I like the tone of this article by Andy Crouch in Christianity Today. I’m concerned about the concentration of Christian thinking, preaching, teaching, and writing in the hands of Christian celebrities. I think Crouch makes some good points.
As a Christian publisher myself (Energion Publications), I don’t intend to comment on the details of this case. I would note that it is incredibly easy to make mistakes and very hard work to find them. There have been a number of times when someone I work with says, “I don’t see how anyone could make (or miss) that mistake” only to do something similar (or worse) by mistake down the road. I do not say this to excuse wrongdoing or carelessness, but to make us think twice before throwing stones at others.
When we do make a mistake, the correct response is not defensive. It is to say simply, “I made a mistake. I’m sorry. I’ll correct it.” I’ve been there any number of times.
I hope that in my own publishing work I am managing to distribute the work of a broad range of people. As a small publisher, these people will rarely be celebrities. To me, however, they are stars. Why do I say that? I have authors who donate their royalties to various causes. I have authors who have refused royalties on certain books in order to help me reduce the price and allow wider distribution. Every author I publish is active in service in a variety of ways. I have encountered no authors who are not extremely anxious to give credit to everyone who contributed in any way. I have even had to suggest that authors cut down the acknowledgments section in a couple of cases.
That’s what I took away from Andy Crouch’s article. There’s a church filled with people who can contribute. I want to give as many as I can a voice. The church needs to hear them, and not just the folks who can get a manuscript accepted with one of the big presses. The church needs to realize the breadth and depth of the talent available to it.