December 15, 2019

Dear CBD: Why the endorsement of Joel Osteen?

joel_blink.gifUPDATE III: While we wait for CBD to apologize, we can all play Oprah or Osteen.

UPDATE II: Can anyone in a Lifeway Store or working for Lifeway confirm that Lifeway is selling this book? Please tell me it isn’t true. If TIME Magazine can tell us this fraud is a prosperity preaching wolf in sheep’s clothing, what does CBD know that TIME doesn’t? UPDATE: Ed Stetzer is in the comments with a response. Short version: They will order it, but they want to recommend customers avoid it. That’s about a C+, but I’m glad it’s not what I was afraid I’d hear. Thanks Dr. Stetzer.

UPDATE: My infamous Joel Osteen post. With lots and lots of links. Read the Harry Smith Interview. Also, read Ben Witherington on Osteen. Here’s Osteen from the Harry Smith interview:

Smith compared Osteen’s preaching to Norman Vincent Peale’s, and Osteen agreed.

“It’s amazing,” Osteen said. “I was preaching two or three years when someone gave me one of his books. I was going to say, ‘He thinks like me.’ I think like him. It seems like it’s the same base there. God is on our side and if you think right, I believe, like Norman Vincent Peale did, that your life follows your thoughts. You get up negative, oppressive, you’re (sic) day will go that way.”

Did someone once say “I find Peale appalling and Paul appealing?” Not Osteen.

Dear CBD,

I just received your September-October 2007 catalog, and on the front cover, top of the first column, is the new book by Joel Osteen, Become a Better You. Forty percent off. You obviously want a lot of people to buy it.

On your web site, you feature Mr. Osteen’s new book with a video, an endorsement from Osteen himself and the following endorsement from you.

How often have you said to yourself “I can do better” and yet, for some reason you never seem to achieve the “better”. Instead you settle for what you have and refuse to let go of the disappointments and failures that seem to plague you. Well Joel Osteen is here to help. In his much anticipated book Become a Better You he reminds us that God does not want us to settle. His plan is to have us continually rise to new levels even if we are thriving and enjoying life. Using 7 simple keys, devotions and personal testimonies, Joel will show you how to discover your unique purpose and destiny so you can leave a lasting impression on generations to come.

I wonder if you have noticed that Mr. Osteen is not a teacher of the Gospel of Jesus, but a motivational speaker and the primary promoter of the American prosperity Gospel that is poisoning millions of minds all over the world?

Why is Mr. Osteen pre-featured on your front page? Why is his book highlighted? Is it because Mr. Osteen’s power to create sales is the “golden goose” in publishing and you are going to ride his sales as far as possible? I can’t believe it’s because, as a business serving Christians, you actually believe that what’s best for us is the teaching of Mr. Osteen, who has said that the cross of Jesus and the historic orthodox Christian message are of no interest to him. I can’t believe it’s because Mr. Osteen represents a message that should be heard in every pulpit in America. I can’t believe it’s because Mr. Osteen’s prosperity Gospel is what we should be giving to our children and to new believers.

No, it must be because it’s going to make you a lot of money.

If CBD now believes that motivational speakers are communicating the Gospel, please say so, because millions of people trust your business and endorsement. If you believe Mr. Osteen is good for evangelicalism, despite his devotion to materialism, prosperity and self-improvement, perhaps you should explain who the “evangelicals” are that you are seeking to serve? I would assume that a whole warehouse of motivational, positive thinking, New Age books would now find a way to fit into CBD’s definition of “helpful.”

In your endorsement, you are quite specific about this book and how it will help us. How do we know God wants us to “rise to new levels?” I thought the Gospel was about stepping down to serve, not stepping up to prosperity and wealth? Was I wrong? Where does Jesus talk about 7 Simple Keys to understanding my destiny? Do you really mean to say that disappointments and failures occur because we “hold on to them?” Could you explain this to the parents sitting in the children’s ICU?

I guess I’m more disappointed with your endorsement of the book than I am your decision to sell the book. I like to think that organizations like yours don’t fall under the mantle of “sell anything for the profits, even if it’s spiritual poison,” but it seems you will not only sell anything, you’ll cook up an endorsement and say whatever it takes to lure in the hurting, the poor and the disadvantaged to the book. False hope is a small price to pay for big sales.

I’m not an agent of God’s judgement, but I’m fairly certain that when God judges the works and deeds of all persons in the light of Jesus, the words you’ve placed in the service of Joel Osteen, and the credibility you’re giving to him and his motivational, non-Gospel message of prosperity, will come back to you. I’m also modestly sure you know that, and it doesn’t matter much, because you’re going to sell some books in the meantime. It’s your best life NOW, so to speak. Hang the “later.”

Joel Osteen on the front page of your catalog says volumes about your business and what you love. If you believe Jesus has a neutral view of a message that hides the cross behind promises of real estate and American-style prosperity, you should revise your version of Jesus.

What an embarrassment to your business and to all of us who have purchased from you.

Sincerely,

Michael Spencer

P.S. I count 6 grammatical errors in the endorsement. Become A Better Proofreader might be a book to look for.

Comments

  1. I think it’s my fault. I stopped buying from CBD about five years ago because it was cheaper to get stuff from Amazon. I guess I made them desperate.

  2. Mike, Right on, brother. I received an ad from my local Lifeway bookstore and was surprised to see them shilling Joel’s book on the front page. My thoughts were the same as yours: “Have Christian booksellers gotten to the point that they will sell anything that will make a buck?” I know that they will sell things that have views that some will not agree with, but to sell something that has no Gospel whatsoever goes beyond the pale. Sad. Makes me want to reconsider visiting Christian bookstores (online or brick and mortar) and just read up on all the classics!

    Thanks for your post, glad I’m not the only one saddened by the selling out of the Christian bookstore.

  3. Michael,

    Well said. I am shocked even at how many in my own church love Joel Olsteen. As you put it elsewhere, it is indeed time to “Out Olsteen”. There is nothing remotely Christian about this message. How I wish we could bring back the church councils. This prosperity “gospel” has become a world-wide crisis that threatens the church itself. It is a indeed “another gospel”.

    – Josh

  4. Amen and amen. I have long wondered about this same lack of discernment on CBD’s part.

    BTW, further grammatical blunders include their section of small group “Curriculums”…nice!

  5. I think the motivation for CBD here is that I can become a better me at 40% off. This is really quite a bargain and CBD should be applauded. For 40% off I can achieve what was so costly for Christ. With this great offer I no longer need to deny myself and take up my cross. For myself, though, I’ll probably hold off becoming a better me until I can do it at 50% off.

  6. Chad Winters says

    I thought the same thing when I saw my catalog!! The updside is that I had been feeling bad that I tended to order more books from Amazon than CBD, but I’m not feeling so bad anymore 🙂

  7. After a search on Osteen at Lifewaystores.com I only found this title, by Joel. Your Best Life in Spanish.

    http://www.lifewaystores.com/lwstore/product.asp?isbn=1599790335&mscssid=UUH7V0GRM7J78G61268EX3WF0MGS1W33

    I know someone in Louisville who works for Lifeway and he says they don’t keep it in the store, but will order it if they are asked. Not sure if there is a uniform policy.

    KBH

  8. A few months ago, I received a mysterious box in the mail. Inside: Your Best Life Now boardgame. Here’s a link for all of you coveting my game:
    http://www.amazon.com/Endless-Games-Your-Best-Life/dp/B00006699X/ref=sr_1_2/002-2764481-7604821?ie=UTF8&s=toys-and-games&qid=1188427600&sr=8-2

    It was sent by a friend of mine who knows my distaste for Mr. Osteen’s teachings. I had a good laugh. I’ve kept it in shrink wrap for the mother of all white elephant gifts someday. Here’s some copy from it:

    “The game enables players to step beyond the one-on-one nature of the book and feel, touch and live Joel’s 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential with your friends and family. Climb the mountain as you: *Enlarge your vision *Develop a healthy self image *Discover the power of your thoughts and words *Let go of the past *Find strength through adversity *Live to give and *choose to be happy.”

    Gee! I can have it alllllllllllll! Just by playing this fun-filled, destiny-enlarging game with my friends and family!!!!!!!

    Cheekily,
    Mary E. DeMuth
    http://www.relevantblogblogspot.com

  9. I stopped buying from CBD years ago, right about when their theology section at the warehouse sales shrunk to a tiny corner and the “Christian-crap” expanded to an entire floor. Amazon had stuff cheaper, so did Barnes & Nobel.

    I’m not sure what you were expecting from them, though. They aren’t in the business of educating minds, nourishing souls, and proclaiming the Good News of Jesus. Some of their products might be about, but CBD’s in it for the money. It’s a business, that’s all that matters. Heck how much “Left Behind” junk have they sold over the last decade? I’m just not sure why we should expect any more from them – the aren’t part of a Church, it’s not even a para-church organization itself. They have no mission-statement that I’ve ever come across (I just looked again “about us” is all about their business), so to what type of accountability should they be held? Ethical business practices is about all you can hope for.

    CBD isn’t part of the Church, and doesn’t claim to be so. All they are is a business that happens to sell “Christian” books (increasingly, they are selling books from the “Christian Culture,” which isn’t the same thing) – this is why I’m not sure I would have written the letter you did.

  10. If CBD isn’t part of the church, then someone needs to tell the people who write the plugs of their books. They are a direct address from Christians to Christians.

    CBD owns the Academic Books catalog that many of us have bought from the last several years.

  11. I saw the shift from solid and reliable doctrinal books to the current pseudo-Christian offerings a few years ago. CBD goes immediately to ‘file 13’ in our house.

  12. Like a lot of the folks who replied, I buy more from Amazon than from CBD; I’m looking for better deals, and don’t believe the Kingdom is spread by patronizing Christians simply because they’re Christians. The Kingdom is spread by Christian businesses offering better goods and services than their non-Christian counterparts. And fiction, and movies, and music — the side rants can go on. I’ll stop here.

    The problem for CBD is they really can’t be profitable unless they pander to Christians. They serve a narrow niche, and have to keep it happy. They’re not gonna do that unless they sell what the Christians want them to sell. And, sad to say, more Christians than not will think Joel Osteen is awesome, and want to see his book for sale at CBD, and make a fuss if it isn’t.

    I’ve known Christian bookstore owners who had to put up with annoyed customers insisting that their favorite heretic’s books be sold there. On the other end of the spectrum, they also got complaints if they sold Catholic items, even though in that town (heck, in many cities outside the Bible Belt) there are as many Catholics as the other Christians combined. They eventually grew tired of the complaining and sold out to Family Christian Bookstores, who promptly removed anything of controversy and sold more Jesus junk — just like Weslo complained about his local CBD store.

    It is rare you’ll find a Christian bookstore — unless it’s a non-profit run by a local church — where orthodoxy isn’t going to be sacrificed to Mammon, or for the sake of shutting up irritating Christians who don’t know the difference between orthodoxy and orthodontics. So the question is: Which one is the reason behind CBD stocking Osteen’s book? My guess, since the book is 40 percent off after all, is that they’re staving off the complainers.

  13. If CBD writes back, please post it. I am waiting for their reply with baited breath.

  14. Do the words of our Lord Jesus, “You cannot serve God and money/mammon” come to mind? As I asked in a previous response, “Has the gift of discernment left the building?” May the Lord truly have mercy on us!

  15. Michael,

    Since you are in my bloglines reader, I saw your request for someone “working for Lifeway.” I guess that is me now, much to my surprise! Grin.

    By the way, thanks for the kind mentions over the years. You are a good writer and I enjoy reading the blog.

    Your debate with Frank Turk about my paper was a bit surreal for me to watch. I wanted to jump in, but the old job frowned on blog interaction for some PR reasons. Here… well, now I blog as part of my job description.

    Anyway…

    I checked on your question with the powers-that-be… and here are the words from the “suits”:

    “The link to the Osteen book in Spanish posted by one of your astute readers is currently accurate but unintentional. A third-party distributor handles our online inventory but made it through a number of filters. In fact, we have a worldwide filter to block all of Osteen’s books in any language. Unfortunately, this book slipped through and will be removed first thing in the morning. The distributor adds more than 1,000 books a month and everyone is reviewed. The problem is with limited human resources some slip through the sorting filters. We always remove them as soon as books like this are brought to our attention and we appreciate when customers bring it to our attention.

    As for ordering certain books, we can and will order a book for a customer but try to offer counsel regarding a particular author. Osteen would be one of those authors. Some customers desire a book because they are reading for comparative information or maybe need one for a class they may be taking, such as in seminary or college. We do try to offer a viable alternative to customers when they request such books.”

    Hope that helps.

    Ed

  16. I was meeting recently with a gentleman about hosting a city event in our sanctuary next year. At one point in our conversation, the man, who had already informed me that his church affiliation welcomed all religions (in a “universal” sort of way) changed subjects and said, “You know who I like to watch on TV?” I thought, “Please don’t say, ‘Joel Osteen.’ Please don’t say, ‘Joel Osteen.'”

    “Joel Osteen,” he said. “He’s fundamentalist, but he’s such an inspiring speaker.”

    There were tooth marks on my tongue that night.

  17. This is why I believe the church at large will be in serious trouble in the next 20 years or so, because the “christian” subculture is becoming innoculated to the real thing. And the real thing is the only guarantee against being devoured by a more aggressive and virile subculture at some point in the future.

  18. I am glad that Lifeway has an excuse for Osteen, but what about Plush Jesus?

  19. Michael,

    Great post. I am glad you put into words what so many Christians are thinking.

    Ed, FWIW, you might want to get a fellow LifeWay partner to handle the PR for their book/product policies by starting another blog. You are a busy man, and from what I have been hearing, you haven’t the time to handle all the questions! Thanks for the clarification on Osteen.

    I recall a presentation Dr. Rainer gave at SBTS last year where he discussed the role of LifeWay to the local church. He made some remarkable confessions, not the least of which that Christian bookstores would financially suffer greatly if they did not sell the pop-Christianity books. In addition, the development of B&H Academic was a commitment for theological profundity that comes at a sacrificial price as they likely will not make any profit from the books.

    Those of us who have blogs could contribute the changing of this terrible trend by promoting new, quality releases, writing book reviews, and protecting the undiscerning from bad theology. As it stands, the best-seller list on CBD and your local bookstore stands as an indictment against modern evangelicalism today.

  20. Ed’s comments from Lifeway makes me wish one would open up in Minnesota. I’m sure things aren’t perfect anywhere, but at least it shows some integrity. Our local store sells High School Musical soundtracks and Olsteen books. They get a bit of a reprieve for also selling the occasional NT Wright books and Lost Dogs albums, but it’s a shame they have to resort to selling the other crap.

  21. BTW, Family Christian Stores has Mr. Osteen’s book featured on the front page of their Labor Day catalog mailer.

  22. Memphis Aggie says

    I had no idea Osteen’s work was so popular or so short on substance. Suprising, thanks for the eye opener.

  23. I work at a large independent bookstore, and I can’t serve my employers if I try to edge out best-selling heretics altogether. The best I think I can do is to make sure there are as many good alternatives around that I can possibly stock and recommend to people. It might seem odd, but I think I can do a better job serving the Church at large by working at a secular bookstore than I could at one of the Christian bookstores in town. We might have Tony Evans, John Spong, Tim LaHaye and Joel Osteen around, but unlike them, we’ll have Stan Hauerwas, Brian McLaren, N.T. Wright, Flannery O’Connor, Thomas Merton, Ben Witherington and Greg Boyd – and no Jesus junk.

  24. Plush Jesus rocks!! Forget the kids now…it is comic relief for us “recovering” church kids.

    My mom loves Osteen. She also has a hard time thinking for herself, like so many followers of the latest-greatest “Christian” gurus.

  25. I am glad that Lifeway has an excuse for Osteen, but what about Plush Jesus?

    I gotta second Steve here. I am glad that Lifeway seems to be more discerning. However, we were recently in the one in downtown Nashville, right next to the corporate office, and as soon as I walked in I was inundated by “Jesus Junk”. I mean, do I really, really need a Wrapped in God’s Love blanket or a Reward for kindness mug?

    Also, from Robert’s account above it would seem that individual stores have the flexibility to promote what they think best. Anyone want to comment on that?

  26. If TIME Magazine can tell us this fraud is a prosperity preaching wolf in sheep’s clothing, what does CBD know that TIME doesn’t? — IMonk

    He $ell$ lot$ and lot$ of book$…

    This is why I believe the church at large will be in serious trouble in the next 20 years or so, because the “christian” subculture is becoming innoculated to the real thing. And the real thing is the only guarantee against being devoured by a more aggressive and virile subculture at some point in the future. — Temoc

    Like the “aggressive and virile subculture” that’s been Christian Culture’s continuing rival for 1300 years? Can you say “Allahu Akbar”?

    Especially when you combine Temoc’s observation with Left Behind Fever. Result: Christians sitting on top of their roofs (so they won’t have as far to travel) with their End Time Prophecy charts all marked up softly singing to yourselves “Twinkle twinkle Coming Christ/Beam ME up to Paradise”…

    While the future happens on its own. And when it does, those who had no future will find themselves Left Behind in the dust.

  27. Michael and commentors, you might be interested in this Publishers’ Weekly article on the marketing push behind the new fall books from Osteen, Joyce Meyer and Max Lucado.

    I believe the Osteen book has a first print run of 3 million….

  28. Memphis Aggie says

    Why am I not surprised that “Plush Jesus” has no stigmata. Very funny.

  29. Bill Haynes says

    Michael, you have got to get busy and post another entry so that the JO picture will not be the first thing I see when I come to your site. Once was OK, but not I get a fright every time I look.

  30. If I made it blink….that would be frightening.

  31. I think Michael is onto something. The real culprits in this are the retailers, wholesalers and the publishers and their editors and marketers. They are the ones who make a Christian celebrity. Same in the CCM world as well. That’s where we should focus our ire, not at the consumers.

    It’s sad that some of the old companies like Zondervan, Word etc were founded as ministries and became businesses and even public corporations beholden to stockholders’ bottom lines.

    BTW I have been told by some in the industry that “Jesus Junk” accounts for about 40% of Christian book stores sales.

  32. GranpaJohn says

    I’m with Bill. I’m considering hiring a hacker to ‘mar his visage’…
    Serious side – Good job, we should not be surprised to see JO or CBD or any other sinners acting like lost sinners. It is certainly not a surprise to the Lord Jesus.

  33. Unfortunately, I’ve come to expect this from all Christian bookstores, and, like many here, do most of my book shopping at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders, or Half Price Books.

    I was surprised and shocked to learn from the comments thread that there actually was a nationwide bookstore that at least has a policy concerning biblical discernment. I may need to make the 30 minute drive one day and check out one of the 2 Lifeway stores in the Kansas City area.

  34. Mort Chien says

    Michael,
    CBD has been doing this for along time. Do a search on their website and you find that they sell books by Benny Hinn, Ken Hagin, both Copelands, and much more. Osteen is just the most recent manifestation of Mammon Mania – the real reason why CBD sells books. A friend told me Zondervan (?), since they were sold, is managed by a little Jewish lady in New York. She monitors their account and does not care what sells as long as the dollars keep coming in and profits are up.

    I buy from Amazon, Borders, and other major sellers. CBD on occaision but less and less. Thought about opening a spoof shop: Ichabod Christian Books – “Our name says it all”.

    Go back 20 years or so and you will find that Os Guiness wrote tellingly about some of this in Gravedigger Files. He called it “Jesus Junk” (mt apologies if that sounds offensive – I think it was inteneded to).

    Mort

  35. Why don’t you just make the eyebrows move up and down?

  36. Mort,

    Your post comes across as being anti Semitic since being Jewish does not mean that one doesn’t care about spiritual things nor does it mean that one only cares about money. I bring this to your attention because it was probably not your intent.

  37. Thanks for the post, iMonk. The board game link is thoroughly disturbing.

    I was also very disappointed to find Osteen in both Logos’s and Cokesbury’s online catalog.

    I’m reminded of The Empire Strikes Back: “This is a dangerous time for you Luke, when you will be seduced by the Dark Side…”
    This could just be because I’m a nerd, but it seems appropriate. It seems that every establishment labeled ‘Christian’ today is subject to this seduction… be it the bookstores focusing on the botton line or those churches abandoning orthodoxy for, well, everything else. Of course then it’s also encouraging to read a blog like this, where it seems that everyone has their head on straight. Nevertheless, we have quite struggle ahead to see to it that ‘Christian’ things will bring glory to God and further the kingdom, serving no other end.

  38. I agree with Craig V….unneeded and unnecessary descriptor.

  39. unneeded…unnecessary….that’s kind of redundant…just like this comment. 🙂

  40. Jason S. Kong says

    His teeth drive me nuts. I think the glare that comes from his teeth are going to make me go blind.

  41. mort_chien says

    My apologies with regard to the accountant’s religious background but: 1, that was how the story was related to me; 2, and referring to someone as Jewish, Catholic, or Baptist need not be taken as an insult. Even in this context.

    Mort

  42. I’ve come to the conclusion that Amazon.com is a Christian company.

    1. They ask me to send them money and promise to give me what I want. They learned this from Christian TV. The only difference is that rather than just promising that God will give me things they actually send me what I want in the mail.

    2. They carry all kinds of great Christian books. Of course, some will object that they also sell all kinds of evil and non-Christian books. This is actually a tactic they learned from Robert Schuller. If you give people what they want (be seeker sensitive) they will eventually stumble across all of the really good stuff that you want to sell them.

  43. Bob Sacamento says

    I can’t believe it’s because, as a business serving Christians, you actually believe that what’s best for us is the teaching of Mr. Osteen, who has said that the cross of Jesus and the historic orthodox Christian message are of no interest to him.

    I’m no Osteen fan, but I had no idea he had gone this far. Can someone point me to the original source for this? (Please don’t make me wade through all those links on the first Osteen post.)

  44. While I would appreciate if Lifeway sold a book that someone could offer advice on, but the folks at my local lifeway cover the gambit in their understanding of the gospel and therefore cannot educate a buyer on the book. Further, if what Ed said is true in the practical sense, it wouldn’t follow that Lifeway would PROMOTE the book, not just advise readers about it. Lifeway already gave their advice when the mail came.

    This is why I jut buy my book from Amazon.com Not only do they not overcharge me for “Christian” titles but at least I know they were in it for profit from the beginning.

  45. iMonk,

    I wrote a letter to LifeWay several years ago asking them about why they sell TD Jakes books. The response was basically that his books aren’t teaching theology proper so it’s okay.

    I think LifeWay has a blog now too.

    For now…
    Mark

  46. Michael,

    Joel Osteen’s book is not going to make CBD a lot of money. Especially if they are selling it at a mega-discount. They are selling it because their customers want it, and they hope that when their customers order Osteen’s book, they’ll order something else that will pay a profit.

    This may sound distasteful, but it’s the way booksellers and publishers keep the lights on, pay their bills and support their employees. Selling books is a perilous and difficult business–that’s one reason why Christian bookstores sell Jesus junk–that other merchandise allows them to stay in business. It’s one of the unpleasant realities of the book–selling marketplace: you’ve got to sell some junk in order to sell the good stuff. And you’ve got to stock bestsellers in order to keep customers.

    Hate Osteen all you want. But if you’re going to condemn a bookseller and its motives for promoting and selling a book, and accuse them of trading their souls for material gain–then at least get the facts straight. Try to see things from their point of view for at least two seconds. Take a few minutes to understand their business and the realities of their industry—where sales of religion books dropped 10% last year and droves of Christian bookstores have closed—before spewing your uniformed anger on them.

  47. I never said anything about hating Osteen.

    And the idea that a Christian bookseller HAS to sell Osteen is………baloney.

    “Spewing.” “Get your facts straight.” What are you talking about?

    CBDs profit margins are our concern? I’ll pass that one on. Christian bookstores need to sell Osteen to stay open? Says who?

  48. Heisthatheis says

    Hes selling cookie cutter generic homogenized chritianity,jesus with a little j

  49. Michael,

    I was responding to these comments:

    “Why is Mr. Osteen pre-featured on your front page? Why is his book highlighted? Is it because Mr. Osteen’s power to create sales is the “golden goose” in publishing and you are going to ride his sales as far as possible? I can’t believe it’s because, as a business serving Christians, you actually believe that what’s best for us is the teaching of Mr. Osteen, who has said that the cross of Jesus and the historic orthodox Christian message are of no interest to him. I can’t believe it’s because Mr. Osteen represents a message that should be heard in every pulpit in America. I can’t believe it’s because Mr. Osteen’s prosperity Gospel is what we should be giving to our children and to new believers.

    No, it must be because it’s going to make you a lot of money.”

    Selling Osteen is not going to make CBD a lot of money. It’s not. If you knew anything about the publishing business, or even called a Christian bookstore and asked them why they sell books by celebrity authors, you’d have found that out.

    CBD and other booksellers sell Osteen’s books at a deep discount as loss leaders–to generate other sales. Christian booksellers–like all booksellers these days–rely on blockbuster titles like Osteens and TD Jakes and Joyce Meyer and all the other celeb authors to keep them in business. That’s why, for example, so many secular bookstores sold Harry Potter for such deep discounts– to get people into stores. That’s the reality of the business, which the head of the CBA told me when I interviewed him recently. Publishing is a tough business these days and bookselling is as well–and hundred of Christian bookstores have gone out of business.

    Selling Osteen is one of the unpleasant compromises that booksellers have to make to keep the lights on.
    They are not a church–they are business that sells books. At least do CBD the courtesy of acknowledging that.