Faithlife Now Selling Books that Mock God and Promote Atheism

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 9 2016 4:00 AM

MJ. Smith:

SineNomine:
Dr. Abby Hafer is apparently not a Christian, so its author does not justify the book's presence on Vyrso.

I have always assumed based upon classifications in Christian bookstores and Christian sections of bookstores aimed at a broader market, that one did not have to be Christian to write material of interest to/about/or directly related to Christian topics. I almost did not link my source for fear someone would jump to unfounded conclusions as to her personal faith or lack there of.

When the platform purports to sell books by and for Christians, the personal faith of an author is highly relevant. If Dr. Hafer is a Christian, then this book would seem to qualify as at least broadly suitable for Vyrso.

MJ. Smith:

SineNomine:
Should Vyrso.com, with its present "Christian Ebooks" slogan, sell non-Christian ebooks?

Depends on what you mean ... should it sell Plato so we can understand the influence of neo-Platoism on Christian thought?

Given its present self-descriptors, I think that Vyrso.com should not sell Plato, although a Christian commentary on Plato would make sense. I'm pleased that Faithlife sells Plato, though.

Posts 313
Thinking | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 9 2016 6:03 AM

Dan Francis:
She worked with theologians writing this book and goes to church

Hardly a compelling argument. So did Caiaphas, Annas Judas, and a host of opposers to truth through the millennia. Satan quoted Scripture to Jesus.

Posts 852
Michael McLane | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 9 2016 6:32 AM

Thanks for the heads-up on this resource.

Posts 1010
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 9 2016 6:49 AM

MJ. Smith:

EastTN:
That may be the answer - FaithLife may be obligated to offer the book based on their contracts with the publisher.

Let's apply Occam's razor ... Faithlife offers the book because it represents the antidenialism position of American Christianity-informed religious thought.

That could well be. If so, I must say that their marketing description is rather poorly crafted. 

Posts 612
John Brumett | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 9 2016 6:58 AM

Isaiah 45:9 (NET)

9 One who argues with his creator is in grave danger, one who is like a mere shard among the other shards on the ground! The clay should not say to the potter, “What in the world are you doing? Your work lacks skill!”

Romans 9:20 (NKJV)

20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?”

This woman rejects an intelligent creator supports evolution and speaks at Atheist National Conventions and Secular Humanist Conferences.  Here is a You Tube link where she is on the stage with an avid atheist.  She is not there to debate Him.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjfOpvH-D0k  Abby Hafer and Dan Barker

I don't see her anywhere speaking at evangelical churches speaking about her Christianity.   

Posts 10114
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 9 2016 7:06 AM

This thread certainly opened my eyes. I was comfortable with Logos books on Asherah (granted forest fires as a risk), Israel as THE source of human sacrifice, and which god YHWH came from.

But making sure an author was properly Christian (and the title too) ... this is a new challenge.

I tried it out on https://vyrso.com/product/13505/jennas-cowboy-a-novel .  I've humorously followed Jenna, never actually purchasing the book, but having strong opinions from small snippets. Plus it's free on Vyrso and Kindle.

OK, so I first researched the author. Grew up near Colorado City Texas. Good. Moved to Washington state (hmmm ... this sounds like a poster in this thread!).  This book is one of 4 she wrote for the 'Christian market' ... hmmm.  Now I have to check her other ones ... how can I be sure??

Plus, what if she is liberal? Well, Washington state!!  Maybe I should just be safe and read snippets, plus ridicule her books. That might be best.


Posts 1010
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 9 2016 7:32 AM

Denise:

This thread certainly opened my eyes. I was comfortable with Logos books on Asherah (granted forest fires as a risk), Israel as THE source of human sacrifice, and which god YHWH came from.

But making sure an author was properly Christian (and the title too) ... this is a new challenge.

I tried it out on https://vyrso.com/product/13505/jennas-cowboy-a-novel .  I've humorously followed Jenna, never actually purchasing the book, but having strong opinions from small snippets. Plus it's free on Vyrso and Kindle.

OK, so I first researched the author. Grew up near Colorado City Texas. Good. Moved to Washington state (hmmm ... this sounds like a poster in this thread!).  This book is one of 4 she wrote for the 'Christian market' ... hmmm.  Now I have to check her other ones ... how can I be sure??

Plus, what if she is liberal? Well, Washington state!!  Maybe I should just be safe and read snippets, plus ridicule her books. That might be best.

You make some good points.  It's quite true that some fair amount of ugliness has been expressed, and some premature conclusions jumped to (on?). Of course, the marketing description didn't help. But still - ugly.

But setting the ugliness and jerking knees aside, there is a sensitivity among many users that - however poorly expressed - seems to me to be legitimate. What does it mean to be a "Christian" publisher?  For that term to be meaningful, something has to be different.  Is that difference only in business practices, or does it extend to the publisher's catalog?  If it extends to the catalog, does it simply mean that religious titles, and titles by Christian authors, are disproportionately represented?  Or does it mean that there are some books that Amazon might include in their catalog that the Christian publisher won't include?

Describing yourself as a Christian publisher creates certain presuppositions or expectations in customers' minds - and those expectations may vary between customers. It may make me think of my local shopping mall Christian bookstore, while it may make you think of the library at a seminary you've attended. But it helps shape our expectations. If those expectations are a motivator for where we spend our money, we're disconcerted when it appears that the company is doing something inconsistent with those expectations.

Now, should we as customers give FaithLife the benefit of the doubt - based on their track record - and be slower to jump to conclusions?  Absolutely.  If we're going to accuse someone in a public forum, should we check our facts first?  Absolutely positively!  But is it also legitimate to ask the question, debate it, and care about the answer?  I have to say "yes" to that too.

Posts 612
John Brumett | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 9 2016 7:44 AM

Denise:
Maybe I should just be safe and read snippets, plus ridicule her books.
Really???

Look at my earlier post where I listed Web sights and her associations with atheists.  I evaluate her views and positions about what she denies about an all powerful Creator.  On the issue of Liberal I also was simply responding to other issues in this thread.   I have really tried to be gracious by not attacking the person but her positions.  Even Secular Humanist and Atheist say there are not Christians.  I will continue to try to keep the tone at a civil level.  Thanks for everyones responses.       

Posts 10114
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 9 2016 8:55 AM

John ... you illustrate the point. I didn't mention you. I was discussing the west Texas lady. But you quickly ran with it ... naturally. But your whacking the anti-ID lady is taking potshots at Christians on the forum who view ID as a valid question. 

Now, I'm far more conservative than you. I place the evangelicals as parallel to the jewish hellenists in 1st century Jerusalem, along with laying human  ownership to the Deity. Plus, Logos as their book supplier.  So, complaining about Vyrso ... I'd think moving the volume to Logos isn't a big solution (your verses, true?). So, do you propose to filter all their sites (you did say 'Faithlife')?

Questioning a book on the forum is traditional. It's the mockery.


Posts 612
John Brumett | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 9 2016 11:43 AM

I think maybe the bottom line for me is to sell these type of books on Noet instead of Vyrso or Logos.  

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 9 2016 1:17 PM

John Brumett:
Look at my earlier post where I listed Web sights and her associations with atheists.

Let me tell you a story. I was in high school during the John Birch era. An employee of the Forest Service was an active member and had educated himself on Communism because he was radically anti-Communist. But he truly was an expert in the field and was willing to give speeches on Communism for groups for and against Communism. His appearing on fliers for leftist groups did not reflect his belonging to the group ... it reflected is knowledge of the theory of Communism. Unfortunately, he thought writing very carefully factual articles in the local paper about Communism was an educational activity. The Forest Service deemed it political and inappropriate for a federal employee. He was reprimanded and transferred. Much to my dismay.

Fast forward a couple of years. A member of the John Birch Society about 200 miles away, made some erroneous assumptions about one of the sources of information used by the Forest Service employee - a woman who had attended a very liberal college back East and actually knew some Communists and what they read. Her husband was a politician whom the John Birch Society went after for having a "Communist" wife. He lost the election (after decades in office) but won a slander trial that received national attention.

Fast forward two decades and read in the papers that a family of four was murdered on Christmas eve for being Jewish Communists. In actual fact they were Episcopalian Democrats. A man had read the crap that the John Birch Society had published against the politician and killed his son for "his father's sins".

The man killed was my table tennis partner in high school.

Do you now understand why I react so strongly to your passing incorrect information about the beliefs of the author? With your not bothering to check your facts? People die for that kind of slander ... not hypothetically but truly and gruesomely.

BTW. One of my several generations back grandmothers was executed in Salem for being a witch over what historians suspect was primarily a property rights issue behind the accusation.  Another one was thrown out of the Boston Bay Colony because of the Antinomian Controversy, Words matter. Facts matter.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 612
John Brumett | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 9 2016 2:34 PM

Ok MJ tell me exactly what facts do you have that she believes in an omnipotent, all powerful creator God?  What exactly is her view of God?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 9 2016 2:40 PM

EastTN:
Now, should we as customers give FaithLife the benefit of the doubt - based on their track record - and be slower to jump to conclusions?  Absolutely.  If we're going to accuse someone in a public forum, should we check our facts first?  Absolutely positively!  But is it also legitimate to ask the question, debate it, and care about the answer?  I have to say "yes" to that too.

Well said.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 9 2016 2:44 PM

John Brumett:

Ok MJ tell me exactly what facts do you have that she believes in an omnipotent, all powerful creator God?  What exactly is her view of God?

I believe her membership in a church that believes in a deity is sufficient evidence. I also believe that further engagement with you on the topic is not productive.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 1810
LogosEmployee
Phil Gons (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 9 2016 2:55 PM

John Brumett:
Maybe this is simply an oversight but I would like some answers.

We get large lists of content from publishers and use automated processes to help us decide what to offer in Logos, Vyrso, or Noet. We'll look into our processes to make sure books end up in the right places.

Posts 321
Rene Atchley | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 9 2016 3:25 PM

Debates like this thread is a good reason that Faithlife shouldn't declare itself a "christian" e-publisher...imo.  Academic debate from a classic liberal arts perspective is about opening a well educated person to the possibilities other than their own cultural preferences.  If what is published is left up for debate nothing would be sold e-book style including the bible itself.  

Posts 1010
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 9 2016 6:04 PM

MJ. Smith:

Fast forward two decades and read in the papers that a family of four was murdered on Christmas eve for being Jewish Communists. In actual fact they were Episcopalian Democrats. A man had read the crap that the John Birch Society had published against the politician and killed his son for "his father's sins".

The man killed was my table tennis partner in high school.

I'm so sorry to hear about the murder of your friend.

Posts 612
John Brumett | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 9 2016 6:54 PM

MJ. Smith:
Fast forward two decades and read in the papers that a family of four was murdered on Christmas eve for being Jewish Communists. In actual fact they were Episcopalian Democrats. A man had read the crap that the John Birch Society had published against the politician and killed his son for "his father's sins".

First of all I am truly sorrow for your lost.  

Second as a Christian I do not believe in murder.  “You shall not murder. Exodus 20:13

We also have the commands

“You shall have no other gods before Me.

The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Ex 20:3. and 

“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.  

The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Ex 20:7.

Jesus also stated to love your enemies 

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Mt 5:44.

 This doesn't mean we have to agree with them.   Jesus also said 

You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.


The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Jn 8:44–45.

Jesus spoke about false teacher and false prophets.  

I have never been a member of the John Birch Society.  I know you never accused me of this.  I actually believe there are many who are Anti Semitic in that movement.  I am actually a supporter of the Jewish people.

Allow me to say this and if I have misunderstood you please correct me.  But I am frustrated.  How come when a conservative has something to say it is always hate speech. He is compared to Jew Killers, Natzi's or a member of the KKK and when a liberal says something it is always out of compassion?  I have been a Pastor of a Bible Church for over 15 years.  I have been married to the same woman for over 26 years.  I am a dedicated family man who has 2 children.  I have a B.S. in Business Administration.  A Masters in Biblical Studies and A Doctorate of Ministry.  Again all I am doing is pointing out the views of the author.  As a matter of fact if she came to Texas I would probably buy her a steak.  Although she might be a vegetarian. Smile  Believe it or not my personality is pretty laid back.  But I do believer in contending earnestly for the faith.  

Again what I can see by listening to her You Tube lectures is:

1.  Man's body is poorly designed.  If there were a intelligent creator he would of done it better.

2.  Therefore evolution explains man's design better.  

I don't believe she is a closet Christian speaking at secular humanist meetings and Atheist Conventions.  

Pure evolution rejects a Personal Creator and is Athistic in Nature although there are Theistic Atheists who combine both approaches.  She had nowhere indicated that.      

Jesus said in Matthew 12:33 a Tree is Known by its fruit  Matthew 12:37 and he was refering to the words that a person speaks.  Matthew 12:37

Matthew 12:37 (NKJV)

37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

That's all that I have to go on.  

Another point is I believe intelligent design doesn't go far enough.  They do not define that intelligent creator.  I believe in the God of the bible as that intelligent Creator.  

Norman Geisler has an excellent summary of the various Creation Views in his Systematic Theology Volume 2 Chapter 18  Pg 423   He summarizes also Augustine's View and Aquinas's view on Creation as well as secular views on Creation.  The following Chapter 19 is also excellent.  

With peace in my heart:

John

   

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 9 2016 8:10 PM

John Brumett:
How come when a conservative has something to say it is always hate speech

This is not my experience. However, it is my experience that there is strong social pressure to keep your mouth shut when your view is marginalized in a particular context. For example, conservative Christians on a liberal university campus; liberal Christians on a conservative Christian college campus. Hate speech is not determined by who says it but by its content and presuppositions.

I am not saying that it is inappropriate to criticize Abby Hafer; I merely believe you have to do your homework and criticize her for what she actually says in the context that she says it.

If you have some examples of conservatives being taken to task for "hate speech" rather than for factual/logical inaccuracies, I'll gladly consider your evidence.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 2465
Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 9 2016 8:16 PM

I hope this thread can stay on track, as I offer my view:

1. The premise for the original post is fair for any user to voice out in concern. The title? It could have been more accurate and less emotional.

2. The book is written by a PhD in zoology. However there are some weak arguments. A book by someone within the ID movement, debunking this one, will come out soon enough I guess.

3. Not for the arguments per se but the way her book is presented and angled and used, makes me think I wouldn't miss it one bit if F.L. dropped it.

4. Some of the reactions to the original post were equally, if not more, tangential, emotional and argumentatively hollow. Not helpful.

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