by By Jim Fletcher
With attendance down significantly at the Christian Booksellers’ Association trade show last week, I want to examine some reasons for the decline in Christian retail—without focusing on the much bemoaned economy.
Discussing the real reasons for that decline, however, can’t be done in polite company.
The production and sale of Christian books assumes that the publishers, trade organizations and sales channels pull in the same direction philosophically. That would mean, of course, that fundamentally, a person working in the Christian book industry would embrace the teachings of the Bible. The Christian Booksellers Association operated on this philosophy for many years.
In the 1990s, however, there was a shift in philosophy. Publishers, stores and distributors began to realize the vast potential for making money. As time went on, to appeal to the broadest possible audience, works began to creep in that were decidedly not aligned with the Bible.
I remember years ago walking onto the floor of a CBA convention and seeing Health Communications’ booth. They were rolling out the first of the wildly successful “Chicken Soup” books. In the first volume, I remember reading an essay that discussed the “Golden Buddha” inside us.
I don’t have a Golden Buddha inside me, and neither do orthodox Christians.
So I wrote to a CBA representative, saying basically, “Hey, you’ll never guess who I saw at CBA. You are probably not aware of this.”
They were aware of it. The representative sent me a letter, then his lawyer sent me a letter. Both explained they had to allow Health Communications to display. Click here to read this entire article.