Writers’ conferences are usually a mixed bag. It’s good to sharpen skills, and the opportunity to interact with others in the business – writers, editors, publishers, etc. – is refreshing and often invaluable. I’ve attended both secular and Christian conferences and have always come away with interesting new information.
I never know what to expect.
The best writing conferences help teach writers to be better. It’s as simple as that. Now, however, because the culture is so polarized, including within the Christian community, I fear some of these conferences are creating “monsters.” Advocacy writing is blurring the lines, what with blogging and other platforms distorting for readers what is fact and what is fiction.
Those organizing these kinds of conferences are in fact taking the hands of a radical environmentalist, the legs of a leftist ideologue, the heart of a political pacifist and the brain of a freedom-hater – all to produce a creature that eschews traditional American values.
What am I driving at here?
Well, let’s look at two upcoming writer’s conferences, in order to learn about the worldviews being promoted.
Donald Miller, popular author (“Blue Like Jazz”) is founder of Storyline, a community of writers and, in my view, change agents. They specifically want to reach Millennials.
At some point in the past (we can’t know the details, because as I know from personal experience, he won’t talk), Miller decided to embrace and help disseminate the Palestinian narrative, as it regards Israel. In other words, as evidenced by his Nov. 19, 2012 hit piece (“The Painful Truth About the Situation in Israel”), Miller advances the PLO line.
One wonders if he is on the Hamas payroll, as a writer of press releases.
So it is troubling that Miller’s Storyline group holds conferences, which undoubtedly influence the next generation of writers and influencers. The next Storyline event will be at Willow Creek Community Church, near Chicago, in October.
Israel, of course, isn’t the agenda, but when that embattled nation is brought up in polite conversation, no doubt many impolite things will be said. For example, besides Miller, the daughter of Bill and Lynne Hybels, Shauna Niequist, will be featured. Her parents are pro-Palestinian advocates and arguably the top power couple within American Evangelicalism.
Another contributor to Storyline (though not listed on the itinerary for Chicago) is Gary Haugen, founder and president of International Justice Mission. IJM, endorsed by such evangelical luminaries as Andy Stanley, has a somewhat quiet relationship with Palestinian advocates.
The Palestine Freedom Project is friendly with IJM, as is Students for Justice in Palestine.
Written by JIM FLETCHER
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