If you’re not a fan of Brian McLaren or Rob Bell… well, you’re probably NOT going to like this story.
A new breed of Christian publisher is cropping up. The newest, called Jericho Press, will be based in Nashville, and is headed by Wendy Grisham (the sister of popular writer John Grisham).
Jericho is owned by Hatchette Book Group, the second largest book publisher in the world.
Here’s a little of what they hope to accomplish:
Nashville has long been known as a national hub for mainstream religious publishing. It may also become known for Christian writers, publishers and literary agents who challenge the status quo of their religious elders.
The new Christian authors are usually not complete renegades, but they often tolerate–and sometimes welcome–opinions and discussions previously deemed off-limits by many evangelicals.
Many, although not all, are under 40 and are driven by Christian ideals such as service to the poor and underserved, rather than a strict adherence to religious doctrine. They usually dislike the traditional labels of conservative and liberal because they usually see themselves as a mix of both.
One of the most visible examples of the trend is Jericho Books, a new, Brentwood-based specialty publisher designed to focus on non-traditional Christian voices.
The new book imprint has got some power behind it as a subsidiary of Hatchette Book Group, the second largest book publisher in the world. Jericho is headed by longtime publishing pro Wendy Grisham.
Grisham, the sister of popular author John Grisham, moved to Nashville from England to launch Jericho. The imprint will publish about a dozen books a year and has already signed a cadre of out-of-the-box Christian authors and theologians.
Among them are several residents of Middle Tennessee, including:
“I believe we are doing something that no one else has done,” Grisham says. “We’re providing a place for difficult conversations in the faith community. There’s a growing movement of voices that are pushing traditional boundaries, and we’re creating a place for them.”
Jericho’s list of high-profile authors also includes Jay Bakker, the 37-year-old preacher son of the late evangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, and Justin Lee, 35, founder of the Gay Christian Network. Both Bakker and Lee preach a gospel of inclusiveness, one that puts them at odds with many traditional Christians.
Some will cry foul. Some will be upset.
I’m really not.
My faith is strong enough to stand up to things I don’t agree with.
In fact, I like forums that can stretch me, and challenge my way of thought.
I have enough confidence in my knowledge of scripture (and the power of the Holy Spirit in my life) that I’m not particularly afraid of being convinced by something that’s not true.
I also, quite frankly, don’t have everything all figured out. Because of that, I don’t mind being challenged.
That’s why you’ll not hear me getting my tighty whities all in a wad when Rob Bell comes out with a new book. (At least until I’ve read it).
Besides, there needs to be a publisher that will take up all the Moody Press rejections.
(That was a joke, people).
What do YOU think?
Will this new publisher just make things in the Christian publishing world more horrible?
I’d love to hear your thoughts… leave a comment below.
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