Christian Retailing

NEWSLETTERS Current Issue Convergent publisher addresses gay-book controversy
Convergent publisher addresses gay-book controversy PDF Print E-mail
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Thursday, 17 April 2014 01:22 PM EDT

GodAndTheGayChristian-webConvergent Books, an imprint of Random House’s Crown Publishing Group, today addressed concerns expressed by some conservative Christians regarding the April 22 publication of Matthew Vines’ God and the Gay Christian.

Cultural analyst Matt Barber of BarbWire.com, earlier cited an unspecified source with ties to Multnomah, who said it was “reasonable to speculate that Multnomah is trying to cover up its fast-growing connection to sexual sin activism.”

The same source said: “Multnomah is now consciously trying to hide from NRB [National Religious Broadcasters] and its members the fact that it is putting out this new project,” referring to Vines’ book. He also said the “same staff, editors, executives, promoters are behind the book as are behind those put out by other ‘imprints.’ ” 

Stephen W. Cobb, chief publishing executive, oversees the WaterBrook Press and Multnomah Books imprints, whose books are more commonly carried by CBA member stores, as well as Convergent and the Catholic imprint Image.

Emphasizing to Christian Retailing that Convergent is “separate and distinct” from WaterBrook Multnomah, Cobb said: “I’ve established very distinct editorial guidelines for each of these imprints. I’m very aware of what these are. They are rigorously applied, and we’re certainly sensitive to what’s appropriate and where it’s most appropriate.”

Cobb especially noted that no staff member is forced to work on a book that is against their beliefs.

“We actually went to great lengths and have always gone to lengths here to make sure that our people here have never been required to work on anything that offended their personal beliefs,” he said. “We met with everyone in small groups and, in some cases, individually, and I can think of a couple of employees off the top of my head that asked to not participate in the publishing function regarding this particular book, and we were respectful and grateful for their candor and excused them from any involvement, so we don’t run that kind of shop here.”

Convergent Books titles are not being shopped to CBA market retailers.

“Our Christian sales force is not soliciting orders for this book, never has,” Cobb said. “It would’ve been inappropriate for them to carry this book to Christian retailing and that has not been the case.”

Cobb said that on the company’s other lists are books with different points of view on the gay issue.

“What drew me to this book was I believe this is one of the most significant issues that faces the church in our current generation,” he said. “I think it’s obvious that there’s a lot of hostility and emotion that might be clouding our approach to our brothers and sisters in Christ who have a different orientation than we do, and I don’t have the answers, but I believe that it’s an issue that needs to be dealt with more openly and in a more civil fashion in the church than what I see today.”

Click here to hear more from the publisher on this subject.

 

In this current issue:

Christian Product Expo Murfreesboro gathers independent retailers

News image

Munce Group hosted independent Christian retailers Sept. 21-23 for the...

READ MORE

Christian Authors Network honors retailers at Munce-hosted expo

News image

The Christian Authors Network (CAN) presented three retailers with books...

READ MORE

David C Cook restructures, promotes Michelle Anthony

News image

David C Cook has merged all of the company’s learning-resource...

READ MORE

GMA Canada announces 36th Annual Covenant Award nominees

News image

Gospel Music Association (GMA) Canada has announced the nominees for...

READ MORE

‘Be the Message’ becomes ‘New York Times’ best-seller

News image

Houston-based megachurch pastors Kerry and Chris Shook’s latest book, Be...

READ MORE

Wanda Brunstetter reaches book-sales milestone

News image

Sales of Wanda E. Brunstetter’s books have topped 8 million...

READ MORE

Jay Sekulow's ‘Rise of ISIS’ becomes ‘New York Times’ best-seller

News image

Howard Books’ Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can’t Ignore...

READ MORE

Send The Light partners with Fair Trade organization

News image

Send The Light Distribution has partnered with Gifts With a...

READ MORE

Revell joke book for kids sells half-million copies

News image

Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, has announced that...

READ MORE

Xulon launches political imprint

News image

Xulon Press and parent Salem Communications launched a new politically...

READ MORE

Moody’s Chapman Center expected to impact publishing ministry

News image

Author Gary Chapman and his wife, Karolyn, have given a...

READ MORE

AAP: Religious book sales drop in May

News image

Books published by religious presses fared well in April (+10.7%),...

READ MORE
100%
-
+
0
Show options

a