Should Christians Buy Their Way Onto the NYT Bestseller List?

"If we have to buy our way into readers’ attention, maybe it’s time to stop writing.”

Pastor Don Aycock

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Finger Up

Being Number One . . .  It's a coveted title not only in the secular world, but in the Christian world.  More and more it seems writers who identify themselves as 'Christian' are describing themselves as being a "New York Times bestselling author'.  Perhaps some achieve this feat the old-fashioned way — by earning it — but we now know that a number of 'Christian' authors have bought their way to the top of the NYT bestseller list.  no

For those of you who have never heard of this scheme, our friend and fellow blogger Tim Fall, who hails from Northern California, has written an excellent parable that illustrates these shenanigans.  (see below)

The Mega-Pastor and the Best Seller List – a parable (link)

There once was a man who wrote a book. This man was a pastor of a church with thousands of people. He wanted his book to be read by even more people, so he asked for help.

He found help, but it didn’t come cheap. For $200,000 the people helping him would make sure his book made it onto a bestseller list, and that way millions of people would know he wrote a book.

The helpers also needed to make it look like they weren’t helping at all. They needed to make it look like thousands of people were buying the man’s book all on their own. They told the man to give them addresses they could use to make it look like lots of people were buying his book.

The helpers also needed to make sure the payment for these books didn’t look like it came from them. They told the man they could do this easily; the helpers have over 1,000 credit cards, debit cards, and other payment types they would use to make it look like lots of different people were buying the books.

The reason the helpers needed to make it look like lots of different people were buying the man’s book is that journalists who publish best seller lists disregard bulk orders in their analysis of book sales. They won’t call a book a best seller if one person or company buys thousands of copies all at once. Like the helpers were going to do.

The man agreed, had his assistant sign a contract that laid out all these terms, and paid the helpers over $200,000.

The helpers got to work, put in orders for the man’s book, used lots of different addresses and payment sources, and the next thing you know the book appeared on a national newspaper’s best seller list!

The man was happy. He said all of this gave glory to God.

The end.

This is an apt description of how Mark and Grace Driscoll's book Real Marriage rocketed to the top of the NYT bestseller list for one measly weekfrown

When Mark and Grace were basking in the limelight back in 2012, I made a trip to the local Barnes and Noble to see how they were hyping the Driscolls' 'bestseller'.  I scoured the bookstore, looking for a display table piled high with Real Marriage books.  None was to be found.  Instead, the Christian section had a mere two copies of the Driscolls' book available for purchase.  I remember phoning Dee while still in the bookstore.  It was at that moment we suspected something wasn't right about the NYT ranking. 

Then in March 2014 WORLD (Magazine) published an article entitled Unreal Sales for Driscoll's Real Marriage.  Here is the lowdown (from the article) on how they achieved the Number One ranking:

Seattle’s Mars Hill Church paid a California-based marketing company at least $210,000 in 2011 and 2012 to ensure that Real Marriage, a book written by Mark Driscoll, the church’s founding pastor, and his wife Grace, made the New York Times best-seller list.

According to a document obtained by WORLD, ResultSource Inc. (RSI) contracted with Mars Hill “to conduct a bestseller campaign for your book, Real Marriage on the week of January 2, 2012. The bestseller campaign is intended to place Real Marriage on The New York Times bestseller list for the Advice How-To list.”

The marketing company also promised to help place Real Marriage on the Wall Street Journal Business, USA Today Money, BN.com (Barnes & Noble), and Amazon.com best-seller lists.

Once this explosive information became known, Mark Driscoll issued an apology in a letter to his congregation.  Here is the pertinent excerpt:

First, a marketing company called ResultSource was used in conjunction with the book Real Marriage, which was released in January 2012. My understanding of the ResultSource marketing strategy was to maximize book sales, so that we could reach more people with the message and help grow our church. In retrospect, I no longer see it that way. Instead, I now see it as manipulating a book sales reporting system, which is wrong. I am sorry that I used this strategy, and will never use it again. I have also asked my publisher to not use the “#1 New York Times bestseller” status in future publications, and am working to remove this from past publications as well.

As soon as this marketing scheme was exposed, ResultSource scrubbed its website.  All that is left can been seen in the screen shot below.

http://www.resultsource.com/

We believe this revelation (of using ResultSource), along with charges of plagiarism against Mark Driscoll, significantly contributed to the collapse of the Mars Hill empire. 

Around the same time that ResultSource was working its magic for the Driscolls, Perry Noble was also utilizing its services to propel his book Unleash! to the top.  You may recall that Driscoll and Noble were involved with The Elephant Room 2011 (link).  Perhaps they discussed the benefits of using ResultSource during this time.  Both Driscoll and Noble had books published by Tyndale House in 2012, and if you check out the endorsements of Unleash! you will see some interesting names.  Here is one of them (see screen shot below). 

unleashed.com

THERE IT IS!  –> Mark Driscoll, NY Times #1 Bestselling author wink

Earlier today Dr. Warren Throckmorton published an interesting post entitled Perry Noble’s New Spring Church Used ResultSource to Market Unleash.  It reminded me of a post written last March by Dr. Jim Duncan (who blogs at Pajama Pages) called NewSpring and Perry Noble are also Result Source clients

You may recall that some years ago folks at NewSpring Church did some horrific things to Dr. Jim Duncan (a professor at Anderson University) and his family, which you can read about in Holy Rage at the Spring: How NewSpring Church leaders motivated and monitored a campaign to destroy a critic and his family.   If you are not aware of what happened, please read this painful account!

What triggered recent discussions about manipulating one's way onto the NYT Bestseller List was probably an article in Christianity Today entitled Is Buying Your Way Onto the New York Times Bestseller List Wrong?

This portion of the article particularly stood out to me:

“If I can plop down $25,000 and get a bestseller, that seems a little self-serving,” said independent publicist Don Otis. “I hope I’m doing something that makes use of the gifts God has given me, but when you manipulate people, it crosses the line.” . . .

There is something ominous about Christian authors who manipulate the system through questionable methods, says author Don Aycock. The Florida pastor cites Paul’s admonition: “‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is constructive” (1 Cor. 10:23).

“Writers want to get their words into the hands of readers; I certainly do,” Aycock said. “But shouldn’t we authors stick to both ethical behavior and faith in the God we keep saying is in control? If we have to buy our way into readers’ attention, maybe it’s time to stop writing.”

AMEN, Pastor Aycock!

Lydia's Corner:  Exodus 5:22-7:25   Matthew 18:21-19:12   Psalm 23:1-6   Proverbs 5:22-23

Comments

Should Christians Buy Their Way Onto the NYT Bestseller List? — 134 Comments

  1. @ Tim:

    Thank you for that wonderful parable! So glad to be able to share it with our readers.

    I love the name of your blog – Just One Train Wreck After Another.  😉

  2. it seems that other big-name authors have utilized result source as well.
    David Jeremiah for one. how sad that they feel it is ok. they justify it in their own minds.

  3. This is an apt description of how Mark and Grace Driscoll’s book Real Marriage rocketed to the top of the NYT bestseller list for one measly week.

    Because the going price for juicing a book was $200 Grand A WEEK.

    Juicing a book is legal (something the book juicers keep reminding you) but it’s definitely a Shady Business Practice.

  4. richard wrote:

    it seems that other big-name authors have utilized result source as well.
    David Jeremiah for one.

    Result Source are amateurs.
    The REAL master of juicing a book was L Ron Hubbard.
    Of course it helped that Elron’s cult also ran the publishing house; Pre-Clears, Clears, and Operating Thetans would buy copies of Elron’s latest, turn it in at their Orgs (who would ship it back to the publishers who would send the copy out again to the stores, where the process would repeat. Now THAT’s juicing!

  5. Let’s face it: when anyone can just “buy” their way onto the NYT bestseller list, the distinction stops being prestigious and turns into pretentious.

  6. @ Beakerj:

    I might fall foul of the “prior art” rules there, Beaks! Though I love the ironic comedy inherent in the idea of rich and famous Christian soundbite-peddler Nick Bulbeck says: don’t seek money or fame… it’s All_About_Jesus™ !!! *

    Of course we’re barking up the same hymn-sheet here… I.E., it is logically impossible both to force one’s way into the limelight and to spread the Gospel message once there. What Driscoll really preached to the world was that he believes money, fame and power are at the heart of the Kingdom.

    * The slogan “All_About_Jesus” is a trademark of Glorify Jesus By Glorifying Nick Bulbeck International. It may not be reproduced or distributed without permission.

  7. I have pastors contact me all the time about writing and publishing. Rarely are there interested in being a good writer. They want to have written and then be read only. It’s a way of getting speaking gigs and making money. Fame. They are the kind of people who look at trees and see them as useful and miss all that is beautiful about them.

  8. Matt Redmond wrote:

    I have pastors contact me all the time about writing and publishing. Rarely are there interested in being a good writer. They want to have written and then be read only. It’s a way of getting speaking gigs and making money. Fame. They are the kind of people who look at trees and see them as useful and miss all that is beautiful about them.

    This is very insightful — thanks, Matt. Having worked on the perimeters of Christian writing/publishing since the mid-1980s, I see how there is a great deal of difference between someone who is writing from inner compulsion to share a meaningful message, versus those who … as you put it … “want to have written.” One is a calling to produce that you just can’t not do; it consumes you. The other is a desiring simply to produce so others consume you.

    And re: the whole gaming the system to get on The List, you can’t buy integrity.

  9. @ Matt Redmond:

    My observation is that the men you speak of are not pastors. For that matter, I believe a large number of the men who speak on Sunday mornings are not pastors. I have heard some of these men admit this themselves.

  10. Matt Redmond wrote:

    It’s a way of getting speaking gigs and making money. Fame. They are the kind of people who look at trees and see them as useful and miss all that is beautiful about them.

    That nails it! Then there are leaders who take original ideas from other writers outside the Gospel Glitterati and write a book that borders on rip off. But, since they are Gospel Glitterati no one cares. Dee is still irritated at that incident.

  11. @ Matt Redmond:

    Back when the Calvinistas were encouraging their followers to live 'radical' lives, you were inspired to write a wonderful book – The God of Mundane

    And recently someone had the audacity to take a word in your subtitle and write a very similar book… Actually, there are now two books by that title…

  12. My first thought…. I can understand the desire to get your book into readers hands. I recall that part of the argument for “juicing” the best sellers list is that a book that can be marketed as a best seller ends up selling better in the long run. And if you wrote something that could have great and valuable spiritual impact for people, finding way to get more people to read it is valuable.

    BUT

    There is nothing new under the sun. Books written by “popular” pastors today are, generally speaking, rehashing of other work(not necessarily that they are plagiarizing) that they add some personal anecdotes and updated language to try to make it more appealing to the current generation. And if some theologian or pastor is writing a book with a point that has NEVER been made before, that is a red flag in my opinion…..aka…really, no one has ever thought or written that in 2000 years, and we are all so lucky that you have come around to finally set us straight…God must be so grateful to have you….

    Therefore, if your passion is to encourage more people to understand and embrace Truth, why are you self-promoting YOUR product. Not that it would make it “better” but why don’t you selflessly contract a PR firm to juice Augustines “Confessions”?

  13. @ Tim:
    I really think the parable is well-written. Tells it like it is fairly and plainly! It’s good that some Christians are saying, “no, this is too far.” And I join you in saying it. 🙂

  14. Matt Redmond wrote:

    I have pastors contact me all the time about writing and publishing. Rarely are there interested in being a good writer. They want to have written and then be read only.

    In SF fandoms, you see a lot of wanna-be authors “who don’t want to write, they want to have written.” (Because actually sitting down and writing is too much like WORK!) They’re the ones who are always trying to tell you about Their Latest Series of Novels (which they are too lazy to actually WRITE) all plotted out in their mind. They used to be crashing bores at room parties; now they’re Big Names on Social Media, spending all their energy in self-promotion and Maintaining Their Brand. But they still never actually WRITE anything.

  15. Deb wrote:

    @ Matt Redmond:
    Back when the Calvinistas were encouraging their followers to live ‘radical’ lives, you were inspired to write a wonderful book – The God of Mundane.

    Deb, you have fed into my weakness and now I have ANOTHER book to read in my kindle! But it was a great price and for that I thank Mr. Redmond!

  16. I took a look at the CT article (which included a link to Result Source’s doubleplusunwebpage (which as of the Real Marriage juicing scandal never existed) where they listed books and authors they juiced into one-week best-sellers.

    Though about half of the juiced books listed were Latest Unknown Business Guru stuff, THE PAGE HAD A SPECIAL SECTION FOR “FAITH BOOKS”. RESULT SOURCE HAD A SPECIAL CATEGORY FOR JUICING CHRISTIANESE BOOKS. THINK ABOUT THAT.

  17. There is only one element missing from the parable. The “man” in the parable didn’t pay the “helpers” a nickel of that $200K, that was all quietly taken from funds donated to a church, presumably to do the work of God, such as feeding the poor and helping widows or paying the utilities, servicing the mortgage debt, paying the salaries. Mr. Driscoll was making use of that magic thing known as OPM (other people’s money) to glorify his own name.

  18. The gurus or sources of emulation have to market themselves somehow in the evangelical-publisher-industrial complex. I have heard stories of books being bought and gathering dust in a churches storage room. Sorry if this offends anyone, but where is that annointed tithe money going? I can’t be too critical because I have sucked into these organizations before.

  19. richard wrote:

    it seems that other big-name authors have utilized result source as well.
    David Jeremiah for one. how sad that they feel it is ok. they justify it in their own minds.

    Doesn’t surprise me at all that David Jeremiah would do something like that given a certain event in his history where his actions showed that he is a hireling, not a shepherd.

    BTW, does anyone know how ResultSource had all those credit cards,debit cards, and other payment methods? That alone is a huge red flag for me. Did they somehow obtain them legally…or is there identity theft or misuse of confidential information involved?

  20. Tim wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:

    that $200K, that was all quietly taken from funds donated to a church, presumably to do the work of God, such as feeding the poor and helping widows

    That part was in my follow up piece the next day: 3 Top Ways for Mark Driscoll to Spend $200,000.

    I’d vote for Driscoll to give $200,000 (minimum) to Paul and Jonna Petry, the former Mars Hill pastor/elder who was unfairly tried in a church court, fired, ordered to be excommunicated and shunned along with his family for questioning the un-Biblical way that Mars Hill wanted to be governed. The damage done to the Petry family was staggering.

    http://repentantpastor.com/

  21. Michaela wrote:

    Tim wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:

    that $200K, that was all quietly taken from funds donated to a church, presumably to do the work of God, such as feeding the poor and helping widows

    That part was in my follow up piece the next day: 3 Top Ways for Mark Driscoll to Spend $200,000.

    I’d vote for Driscoll to give $200,000 (minimum) to Paul and Jonna Petry, the former Mars Hill pastor/elder who was unfairly tried in a church court, fired, ordered to be excommunicated and shunned along with his family for questioning the un-Biblical way that Mars Hill wanted to be governed. The damage done to the Petry family was staggering.

    http://repentantpastor.com/

    Here is the specific confession of some former Mars Hill pastors/elders to MH pastors/elders Paul Petry and Bent Meyer:
    http://repentantpastor.com/confessions/letter-confession-bent-meyer-paul-petry/

  22. Michaela wrote:

    ’d vote for Driscoll to give $200,000 (minimum) to Paul and Jonna Petry, the former Mars Hill pastor/elder who was unfairly tried in a church court,

    Ditto!

  23. Yes! Thank you for sharing this, Bridget. I myself am convicted of the Christianese I’ve spoken in the past. I’m tired of “feeling”, for lack of a better word, that if I don’t say the right lingo, I’m not good enough as a Christian. Social media has exasperated this issue IMO
    @ Bridget:

  24. Matt Redmond wrote:

    I have pastors contact me all the time about writing and publishing. Rarely are there interested in being a good writer. They want to have written and then be read only. It’s a way of getting speaking gigs and making money. Fame. They are the kind of people who look at trees and see them as useful and miss all that is beautiful about them.

    I’ve read your blog several times and loved it—now I”m about to become a very regular reader. This is so true, so good, and a very good reminder.

  25. Melissa wrote:

    Yes! Thank you for sharing this, Bridget. I myself am convicted of the Christianese I’ve spoken in the past.

    Quite so. Indeed, only today, the Lord laid the same burden on my spirit. This caused a real passion to become birthed in my heart for reaching the lost, raising up believers for revival, and advancing the Kingdom.

    To learn more about the dynamic vision for the Kingdom that I carry, buy my book. Or just send me money.

  26. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    This caused a real passion to become birthed in my heart for reaching the lost

    Slight suggested tweak of the above: He [the Lord] kindled and fanned into flame a radical passion in my heart that birthed in me a real burden for reaching the lost…

    Perhaps you may also consider some collateral materials to market with your book such as a christianese Mad Libs or other parlor game or Guess the Gospel Glitterati charades or some such. The possibilities are endless for spreading the good news via worldly methods.

  27. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    @ Gram3:

    Who talks like that? I can translate from fundy christianese dialect but can not speak it. But I never heard anything like what you all are saying. I am serious, this must be from a different tribe with different religious lingo than I have run into. Where did you all hear this?

  28. Gram3 wrote:

    …or Guess the Gospel Glitterati charades

    Or the Jeopardy version…
    “I’ll take ‘Gospel Glitterati’ for $200, please”
    “This reformed preacher is known for his ‘jazz hands'”

    😮

  29. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    All good clean fun from the UK small-“c”- charismatic scene!

    Never ran into those characters, but I’ve heard plenty of christianese from the shepherding characters and their dutiful offspring way west of the UK. SGM and the Gospel Glitterati have built on the sure foundation of those hirelings and topped it off with a dollop of dominionism.

  30. Nancy wrote:

    I can translate from fundy christianese dialect but can not speak it.

    Nick and I can speak in other tongues which were unknown to the writers of the Bible. I think you are more familiar with that language. 😉

  31. @ Gram3:

    Just for fun here is a quote I have copied from one of the KrazyDad sudoku puzzles. He did not attribute the quote to anybody. (I do puzzles because they have a sedative effect on me.)

    “I’m a creationist; I refuse to believe that I could have evolved from man.”

  32. Katia wrote:

    richard wrote:

    BTW, does anyone know how ResultSource had all those credit cards,debit cards, and other payment methods? That alone is a huge red flag for me. Did they somehow obtain them legally…or is there identity theft or misuse of confidential information involved?

    Hi Katia, I think the term credit card was a slight misnomer. This is my understanding of how ResultSource works based on my review of the MH contract and other articles. Perhaps others can add to this. Although some ResultSource employees might use credit cards in their own names, I believe the bulk of the “credit cards” used are simply pre-paid Master Cards, Visas and American Express cards. It acts the same as a gift card. You can purchase and load money on these anonymously. The other payment types used by RS are Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BAM!, Borders and similar retailers’ gift cards.

    The way it works is that the author – think Perry Noble or Mark Driscoll – are required to submit a minimum of 1,000 different names and addresses with no more than 350 per state to RS prior to the book’s launch date. Someone from the author’s camp has to enter the 1,000+ names and addresses PLUS fill out 6,000+ personalized gift order messages (the 240 character box you use when sending a gift) with all that then being transmitted to RS along with enough cash to purchase those books at or near retail (well over $100,000 depending on the price of your book). Then “magically” people all over the US receive up to 6 books in the mail from book retailers like Amazon, B&N, BAM! and Borders, etc as a “gift”. The person receiving the book neither desired nor ordered it and likely won’t even read it. The cost of those 6,000 books at or near retail is paid for by the church’s tithers and may end up in a goodwill box or trash bin, unread. This really happens. I know someone who received one of James Robison’s hard cover books in their mailbox with a gift card using their name and telling them James felt called by The Lord to give them this book. It was a little weird and invasive. The book was about Right Wing Christians taking back America.

    The remaining 5,000 are bulk orders. The author has to submit the names and addresses of 90 retailers/organizations for a drop shipment of books (average 56 books per address). Pastors tend to comply by shipping bulk orders, for “free”, to other churches plus bible colleges or seminaries. Again, the author’s tithers pay for books that no one asked for. These 5,000 are purchased at a bulk discount. It’s a great way to try to indoctrinate students with the false doctrine taught by people who are in the act of cheating and deceiving when the students/congregants receive the books. Hurray for Christendom! Yes, Beth Moore, I said it.

    Mars Hill and New Spring had to foot the bill for all 11,000 books (which was $100,000 – $210,000) PLUS pay ResultSource an additional $25,000 – $35,000 in fees for RS coordinating the purchases via on-line retailers (mostly) using their pre-paid debit and gift cards. It’s a nice chunk of change for only having to enter pre-typed data about 1,100 times. So while no credit card theft is involved there still is a bit of identity invasion in that someone’s personal name and address will be used to ship the unwanted, unsolicited books to. Hope this helped.

  33.   __

    “A Call to Resurgence: Will Marzhil Have a Funeral or a Future? 

    hmmm…

    As you can sėė, it did not go so well. 

    (bump)

    Holy literary light fingers, broken dreams, N broken NYT best seller bubbles, Wartburg!

    Forget the NYT Scam, so now these pernicious 501(c)3 ‘religious’ pastoral leaders are ‘Now’ blaming Janet Mefferd for ‘recking’ Marzhil da ‘Org.’ by spilling da beans on MerkyD’s ‘lack of due diligence’ Ahem! Supposed…light fingered literary license?

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/?s=plagiarism&x=0&y=0

    zoom, zoom…

    krunch !

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lwo9AvTA5xY

    figures.

    🙁

  34. @ Matt Redmond:

    "I have pastors contact me all the time about writing and publishing. Rarely are there interested in being a good writer. They want to have written and then be read only. It’s a way of getting speaking gigs and making money. Fame." +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I haven't cast a glance at the Christian book aisle in years out of sheer boredom. but now it's a nausea thing — just like my memory of what formaldehyde smells like from 8th grade biology.

  35. LT wrote:

    The remaining 5,000 are bulk orders. The author has to submit the names and addresses of 90 retailers/organizations for a drop shipment of books (average 56 books per address). Pastors tend to comply by shipping bulk orders, for “free”, to other churches plus bible colleges or seminaries.

    Thank you for your description of how this works. I had no idea whatsoever that this was going on until the Driscoll Debacle.

    Is bulk purchasing what happens with all the “free” books distributed at conferences hosted by the Gospel Glitterati? And I don’t just mean the big conferences but all the local and regional ones. Did some unsuspecting people at Capitol Hill or SGM or any random SBC Cooperative Program contributing church or churches otherwise associated with the authors provide the funds for all the “free” books that are used to draw in the hordes of young men to these conferences? Is this part of what it means for Crossway to “partner” with TgC or T4g?

  36. __

    Deb,

    Hey,

    Was Mark Driscoll utilizing a different ‘finger’ when he did this ‘scam’?

  37. Anytime you pay a company to figure out hundreds upon hundreds of methods of payments (so it can’t be tracked to an individual), and lists of people around the country to have the item purchased to, it is not an above board scheme. It is a scheme for a coveted label and further money making–all in the name of God. Camel through an eye of a needle, rich man to heaven, etc.

    My church is having Michael Franzese speak tomorrow. Not sure how I feel about that. I get the redemption value, but after seeing speaker fees of big names and the involved hype, I feel ambivalent.

  38. Katia wrote:

    Doesn’t surprise me at all that David Jeremiah would do something like that given a certain event in his history where his actions showed that he is a hireling, not a shepherd.

    I’ve seen Jeremiah’s show. His preaching sounds okay to me, but, he sometimes pitches for TBN.

    He guest speaks on their “Send Us Your Money – a – thons,” to convince viewers to send TBN more money, which I find disappointing.

  39.   __

    “Bag Men For Da Dark Boogieman?” 

    hmmm…

    don’t be fooled?

    (bump)

    “We are much more likely, these days, to not refer to our Bible for our convictions and world-view, but instead to follow the opinions of leaders we look up to. In these days of “Christian mass media”, celebrity ministers are likely to draw our attention and our allegiance. It is a dangerous thing to set up gurus within the Body of Christ who are beyond criticism…” ~ Jim Baum

    “Let us fellowship in simplicity looking to Jesus as Lord, continuing, “…steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Acts 2:42

    ATB

    Sopy

  40. I said this on another thread here over a year ago, but I have never understood the phenomenon of Christians writing and selling certain types of books (or DVDs and other products).

    I can maybe appreciate Christian scholars writing books explaining the history of the Bible, or the culture in which Jesus was raised, or apologetic books that respond to critics, and things like that.

    However, I don’t quite understand the Christian books about things like “Five Steps To Have A Lasting Marriage” and “How To Learn God’s Will” type books.

    For Christians who are into sola scriptura, shouldn’t they be able to find the same answers to those sorts of topics in the Bible on their own?

    Why pay a preacher such as Mark Driscoll 15 or 25 bucks to tell you how your marriage should go, or pay Dave Ramsey to tell you where and how to invest your money, etc etc.

    Shouldn’t you be able to read the Bible itself (or, on something very specific and niche that is not necessarily spiritual or moral, such as finances, why not the Financial Self Help book section instead)?

    Some of the Christian books published seems so unnecessary to me, and for nothing but making a huge profit.

  41. LT wrote:

    It was a little weird and invasive. The book was about Right Wing Christians taking back America.

    Ha! I saw Robison hyping that book on his own show maybe over a year ago, for a few days.

    I’m right wing politically and in general pretty conservative, but Robison’s brand of right wing struck me as being way out there.

    When Robison was hyping his book (the one you mentioned) and discussing some of the topics in it, he did so with lots of crying. He was very emotional. I felt that was strange. He was very passionate about the whole thing.

  42. Gram3 wrote:

    LT wrote:
    The remaining 5,000 are bulk orders. The author has to submit the names and addresses of 90 retailers/organizations for a drop shipment of books (average 56 books per address). Pastors tend to comply by shipping bulk orders, for “free”, to other churches plus bible colleges or seminaries.
    Thank you for your description of how this works. I had no idea whatsoever that this was going on until the Driscoll Debacle.
    Is bulk purchasing what happens with all the “free” books distributed at conferences hosted by the Gospel Glitterati? And I don’t just mean the big conferences but all the local and regional ones. Did some unsuspecting people at Capitol Hill or SGM or any random SBC Cooperative Program contributing church or churches otherwise associated with the authors provide the funds for all the “free” books that are used to draw in the hordes of young men to these conferences? Is this part of what it means for Crossway to “partner” with TgC or T4g?

    I don’t know. Possibly. I’d imagine every deal is different but someone is paying for them. Most mega-churches keep this information as a highly guarded secret. I remember once a guest speaker got up at Gateway and said how wonderful it was that Mart Green (Hobby Lobby billionaire that gifted Oral Robert’s Uni $200,000,000 to keep them from going bankrupt due to financial abuses
    http://blog.longreads.com/2014/09/16/oral-roberts-family-history/) had purchased thousands of Robert Morris’ book, “The God I Never Knew” to give to every student at ORU. Not coincidentally, Mart Green, Robert Morris and ORU President Billy Wilson are all three part of the 21 Pentecostal leaders in charge of making Pentacostalism/Charismatica the one world religion via their highly exclusive Empowered 21 Group http://empowered21.com (now there’s a project that has the Deebs written all over it!) The GW Elders were literally pursing their lips and grinding their jaws over the beans being spilled that night.

    Vast transfers of wealth from churches/tithers to individual pastors, such as this, happen all year long. Joel Osteen gets 5 figures to preach at Gateway with all of his numerous books, CDs and DVDs sold in a special booth that weekend at Gateway. Then later, Joel, and by that I mean Lakewood, pays Robert 5 figures to speak at Lakewood and all of HIS books’ CDs and DVDs are sold in the Lakewood lobby. Gateway tithers pay for the GW Special Events Coordinators who have to drive all over the country setting up these booths and managing sales, yet Robert gets to keep all of the money for himself personally – the speaking fee and the media sales. The mega-preachers scratch each other’s backs all year long transferring church wealth to individual pastors so they can bolster their side incomes well into the 6 figure range to go with their more than half million in salaries. This is why Morris was so shocked and horrified that Driscoll spoke 50 weeks a year (which was one of numerous mistruths told that night). True mega-preachers “can’t afford” to speak much more than 65% of the weekends at their home churches. Sheesh Mark – your such a piker! Just imagine how much Robert made in sales alone at David Yongii Cho’s church with 830,000 attendees…. That one gig could pay for both of Morris’ mansions for a year. I’m not sure how many faithful tithers understand what they are actually supporting. Nice gig if you can get it.

  43. LT wrote:

    The way it works is that the author – think Perry Noble or Mark Driscoll – are required to submit a minimum of 1,000 different names and addresses with no more than 350 per state to RS prior to the book’s launch date.

    This simulates direct orders by individual buyers, getting around the best-seller lists’ anti-juicing alarms which look for a small number of bulk buys. The “no more than 350 per state” spreads it around even further; one of the alarms probably trips when all these Independent(TM) Orders come from the same area or are otherwise connected.

    The remaining 5,000 are bulk orders. The author has to submit the names and addresses of 90 retailers/organizations for a drop shipment of books (average 56 books per address).

    This simulates wholesale orders shipping to retail bookstores. Again, the number per address is probably calculated to not arouse suspicion.

    All in all, a lot of hassle & complexity that makes sense only if it’s to get under the radar of the best-seller lists’ anti-juicing alarms. Spread and distribution probably calculated to just meet the requirements to get on the list and just enough to beat out a calculated “other” for the top spot.

    And all paid for with Other Peoples’ Money (“TITHE! TITHE! TITHE!” “TITHE! TITHE! TITHE!”) Pure fame & profit for the CELEBRITY Author.

  44. Jaded One wrote:

    Anytime you pay a company to figure out hundreds upon hundreds of methods of payments (so it can’t be tracked to an individual), and lists of people around the country to have the item purchased to, it is not an above board scheme.

    It’s a Shady Deal.
    Otherwise, why all the elaborate pretending and precautions to not arouse suspicion?

  45. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Matt Redmond:
    “I have pastors contact me all the time about writing and publishing. Rarely are there interested in being a good writer. They want to have written and then be read only. It’s a way of getting speaking gigs and making money. Fame.” +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    I haven’t cast a glance at the Christian book aisle in years out of sheer boredom. but now it’s a nausea thing — just like my memory of what formaldehyde smells like from 8th grade biology.

    At the October 2014 Gateway Leadership Conference (the one Mark Driscoll went to) attended by 4,000 pastors trying to become the next “It” pastor, apparently many of them were writing books in an attempt to become rich and famous quickly. During Robert Morris’ segment he stated, “Here’s something that’s really bothering me today. A whole lotta people are writing books. And I’m just gonna be, I’m gonna just, I’m just gotta be really honest with you, okay? Why you writin’ a book? I mean, really. I want you to check your motive. I’ve never written a book to make money.”

    This spoken by the man who has become a multi-millionaire by selling his ghost-written books to his and other pastors’ congregations. It appears, Matt and Elastigirl, that the stench of formaldehyde is only beginning.

  46. @HUG

    Exactly. That’s a whole lot of intricate deception but the title and prestige of presenting yourself as a New York Times Best Selling Author lasts forever. Perry Noble may have forfeited the profits on his book Unleashed, but as a NYTBA he got all the profits on his next book Overwhelmed plus he recently Tweeted that he just finished writing his new book. I also saw that he still promotes himself as a NYTBA on his Amazon and FB bios. He’s touting false credentials so that he can con more people into thinking his books are world class.

    Let’s look at some of the criteria pastors must meet to be biblically qualified to serve as a pastor (from Acts 29 website):
    A Pastor must be humble – not arrogant – Titus 1:7. (like not bragging about a prestigious credential you cheated to get using your sheep’s money to fund this falsehood)
    A Pastor must have financial integrity – not greedy for gain. – Titus 1:7, 1 Tim 3:3, 1 peter 5:3.
    A Pastor must be upright – have integrity in his relationships and in how he treats others – Titus 1:8
    A Pastor must be spiritually mature – positions of authority without spiritual maturity lead to the trap of pride. When pride grows in a man, sin abounds. – 1 Tim 3:6
    A Pastor must be respectable – 1 Tim 3:7
    A Pastor must be a good example to his flock – 1 Peter 5:3

    btw HUG, I’m still getting a chuckle out of your Joffrey line. A Game of Thrones, indeed.

  47. And now, sport.

    Two notable achievements this week:

    Firstly, Roger Federer won his 1000th professional match, against Canada’s Milos Raonic, in the final of the Brisbane International today.

    Secondly, I’m sure you’ve all been following the progress of Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson as they attempt to free-climb the Dawn Wall route on El Capitan. They have now both sent all the 5.14 pitches (Jorgeson having some trouble with the 5.14d-graded 15th pitch). They still have some way to go – something like 1000 feet of climbing – but all the hardest climbing is now behind them. I’ll keep you all posted.

  48. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    I’m trying to figure out why they are attempting this in the winter. I realize June through October would be too hot, but there is mid temperature weather without the threat of ice/snow. On first hearing if this I thought they were up there ropeless . . . poor reporting.

  49. LT said:

    At the October 2014 Gateway Leadership Conference (the one Mark Driscoll went to) attended by 4,000 pastors trying to become the next “It” pastor, apparently many of them were writing books in an attempt to become rich and famous quickly. During Robert Morris’ segment he stated, “Here’s something that’s really bothering me today. A whole lotta people are writing books. And I’m just gonna be, I’m gonna just, I’m just gotta be really honest with you, okay? Why you writin’ a book? I mean, really. I want you to check your motive. I’ve never written a book to make money.”

    This spoken by the man who has become a multi-millionaire by selling his ghost-written books to his and other pastors’ congregations. It appears, Matt and Elastigirl, that the stench of formaldehyde is only beginning.

    Well, of course. Robert Morris doesn’t want the competition, plus he can appear to be getting out in front of a problem that is getting increasing attention and criticism. It’s a twofer.

    “I’ve never written a book to make money.”

    Suuure, Bob…I mean Robert…and your hair is the result of naturally aging, right?

  50. Bridget wrote:

    @ Nick Bulbeck:

    I’m trying to figure out why they are attempting this in the winter. I realize June through October would be too hot, but there is mid temperature weather without the threat of ice/snow. On first hearing if this I thought they were up there ropeless . . . poor reporting.

    I’m in Northern California and the temperatures have been fairly mild and are today in Yosemite National Park. 50 degrees F/10 C.

    Webcams in the park: http://www.nps.gov/yose/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm

  51. No, Christians should not buy their way in to the NY Times best seller list, lol. I imagine there is a tremendous amount of hanky panky by writers and agents to get there tho, worth a lot of book sales. There is a wave of phony reviews, too. Christians should not lie or cheat. We can rationalize about anything, tho.

  52. __

    “Dis Religious Mascarade Beem’d To Millions?”

    hmmm…

    Mark Driscoll: “I Am The Brand…”

    (bump)

    …something vulgar this way cometh?

    huh?

    Will Mark Driscoll, the brand name rise from the proverbial media grave?

    What?

    …can you resist his latest proverbial perverted ‘religious thriller’?

    SKreeeeeetch !

    “…you hear something creeping up behind, your outa time?”

    Krunch !

    Aaaaaaaaaa !

    Sopy, your creeping me out…

    (sorry)

    but there’s a religious 501(c)3 __storm comin’ da weatherman can’t break…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIx_HbmRnQY

    (sadface)

    B-e-w-a-r-e !

    Sopy

  53. Jeremiah dosent have a problem with Jim Bakker either. Saw him last year on his Bakkers show hawking his new study bible. If he also uses this sleazy company to push book sales then that says it all about him as far as I am concerned. It is dishonest and they know it period.

  54. @ Bridget:

    They need cooler weather because climbing-boot rubber, unlike racing-car-tyre rubber, provides better friction in the cold; also because their hands sweat less.

    Latest update is that Jorgeson has completed up to and including pitch 17. Today (11th Jan) is a rest day; tomorrow, Jorgeson is aiming to complete pitches 18-20, at which point he will catch up with Caldwell who is in “full support mode” until that happens. In theory, given favourable conditions, they could complete the route with a further 2 days’ climbing after that.

  55. My Dad reminded me of this by Harrry Truman today…People who pray the loudest are the ones you lock your henhouse from… This could summarize many of your posts! ( I am not sure of the exact wording). There is nothing new under the sun

  56. @elastigirl – I feel much the same way about Christian books and bookstores. Every once in awhile I’ll find a book that I’m interested in – usually by someone on the fringe of things. I have recently started listening to books on CD during my commute, and have found some awesome secular books about all kinds of interesting topics.

  57. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    Thanks, Nick. I knew there was probably a reason. I’d go watch but you need serious eye equipment and even then it’s like watching ants on the ground from ten feet up on a ladder.

  58. Michaela said this wonderful idea.

    “I’d vote for Driscoll to give $200,000 (minimum) to Paul and Jonna Petry, the former Mars Hill pastor/elder who was unfairly tried in a church court, fired, ordered to be excommunicated and shunned along with his family for questioning the un-Biblical way that Mars Hill wanted to be governed. The damage done to the Petry family was staggering.”

    Dream with me for a second, just image if this happened, in public. It would be powerful and would totally validate the Gospel’s healing power and many would say surly this is the work of the Holy Spirit. I think it is very powerful hope. But, even if the Triune God creator of the universe appeared to MD and said it should be so. It would not happen, gravity will fail before it does. But it is a great idea.

  59. brian wrote:

    Michaela said this wonderful idea.

    “I’d vote for Driscoll to give $200,000 (minimum) to Paul and Jonna Petry, the former Mars Hill pastor/elder who was unfairly tried in a church court, fired, ordered to be excommunicated and shunned along with his family for questioning the un-Biblical way that Mars Hill wanted to be governed. The damage done to the Petry family was staggering.”

    Dream with me for a second, just image if this happened, in public. It would be powerful and would totally validate the Gospel’s healing power and many would say surly this is the work of the Holy Spirit. I think it is very powerful hope. But, even if the Triune God creator of the universe appeared to MD and said it should be so. It would not happen, gravity will fail before it does. But it is a great idea.

    Amen, Brian. Restitution should take place in public. The excommunication/firing/shunning of Paul Petry (and Jonna and their children) happened in public…so should the act of repentance.

  60. Bill wrote:

    Jeremiah dosent have a problem with Jim Bakker either. Saw him last year on his Bakkers show hawking his new study bible.

    I sometimes watch Bakker’s show, I don’t know why.

    I think I missed the Jeremiah guest spot, but I have seen Bakker selling his black beans. He usually has that other guy on. The name escapes me. (The Messianic Rabbi guy who wrote “The Harbinger” book. You’d think I’d be able to remember his name, he’s on Christian TV shows constantly.)

    Bakker went from the Prosperity Gospel to squeeze money out of viewers to scaring the money out of them.

    Bakker keeps pushing this idea on his show that the Tribulation is upon us any day, so we better buy buckets of black beans and rice from him today, because the Anti-Christ won’t let us have any one of these days.

  61. @ LT:

    A free book from John MacArthur for contributing to “Grace to You,” would be another example to inflate those numbers? I almost did it one time when I really liked John MacArthur. I think David Jetemiah was doing the same thing? It is a televangelist thing. So who bought the books people are getting for free in some cases?

  62. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Indeed, only today, the Lord laid the same burden on my spirit. This caused a real passion to become birthed in my heart for reaching the lost, raising up believers for revival, and advancing the Kingdom.

    I had a good UK charismatic friend who could talk like that for minutes at a time (in precisely the same spirit, as it were, that you are). Never ceased to be a source of endless amusement.

    In fact he wrote a bestseller book about it. Your phrase is verbatim taken from this book, now I come to check it.

    You will be hearing from our solicitor shortly.

  63. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    Tennis and rock climbing. That’s two different sports. Therefore, sports

    It may work differently in Americanish, but Englishish, “sport” functions as both a countable and an uncountable noun.

    Thus, tennis and rock climbing are indeed two different sports. You might go further, indeed, and say that “rock-climbing” itself covers several different sports, since bouldering, high-balling, trad climbing, mixed climbing and sport climbing (here, “sport” is an adjective) each requires its own set of skills and/or equipment.

    On the other hand, tennis and rock climbing are examples of sport, and there are many more. Alternatively, we all eat food, but we also know that some foods are better for us than others.

    I hope this is helpful.

  64. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    He reduced me to tears once. I was in a crowded commuter train reading his sacred diary, and got to the chapter where he describes someone to whom the Lord gave a picture of a starfish impaled as it were on a dartboard, and it was revealed unto him that its name was Stewart. I was at the time ceasing to attend a church where the Lord was regularly giving sundry memebers such ‘pictures’, which was partly why I found it so funny. It was borderline reality.

    I was glad everyone else was fast asleep, I was almost crying with laughter.

    This kind of humour can be a very effective way of dealing with such super-spritual nonsense when it raises its ugly head. I’m sure American Christians are very glad that this kind of think never happens on their side of the Pond …

  65. Mark wrote:

    @ LT:

    A free book from John MacArthur for contributing to “Grace to You,” would be another example to inflate those numbers? I almost did it one time when I really liked John MacArthur. I think David Jetemiah was doing the same thing? It is a televangelist thing. So who bought the books people are getting for free in some cases?

    Thanks to LT for explaining the scheme behind the ‘free’ book giveways. That may explain why they men at my former church who would attend John MacArthur’s men-only The Shepherd’s Conference would each be given huge bags of free, new books.

  66. There was a time in my relationship with Jesus, that I succumbed to the opinions of those around me who secretly desired that I should follow them. I was led to purchase a myriad of so called “Christian” books, tapes, cd’s and dvd’s, in addition to attending all of those loud chrisitan concerts and songfests that gave me such head pains…..

    Then I studied the Gospels, truly read, studied, and meditated upon the teachings of Jesus…..alone. Ended up burning all of that junk I had accumulated just to “fit in” with the western definition of being a Christian. How liberating it is that I do not have to spend exorbitant amounts of money on man’s penned words when all I need is His Word.

    Praise Jesus.

  67. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    @ Ken:

    For those non-UK-oids who dinnae ken what Ken and I are talking about:

    Adrian Plass is a real person, who has been writing humorous books poking good-natured fun at the Christian scene over here for nearly 30 years now. I suspect that many of the regulars (including lurkers) here would like his stuff if they don’t already.

    Plass’s humour is extremely cleverly-observed and, as Ken stated, can be ROFLy funny. But it is never spiteful; he identifies himself squarely with the christian culture he writes about, and his approach is never to incite us to laugh at others but to invite us to laugh at ourselves. Put another way, I heard him give a talk once in which he described as calling as that of “a sort of public Christian prat”.

  68. Ken wrote:

    I’m sure American Christians are very glad that this kind of think never happens on their side of the Pond …

    Precisely 😉

  69. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    It’s “sports” over here, unless you’re talking about one specific sport.

    We also differ on is/are in some respects. Example: the government *is* doing [x], rather than “are doing.” I don’t know why this is so, but it just is, as with alternate spellings like tire, color and so on.

  70. @ LT-Thank you for your explanation. My brain is spinning and my blood boiling, but now I understand. It’s heartbreaking and infuriating that these “men of God” have no problems using the personal address of their congregants and their tithe money for their own personal gain.

    @Daisy-Wow, I never knew David Jeremiah was on TBN. But then, I don’t watch TV. I’ve heard he does have good things to say. But I cannot bring myself to listen to him knowing his past history. The wolf was at the door, and he ran. His bio spins it as a good thing. Yet I am the daughter of a couple who experienced the other half the story, and have told me what they remember of what REALLY happened.

  71.   __

    “I Can See Clearly, Da Religious Horsey Hockey Is Gone?”

    intro music : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSuB4t3q_dA

    @ Ann,

    Hi.  You are now are a  ‘dangerous’ person.

    Yep.

    You believe Jesus.

    Your journey “through the religious lõõking glass” is complete…

    Brovo!

    (smile)

    If a person is thirsty, let him come to Jesus and drink. If a person believes in Jesus, Jesus sayz rivers of ‘living water’ will flow out from their heart. 

    YaHoooooooo!

    Sopy
    __
    Exit music:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P89PlNkk0eY

    🙂

  72. Daisy wrote:

    Bakker keeps pushing this idea on his show that the Tribulation is upon us any day, so we better buy buckets of black beans and rice from him today, because the Anti-Christ won’t let us have any one of these days.

    Who’s THE ANTICHRIST(TM) this time around?

  73. Years ago I read The Diary of Adrian Plass and loved it! It’s in our church library and I reread it every once in while, when I want to laugh and relax.

  74. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Plass’s humour is extremely cleverly-observed and, as Ken stated, can be ROFLy funny. But it is never spiteful; he identifies himself squarely with the christian culture he writes about, and his approach is never to incite us to laugh at others but to invite us to laugh at ourselves. Put another way, I heard him give a talk once in which he described as calling as that of “a sort of public Christian prat”.

    I believe Adrian Plass was also a Youth Worker. We’re an hilarious lot.

  75. @ Former CLC’er:

    “…have found some awesome secular books about all kinds of interesting topics.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    i’m sure they were refreshingly intelligent and written from a large vocabulary bank. i bet your mind was opened instead of further closing down on itself.

  76. numo wrote:

    We also differ on is/are in some respects. Example: the government *is* doing [x], rather than “are doing.”

    Strictly, “government” is singular, and so the government is would be “correct”, whereas the government are would be “incorrect”. But in practice, you hear both in the UK these days. Language evolves, after all; and why not. (With no question-mark…)

  77. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    But i constantly see “are” in UK newspapers, on the Beeb’s website and c. in reference to corporations (“Bayer are…”) and so on. So i think it’s been different for longer than you might realize, or maybe it’s a recent change as far as stylebooks (for publications or broadcast networks) are concerned. I know the New York Times has some really odd things, like using an apostrophe when speaking of compact discs in the plural. It literally comes out as CD’s, and is contrary to all other style/usage conventions.

  78. @ numo:
    The NYT publishes its own stylebook for in-house use, and afaik, it’s also svailable to anyone via bookstores, Amazon.com and the like. A few other major US dailies used to publish stylebooks for outside sales, but given the decline inthe newspaper industry, I’m not certain that’s the case today.

  79. @ Former CLC’er:
    I’ve been a big reader since childhod, and went through an xtian book phase in my late teens. Gave it up after i realized that most of the so-called books sold by religious publishing houses (evangelical, at least) are junk, though at the time, i don’t think I’d have put it quite so bluntly. That changed for me in the late 70s when i saw a cashwrap display of a book about the so-called *real* (as in, physical) geographical locations of *entrances to Hell.* it was total trash, put out by one of the major names, though i don’t remember which one. I do think that Hal Lindsey made paranormal for xtians into a BIG part of what had, until then, been a quiet backwater of the publishing industry.

  80. Ann wrote:

    There was a time in my relationship with Jesus, that I succumbed to the opinions of those around me who secretly desired that I should follow them. I was led to purchase a myriad of so called “Christian” books, tapes, cd’s and dvd’s, in addition to attending all of those loud chrisitan concerts and songfests that gave me such head pains…..

    Then I studied the Gospels, truly read, studied, and meditated upon the teachings of Jesus…..alone. Ended up burning all of that junk I had accumulated just to “fit in” with the western definition of being a Christian. How liberating it is that I do not have to spend exorbitant amounts of money on man’s penned words when all I need is His Word.

    Praise Jesus.

    Spot on, Ann!

  81. Daisy wrote:

    Bill wrote:
    ….I think I missed the Jeremiah guest spot, but I have seen [Jim] Bakker selling his black beans….Bakker went from the Prosperity Gospel to squeeze money out of viewers to scaring the money out of them….Bakker keeps pushing this idea on his show that the Tribulation is upon us any day, so we better buy buckets of black beans and rice from him today, because the Anti-Christ won’t let us have any one of these days.

    Me thinks viewers would go to the local Wal-Mart to buy rice and beans.

  82. @ Former CLC’er:

    “amen! Would that we could say the same about any Christian books!”
    +++++++++++++++

    I don’t see that happening. Too much fear, paranoia, and repression.

    And besides, all the fear, paranoia and repression are what fuel so much of the books anyway (& the need people feel to read them). After all, gotta have something to write about.

    Freedom is just so….. free. huh……not much to write about.

    Like a boring news day, when they bring out stories like “TURKEYS ON THE TOWN HALL ROOF…..’I ain’t seen nothin’ like it!’, a local resident was heard saying.” Only Christian culture finds the sin angle to the turkeys being on the town hall roof and all those who ain’t seen nothin’ like it. Of course, the reason the turkeys were on the town hall roof was because the men weren’t leading. Sounds like a bestseller to me!

    And then a conference will be built around it, because “Guys! We have a new issue! And it’s a goldmine!”

    Shades of how world peace, should it eventuate, will bring the collapse of many an industry. Yep, nothing like conflict & problems to give opportunists something to do and make them rich.

  83. @ numo:
    I have to translate German into American English, i.e. spellings and usage, the the government ‘are’ versus ‘is’ is one of the differences. Another one is using ‘that’ instead of ‘which’, hence ‘the data that you just deleted’ rather than ‘the data which you have just deleted’.

    I wonder if that instead of which reflects the influence of German speakers who formed a largish chunk of the American population over the last couple of centuries.

  84. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Language evolves, after all; and why not. (With no question-mark…)

    Quite so, and more power to the process. In my part of the nation over here some of us delight in the freedom of expression that can be found in pushing and breaking the rules both of grammar and vocabulary for the sheer creative delight of it. And we listen to and pick up some speech patterns from certain ethnic groups who are better at that than we are. And, yes, we find british english fascinating but do not copy it much for some reason.

  85. Ken wrote:

    I wonder if that instead of which reflects the influence of German speakers who formed a largish chunk of the American population over the last couple of centuries.

    That is an idea worth pursuing. Yes there were a lot of Germans, many of which ended up in the middle regions of the country, or so I have been told, and that could be a link. The brand of english spoken on TV, at least in the early days, again so I was told was based on upper middle continent pronunciation styles. Perhaps this is all correct or not, this is just some information which went out early on.

    Add to that the popularity of teaching German in the schools. The university where I went required facility with German at a certain reading level or else at minimum two years of college level German instruction for everybody who graduated with a bachelor’s level degree with a major in any science. That was a lot of people. I doubt they were the only ones doing that given the dominance of Germany at the time in sciences including medicine and in theology.

    Then, too, I am thinking that the German immigrants were more easily accepted and possible more readily copied than immigrants from some other countries. And also, the Germans fit right in sometimes in places where we no longer talk about them–like the southern appalachian mountains. We talk about the Scots-Irish and mention some older styles of speech from England but the area was mostly settled by three groups they say including Germans. I am thinking the German influence is pretty widespread here. After the late great awful war it would not be too popular to talk about it perhaps?

    Here is one example, the use of the “me or myself” as a –what do they call it in German grammar- did they call it a reflexive or something? Mich. Ich habe mich eine whatever. That is used in english over here-(I have me a whatever) incorrectly we used to be told-quite often in my observation, and is from the German. So, I am saying you may be on to something.

    I don’t know enough about it to comment, but I would be interested in hearing your thinking on the subject.

  86. elastigirl wrote:

    Only Christian culture finds the sin angle to the turkeys being on the town hall roof and all those who ain’t seen nothin’ like it. Of course, the reason the turkeys were on the town hall roof was because the men weren’t leading.

    rotflol

  87. @ Nancy:
    The Mid-Atlantic states, like PA, were settled by Germans, along with English and Scots-Irish. But not the rest of the original 13 colonies – New England states, for example. Being PA Dutch myself, i can attest to the influence of Low Getman and Swiss German dialects on the language, but a lot of words/phrases/idiosyncracies of usage that are often attributed to German are actually English. Though not syntax as follows: “Throw the cow over the fence some hay.” 😉

  88. @ Bridget:
    Same here, though in my area, wild turkeys have been known to attack moving cars. Guess the Sunday sermons aren’t long enough. 😉

  89. numo wrote:

    @ Bridget:
    Same here, though in my area, wild turkeys have been known to attack moving cars. Guess the Sunday sermons aren’t long enough.

    Wild MMA Turkeys! They must have heard one too many Driscoll sermons 😉

    Mkre likely they are simply protecting their harem as animals tend to do.

  90. @ Bridget:
    Err, nope – they don’t have harems. Iirc, at least some of the turkeys that have bern observed at this are female…

  91. Bridget wrote:

    Mkre likely they are simply protecting their harem as animals tend to do.

    Animals and Quiverfull Patriarchs.

  92. numo wrote:

    I do think that Hal Lindsey made paranormal for xtians into a BIG part of what had, until then, been a quiet backwater of the publishing industry.

    “Speshul Sekrit Knowledge (Occult Gnosis) of What’s REALLY Going On!”

    “Just like The Occult, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!”

  93. @ numo:

    Maybe you can speak to this then. The story goes that when the southern appalachians were settled the first thing the germans built was a barn, the first thing the english built was a house, and the first thing the scots-irish built was a still. That would have been some considerable time after the revolution. Where I live now is not even the mountains and was considered the back country during and after the revolution, so nobody was a colony during that time period.

    That was awful. I should not repeat those things.

    My maternal great-grandmother was of German descent living in Ky. I have no idea when they immigrated or where they landed or how they got to Ky but there they were. She and her offspring for the succeeding generations have married Irish and French and English, and if they could have found some more options they might have done that also.

    When we were living in St. Louis we used to go to spassfests that the german lutheran churches put on. The church ladies do would german cooking as a fund raiser, and the brewery would send a beer truck from St. Louis and dispense beer into pails. During the fall we went to one of those events almost every weekend that we could get off, mostly up into Illinois. It was awesomely great. But I must say that sweet sour red cabbage and beer do disastrous things to one’s gastrointestinal system.

  94. numo wrote:

    @ Bridget:
    Err, nope – they don’t have harems. Iirc, at least some of the turkeys that have bern observed at this are female…

    Usurpers !!

  95. @ Nancy:
    I imagine the two world wars were largely responsible for suppressing the use of German in the States in the last century. Before that, as it is a language related to English, English was relatively easy to learn, and being the lingua franca essential to get on. It’s also true for all immigrants that you don’t need two languages to communicate, hence one will gradually die out over the succeeding generations, especially where the concentration of speakers is thin.

    There is also the fact children don’t like to be seen to be different – I’ve practical experience of this!

    I did read a study at university where researchers had examined the English used in areas formerly settled in large numbers by Germans, but where German mostly had long since died out as a living language, and there were certainly germanisms to be found the English used in such areas.

    I’ve noticed comments on here using the word ‘dreck’, which is simply German for muck or dirt, but is not used in UK English.

    The church of often the last bastion of a language, but I can’t imagine many churches in the States have retained it, even if it is no longer taboo.

    It’s one of those subjects of no practical value whatsoever, but nevertheless fascinating! Books on it are not likely to achieve the bestseller list …

  96. @ Nancy:
    Well see, I’m from PA, and have never lived down in the Blue Ridge. Strictly Mi-Atlantic, me.

    Pennsylvania was founded by a Quaker, after all, and religious minorities wrre welcome. German Lutherans and Anabaptists were among the earliest settlers. Granted, many more Germans came here in the 19th c., but the PA Dutch culture started much, much earlier, and is just… different. As to Scots-Irish and distilling (legal or otherwise), you don’t hear about it much, except in reference to Prohibition-era bootlegging, but then, that was hardly a Scots-Irish thing. The fact that local culture and folk wisdom can’t pin fown a lot of customs and words to their actual sources says a lot about how people tended to amalgamate. (On the fronteir, no less, which was west of the Susquehanna River – would post a map link, but am on phone and it’s difficult.)

  97. @ numo:
    More simply, the frontier started where people from SE PA ran into themountains when headed NW (or NE, come to that – the Poconos are in the eastetn part of the state, somewhat north of Phila.).

    The mountains that cut diagonally across the middle of the state are the Alleghenies, which are part of the Appalachian chain.

  98. @ Ken:
    I dunno, Ken. Probably true in the Midwest, where Getman immigrants had moved from the mid-19th-early 20th c., but not in the East, where most Getman immigration happened from the late 17th-mid 19th c., with a great many people having come here from the 18th-mid-19th c. Some Getman fialects are still spoken by the Smish and Mennonites, in the Eadt and everywhere else that they’ve settlec. Dialect usage in the general population pretty much died off over the padt 40-50 years, but some words and phrases have stuck, along with German syntax.

  99. @ Ken:
    As for English being easy for Germans, no doubt. The opposite is most emphatically untrue!

    Must admit that, when visiting north Germany in the late 70s, i was struck by how much the generwl population looked like people from the area where i grew up, barring differences in dress.

  100. @ Bridget:
    You should see some of the TV footage that was aired on the local news prior to uTube – those turkeys zipped right out there and attacked cars that were going 40 mph! And they did it as a group effort (2-3 at a time), which is not only crazy but scary. The weird thing was that some of the birds were doing it in the winter. I wonder if something happened that made them feel justifiably hostile toward both cars and humans? Seriously. People do bad things to wildlife at times, just because they can.

  101. In the interest of full disclosure, I’m a professional writer (suspense novels, Christian and non), and IMO what Driscoll did sucks on toast. Should I ever reach NYT bestseller status it will be through my own efforts, and not gaming what’s already a shaky system. My agent Chip MacGregor concurs, and he blogged about Driscoll’s slimy ways on his website, http://www.chipmacgregor.com. His post may be still be there (right now I’m on deadline and can’t look), but if you find it, you’ll see his outrage at Brother Mark’s shenanigans.

  102. John Robinson wrote:

    I’m a professional writer (suspense novels, Christian and non

    In order to welcome you to TWW, I just bought your book for my Kindle-Last Call.

    John Robinson wrote:

    what Driscoll did sucks on toast

    Love this expression!

  103. So, I wonder if Ed Young’s new book “Fifty Shades of They” will end up on the NYT best sellers list? No, not a typo, that’s right, Ed Young, the creator of creativity titles his most recent book 2 letters off of one of the most successful books in recent history. That grey thing.

    Don’t know if Ed is using “helpers” to get his book out, but he is using giant billboards all over the Dallas Ft. Worth area to hype it…wonder who pays for those? And, the book coincides with…wait for it…his “Brand New” series by the same name. Only the brand new series is a repeat of a sermon series he does most every year on “Who are the right they? (friends)” in your life? A sermon series that the entire creative staff worked on years ago, but the notes of which become a chapters in a book that only Ed receives benefit.

    It is such a loaded game they play…

  104. FormerFellow wrote:

    Don’t know if Ed is using “helpers” to get his book out, but he is using giant billboards all over the Dallas Ft. Worth area to hype it…wonder who pays for those? And, the book coincides with…wait for it…his “Brand New” series by the same name. Only the brand new series is a repeat of a sermon series he does most every year on “Who are the right they? (friends)” in your life? A sermon series that the entire creative staff worked on years ago, but the notes of which become a chapters in a book that only Ed receives benefit.

    Fascinating…I would like to figure out if he uses ResultSource or another group. I am going to see if Jim Duncan (Pajama Pages) can help me figure this out. Who is paying for those billboards? Hmmmm.

  105. dee wrote:

    John Robinson wrote:
    I’m a professional writer (suspense novels, Christian and non
    In order to welcome you to TWW, I just bought your book for my Kindle-Last Call.
    John Robinson wrote:
    what Driscoll did sucks on toast
    Love this expression!

    Aw, thanks so much, Dee!

  106. John Robinson wrote:

    you’ll see his outrage at Brother Mark’s shenanigans.

    Personally, I prefer Mark’s gospel to Mark’s gospel (let the reader understand)!