Ravi Cancelled

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 13 2021 8:42 PM

DAL:
because they think

And who is the "they"? I ask because this thread seems to ignore some important distinctions:

  1. Under what circumstances does a publisher chose to break off their relationship with an author? Note that does not prevent another publisher from eventually stepping in or self-publishing.
  2. What considerations should a Christian apply concerning the personal life of an author when using the author's work in particular circumstances? There are certainly people who I would use in an academic paper that I would not use in popular writing for fear of the popular writing leading people to unreliable sources -- for people I wasn't sure would recognize as unreliable.
  3. What does it say about potential "cults of personalities" rather than "cult of Jesus Christ" that these questions become intertwined with institutional issues.

I am only marginally aware of who Ravi Zacharias is/was so my interest in this thread is not Zacharias in particular but in Christian writers more generally. And, no, while I would expect FL to follow the publishers decisions on plagiarism, here I would expect FL to make its own choices.

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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DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 13 2021 9:03 PM

DIsciple II:
I am more concerned about those he wronged ...

Yep. You buy yourself some massage parlours down in the peach-state, invite big-boy politicians and churchmen for the grand opening, reportedly expose yourself to your female employees, and top it off with someone else's trusting wife. The 'world' has a word for that, and if you got caught, you'd be on 'the list' for the remainder of your life ... unless you died first. But let's not judge.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 13 2021 10:23 PM

DMB I see nothing relating to FL or its products in your post -- which I personally find offensive.

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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Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 14 2021 5:06 AM

DAL:

One genuine question, though: Why remove such helpful apologetics material just because the guy had his own demons to fight and a few skeletons in his closet? He had a unique and convincing way of presenting good material.  I don’t think the material (which is still great) should be removed just because this guy sinned.  That’s just my opinion.  I hope people don’t go crazy taking down his YouTube videos on many subjects just because he messed up his reputation.  At least keep the material with some sort of disclaimer.

DAL

I agree. I was just talking to a friend on this and he mentioned removing a false teacher from ministry (not promote false teachings) and I get that but I am with you that they should just either sell off the rest or continue to sell and donate the proceeds elsewhere. I haven’t read all of his work but I do not remember false teachings in them. What I find truly perplexing is how one can write and say what he did and do another. I wonder if the church could have done more with overview

Posts 341
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 14 2021 5:34 AM

MJ. Smith:

DMB I see nothing relating to FL or its products in your post -- which I personally find offensive.

You probably didn't see the question, why the books were being pulled ... the author did something offensive. Yes, you should find it offensive. And tremendously hurtful to Christianity ... and Logos' stated mission.

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EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 14 2021 6:01 AM

I'm deeply saddened by the whole thing. Ravi produced a lot of very effective material - it will be a real loss if that material is no longer available.  But given the recent revelations, it may well be that Ravi's material couldn't be used anyway - and publishers may have decided that the damage to their reputations of continued affiliation with him outweighed any possible gain from the likely much reduced sales.

Our sin has a way of undermining the good that we do.

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mike | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 14 2021 6:03 AM

Well, we are living in the "cancel-culture" time. What do we expect?

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Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 14 2021 8:30 AM

First of all, a disclaimer. I am not a follower of Ravi Zacharias and his work. His publisher removing him from their catalog does not matter to me - and when the publisher does this, Logos/Faithlife, of course, has to comply as well.

The fact that he too is a sinner - sinning in a way that is way too common in our world saddens me, but does not, in the end surprise me. As an Abbot once told me, across church history, the church has had the monks that it kind of deserves to have - namely ones that struggle and fail with the common problems of that time and place. And this is indeed the case for the rest of Church figures too. For whatever reasons that I still cannot totally understand, our God trusts that he can use us sinners with his Holy Spirit to proclaim his work throughout the world. And so, as a Lutheran, I claim that ministry moral standards are "adiaphora" that we can debate without condemning each other. And so there is no reason why we have to instantly run away from the good that he has done.

That said, as I learned from Dr. Wengert explaining this, the biblical (and Lutheran confessional) perspective, based on 1 Cor 8 and related passages is to always remember the weak, and to not let our knowledge puff us up. And so I question if he should be marketed to non and new Christians - which many of his work has been. And when I hear about how his ministry organization allegedly helped cover up his failings allowing abuse to continue, I understand that they have to take the often painful path of repentance in order to be seen as legitimate before the world. They are off to a decent start in having an independent investigation, and publishing the ugly results. But it is not unfair for publishers to decide that they no longer want to support the ministry he left behind by continuing to publish his works, especially when the profits from these works has allegedly been used silence his victims.

I hope that in future generations we will be able to return to the good he has done. But as we enter the season of Lent, it is a fine practice to put him aside as we self-examine our sin - and how we participate in sin - the sin that drove Jesus to the Cross for us and our salvation. Indeed, as Christians, we should be models to the world in doing this...

The Gospel is not ... a "new law," on the contrary, ... a "new life." - William Julius Mann

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DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 14 2021 8:54 AM

mike:

Well, we are living in the "cancel-culture" time. What do we expect?

This is not cancel-culture. This is the consequences of sin. Anyone who wants to suggest otherwise is ignoring God’s holiness and the standards he has set before us in his Word. Are you saying it was cancel culture from God when Adam and Eve were excluded from the Garden or Moses was excluded from entering the promise land or Ananias and Sapphira were struck down fror their sin?  Yes we are all susceptible to sin, yes we are to forgive and where there has been repentance offer reconciliation but sin still has its consequences and the consequences of sin should not be looked upon as being cancel culture but of the Holiness of God. 

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Jan Krohn | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 14 2021 9:07 AM

mike:
Well, we are living in the "cancel-culture" time. What do we expect?

Natasha Crain has elaborated why this is not a case of cancel culture.

https://www.facebook.com/natashacrainauthor/posts/259100052250010

I agree with her evaluation.

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 14 2021 9:18 AM

DIsciple II:

mike:

Well, we are living in the "cancel-culture" time. What do we expect?

This is not cancel-culture. This is the consequences of sin. Anyone who wants to suggest otherwise is ignoring God’s holiness and the standards he has set before us in his Word.

I'm not saying you are wrong - but the public reaction nowadays is different than it used to be Case in point: Faithlife has 13 products on offer today by Mark Driscoll, and 16 by C.J. Mahaney. I can buy books by Bill Hybels and even Joshua Harris' "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" if I want to - even though the author left his position and maybe even his faith. The decision of Thomas Nelson to radically cancel Ravi's books, which costs them sales, can only mean that they feared a large backlash impacting them as a publisher even more, if they kept the books and were associated in some sense with Ravi.  

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 14 2021 9:21 AM

mike:

Well, we are living in the "cancel-culture" time. What do we expect?

Unfortunately, the cancel-culture has double standards when choosing who to cancel.  That’s a huge cause for concern in my opinion. They choose who gets canceled and who doesn’t based on their bias. Oh well...not surprising anymore!

But on a side note, I don’t think this is a cancel-culture thing like what happened between Gina Carano and the Mandalorian.

DAL

Posts 136
1Cor10:31 | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 14 2021 9:44 AM

DIsciple II:

This is not cancel-culture. This is the consequences of sin...sin still has its consequences and the consequences of sin should not be looked upon as being cancel culture but of the Holiness of God. 

1. Oh, I have no doubts that every sin - be it forgiven or not - has consequences. But God determines the consequences by reducing the sinner's welfare. Who gave us the power to determine the consequences? And, what is the Biblical guidance to determine the magnitude of the consequences?

2. Businesses (in a competitive market place) will do things that maximize value because if they don't, they're going bankrupt. So it must be the case that the publisher must have estimated that the lost sales from Ravi's book must be lower than the lost sales from the rest of their catalogue by people who flee the publisher if they don't cancel Ravi. This is a business decision that only time will tell whether it was correct. If they find it was the wrong decision, they will happily put back his books. Corporations don't have a moral compass. 

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Whyndell Grizzard | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 14 2021 9:49 AM

These situations are sad- no matter where you personally fall on this issue- the true fact is this, it will bring reproach to some extent upon Christ- it will be enough that the ungodly pile on, but we as the redeemed of Christ should know better- in that day it will be enough that we will stand waiting to hear the words our name is written in the lamb's book of Life. Pray for those who were harmed, his family and those who looked to him for guidance, redirecting them to our Lord and Saviour Jesus the Christ, Immanuel. 

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Jan Krohn | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 14 2021 10:09 AM

Even Frank Turek's "Stealing from God" has been pulled, although Ravi only contributed the foreword.

Now it's crossing the line into cancel culture.

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Greg Dement | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 14 2021 10:45 AM

I think I read Turek pulled it himself to reissue without that forward?

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Greg Dement | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 14 2021 11:13 AM

This whole issue is difficult. I can see why there are strong opinions on both sides. This scripture comes to mind but so do others regarding false prophets:

17 the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my bimprisonment.

18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice.

Yes, and I will rejoice,

 (Php 1:17–18)NASB

To me removing Ravi material who was a sinner but by most accounts with a solid message in his writings, while keeping material from others that many would see their actual message as heretical and against the Gospel (perhaps an example could be Richard Rohr) seems conflicting. I am still very sensitive to and can see why some feel strongly that Ravi's material should go.  I have eluded to some to this type of issue in the past...usually boils down to although there does need to be some line drawn but the problem is who gets to determine where?

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Tom Reynolds | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 14 2021 11:16 AM

Greg Dement:

I think I read Turek pulled it himself to reissue without that forward?

Interesting. It's still available from K and CBD as an ebook...

This reminds me of a pet peeve. Please stop listing forward writers as authors, Please , please , please. Personally I don't care who wrote the forward and I don't want confusing results when I search for an author.

Posts 185
scooter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 14 2021 11:32 AM

Tom Reynolds:
Please , please , please. Personally I don't care who wrote the forward and I don't want confusing results when I search for an author.

I'm absolutely with you on this one, Tom.  When I see this I sigh, + shake my head.

A Logos professional page entry is a wonderful thing.  Unfortunately, some fall askew.  I see staff training needed, + a template required for the page entry.

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DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Feb 14 2021 11:59 AM

So you are saying God can not act providentially through the imperfect actions of human beings to bring about his will? The God I read of in the scriptures does exactly this and as I believe he is the same yesterday, today, and will be tomorrow I believe he can be at work in this situation too.

 

NDD:

DIsciple II:

This is not cancel-culture. This is the consequences of sin...sin still has its consequences and the consequences of sin should not be looked upon as being cancel culture but of the Holiness of God. 

1. Oh, I have no doubts that every sin - be it forgiven or not - has consequences. But God determines the consequences by reducing the sinner's welfare. Who gave us the power to determine the consequences? And, what is the Biblical guidance to determine the magnitude of the consequences?

2. Businesses (in a competitive market place) will do things that maximize value because if they don't, they're going bankrupt. So it must be the case that the publisher must have estimated that the lost sales from Ravi's book must be lower than the lost sales from the rest of their catalogue by people who flee the publisher if they don't cancel Ravi. This is a business decision that only time will tell whether it was correct. If they find it was the wrong decision, they will happily put back his books. Corporations don't have a moral compass. 

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