Christian Publisher responds to controversy surrounding Pride Month Reading List

Photo by Agustin Gunawan (via Unsplash)

William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, a historic evangelical publisher founded in 1911, has responded to criticism of the company’s LGBTQ+ Pride Month reading list.

“Wherever you stand or whatever you think you know, #PrideMonth is an important time to step back, listen to real stories and seek understanding,” the editor said in a tweet linked to the Reading listhosted on the company’s blog, EerdWord.

The company deleted the tweet after a flurry of criticism over the weekend. On Tuesday, Eerdmans again posted a link to the list on Twitter, this time with additional explanation.

“Whatever your doctrinal and ethical beliefs, #PrideMonth is a great time to listen to LGBTQ+ voices,” said the Twitter feed said. “This weekend we took down our post because the damning vitriol was alarming, and we wanted to protect our authors. We stand by our EerdWord message, so we’ve re-tweeted the link. But we think we should also offer explanations .

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“Some of the responses to our original tweet could be summed up as: ‘With this tweet you have gone to the dark side. Your business is now useless and we hope you go bankrupt and your employees lose their jobs,’ continued Eerdmans’ statement, “For those who thought that cursing and swearing would be an appropriate Christian response to an invitation to try to understand LGBTQ+ Christians, we offer no response. Their self-disclosure speaks for itself, and that saddens us.

Addressing those who had moral qualms about the reading list, Eerdmans said: “For our conservative Christian readers and friends who might be disturbed by the slanders of the insulters, we want to explain the misunderstandings they have expressed .”

“The insulters say that we have changed our position and started teaching heresy. There are several problems with this charge,” Eerdmans explained. “We don’t think it’s up to us as publishers to define the doctrine of the church. We are neither the pope, nor an ecumenical council, nor even a pastor. Our role is to publish books, representing both established and experimental positions, which serve the church in its ongoing deliberations.

Eerdmans’ statement went on to say that the publishing company has no problem publishing works that contradict each other on important theological issues, adding that they publish books written by Protestants, Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians, adding: “We are not confused. We are a publisher serving the Ecumenical Church.

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“When it comes to Christian understanding of LGBTQ+ people, Eerdmans has for several years published books by authors who have come to an affirmative conclusion on biblical and theological grounds. This is nothing 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.”

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