By Jim Fletcher
News came this week that Family Christian Stores is finally shuttering all 240 locations. The 85-year-old chain filed for bankruptcy protection in 2015, and now the end has come for the Christian retail giant that employed 3,000 and stretched across 36 states.
As one writer put it, Amazon warlord Jeff Bezos deserves much of the credit for turning most independent bookstores into karate schools or bakeries. But there is another, more specific reason Family Christian Stores is gone.
They did it to themselves.
The explosion came from within, as decades of pandering to the lowest-common denominator within evangelicalism resulted in poorly educated Christians who have read more about Jesus in “Jesus Calling” than from the Bible.
And the “Jesus Calling” version of “Jesus” ain’t Him.
The erosion of Christian retail began before my entrance into the publishing industry in 1993, but that decade saw the worst kind of compromise with error in the Church. If one looks at the top 50 bestsellers from CBA (the Association for Christian Retail) currently, a Bible-believer couldn’t recommend more than a handful, at most. Family Christian Stores stocked them all. Click here to continue reading.
LTRP Note: Family Christian bookstores, along with LifeWay bookstores and Parable bookstores, deliberately never carried any Lighthouse Trails books in their stores because Lighthouse Trails criticized many of their top selling books.