The Pen

LifeWay Quietly Drops TD Jakes

For years Pulpit & Pen has been warning its readers about the dangerous and unbiblical material sold for a profit at LifeWay Christian bookstores, the retail arm of the Southern Baptist Convention. Despite its unhealthy and wicked dedication to serving mammon, LifeWay has engaged in a secretive practice of banning the most controversial heretical authors: most notably liberal biblical scholars (such as Clark Pinnock), name-it-and-claim-it preachers (such Joel Osteen), and writers who affirm homosexuality (such as Jenn Hatmaker). I first reported the existence of a LifeWay blacklist in April of 2015. At that time, I lamented that the blacklist didn’t include such dangerous, deceptive, and egregious heretics as Sarah Young and TD Jakes.

That LifeWay continued to carry and promote the products of Jakes, an anti-trinitarian Oneness Pentecostal prosperity preacher was especially offensive and alarming. Despite warnings about him, LifeWay unashamedly marketed materials authored by this dangerous wolf.
Prominent SBC Pastor Mark Dever asked this question on Twitter two years ago and was quickly shown links to LifeWay’s offerings of TD Jakes’ books.

This week, Pulpit & Pen reported on the upcoming closure of several unprofitable LifeWay locations. The author of that article took the opportunity to, once again, point out that a “Christian” bookstore was selling the books of someone as nefarious as TD Jakes. To my surprise, someone claiming to be a LifeWay employee responded in the article’s comment section stating that LifeWay did not sell books by Jakes. Further investigation revealed that all of TD Jakes’ materials have been removed from the LifeWay website. No announcement has been made by LifeWay regarding a blacklisting of Jakes but the action of removing his materials seems to have taken place fairly recently. Google searches still produce the remnants of LifeWay web pages dedicated to Jakes.

The fact that LifeWay has removed Jakes’ materials from its shelves is a step in the right direction. The inconspicuous way it was done is not. LifeWay and its management, specifically it’s outgoing President Thom Rainer, owes a public apology to everyone that has purchased a TD Jakes book at LifeWay bookstores. The public sin of LifeWay’s employees and trustees calls for public repentance. Instead LifeWay has quietly removed Jakes’ products and hasn’t explained why. Jakes’ is a heretic and LifeWay has known this all along. Until now, it chose to profit from promoting him.

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

Seth Dunn

Masters of Divinity in Christian Apologetics, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Member of the Evangelical Theological Society Certified Public Accountant