The fact that a self-proclaimed Christian publisher engaged in homosexual publishing gets obscured in news report.
Journalists possess an incredible amount of power to shape the reader’s opinion. An artful introductory phrase can push people in an entirely misleading direction from the start, and deprive them of an accurate understanding of the event in view.
Most people know only what the writer tells them, so this power is hard to exaggerate.
Consider this article from ChristianityToday.com as Exhibit A: “Not So Convergent: Leading Publisher Separates How Evangelical and Progressive Books Are Made.”
Five months ago, the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) forced out one of the world’s leading Christian publishers over a book it didn’t actually publish.
WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group had published David Platt’s Radical, John Piper’s Desiring God, and Stephen Arterburn’s Every Man’s Battle. But then Convergent, a sister imprint which shared its staff, published God and the Gay Christian, a book arguing that same-gender sex is not sinful.
NRB president Jerry Johnson argued that NRB members cannot produce “unbiblical material, regardless of the label under which they do it,” and asked Multnomah to “reconsider and end the practice of having Christian workers from their publishing house work on Convergent projects.” Multnomah declined, and resigned its NRB membership in May rather than submit to an ethics review. [CT reported the debate in its July/August issue.]
But today the parent company of Multnomah and Convergent, Crown Publishing Group, announced a “transformative moment” that basically does what the NRB had requested.
Note the phrase in the lead sentence: “a book it didn’t actually publish.”
Question: If I produce a radio program, and release it under my secondary business name “Padded Room Productions” instead of my primary label of “Bob Allen Audio” is it honest for me to say I didn’t produce it?
Of course not. Using an alternate name that masks my involvement changes nothing of the reality that the same person and resources were solely behind the final product.
The NRB Association and Jerry Johnson should be commended–both for their principled stand, and the spirit and manner in which they undertook it–not maligned as if they didn’t know what they were doing.
Regardless of whether the error was intentional or simply careless, it is unfortunate such a well-known publication would print such a mischaracterization.