November 8, 2006
Comments on David Ray Griffin’s Christian Faith and the Truth behind 9/11
Louisville, KY–The Board of Directors of the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation (PPC) has reviewed the decision to publish David Ray Griffin’s Christian Faith and the Truth behind 9/11. The book was published by Westminster John Knox Press (WJK), a PPC imprint, earlier this year. “David Ray Griffin is a distinguished theologian who has published a number of books with PPC,” said Kenneth Godshall, chair of the PPC Board of Directors. “This particular volume is not up to WJK editorial standards and not representative of the PPC publishing program.”
The book makes the extraordinary claim that the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, were orchestrated by the federal government and made to appear to be the work of al-Qaeda. The book also challenges Christians to wrestle with questions raised by American foreign policy. “Griffin’s theological reflections are helpful and timely,” Godshall commented. “The Board believes, however, the conspiracy theory is spurious and based on questionable research.” For more than 160 years the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation has published works that contribute to worldwide scholarship in the areas of biblical studies, theology, religion, and ethical issues of importance to the larger society. Under its WJK imprint, PPC publishes a theologically and religiously diverse selection of books that often extend beyond the Reformed tradition and the official policies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
PPC is one of six agencies of the PC(USA) but receives no funding from the denomination. PPC reports to the General Assembly of the PC(USA) through a Board of Directors, which is elected by the Assembly. Editorial decisions are made by the Publisher and his editorial staff, with the Publisher responsible for those decisions to the Board as a whole. “The views expressed in Christian Faith and the Truth behind 9/11 are Griffin’s alone,” Godshall continued.
“Like other books published by WJK, the Griffin book is the work of an independent author and in no way represents the views of the denomination or PPC itself.” “We are mindful that editorial freedom is one of the core values of PPC and needs to be preserved,” added the Reverend John M. Buchanan, a member of the Board of Directors and a former moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). “Only by publishing the widest possible scope of scholarship and opinion can PPC contribute to an understanding of the issues of the day.”
“There are close to 1,500 titles in the WJK backlist portfolio. It would be unfair to judge the totality of a publishing program as diverse as WJK’s on the basis of a single book.” “We are making this statement to ensure the continued editorial autonomy of PPC and a responsible relationship between PPC and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).”
For additional information, please contact:
Chair, PPC Board of Directors