BJU Pulls Drinking Book

Stephen Jones issued the following letter-

Dear BJU alumni and friends,
 
In 2008 BJU Press published The Christian and Drinking: A Biblical Perspective on Moderation and Abstinence by Dr. Randy Jaeggli, professor of Old Testament at Bob Jones University Seminary. The book is part of a series of short monographs published by the Seminary to help Bible-believing Christians apply biblical principles and discernment to difficult issues. Taking an inductive approach, Dr. Jaeggli presents Scriptural, medical and cultural evidence that brings the reader to the conclusion that a Christian should totally abstain from the beverage use of alcohol.
 
A Problem
The sensitivity and complexity of the topic of the book, combined with the brevity (72 pp.) and inductive arrangement of it, have caused confusion for some readers.  They have concluded from some select portions of the text that Dr. Jaeggli condones a Christian’s moderate use of alcohol, which is the opposite of what the book actually teaches.  Articles have been written questioning Dr. Jaeggli’s research and Scriptural interpretations, Bob Jones University’s position on the use of alcohol has been questioned, and some of you—our alumni and friends—have asked for clarification.
 
Our Position
Let me assure you that the University’s position on alcohol has not changed throughout our history; BJU does not believe the Scripture condones the beverage use of alcohol to any degree by Bible-believing Christians. Please read our complete statement on alcohol use on our website: http://www.bju.edu/welcome/who-we-are/position-alcohol.php. All of the administration and Bible and Seminary faculty, including Dr. Jaeggli, fully support complete abstinence from alcohol and teach and preach this position.
 
The Solution
While our position is clear and we stand by Dr. Jaeggli’s conclusion that Christians should completely abstain from alcohol, we do not want the University to be in a position of causing confusion or misunderstanding among our Christian brethren. Therefore, we are temporarily pulling the book from distribution. Our plan is to rewrite and edit those portions of the text that have been misunderstood and reissue the book. Please understand that the revised edition, while clarifying earlier in the book that the evidence leads a Scripturally-sensitive believer to an abstinence position, will continue to approach this issue in a way that differs from some approaches of  the past, which have become less tenable over time.
 
As alumni and friends you are a key part of the university family, and my purpose in writing this e-mail is to show you the University’s heart in this matter and to clarify our position.
 
Stephen Jones
President

Also see http://www.bjupress.com/product/261412 (“This item is not available for purchase.”)

19017 reads

There are 90 Comments

Pastor Joe Roof's picture

Does this call for a non-alcoholic toast?

Seriously, I appreciate Stephen's sensitivity to things.

Greg Linscott's picture

I think pulling the book, even temporarily, sends the wrong message. If the argument presented is Biblical (or considered so by the publishing house and University), it ought to stand, regardless of pressure (real or percieved). Which is more important- a well-reasoned, Biblically based conclusion, or preserving traditional taboos? In my estimation, the cause of putting Biblical exegesis and literal interpretation in print took a hit today at the expense of pacifying constituency.

BTW- I am not arguing for a moderation view. I don't drink, and I do not think it wise for a Christian to do so, moderately or otherwise. As I understand it, though, neither did Jaeggli in the book.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Personally, I'm for Christians imbibing freely whenever they feel like it. I just don't think BJU should ever change their position even a little bit on anything! Biggrin

Seriously, I hope we're not going to have another BJU roast on this one.
As far as I can tell it's a fine book (don't have the book yet, though I've read several summaries by pro's, con's and pretty much neutrals). But I also sympathize with the PR tightrope BJU has to constantly walk.
I don't disagree with you, Greg, I just don't want to be too quick to fault them for walking the tightrope badly when it's one I don't really have to walk at all.

Bob Hayton's picture

"I don't disagree with you, Greg, I just don't want to be too quick to fault them for walking the tightrope badly when it's one I don't really have to walk at all."

And, all eyes are on the one who falls off the tightrope, and not on someone like me. I agree, its a sticky situation for them to be in. However, I can still see Greg's point.

Striving for the unity of the faith, for the glory of God ~ Eph. 4:3, 13; Rom. 15:5-7 I blog at Fundamentally Reformed. Follow me on Twitter.

ChrisC's picture

Quote:
Let me assure you that the University’s position on alcohol has not changed throughout our history; BJU does not believe the Scripture condones the beverage use of alcohol to any degree by Bible-believing Christians.
i'm no expert on bju positions, but it seems to me that the past position included the idea that scripture did not condone the "beverage use of alcohol" by old testament or new testament believers. jaeggli's book (from the second- and third-hand info i have) allows believers from past eras to drink but prohibits it in the modern era. the "new" bju position seems to be that as long as you agree to prohibit drinking in the modern era, the details aren't important. maybe that was always the position and there were just some vocal proponents of additional, optional ideas.

Todd Mitchell's picture

Unless BJU wants Jaeggli to present the prohibitionist position instead of the abstentionist, no amount of re-writing will avoid some concluding that the moderationist position is defensible.

However, for anybody to conclude that Jaeggli is endorsing the moderationist position would simply be silly. I'm a moderationist, myself -- and Jaeggli clearly disagrees with my position. If you want to see the moderationist position, you wouldn't go to Jaeggli, you'd go to Gentry.

If somebody takes "select portions" of a book out of context, the problem is with the reader, not the author. Re-writing the book is not going to solve that problem.

jdsteinbach's picture

ChrisC wrote:
i'm no expert on bju positions, but it seems to me that the past position included the idea that scripture did not condone the "beverage use of alcohol" by old testament or new testament believers. jaeggli's book (from the second- and third-hand info i have) allows believers from past eras to drink but prohibits it in the modern era. the "new" bju position seems to be that as long as you agree to prohibit drinking in the modern era, the details aren't important. maybe that was always the position and there were just some vocal proponents of additional, optional ideas.

Chris,

The fact that BJU Press would publish a book on drinking alcoholic beverages (and not just be content w/ a brief rule in the handbook/page on the website) shows that the details do matter. The fact that they feel a need to revise and clarify that book is, I think, further evidence of their desire to work through details.

I appreciate your willingness to admit that you've not read Jaeggli's book and that you're not a BJU expert. (In previous threads on this topic, too many folks have just spouted without reading the book or researching BJU.) I'd recommend reading the book if you can get a hold of a copy.

  • Page 5 says (before Dr. Jaeggli gets into any details or exegesis), "As we shall see, a cavalier attitude toward even moderate consumption of alcohol is not warranted by Scripture." The BJU web page says, "Bob Jones University does not believe the Scripture condones the beverage use of alcohol by Bible-believing Christians."
  • Page 72 says, "The beverage use of alcohol is incompatible with growth in personal holiness; it hinders progress in being conformed to the image of Christ." The BJU web page says, "Bob Jones University believes that the Christian is called to a life of growing conformity to the image of Christ and that the beverage use of alcohol hinders this conformity and growth in personal holiness."

Regardless of what folks think about the book or the university, they can't support the accusation that "the book is a departure from the school's position."

I've been attending or working at BJU since 2001 and one thing I give them credit for is their willingness to work through details. In multiple meetings and chapels, I've heard the administrators acknowledge the difference between institutional standards and God's expectations for believers. The folks at BJU are consistently diligent to work through the details of biblical positions and to clarify the difference between Bible and handbook. I know, some folks have graduated (or not) with a very different impression of the college; I realize anecdotal evidence is simply anecdotal; I realize the school isn't perfect.

The position in the book is a position of detail-examination - accounting for all the verses on the subject. If anything, it's the vocal "all alcohol is sinful ever always" crowd that misses details - the details of multiple Scripture texts that mention wine favorable.

I'm curious where you heard that the official University position used to include "alcohol was 100% off-limits in the OT/NT." Is there anything in print or online that makes that case? (Besides the occasional 60-yr-ago chapel message).

Joel Tetreau's picture

Gang,

Let me remind us that other publishers do the same thing from time to time. This really isn't that big of a deal. Publishers/Authors want to be as clear as they can be. This is why I had to re-do my Thesis over and over again before it was finished. If you've done any writing at all, I think you have to assume the best here. It says much about the humility of the University and the writer to publically admit that they need to clarify a few points for sake of internal consistency. Let me put out there one other point.....I'm not a former student or even an alumnus of BJ. As a friend from the "outside" I don't think I see the University or Stephen doing anything because of public pressure. This ministry has earned the reputation that they do what they do because of principle.....not pressure. I'm sure this is no different.

A thought.

Straight Ahead!

jt

Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Bible Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

Greg Linscott's picture

Quote:
Let me remind us that other publishers do the same thing from time to time. This really isn't that big of a deal. Publishers/Authors want to be as clear as they can be. This is why I had to re-do my Thesis over and over again before it was finished. If you've done any writing at all, I think you have to assume the best here.

I'd be interested to see the "other publishers" observation substantiated. Books are revised, second editions put out... but I am not immediately remembering any situations where books were pulled after public backlashes like this one has had. As far as the thesis comparison, I imagine that a book on such a topic would have been subject to a thorough internal review before it was published- BJU Press is not exactly a vanity press or fly-by-night operation.

As far as the closing statements go- I am not sure how you substantiate those, either, especially in light of recent moves over the last several years. The dating policy was dropped at a time where there was a great deal of public scrutiny (Bush speaking on campus). The latest clarification of BJU on race occurred at the same time an extensive signature campaign was taking place (Please reconcile). This latest action occurs only after two national publications (SOTL and Biblical Evangelist) print front page scathing reviews and assessments of the book. This doesn't mean that the University lacks principle, but I think its difficult to make a case that public pressure or perception has no influence in the timing of the actions taken.

I'm not saying this is a matter of epic proportions. However, it is disappointing to see.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Jay's picture

{sarcasm}
Congratulations are in order for both the Sword and Biblical Evangelist, along with all the people who angrily decried Bob Jones for 'changing their position' when that was never the case. You have won a critical battle for the future of fundamentalism.
{/sarcasm}

I'm too disgusted with "Fundamentalism" and too disappointed in BJU to say anything more than that.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Pastor Marc Monte's picture

Let's keep several facts in mind as we consider BJU's decision to pull Jaeggli's book:

1. BJU published Jaeggli's book with the intention of promoting abstinence from alcohol use. I know this is their motive because of a personal phone conversation I had with Dr. Hankins shortly after the book came out. In addition, Jaeggli's conclusion (NOT his argumentation) suggested abstinence as the only acceptable course of action for dedicated Christians.

2. BJU came to see that Jaeggli's book was failing in its purpose. Rather than promoting abstinence, it promoted confusion among sincere Christians. Everyone who has followed this argument can see that Jaeggli's book resulted in confusion. Even if Jaeggli's arguments were sound (which, in my opinion, they are not), the controversy over what his book actually teaches proves that his presentation was in itself a source of confusion. If I were writing a book on abstinence from alcohol, I would choose to write so clearly that no one would doubt my position. While at BJU, Dr. Hankins taught the young preachers that we have 2 responsibilities: 1) To be clear enough in our presentation as to be easily understood AND 2) to be so clear as to make it impossible for anyone to misunderstand. The second responsibility is the most difficult, and herein is Dr. Jaeggli's failure.

3. Since the book was failing in its purpose and causing confusion, the book was accurately judged as a liability to the university and was pulled from publication. For this bold decision, I heartily applaud the BJU administration. Doubtless public pressure played a major role in their decision, and rightly it should. It was through the backlash of public pressure that the university came to see the book as failing in its purpose, causing confusion among the brethren and tarnishing the testimony of the school.

4. BJU should be thanked for their humility and willingness to clarify a situation that has caused grief nationwide. Who among us--when we fail in our stated purposes--continues to press ahead in the vehicle of our failure? Obviously, we assess our failure and seek a different path to success.

I, for one, am glad for the university's courageous and humble decision to pull this controversial book from publication. The fact that the decision came as a result of public pressure (Dr. Stephen Jones said as much in his letter) does not reflect negatively on the university. It simply indicates that they recognize failure when they see it, and they don't want to spend decades defending a flop.

Just clinging to my guns and religion... www.faithbaptistavon.com

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Pastor Marc Monte wrote:
Everyone who has followed this argument can see that Jaeggli's book resulted in confusion. Even if Jaeggli's arguments were sound (which, in my opinion, they are not), the controversy over what his book actually teaches proves that his presentation was in itself a source of confusion.
I have yet to encounter anyone who read the book who was confused by it. The truth is that a vocal few simply do not appreciate his route to abstinence because it is not the same approach they have held to for years. Hence, all the alarmed "dangerous new" rhetoric.

[br ][br ] Edit: I'll add this, though, any book is going to have a few who misunderstand. Any book on a controversial topic is going to have many who do not want to understand. But can the book be improved? Almost definitely. Any book can. But if doesn't say what certain folks want it to say, "confusion" will continue.

Pastor Joe Roof's picture

Hey Marc,
I heard they are coming out with a new book targeting preaching boys who sit in the snack shop and imbibe coffee and eat a lot of donuts while discussing theology. Biggrin

Everytime I see your name here on SI, I can't help but remember those times. We had a lot of fun.

Jason Boling's picture

Greg, I don't think you'll find the arguments or conclusions being changed. Look at the initial letter from Stephen. They are going to try and clarify while sticking with the general tenor of the book ("will continue to approach this issue in a way that differs from some approaches of the past").

This book is attempting to take a different approach to the subject than has been taken in the past. I can appreciate that - I am currently doing trying that with a youth group study on music. For a guy who was taught that these type of issues are always black and white, it takes some adjustment time to present them in a more reasoned way. I absolutely believe that this is the best way to address these issues, but it has taken me time (often several times) to adequately explain myself. I understand your point that BJU should have ironed everything out before publishing, but hey, they admitted they thought it was presented clearly only to find out that many struggle with the new approach. They are sticking to the new approach and trying to work on how best to bring others along in considering these issues honestly. For that, I am very appreciative.

ScottB's picture

Greg Linscott wrote:
As far as the closing statements go- I am not sure how you substantiate those, either, especially in light of recent moves over the last several years. The dating policy was dropped at a time where there was a great deal of public scrutiny (Bush speaking on campus). The latest clarification of BJU on race occurred at the same time an extensive signature campaign was taking place (Please reconcile). This latest action occurs only after two national publications (SOTL and Biblical Evangelist) print front page scathing reviews and assessments of the book. This doesn't mean that the University lacks principle, but I think its difficult to make a case that public pressure or perception has no influence in the timing of the actions taken.

I've not yet read the book, and my own position is abstinence-by-wisdom (somewhat different than the book, I hear), but I respect the University's decision in this case. I don't think this is a parallel case to the two racial issues. Both of those were moral issues that ideally should have been done without public impetus; however, this is not a moral issue, but rather a clarification issue. If the public had a problem with their position, and they changed their position, that would be problematic. In this case, it seems that the public is misunderstanding their position, in which case making it clear is a good move. I'm no fan of the particular publications that critiqued the book, but in any case, the fact remains that the book has been misunderstood/misconstrued.

Whether other publishers issue revisions or not is frankly irrelevant. I think BJU is to be applauded for valuing clarity over the monetary cost of now wasted book stock.

Ron Bean's picture

Perhaps a new edition with small words and pictures so that the SOTL and BE folks can understand is in the works.

BTW, I appreciate BJU and its leadership and pray for them daily. I also appreciate their "changes" in their effort to train young people.

When the host of BJU critics start their sniping, I'm reminded of the old saint who said, "I could take being swallowed by a whale. What I can't stand is being nibbled to death by minnows."

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Pastor Joe Roof's picture

Ron Bean wrote:
Perhaps a new edition with small words and pictures so that the SOTL and BE folks can understand is in the works.

BTW, I appreciate BJU and its leadership and pray for them daily. I also appreciate their "changes" in their effort to train young people.

When the host of BJU critics start their sniping, I'm reminded of the old saint who said, "I could take being swallowed by a whale. What I can't stand is being nibbled to death by minnows."


I also think the title of the book ought to be "The Christian and Snake Poison." That'll make it clear. Smile

Ron Bean's picture

Pastor Joe Roof wrote:
Ron Bean wrote:
Perhaps a new edition with small words and pictures so that the SOTL and BE folks can understand is in the works.

BTW, I appreciate BJU and its leadership and pray for them daily. I also appreciate their "changes" in their effort to train young people.

When the host of BJU critics start their sniping, I'm reminded of the old saint who said, "I could take being swallowed by a whale. What I can't stand is being nibbled to death by minnows."


I also think the title of the book ought to be "The Christian and Snake Poison." That'll make it clear. Smile

Thanks, Joe. You have provided me with a "merry heart" this morning and prompted me to pray for you and the work in Albany.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Larry's picture

Moderator

"Marc Monte" wrote:
Rather than promoting abstinence, it promoted confusion among sincere Christians.
Marc,

I am not sure the confusion was caused by the book. I think the confusion was caused by things people said about the book that seem not entirely true and accurate. Those things should not have been said. A few people, upset by the argumentation, misrepresented the book's position and that is what caused the confusion. I don't think anyone would read the book and think Dr. Jaeggli was promoting or encouraging or condoning the use of alcohol.

Greg Linscott's picture

My statement about influence was in response to Joel's observation-

Quote:
As a friend from the "outside" I don't think I see the University or Stephen doing anything because of public pressure. This ministry has earned the reputation that they do what they do because of principle.....not pressure.

I am not saying they are unprincipled- but I am saying that public response was a definite factor. That is all.

Quote:
Greg, I don't think you'll find the arguments or conclusions being changed. Look at the initial letter from Stephen. They are going to try and clarify while sticking with the general tenor of the book ("will continue to approach this issue in a way that differs from some approaches of the past").
I understand that. However, I think that pulling the book contributes to less clarity still. Revise the book- fine. But pulling it here and now gives the appearance, at least, that the critics had some substance in the criticism leveled that the argumentation in the book was not Biblical. I don't understand that to be the case, nor do I think that in reading the letter that Stephen does, either, BTW. But those who have already misconstrued the book's arguments have shown that there is a distinct possibility that they will also misconstrue this action, too. Again, what takes a hit is attempts at exposition and exegesis in print, especially if the conclusions of one's exegesis lead one to articulate a position that differs from one traditionally established. If you oppose Jaeggli's reasoning and conclusions, fine- but counter them with reasoning and conclusions derived from Scripture, not with demands to remove the book from the market.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

NathanL's picture

Greg Linscott wrote:
In my estimation, the cause of putting Biblical exegesis and literal interpretation in print took a hit today at the expense of pacifying constituency.

Yeah. What is even more disappointing, though, is what Stephen Jones said between the lines in his email.
Stephen Jones wrote:
[The book ] will continue to approach this issue in a way that differs from some approaches of the past, which have become less tenable over time.

For several decades, leaders at BJU and others have taught that because of X, Y and Z, the Bible teaches abstinence for all believers. As "X, Y and Z" have proven to be "less tenable over time," the result has been a re-evaluation of the teachings that "X, Y and Z" have purportedly led us to.

Oh, wait! Sorry - that's not what happened at all! Instead, the result could accurately be stated like this: "Hmm. The things we've always used to lead us to this conclusion are crumbling. People are pointing out the obvious problems with them, and they've become indefensible. So we must find a new way to reach this conclusion, because we certainly couldn't have been wrong about it!"

So BJU wil change the book. From various reports, the book appeared to be a collection of uncomfortable (for some) facts, and then a dogmatic conclusion that didn't necessarily follow. According to Stephen Jones, the changes will amount to stating that dogmatic conclusion earlier and more loudly. This will fix nothing, so maybe they're just hoping to appease the prohibitionists who keep their enrollment numbers up by simply doing something.

It astounds me to see the lengths to which otherwise smart men will go to defend a position they desperately want to be correct. I'm reminded of a message from another BJU guy - Dr. Mazak - I once heard. He spoke for about an hour, and his thought process was similar. In the first half, he made some bold statements something like this: "The Bible does not explicitly condemn drinking wine." Then the second half turned embarrassingly illogical, ending with a challenge that went something like this: "So you say you want to drink? Ok, then take a glass, pour beer into the first 1/5 or 1/4 of it, and fill the rest with water. If you want to drink that, then more power to you." (On the recording I heard, no one asked, "So how about if I just have a beer and then a few glasses of water afterward? Wouldn't that be the same thing?")

Larry's picture

Moderator

Quote:
On the recording I heard, no one asked, "So how about if I just have a beer and then a few glasses of water afterward? Wouldn't that be the same thing?
I don't want to jump in here unwisely, but no, it's not the same thing.

Jay's picture

Greg wrote:
I understand that. However, I think that pulling the book contributes to less clarity still. Revise the book- fine. But pulling it here and now gives the appearance, at least, that the critics had some substance in the criticism leveled that the argumentation in the book was not Biblical. I don't understand that to be the case, nor do I think that in reading the letter that Stephen does, either, BTW. But those who have already misconstrued the book's arguments have shown that there is a distinct possibility that they will also misconstrue this action, too. Again, what takes a hit is attempts at exposition and exegesis in print, especially if the conclusions of one's exegesis lead one to articulate a position that differs from one traditionally established. If you oppose Jaeggli's reasoning and conclusions, fine- but counter them with reasoning and conclusions derived from Scripture, not with demands to remove the book from the market.

Greg, you could not be more right. BJU has shown that it will fold when pressured by key members [I'm thinking primarily of The Sword of the Lord ] of the IFB movement. That is not a good thing, and there's no positive way to spin this. This is a dark day for a movement and school that supposedly prides itself on accurate exegesis and Biblical authority.

As an aside, how did this letter from Stephen come out? I never got a copy in my Gmail account.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Pastor Marc Monte's picture

Pastor Joe Roof:

I have a lot of great memories of those snack shop days--and the donuts have stayed with me over the years as well! I think what has happened is that we miss the snack shop at BJU so much, we gather at SI to re-enact those days of theological discussion and debate. I only wish we had cyber coffee and cyber donuts. Raspberry filled would be nice.

Just clinging to my guns and religion... www.faithbaptistavon.com

Larry's picture

Moderator

In fairness Jay, while I am not convinced they should have pulled it, let's be cautious in our comments and attributions of weakness and folding. We do need to make sure we are clear (I think the book was, but some disagreed). There is also a valid biblical principle of taking care not to cause needless offense and stumbling to others. It is possible for good, principled people to disagree on how this should have been handled without making the kind of attributions that you are making here.

BJU said that the book was accurate and they do not intend to change that. I would think you would agree with that position. All they said is that they are going to try to make it more clear.

So let's give them a chance, and show some grace that fundamentalists are not always known for.

Greg Linscott's picture

Quote:
There is also a valid biblical principle of taking care not to cause needless offense and stumbling to others.

Yes, but what do we mean by "offense" and "stumbling"? Is offense making people irate, or does it mean causing them to get caught up in the sinful behavior in discussion? While we have plenty of evidence that people became irate, I don't think we have any evidence that people were led to sin (committing offense or stumbling from an obedient Christian walk) by assuming license to indulge in drinking because of the influence of Jaeggli's book.

Whatever else anyone might be saying, I think it would be very difficult to argue that Jaeggli's book leads one to imbibe, or concludes that such activity is acceptable for Christians today.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

BryanBice's picture

"BJU has shown that it will fold when pressured by key members [I'm thinking primarily of The Sword of the Lord ] of the IFB movement."

Those of us outside the walls of the admin bldg & beyond the front gates on Wade Hampton Blvd. can be pretty dogmatic about our assertions concerning the discussions that have taken place on the inside and the motivations that lie beneath a simple, straightforward letter. For those unfamiliar with the "distance" between BJU and the SOTL, the likelihood that BJ was pressured by the SOTL diatribe is about as great as if they had heard canons blasting from north Florida (PCC). Does anyone remember all the heat BJ took from PCC, SOTL, et. al. for its position on the translation issue? It never led BJU to any change of position to pacify the KJV-only crowd.

For my part, I'll assume that a good number of BJ's constituency (the letter was addressed to alumni & friends, after all) had a difficult time digesting Jaeggli's presentation of the facts of history, and then understanding his argument for abstinence, the facts notwithstanding . I would simply expect the revision to flesh out the facts more fully and develop the abstinence argument more thoroughly. And if that's what they're intending, it only makes good sense to withdraw the book from distribution--no sense having more of the "insufficient" copies out there. Knowing the character of BJ as I do, I find the willingness to accept a financial loss (by withdrawing the book) for the sake of greater clarity to be refreshing. They could've capitalized on the upheaval, printed a few thousand more copies to sell while the interest level is high, revise the book, then advertise the need for spending another $10-12 for the "newly updated" version.

Kudos, Stephen & Co. for humility and integrity.

Larry's picture

Moderator

Quote:
Yes, but what do we mean by "offense" and "stumbling"? If offense making people irate, or does it mean causing them to get caught up in the sinful behavior in discussion? While we have plenty of evidence that people became irate, I don't think we have any evidence that people were led to sin (committing offense or stumbling from an obedient Christian walk) by assuming license to indulge in drinking because of the influence of Jaeggli's book.

Whatever else anyone might be saying, I think it would be very difficult to argue that Jaeggli's book leads one to imbibe, or concludes that such activity is acceptable for Christians today.

You know I thought about clarifying what I meant by "offense" and "stumbling" but I said to myself, "Self, there's no way anyone will miss that point."

Of course, you can never underestimate the nitpickiness of Minnesotans who apparently are enjoying their three days of summer this week and should be outside enjoying it.

So to clarify, I actually meant cause problems or divisions unnecessarily because of poor communication. I didn't mean it in a "causing them to sin" kind of way. I don't think any legitimate reading of Jaeggli's book would lead someone to think they can get drunk. They may be convinced that they can have a glass of wine with dinner. I don't know. But if they read the whole book, they won't think that Jaeggli thinks it's okay to have a glass of wine with dinner.

But people who have issues will have issue either way. Those who are looking for a reason to drink will find it, and they won't need this book to do it. Those who believe that the Bible absolutely forbids drinking any wine for any reason will have issues too.

In the end, this book was a contribution to the discussion. It's not inspired. If you disagree, then fine. Disagree. Don't be a bully. Don't attack other people's godliness and character because you disagree with them. Don't get heavy-handed about it.

Greg Linscott's picture

Quote:
Of course, you can never underestimate the nitpickiness of Minnesotans who apparently are enjoying their three days of summer this week and should be outside enjoying it.

Yeah, but this Minnesota guy is a transplant who is grumpy because his Red Sox lost another game in the standings to the Yankees last night... :x

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Pages