26 February 2017

Family Christian Stores Bites the Dust

I had wondered here back in 2015 if the Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization of Family Christian Stores would do anything more than delay the inevitable. Well, it didn't. Go here to read a piece in Christianity Today about the shuttering of all of the remaining stores.

Even giving the reorganized Family Christian Stores a pass on paying much of its debt was not enough to permit this purveyor of Christian books and trinkets to stay afloat in the brave new world of retailing. Bigger players than Family Christian Stores are no longer able to operate in the world of internet shopping. (A word to the wise: according to Bloomberg you expect to see HH Gregg in a Chapter 11 next month.)

The Chapter 11 of Family Christian Stores was a treasure trove of legal arcana for a professor of bankruptcy law. (Go here, here, and here for some of my favorite inside-bankruptcy examples.) But even more important to the failure of this venerable chain of stores than the juggernaut of amazon.com are the buying habits of American Evangelicals. Mistaking self-help books for Christian theology and that buying knick-knacks is the same as Christian piety, Evangelicals have themselves to blame for the demise of what could have been an important resource for building the Evangelical mind and life.

Except there is no Evangelical mind or distinctly Evangelical form of life. Which is why I continue to believe the term "Evangelical" should be retired.

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