And the answers are…

I could have guessed this. I sent in three questions to the CPH CEO in the ask the CEO anything. Two tough ones and a softball.

They answered the softball. Here is the softball response to
3) If you could have every pastor in synod relay one message from CPH to their congregation, what would that message be?

It was interesting that they wanted me to see this video as an answer to this question.

1) What is the thinking behind binding CPH so closely to one translation of the Bible? As a publisher, wouldn’t publishing an LSB-NLT or LSB-NIV be an attractive proposition?

I’m pretty dumb, but that is not a answer to my question. A more honest answer would have been to just remain silent or answer something like:
A) the synod convention in 199x recommended the ESV
B) our in house pastoral counsel says the ESV is what all Lutheran’s should be using
C) it would be attractive as a publisher to meet a customer want/need like different translations with the Lutheran Study Notes, but we want to maintain a consistent voice. That is why we as a publisher have chosen to use only the ESV.

But that would have required more trust and honesty than can be generated at those levels. I would also add that my question is inappropriate in what is a marketing campaign which is supposed to make them look good. I would have been absolutely floored and jumping up and down in delight if they had given that straight answer even though I don’t like it from a policy/practice standpoint. It would have meant that they are treating customers and each other as adults and can tell the truth about themselves. Which to be fair not many institutions or people can.

I guess two points. CPH is the in house publisher and we should support it. They do good work at what they do – publishing very conservative hymnals, Sunday School curriculum and study material. But…They are seriously politically and institutionally hidebound. We can’t expect leadership or innovation out of the publishing house. Until the leadership posts of the LCMS feel like they can answer questions like these, it is hard to place real trust or feel like anything is moving in the right direction. Step one is always to be able to tell the truth.

But then again, I’m just a snippy little country parson who doesn’t know his place.