I was confronted this morning once more with the vexatious reality of evangelical commercialization and celebrity culture. Christianbook.com had kindly sent the church a catalogue, labeled “Pastor’s Resources Fall 2019.” Among the four books featured on the cover was The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, which I was exhorted to pursue on page 7.
Dutifully turning to page 7, I find that Charles Stanley, and his publisher Thomas Nelson, are not alone in carrying out this travesty. On pages 5-7, we discover also the Jeremiah Study Bible (that’s David Jeremiah, not the OT prophet), the MacArthur Study Bible, the Ryrie Study Bible, the Scofield Study Bible, the Maxwell Leadership Bible, and others.
Now, I know that in a sense these are just 1-volume Bible commentaries. And I think Bible commentaries are tremendously valuable. And I think it is fine, even desirable, for Bible commentaries to print the text of Scripture along with their commentary.
Nonetheless, it strikes me as irreverent towards the Word of God to print a Bible labeled with a popular teacher. This is one of many ways in which the evangelical publishing industry has been unduly influenced by celebrity culture and commercialization; but it is probably the worst.
As for me, I’ll take my Scripture plain, please.