Scott Burson on McLarenphobia

“Not only are evangelical bookstores afraid to stock McLaren’s books, they are even afraid to carry books about McLaren. When Abilene Christian University Press began marketing Brian McLaren in Focus, two major Christian booksellers (Lifeway and Family Christian Stores) refused to stock the book. When my publisher explained that the book was a critically appreciative engagement with McLaren’s theology and apologetics rather than a blind hagiography both stores still refused to carry the book simply because McLaren’s name and face were on the cover. The fear of a customer misunderstanding the purpose of the book was greater than the commitment to promoting careful critical thinking about a legitimate topic.
Additionally, when I was at the Wild Goose Festival this past July, I spoke to a marketing executive from a major evangelical publisher who told me he was happy to see the book I had just written because he believes McLaren deserves a careful, balanced assessment. He then went on to confirm the reality of McLarenphobia at his publishing house when he said they were prohibited from using endorsements from McLaren on the back cover of their books for fear of reprisal.”
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