Will I Publish Books on Controversial Issues?

Henry Neufeld, Energion owner/publisher

I get this question frequently and about a variety of issues. Over the last few weeks I’ve been asked about two specific issues: Homosexuality and evolution.

The answer is quite simple: Yes, from a variety of positions on those issues. And yes, whether I agree with the author or not. A good starting place on finding this answer is our Energion Publications Doctrinal Statement.

There are two things to notice about this doctrinal statement:

  1. It’s very short.
  2. It says nothing about either of the issues I have just referenced.

That means that books on those topics are not excluded from publishing.

Nonetheless, the fourth item on the doctrinal statement, that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, is very important to me. If you’re submitting a manuscript on any of these issues be sure that you’re wrestling with scripture in what you write. Neither I nor any of the folks who may work on your manuscript here must agree with the way in which you interpret and apply scripture, but we must believe that you are making the effort to apply scripture and your prayerful interpretation of scripture to what you have written.

In addition, I would note that I am much less likely to publish a manuscript that addresses the politics of any issue than one which looks at an issue in the context of the church. An awareness of the history of interpretation and of the theology of the church is a definite plus.

Why do I publish things I disagree with?

One reason is that I believe in the Holy Spirit.

I believe that the Holy Spirit works in your life as well as in mine, as long as we’re open to hearing, learning, and being drawn to the truth. Thus I believe in books that lead you to think, to dig deeper, to reconsider, and to open yourself up to the Spirit’s work. Even if you decide in the end that the writer is way off base, I’m glad that I got you to spend time thinking and studying. I think it’s of great value.

I think our greatest sin in the western world is inactivity, or perhaps I should say the apathy that underlies it. We don’t think and we don’t do. This inactivity is not a conservative or progressive problem. We sit in the pew or classroom or in front of our computers and tablets listening or reading what others write or say, swallowing what this popular person says, with little thought if what they say makes sense or is even scriptural. I believe that if we invite the Holy Spirit to work in us, and trust the Holy Spirit to do so in others, we can transform the church.

The Holy Spirit is a better teacher than any of us. I hope to point the way to his classroom.


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