Christian Bookstore Puts Warning Labels on Certain Christian Books

To nobody’s surprise, LifeWay Christian Stores sells Christian books among their many products. As any reader of these books knows, however, the authors can range anywhere from super-fundamentalist to relatively-liberal.

To help their customers out, LifeWay now puts a label on certain books stating “Read With Discernment“:

While we recognize that almost every title requires some measure of discernment, certain titles should clearly be read with extra discernment.


We want you to know that the authors of books marked Read with Discernment may have espoused thoughts, ideas, or concepts that could be considered inconsistent with historical evangelical theology.

Read the full Friendly Atheist article here.  If you weren’t aware, Lifeway is part of the Southern Baptist Convention, as indicated at the bottom of every page on their website.  This was also the same store that would not display the magazine Gospel Today because women pastors were on the cover.  Article

The “Discernment” page lists several authors, and I found it interesting that they referenced a Wikipedia entry on their Donald Miller page.

They have also dedicated a page voicing their concerns about the Emerging Church Movement.

I guess they are worried about their “flock being lead astray,” but I think customers should be able to decide and discern for themselves without a disclaimer.  One may argue that is the reason for the disclaimer, but I think the disclaimer itself is a negative connotation.  It all seems very judgmental, something I don’t think these Christ loving authors deserve. And yes, I’m a fan of most of these listed authors on their disclaimer.

I wouldn’t be surprised in the future to see the author’s denomination next to his or her name, which I guess wouldn’t bother me as much since this would apply to all authors and would give the reader a bit more background on the author.  I know that last point might sound a bit hypercritical, but I think there’s a difference.

I haven’t spent money at one of their stores in years, and don’t plan on spending any money there ever again.

Chalk all this up for another reason why I’m a Recovering Baptist.

Man, I went on a rant.

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8 Responses to Christian Bookstore Puts Warning Labels on Certain Christian Books

  1. Andy Box says:

    I LOVE Donald Miller and have heard him speak three separate times at IBC. The management of Lifeway sounds like they enjoy putting people into Christian “boxes”. I don’t like those kind of people. Boxes separate people from each other and distract us from the true point of Christianity, which is loving and serving Jesus.

  2. MamaToots says:

    Amen, Andy! Although I am not familiar w/ Donald Miller, I am familiar w/ Lifeway. I have always felt comfortable purchasing reading material at these stores because I felt assured I would be getting Christian literature. Now I will wonder if what I get is Christian literature w/ a Baptist approval!! Sad day for recovering Baptists!

  3. Rev. Hart says:

    Maybe it’s the SBC itself that should be read “with discernment.”


  4. Nathan S. says:

    Shouldn’t everything -no matter the author- come with that label?

  5. J Dewbre says:

    Boy, it is obvious you have not let go of issues with the Baptist church….. You actually sound like the boyfriend that broke up with his girlfriend and then gripes and complains about every decision she makes, who she dates, etc. Get over it, if it is not for you just move on, but don’t keep picking Baptists apart, that is not building up the kingdom of God. Just because you have a bad experience doesn’t mean all Baptist are horrible people. The great thing about America is the religious freedom we have. If Lifeway bothers you that much do go in the store, etc.

  6. Jill says:

    Well….I am a Baptist and yes I know we have our faults….trust me there isn’t a religion out there that doesn’t!!!! But I challenge everyone to always seek God first through His word and through prayer and through the many ways of the Holy Spirit to grow and discover where you should serve and how you should serve. Books are awesome and such a help sometimes but God literally spoke outloud to me one day when I was going down the path of “self-help” books by saying to me “Read MY BOOK!” Something I won’t forget!

  7. Tara says:

    Hmm, this is an interesting one. On one hand I don’t think it’s inherently wrong to make books available in a Christian bookstore that have questionable doctrinal content with a little warning label that “the ideas expressed in this book aren’t necessarily endorsed by __________”.

    On the other hand I sort of cock my head at the authors they picked for their RWD list and how they all seem to be tied into the emerging church movement. It’s like the bookstore is glad to take the profit from selling popular books from a movement that seems to be directly at odds with their own doctrine.

    It’s kind of lame, but consider the source. I’m kind of shocked a book store so directly related to the SBC would sell those books at all.

  8. Alex says:

    Several items bother me here. One, to Tara’s point, I am kind of shocked at the authors that have been picked. To be honest, I have read both Donald Miller and Rob Bell…and I did it without discernment!
    Also I find it interesting that it appears the the RWD label is trademarked. Good thing…
    Also, this is just an example of how the intellectual, seminary driven world (not just Baptists) can do things to make themselves even more irrelevant to the flock they pastor. I understand they are looking out for the minds of their people, but this is crazy. I also am glad that I have never been taught by a woman, since their teaching is invalid.

    Just saying…

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