On the Books: Christian bookseller pulls celebrity pastor's titles

Mark-Driscoll

Image Credit: Scott Cohen/AP

The nation’s second-largest Christian-book retailer, LifeWay, has removed from its shelves and website all works by prominent pastor Mark Driscoll. The decision follows last week’s announcement of Driscoll’s ousting from the Acts 29 church-planting network he co-founded.

The pastor has long been extremely polarizing, with The New York Times Magazine calling him, in a 2009 article, “one of the most admired—and reviled—figures among evangelicals nationwide.” In the announcement of its decision to expel Driscoll, Acts 29 cited his “ungodly and disqualifying behavior,” referring to purported profane language in the pastor’s sermons as well as homophobic and sexist statements he made in an online chatroom under a pseudonym.

Last year, Tyndale House Publishers investigated Driscoll after radio host Janet Mefferd accused him of plagiarism in his 2013 book, A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future? (Tyndale concluded he was innocent.) In March, Driscoll admitted to artificially inflating book sales in a letter he posted on Reddit.

LifeWay said in a statement that, prior to the announcement, A Call to Resurgence was the only Driscoll title being sold in its 180-plus stores across the U.S. [NPR]

Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin told audiences at this week’s Edinburgh International Book Festival that he’s doing his best to keep up with the fast-paced HBO serial adaptation of the dense book series, but that ultimately the issue is out of his hands. “I can only write one word at a time,” Martin said. “I just have to worry about telling the stories as best I can.” HBO just began production on the fifth season, while the notoriously slow-working Martin is not expected to finish the remaining two books for several years. Martin also admitted that accurate theories about the series’ ending are floating around online, so any fans wanting a spoiler should simply read everything that has been written about the show.  [The Guardian]

Little, Brown and Company announced plans for the U.S. release of a tell-all memoir by Guantanamo Bay prisoner Mohamedou Ould Slahi next year. Slahi has been in U.S. custody at Guantanamo since being detained by the CIA as a terrorist suspect in 2001, but he has never been charged with a crime. He is a central figure in the ongoing dispute over the ethics and politics of the U.S.’s detention of suspected terrorists without due process. The book will detail the torture, isolation, and humiliation that Slahi, who hand-wrote the book after learning English by conversing with the guards, says he has experienced in captivity. The much-anticipated release announcement comes after years of efforts by his lawyers to have the book’s highly sensitive manuscript declassified. [The Los Angeles Times]


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