I'm not the biggest fan of my denomination's book-selling arm but I'll give praise where praise is due. I went into the local store (Hickory, NC) two weeks ago with our Middle School youth pastor. On the way there, I told him what I expected - huge endcap displays hawking the recent best-seller from Houston mega-pastor Joel Osteen.
Once there, I managed to find my way out of the jungle of Precious Moments figurines, Left Behind pen sets, Purpose-Driven coffee mugs and Experiencing God toothbrushes only to find the newest bestseller: "Precious Moments with Purpose Driven People who have been Left Behind."
After escaping the land of cheesy art and talking vegetables, I finally found the book section but no Osteen. Surely, it was on the next aisle. Maybe it was in the mega Men's Needs section. Nope, struck out again. I was feeling somewhat surprised, mixed with relief but readying myself for vindication. I surveyed the two columns of theology texts (that's right - two whole columns). Maybe on the Christian Living wall.
Just maybe. Perhaps. Possibly - it's not here!
Determined to get the scoop, I approached the checkout desk. I peered through the pyramid of Test-A-Mints breath fresheners and made eye contact with the clerk. He asked if he could help me and I said, "I looking for Joel Osteen's new book, 'Your Best Life Now.'" (I wasn't lying - I really was looking for it). Very firmly, he replied, "I'm sorry but Lifeway has determined not to carry that book."
My emotions were mixed. I was disappointed I had "lost the bet" but relieved and even proud that someone in Nashville is discerning and courageous enough to recognize serious theological error when they smell it. Bravo, Lifeway!