I visited Schuler Books store the week before Easter, and I was somewhat surprised at a couple of vitriolic books prominently displayed on their front table as you enter the store. These books, authored by Dan Barker and Elicka Peterson Sparks, were being featured as good reads among other books they were promoting for sale, however, I was disturbed by their content. It’s not just that the authors didn’t believe in God, and they laid out the case for their reasoning. I understand Freedom of the Press and that we all have a right to disagree.
What is particularly disturbing is the incendiary, hateful tone against Christians and Christianity as the authors rant against their belief in God and faith in such a fashion as to stir up public reaction against Christians as villains. These authors foment misinformation and a total misunderstanding about the Bible’s message and the Christian position on issues by accusing Jesus and His followers of being hateful, immoral, racist, pro-slavery, genocidal, being against family, child abusing, bloodthirsty, vindictive, violent, and victimizing women and LGBTs…just to name a few. Sparks goes so far as to say that conservative Christianity is to blame for people becoming criminals.
This is an outrageous and misleading tone to take against Christians, and not only are these books wrong about Christianity’s message, they are seeking to be hurtful toward the Christian segment of society. These authors don’t call for tolerance regarding their disagreement with Christians and their faith; they call for the annihilation of everything Christian, believing that Christians are bad for society.
Why does Schuler Books think it is okay to market such vitriolic, moronic ideas during one of the holiest seasons of the Christian calendar? Do they aggressively market anti-Muslim books by displaying them prominently on their front tables in the days leading up to Ramadan? Do they aggressively market anti-Jewish books in the same way in the days leading up to Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur? The display of such hateful anti-Christian books for sale is extremely offensive and a little bit scary.
I can immediately think of plenty of thinkers and authors whose books accurately and more fairly represent the Biblical Christian message, and who would provide a reliable response to misinformed, mean-spirited authors such as the two mentioned above. Authors who could expose such faulty thinking for what it is include: Lee Strobel, Dr. Ravi Zacharias, Dr. John Lennox, Dr. Ben Witherington, Dr. William Craig Lane, Dr. Timothy Keller, and Nicholas Perrin.
I’m not sure if Schuler Books hates Christians or not, but I am sure that the message presented about Jesus and those who follow Him in the two above-mentioned books is completely the opposite of the message of God’s love and wholeness the Bible actually teaches and desires for our world. Christians and Biblical Christianity have contributed far more good to society than anything else the world has to offer; and its message has inspired, helped and benefitted women, children, the poor and the down-trodden more than any other philosophy, religion, or way of life.
I encourage Christians, wherever you go, to thoughtfully, lovingly and respectfully share the true message about Jesus…and live it. Always remember, we serve a risen, living Lord who set for us an example of love and service to others.
Working together to win together,