (and still can) books by progressive radicals like Doug Pagitt and Tony
Jones (“The Emergent Manifesto”).
he no longer believes in Original Sin.
Stores is but one (gigantic) example of what happens when a Christian entity
doesn’t guard its heart.
rightly complain that that isn’t technically true. Of course I am aware
some/many(?) do care, and deeply. But my point is in general, American
evangelicals are simply annoyed by columns like this, because they are
piece!) is definitely negative. The messenger is not actually negative, you
see, and that’s an important distinction. Because if you can avoid the trap
of believing the messenger carrying this sad news is negative, you can begin
to see the real culprits.
best Christian resources are a Bible, pen and notebook, I hear laughter from
the audience. It sounds funny, I guess. But it is also the truth. If the
American Christian community would study the Bible, pray, and make real
disciples, there would be a thriving Christian bookstore on every street
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