How My Books are Being Banned at the Society of Biblical Literature

SBL’s ire of book banning is directed to the simple belief that the Bible teaches marriage is between a man and a woman.

But, apparently book banning is back in vogue.  Dr. John Kutsko, executive director of the Society of Biblical Literature, has just proposed that InterVarsity Press–one of the largest evangelical presses in the country– be suspended from having a book stall at the annual SBL meeting (starting in 2017). The reason for this ban is the recent decision by InterVarsity to uphold the biblical view of marriage and to ask their employees to do the same

 

I thought book banning was supposed to be a thing of the past–particularly among the self-proclaimed liberal elites.  We live in a more sophisticated time where all views are accepted. Tolerance should be our highest priority.

Or so we are told.

But, apparently book banning is back in vogue.  Dr. John Kutsko, executive director of the Society of Biblical Literature, has just proposed that InterVarsity Press–one of the largest evangelical presses in the country– be suspended from having a book stall at the annual SBL meeting (starting in 2017).

The reason for this ban is the recent decision by InterVarsity to uphold the biblical view of marriage and to ask their employees to do the same (see IVP clarification on their policy here).

Since I have a current book with IVP Academic, The Question of Canon, and a forthcoming book with them on Christianity in the second century, SBL would effectively be banning my books from the annual meeting.  And that would be true for hundreds and hundreds of other IVP authors.

Of course, the overt hypocrisy of this is stunning. An organization that professes to be for tolerance and for accepting all opinions, has now decided to be, in effect, a “confessional” institution where the ideologies of the ruling committee decide what people should and shouldn’t believe.

So, while SBL eschewed the practices of fundamentalists, they have basically become fundamentalists themselves.  They have “judged” other people’s views as not worthy of inclusion.

But, the problems with this move go even further.  For one, does censorship stop with IVP?  What about confessional publishing houses like Crossway or P&R?  Will they be banned too?  Will SBL enact a thorough investigation of each publishing house’s policies, interviewing their staff and employees, and eliciting confessions out of them regarding their view of same sex marriage?

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