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Aug 17 2012

Thomas Nelson Publishes Crap, But Not Barton

Thomas Nelson, one of the largest Christian publishers in the country, pulled the plug on Barton’s book because, they say, it contained inaccuracies. But Right Wing Watch has a rather amusing post that looks at some of the other books that Thomas Nelson has published, which they apparently think are more credible than Barton’s book. Like this one:

3. Hank Hanegraaff’s “The Creation Answer Book.” This book claims that humans and dinosaurs walked on the earth together and that the earth was created in six consecutive 24 hour days, apparently less of a stretch than Barton’s argument that Jefferson and the rest of the Founders were fundamentalist Christians.

And this one:

1. Todd Burpo’s “Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back.” Pastor Todd Burpo describes how his 3-year-old son Colton went to heaven during surgery where he saw God literally “fit the entire world into his hands” and Jesus’ “sea-blue eyes”!

I’d say this says more about Thomas Nelson’s lack of standards than it does about Barton’s book. Makes you wonder why this particular book was pulled and all the other idiocy they publish remains in print.

16 comments

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  1. 1
    kacyray

    The difference is that Bartons lies are verifiable and falsifiable. And the lies have been verified and falsified.

    Creationism and NDE’s aren’t saddled by those inconveniences. That’s why they pass the Thomas Nelson screening test.

  2. 2
    Gregory in Seattle

    Makes you wonder why this particular book was pulled and all the other idiocy they publish remains in print.

    Barton’s book has gotten a lot more publicity, and all of it was negative. The other titles remain almost exclusively within the few of home schooling religious fanatics and so have not been subjected to the same level of scrutiny.

  3. 3
    dan4

    @1: Kacyray: I’d say that the premise behind Burpo’s book is a lie that is “verifiable” and “falsifiable” (after all, it is not possible to literally see through another person’s eyes).

  4. 4
    eric

    and Jesus’ “sea-blue eyes”!

    Anglo Jesus jokes are the type of satire you wish weren’t as funny as they are. Because what makes it good satire is that there are people in the world stupid enough to believe it. And that is a whole lotta stupid.

    Now, I’m not pointing fingers at the 3-year-old. But I am pointing at the adults surrounding him.

  5. 5
    steve oberski

    Real publishers tend to categorize their books into non overlapping sets with names like fiction or non-fiction, and as you become more specific romance, mystery, thriller, and so on.

    This is of assistance in setting the expectations of the eventual reader.

    It appears that Nelson has dispensed with all that in favour of a single category called “stuff”.

    This is probably an accurate representation of how their target audience views reality.

  6. 6
    Eric R

    I lean towards #2′s explanation than #1. We’ve known for a long time that truth and accuracy is not a metric used by hyper-religious.

    Bad press though might sway them, so if I were a wagering man I would bet that its the negative publicity the book has been getting, far more outweighed the inaccuracies in the book itself, in fact I doubt they gave wet slap about how accurate it was considering it certianly said things they wanted to hear.

  7. 7
    ashleybell

    I remember Burpo. He was the lesser known Marx Brother, even under Zeppo

  8. 8
    Michael Heath

    kacyray writes:

    The difference is that Bartons lies are verifiable and falsifiable. And the lies have been verified and falsified.

    Creationism and NDE’s aren’t saddled by those inconveniences. That’s why they pass the Thomas Nelson screening test.

    Uh no. Science can and does falsify some ideas. Science has falsified there was no global flood a few thousand years ago; they’ve also falsified the claim the earth is less than 10,000 years old.

  9. 9
    kacyray

    I don’t mean to suggest that it was TN that actually *verified* the lies and *falsified* the claims…. It’s just a little tough for them, at this point, to deny that those things have been done by others.

    It’s the same reason that Harold Camping is out of business while all the mystics claiming Jesus will return “soon” are still going strong. When a mystic or a liar makes a claim that can actually be fact-checked, they do so at their own peril.

  10. 10
    grignon

    Assuming that: 1) a man can encompass a sphere of about 6″ diameter with his hands; 2) An average height for a man is 6′
    I estimate god is about 96,000 miles tall.

    All we need do is search for a structure that size (with blue eyes) in space to find god.

    Conversion to SI or cubits is left as an exercise for the reader.

  11. 11
    raven

    I doubt it had anything to do with any book’s truth or lies.

    As a xian publisher, Thomas Merton is a seller of lies. It’s their job, it is what they do.

    1. It must have been bad publicity. Even xian historians were appalled by Barton making history up.

    2. They might have been concerned about their repuation among xians. The majority of xians in the USA aren’t fundies, i.e. mainline Protestants and Catholics. Hard as it is to believe, there must be a few xians who don’t much like lying and liars.

    Someone pointed out that Merton is owned by Fox News’s Rupert Murdoch.

  12. 12
    kacyray

    Heath – I don’t recall saying that science hasn’t ever falsified anything. In fact, I’m pretty sure I said that Bartons claims have been falsified.

    Claims of miraculous events aren’t normally verifiable or falsifiable. That’s why they’re not scientific. That’s (part of) why creationism isn’t science. That’s also why NDE’s aren’t fully subject to scientific scrutiny. That’s why TN can publish that sort of crap and get away with it. As long as an idea isn’t falsifiable, a publisher can maintain that the idea remains plausible, which is very convincing to gullible folks who don’t understand the concept of truth-value and the nature of arbitrary assertions.

    I’m sure that TN succumbed to pressure. They are a business. And I’m sure that if it hadn’t been for folks like Chris Rodda doing their homework and informing the world about it, TN would still be selling Barton’s book today. There’s nothing noble about TN in this affair.

  13. 13
    loren

    “Makes you wonder why this particular book was pulled and all the other idiocy they publish remains in print.”

    At least as a business decision, I can’t really blame them for keeping “Heaven is for Real” in print. It’s been on the New York Times Bestseller List for 90 weeks.

  14. 14
    anubisprime

    eric @ 4

    “Now, I’m not pointing fingers at the 3-year-old. But I am pointing at the adults surrounding him

    No you can lay this genius at the tootsies of dad!

    Jeebus with ‘sky blue eyes’ indeed…that buggers up the middle eastern gene pool then!

    Utter codswollop, how do they sleep at night?, probably because they believe their own invented trash, it seems integrity is a dirty word!
    Being an xian dumbfuck lets you blend in with the crowd at ‘rapture ready ‘

    Bit like Murdoch believing that it was one rogue reporter that drifted off reservation…accidentally!

    That man is so intellectually challenged, that he actually owns codswollop organizations is no great surprise and almost de rigueur. His philosophy believes in ‘gilding the lily’ for sales and will always twist the story to fit in the target demographic, and if it won’t twist then make it up!
    Typical xian really!

  15. 15
    kagekiri

    @8 MIchael Heath:

    No, but science is wrong, because MAGIC! And God is omnipotent, so SUPER DUPER MAGIC! And Satan has magic too, so MAGIC SQUARED!

    And science, being so interested in “evidence” and “logic”, can’t understand or accept magic, so science is obviously wrong!

    Wait, no, because they start from assuming it wasn’t magic, that means they’re being unreasonable and ignoring OBVIOUS evidence of God!

    Or wait, because they DON’T assume it’s God’s creation, that means they’re not fearing God, and that makes them fools, just like in the Bible!

    /YEC science-strawman-slander

  16. 16
    John Phillips, FCD

    anubisprime, yeah, but he got his blue eyes, blond hair and perfect King James English from his father’s genes, obviously.

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