According to Christianity Today, leading Christian book publisher Waterbrook Multnomah has resigned its membership in the National Religious Broadcasters after controversy over a new book published by a Waterbrook Multnomah-affiliated line. The book, written by Matthew Vines and titled God and the Gay Christian, argues that same-gender sex is not a sin. The book was published by Convergent Books, a relatively new imprint associated with Multnomah. NRB president and CEO Jerry Johnson wrote in a statement that “this issue comes down to NRB members publishing unbiblical material, regardless of the label under which they do it.”
“Unfortunately, while the Multnomah Publishing Group is separate from Convergent, as a legal and business entity, the staff of the Multnomah and Convergent operations are substantially the same,” Johnson wrote. “Most notably, Steven W. Cobb serves as the chief publishing executive for both groups.”
Convergent Books describes itself as “”publishing books for progressive and mainline Christians who demand an open, inclusive and culturally engaged exploration of faith.”
“I asked them to reconsider and end the practice of having Christian workers from their publishing house work on Convergent projects,” Johnson wrote. “They declined to do so at this time and asked how we would respond. I told them that if they wanted to remain NRB associate members, I would have to refer the matter to our Ethics Committee for review, or they could agree to resign their membership. They agreed to resign immediately.”
Cobb wrote in his own statement that Convergent published the book “because we believe it offers a thoughtful examination of Scripture on the topic of same-sex relationships from a bold, young, evangelical writer whose first calling is to promote a civil, loving, and biblically based conversation on the subject.” Cobb also wrote that no Multnomah staff were forced to work on the book.
President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and longtime Waterbrook Multnomah author Dr. Albert Mohler has written a full-length eBook refuting the claims of the Vines book. Mohler claims that Multnomah, by publishing the book, “is in serious danger of crashing its brand in terms of evangelical trust.”