Christian publisher reacts to Pride Month reading list backlash

Renowned Christian publishing house, William B. Eerdmans, has issued a response to a flurry of criticism over its recent release of a reading list in support of Pride Month.

“Wherever you stand or whatever you think you know, #PrideMonth is an important time to step back, listen to real stories and seek understanding,” the editor said in a lengthy Twitter feed linking reading list tuesday.

Eerdmans, which was founded in 1911, had deleted its initial tweet with the Pride Month Playlist over the weekend after sparking a backlash online.

“Some of the responses to our original tweet could be summed up as, ‘With that tweet you’ve gone over to the dark side. Your business is now useless, and we hope that you will go bankrupt and your employees will be left jobless,” the company explained.

“For those who thought cursing and swearing would be an appropriate Christian response to an invitation to try to understand LGBTQ+ Christians, we offer no response,” the thread continued. “Their self-disclosure speaks for itself, and it pains us.”

According Church leadersEerdmans also addressed those who challenged the reading list, including its conservative Christian readers, saying that as a publisher they cannot “define church doctrine”.

“Insulters say we have changed our position and started teaching heresy. There are several problems with this accusation. We do not believe it is our job as publishers to define church doctrine” , the company pointed out. “We are neither the pope, nor an ecumenical council, nor even a pastor. Our role is to publish books, representing both established and experimental positions, which serve the church in its ongoing deliberations.”

Eerdmans also pointed out that the society publishes works from various theological circles, including books written by Protestants, Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians, even if the books contradict each other.

“We are not confused. We are an ecumenical church-serving publisher,” the publisher asserted.

“When it comes to Christian understanding of LGBTQ+ people, Eerdmans has for several years published books by authors who have come to an affirmative conclusion on biblical and theological grounds. This is not new to us,” Eerdmans said. “At the same time, Eerdmans has continued and will continue to publish books by and for people who have not come to this conclusion.”

In conclusion, Eerdmans maintained that the company will not publish books that “deny the existence or ignore the voices of LGBTQ people, propagate false teachings about discredited/harmful ‘therapies’, or generally condemn/insult LGBTQ people”.

“We reject the tendency to promote division and discord by categorizing Christians into two camps, viewing ‘we’ as everything being right and ‘they’ being wrong. We refuse to swear allegiance to the ‘we’ of any faction and join their hostilities against all corresponding ‘themes’,” the statement concluded.

“As always, our goal is not to tell you what to think. It’s to provide books that we believe will foster informed and charitable thinking.”

For a century, Eerdmans published books of well-known Christian voices, including CS Lewis, NT Wright, Karl Barth, Mark Noll and David Bebbington.

Related:

Christian book publisher Eerdmans endorses Pride Month with LGBT reading list

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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the Podcast For Your Soul, which seeks to endow the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Happy are the forgiven.