A historic and well-known Christian publisher is facing pushback for its embrace of LGBT Pride Month and its promotion of a reading list on the subject.
Eerdmans Publishing Company, founded in 1911, has been a leading publisher of academic and faith titles over the last century, including ones by William Lane Craig, Mark Noll, Richard Muow and N.T. Wright. Its commentaries are found on pastoral bookshelves across the world.
But the publisher this month endorsed Pride Month.
“June is Pride Month, and you’ve probably seen countless businesses touting their rainbow flags, multi-colored logos or raising their support in different ways,” the company’s website says. “Yet, there is still such disunity and unrest on this topic, among people of faith especially.
“We find ourselves at a time again where we should be willing to listen and seek to understand those in the LGBTQ+ community who are simply fighting to be seen and heard, cared for and loved. This month, as an Eerdmans reading community, we hope you’ll take time to listen.”
The Eerdmans reading list includes “stories of life, love, rocky relationships, and what the Bible has to say about it all,” the website says.
Among the titles on the list is In the Margins: A Transgender Man’s Journey with Scripture (August 2022) which, according to Eerdmans, is for “those willing to listen with an open mind.” Another title is Family of Origin, Family of Choice: Stories of Queer Christians (2021).
Eeedmans’ website says the company is “deeply rooted in the historic Christian tradition,” “ecumenical in spirit,” and “open to emerging dialogue between denominations and with other faiths.”
Several Christian leaders this week spoke out about the publisher’s stance on Pride Month.
Christopher Yuan, a professor at Moody Bible Institute, said Eerdmans’ “one-dimensional stance on sexuality clearly communicates the trajectory for this publishing house, i.e., heading in the same direction as the mainline denominations.”
Eerdmans has provided a list of books to read for Pride Month. The list’s one-dimensional stance on sexuality clearly communicates the trajectory for this publishing house, i.e., heading in the same direction as the mainline denominations@eerdmansbooks https://t.co/prnaMdFUIG
— Christopher Yuan (@christopheryuan) June 3, 2022
Denny Burk, director of the Center for Gospel and Culture at Boyce College in Louisville, Ky., made similar comments.
“Eerdmans joins the great falling away,” Burk said. “This isn’t a surprise for those who have been seeing the books Eerdmans produces. But it is grievous to watch a once great Christian publisher celebrate wickedness.”
Eerdmans joins the great falling away. This isn’t a surprise for those who have been seeing the books Eerdmans produces. But it is grievous to watch a once great Christian publisher celebrate wickedness.https://t.co/NC1dSNXjlm
— Denny Burk (@DennyBurk) June 4, 2022
Eerdmans, in a Twitter reply to Yuan, said it is offering “perspectives from all experiences.”
“These specific books highlight stories that are often overlooked,” the Eerdmans tweet said. “We simply wanted to share these stories because we believe in the value of listening to human experiences, stories we might be resistant to.”
We want to offer perspectives from all experiences, and these specific books highlight stories that are often overlooked. We simply wanted to share these stories because we believe in the value of listening to human experiences, stories we might be resistant to.
— Eerdmans Publishing (@eerdmansbooks) June 4, 2022
Photo courtesy: Tom Hermans/Unsplash, Edited by SWN
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.