I read the article on Christian bookselling ("Whatever happened to Christian publishing?" July 12/19) with great interest. I have owned a Christian bookstore for 24 years. I have watched the industry go from ministry driven to market driven. Part of the fault lies with customers. If customers would not buy into fads we would not have to sell the stuff. As much as I would like to sell just quality Christian books, I would not be in business very long. Good, solid, thought-provoking, life-changing books just don't sell all that well in this town. - Joan Nienhuis, Oak Harbor, Wash.
Your magazine's consistent evaluation of the Christian subculture with objective truth is encouraging; yet your inside cover advertising the Rev. Robert Schuller's new book is a prime example of the trends in Christian publishing. Hasn't the Rev. Schuller and his ministry been engaging in the type of self-help which the article decries? It seems odd that this advertisement is opposite the cover that questions the theological integrity of Christian publishing. - Jason A. Greer, Greenville, S.C.
Good books rare
Thank you for your coverage of the changes that are happening in the publishing industry. As a school/church librarian, I have observed the deterioration of the materials available to the Christian community for a long time. Searching for a book with good content is like searching for gold, and the great classics of the past cannot be found many times because they are not being republished. - R. T. Helland, Olalla, Wash.
Your issue on Christian publishing is very accurate and reflects only in part what is going on in evangelical publishing. Missing: Ingram's takeover of Spring Arbor, the largest distributor to Christian bookstores. As a publisher of non-fluff authors like A. W. Tozer and A. B. Simpson, I am increasingly frustrated by pagans in the publisher's chair. - K. Neill Foster , Camp Hill, Penn.
What is the point of the attack on Bob Carlisle? Your unwarranted, cynical attack and criticism is a major disappointment. - Carol I. Winstead, Jackson, Miss.
More butterfly kisses
As a youth worker and worship leader, I was disappointed with Mr. Orteza's "Fluttery fatherhood." I understand the need in Christian music for pointed, biblical lyrics, but I don't think we should bash artists for expounding on a concept that isn't anti-scriptural. - D. Matty, Grand Island, Neb.
Mr. Orteza is far too critical of Bob Carlisle's moving song. Who cares if it is not the most theologically deep song ever written? If it is making an impact in the secular world of music, then Mr. Carlisle's efforts should be applauded, not criticized. - Stuart A. Kruse, Auburn, Ind.
The primary problem with this small-minded review is that it overlooks the great value of the mega-hit "Butterfly Kisses." Because of this song's popularity, hundreds of thousands of unchurched, non-Christians will purchase this album and be exposed to the potent gospel message contained throughout this CD. - Paul Comfort, Sudlersville, Maryland
So "Butterfly Kisses" is not "biblical wisdom." Do you really think the average man on the street wants to hear that? You have to hit them where they live. And if the marketing strategists get copies into more secular homes, at least it's music with integrity. - Suzanne Mayo, Gahanna, Ohio
Cheers for Bob
What's the problem with Arsenio Orteza? I would rather have my sons listen to a song about real love than the one-gland-calling-to-another lust that is standard fare in most teen songs. Three cheers for Bob and Butterflies! - Lynne Breidenbach, Lakeland, Fla.