Saturday, January 10, 2009

Lifeway Stores Are Here To Help

Oh yes... the fun continues in the Christian subculture.

I quit shopping Christian bookstores a long time ago. I simply found the "secular" book stores had a better and deeper selection of religious books. That, and the "testa-mints" at the counter often left me woozy.

Lifeway stores have recently started adding "Read with Discernment" stickers on books they consider theologically iffy (McLaren, Bell, Miller). They would like you to spend money on best-selling books like The Shack; but they want to be absolved of all responsibility for your going to Hell afterward.

I am wondering when they are going to add the "Buy Hook, Line, and Sinker" stickers to the Piper and MacArthur books, so Christians can just disengage from all thinking processes in general.

HT: Bruce

12 comments:

didymus said...

No way! That's ridiculous. How cheesy can they get. Oh well, the Christian bookstore over by Hooters has been doing something similar for years. They put a flyer in all the books they disagree with, which are the premillenialist end times novels, by Tim LaHaye. (But since they're Greek Orthodox, they do have an interesting small selection of books related to Orthodoxy.

But I have to say the best Christian bookstore in town is the Open Book, in the Episcopal Center downtown, in has a better selection than Borders and B&N, which are noticeably being effected by the economic downturn. Their selection of Christian books are noticeably of lower quality than they where before.

I should do a post on the quality of Christian bookstores here in SLC, and then email each of them a link to the post (as well as our two newspapers) and see what they have to say.

Brook said...

that's kind of brilliant, actually. the easily offended ones who would end up returning the book anyway will just stay clear (from what I understand, returns are a huge problem for bookstores, especially in the christian market), and for those others "on the edge" of the cba world, those stickers may be the christian marketing equivalent of Explicit Content warning stickers on rap albums - ie it may actually help increase sales of those products! I wouldn't be so quick to assume those in charge really want to "warn" of questionable content. VIPs of large chain christian bookstores are business people first and foremost, some not even Christian, and it wouldn't surprise me to find out it was a marketing experiment.

Steve H. said...

Yep, these bookstores, especially the big chains, are business pure and simple. They generate a marketing plan to be "responsible" to the Christian community, generate some controversy, get free publicity like angry blog entries, and watch people start to say, "I never heard of Brian McClaren, but now I want to know more." Cha-Ching, SHow ME THE MONEY!!!

Kay said...

When I first saw the picture I thought "Oh my Hell! They've put a Lifeway in Utah!" Please tell me they aren't in Utah yet. Please please. :)

Redlefty said...

Shouldn't that sticker, by default, be put on every book, even the bible? Unless the bookstore thinks we should still follow Deuteronomy 21...

Tit for Tat said...

Just when I think Ive heard it all. Brings new meaning to the term Whacked ;)

didymus said...

Kay,

> Please tell me they aren't in Utah yet. Please please.

Actually, there's been one here in SLC for years. Last year I think it was, it even moved and expanded. It's located across the street from the Borders Books, off the I-215. I'm not sure, but I don't believe that the picture above is of the one in Utah. I don't believe its that big.

Andrew said...

Steve and Brook-
Hmmmmm.... I am wondering if the thought actually goes to that level. It is possible. But these are the same people who sell testamints and have little toy cross mazes with the holes on Jesus for you to get the ball in (or other such treasures). I think being a businessman does not preclude you from being a goofy and cheesy businessman. I give as an example 4 letters you would recognize:

W M U Z

Chad said...

The thing is they're open on Sundays! That created a big problem here in Pittsburgh as some of the workers staged protests against the chain. It seems that those who attend some of the megachurch's want to buy a book after service as they forget about it the rest of the week until the next Sunday. hmmmmmmmm....

Krista said...

there's a chain of Christian book stores?

Krista said...

LOL you got me giggling big time on this one! I actually don't shop bookstores at all anymore, Amazon is just too good a deal by comparison. And I never get offered testamints, except when I shop at Hobby Lobby!

Danya said...

As an owner of a christian bookstore, I would encourage you to shop independent christian bookstores, not in a chain that have to adhere to rules.

Yes, some of the things I carry in the store are cheesy, but they sell.

I understand both sides to the "read with dissernment" sticker, and although I don't use it, I can see that it's an easy way to deal with certian customers.

It's a hard business with huge amount of competiton online and I just encourage you to shop local, shop independent and shop Christian bookstores!

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