Christian Publisher Responds to Backlash over Pride Month Reading List

Written by on June 11, 2022

The renowned christian publishing company, William B. Eerdmans, has issued a response following a wave of criticism over its recent posting of a reading list in support of Pride Month.

“Wherever you stand or whatever you think you know, #PrideMonth is an important time to take a step back, listen to real stories, and seek to understand,” the publisher said in a lengthy Twitter thread linking the reading list on Tuesday.

This weekend, we took down our post because the overwhelming vitriol was alarming, and we wanted to protect our authors. We stand by our EerdWord post, so we have tweeted the link again.

But we think we should also offer some explanation.

— Eerdmans Publishing (@eerdmansbooks) June 7, 2022

Eerdmans, which was founded in 1911, had removed its initial tweet with the Pride Month Reading List over the weekend after sparking backlash online.

“Some of the replies to our original tweet could be summarized as: “With this tweet, you have gone over to the dark side. Your company is now useless, and we hope you go bankrupt and your employees become jobless,” the company explained.

“For those who thought that cursing and reviling would be an appropriately christian response to an invitation to try to understand LGBTQ+ Christians, we offer no response,” the thread continued. “Their self-revelation speaks for itself, and it grieves us.”

For those who thought that cursing and reviling would be an appropriately christian response to an invitation to try to understand LGBTQ+ Christians, we offer no response.

Their self-revelation speaks for itself, and it grieves us.

— Eerdmans Publishing (@eerdmansbooks) June 7, 2022

According to Church Leaders, Eerdmans also addressed those who took issue with the reading list, including its conservative christian readers, by stating that as a publishing company, they cannot “define doctrine for the church.”

“The revilers say we have changed our position and begun to teach heresy. There are several problems with that accusation. We do not think it is for us as a publisher to define doctrine for the church,” the company stressed. “We are not the pope, or an ecumenical council, or even a pastor. Our role is to publish books, representing both settled and experimental positions, that serve the church in its ongoing deliberations.”

We do not think it is for us as a publisher to define doctrine for the church. We are not the pope, or an ecumenical council, or even a pastor.

Our role is to publish books, representing both settled and experimental positions, that serve the church in its ongoing deliberations.

— Eerdmans Publishing (@eerdmansbooks) June 7, 2022

Eerdmans also pointed out that the company 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 a publisher that serves the ecumenical church,” the publisher asserted.

We therefore routinely publish books that contradict each other on many contested doctrinal points. We publish conservative and liberal books; we publish Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant books.

We are not confused. We are a publisher that serves the ecumenical church.

— Eerdmans Publishing (@eerdmansbooks) June 7, 2022

“With regard to christian understandings of LGBTQ+ people, Eerdmans has been publishing books for quite a few years by authors who have come to an affirming conclusion on biblical and theological grounds. This is not new for 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.”

At the same time, Eerdmans has continued and will continue, to publish books by and for people who have not come to this conclusion.

— Eerdmans Publishing (@eerdmansbooks) June 7, 2022

In closing, Eerdmans maintained that the company will not publish books that “deny the existence or ignore the voices of LGBTQ people, propagate false teaching about discredited/harmful ‘therapies,’ or in general, condemn/revile LGBTQ people.”

“We reject the tendency to promote division and discord by categorizing Christians into two camps, considering ‘us’ to be right about everything and ‘them’ to be wrong. We decline to swear loyalty to one faction’s ‘us’ and join their hostilities against all corresponding ‘themes,'” the statement concluded.

We reject the tendency to promote division and discord by categorizing Christians into two camps, considering “us” to be right about everything and “them” to be wrong.

We decline to swear loyalty to one faction’s “us” and join their hostilities against all corresponding “thems.”

— Eerdmans Publishing (@eerdmansbooks) June 7, 2022

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

As always, our aim is not to tell you what to think. It is to provide books that we believe will promote informed and charitable thinking.

— Eerdmans Publishing (@eerdmansbooks) June 7, 2022

For a century, Eerdmans has published books from well-known christian voices, including C.S. Lewis, N.T. Wright, Karl Barth, Mark Noll, and David Bebbington.

Related:

christian Book Publisher Eerdmans Endorses Pride Month with LGBT Reading List

Photo courtesy: ©Agustin Gunawan/Unsplash


Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.

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