Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Freely you have received...

The copyright statement from the books of Loraine Boettner, an American Presbyterian theologian who was a student of Benjamin Warfield:

"Any one is at liberty use material from this book with or without credit. In preparing this book the writer has received help from many sources, some acknowledged and many unacknowledged. He believes the material herein contained to be a true statement of Scripture truth, and his desire is to further, not to restrict, its use."

Some undeveloped thoughts:

a) How unusual.

b) How Biblical.

c) I wonder why it is so unusual?

d) Each must give an account of himself to God. Our position is not to judge another man's servant (Romans 14). But, the "big picture" in the world of evangelical publishing is disturbing. Did you know that Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation owns half of the evangelical publishing market in the US? ( http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2011/october/harpercollins-buys-thomas-nelson-will-control-50-of.html). What makes it attractive to him, do you think? Obviously, the profits to be made from the sheep.

e) No doubt there are lots of complexities in the "market". But who's actually *trying* to put Matthew 10:8 ("Freely you have received, freely give") into practice, in some way? (I'm not saying "gimme free stuff!" - I'm asking how the principle is playing out, in the big picture. Are evangelical authors widely known for giving away their royalties? For assigning them to the churches on whose time they wrote the books? Or is the answer mostly "we have no idea - this all sounds a bit new and odd to us". Note again: this isn't pointing the finger at one or two people. I'm trying to discern which way the wind is blowing in general and what it means, not whether this or that gust has knocked someone in particular's flower-pot over).

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