Digital book

Amazon cancels gospel book on transgender issue: ‘digital book burning’ and the power of holiness

Amazon CEO and Founder Jeff Bezos at the launch of the new Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Paperwhite personal devices in Santa Monica, Calif., Thursday, September 6, 2012. (AP Photo / Reed Saxon)

Ryan T. Anderson is one of the most insightful writers and thinkers in the evangelical world. His research has been cited by two justices of the United States Supreme Court. A magna cum laude a graduate of Princeton University with a doctorate in political philosophy from Notre Dame University, his work has been published in the New York Times, the The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, and many other points of sale.

His book on the transgender issue, When Harry became Sally, is one of the founding works on the subject. I have found it extremely useful in my work. I agree with Anderson’s description of his book as “a thoughtful and accessible presentation of the state of scientific, medical, philosophical and legal debate”. In 2018, it reached number 1 on two of Amazon’s bestseller lists even before its release.

However, you can no longer order his book from Amazon. If you search for it there, you’ll see “Sorry, we couldn’t find this page” and a photo of a dog. You can, however, find Adolf Hitler Mein Kampf and that of Ted Kaczynski Unabomber manifesto on Amazon. Both have an average rating of 4.5 stars.

John Stonestreet and David Carlson discuss why Anderson’s book is so important and compelling, possibly the very reasons Amazon blocked it. the Federalist describes Amazon’s cancellation of Anderson’s book as “digital book burning.” the the Wall Street newspaper responds to Amazon’s action by warning that “technology censorship is on the rise.”

Bill Hybels’ daughter apologizes for her silence

Willow Creek Community Church senior pastor Bill Hybels stands outside his congregation Tuesday, April 10, 2018, in South Barrington, Ill. (Mark Black / Daily Herald via AP)

Amazon clearly intends for fewer people to read Anderson’s seminal book on the issue of transgender people. As their intention becomes reality, their sin will affect many more people than the sinner.

This is how sin always works.

No pastor in the evangelical Christian world was better known or more trusted than Bill Hybels. Hybels founded Willow Creek Community Church in suburban Chicago, creating a model of relevance in ministry that has been studied and emulated around the world. Then came the horrific news: Hybels was charged with sexual misconduct three years ago and forced into early retirement.

Now Bill Hybels’ daughter Shauna Niequist has apologized for her silence following the allegations against her father. Niequist explains that they “shook me to the heart and I closed.” Since then, she “tries to find the words to write about my father and our church”. She took the time to ‘grieve, listen and recover’, but said: ‘I now understand that my silence has communicated to many that I stand up for my father’s actions and his continued silence. I do not. I mourn these two things.

She is just one of the innocent people who have been hurt by sins they did not commit.

Restitution and ninth step

How should Christians react when they sin?

As I noted yesterday, we need to separate the message from the messenger, hold each other up to Christ’s standards, and balance grace and consequences. Until the last point, I wrote that “sinners can be forgiven, but they must seek restitution”.

Let us develop this fact.

We know that God will forgive everything we confess (1 John 1: 9). Why, then, should we not just sin and confess, sin and confess, sin and confess? One of the reasons is that God also calls us to make amends to those we have harmed.

Jesus taught us: “If you offer your gift at the altar and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar and go. Reconcile yourself first with your brother, then come and offer your gift ”(Matthew 5: 23-24). As an example of such restitution, when the famous tax collector Zacchaeus came to repentance and faith in Jesus, he announced: “If I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will. restore fourfold ”(Luke 19: 8; cf. Exodus 22: 1).

Of course, there are times when asking for restitution can do more harm to those we have injured. The Ninth Step of Famous Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve Steps is to “make amends to such people whenever possible, except when it could hurt them or others.” We should seek the wisdom of God and the guidance of others on how best to help those we have harmed.

Our works “will be revealed by fire”

Restitution is one aspect of repentance. Another is the loss of rewards.

While God forgives everything we confess, he cannot reward sinful behavior. His word is clear: “The work of each one will become manifest, for the Day will reveal it, for it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what kind of work each one has done. If the work that someone has built on this foundation survives, they will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss, although he himself is saved, but only as by fire ”(1 Corinthians 3: 13-15).

Every hour that we spend in sin is an hour that we lose forever. Every time we refuse to obey Jesus, we lose the eternal reward we would have received for such obedience.

So the time to refuse sin is before you commit it. The next time you are tempted, immediately turn to your Lord. Ask him for the strength to overcome your enemy (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:13; Philippians 4:13), then join with him in choosing holiness that leads to freedom and joy.

If you are living with unrepentant sin, the time to repent is now. The cancer will only spread; more innocent people will be hurt; more refund will be due; more reward will be lost. Turn to God now, knowing he’s already turned to you.

The hand that held the nail

The passion of Christ, Mel Gibson’s deeply moving description of the trials and crucifixion of Jesus, opened that day in 2004. Gibson personally invested millions of dollars in the film and made it happen. His face doesn’t appear anywhere on the screen, but he makes a very strategic appearance: his hand holds the nail driven into the hand of Jesus on the cross.

His point was simple: Jesus died for his sins. And for yours and mine.

Will you choose holiness out of gratitude to your Savior today?