The first thing that struck me was that I wasn’t aware everyone was asking “"the Question.” Perhaps the editors at publisher Thomas Nelson failed in their PR campaign?
Can someone tell me what possible motive there is in such a title other than raw money? There is no intellectual or moral or Christian honesty in that title. That is exactly the type of hype I’d expect from Oprah or General Motors, or Abercrombie and Fitch – I’m not sure that Hugh Heffner ever used such hype – though to satisfy your curiosity I’m not speaking from personal experience on that one.
And if raw money is the motive, and I can think of no other motive for the title is indeed a patent lie designed to produce sales – then we have Thomas Nelson engaging in what is sometimes referred to as one of the oldest professions known to man – prostitution. However, this is an insult to prostitutes because I believe it likely that most prostitutes engage in their vocational activity in order to support themselves, Thomas Nelson, on the other hand, isn’t likely to starve or be homeless tomorrow if their executives engage in a modicum of honesty and deportment.
Now gentle reader, if you are offended by my comparison of Thomas Nelson with prostitution (and Thomas Nelson has plenty of company in the world of “Christian” publishing) then may I ask “why”? What is the nature and source of your offense? Is it that I invoke unpleasant images of the type that God uses in Ezekiel Chapter 23? Or is it that there is harlotry in “Christian” (and I use the term in its broadest application) publishing and we ourselves have become too promiscuous to sense anything amiss?
And what of Lifeway bookstore? Is there no discernment and integrity in prominently displaying a title worthy of Oprah, the New Age, or the latest Hollywood release?
How can a publisher publish Bibles on one press run and engage in deceptive titles the next? How can a bookstore have Bibles in one aisle and place – front and center – such nonsense as “The Question Everyone Is Asking” as you walk through its door? (When is the last time you went into a “Christian” bookstore and the first thing you saw were Bibles?)
I suspect that, volume per volume, there is more hype in the form of self-centered and self-help marketing, and in creating “questions that everyone is asking” in “Christian” publishing than in general publishing. I suspect there is more literary integrity in general publishing than in so-called Christian publishing. And I’m pretty certain that the atmosphere in Borders or Barnes and Noble is, by and large, a bit more healthy than it is in Lifeway, Family Christian Bookstore, and their competitors, because at least in Barnes and Noble and Borders the selling of sheep and doves and religious money changing is relegated to one or two aisles – the aisles containing “Christian” books.