IVP - Addenda & Errata - IVP Academic 3: An Ethos of University Publishing

June 11, 2007

IVP Academic 3: An Ethos of University Publishing

Back to the topic of a shared center. While many IVP Academic books fit comfortably within so-called centrist evangelical thought, our university ethos calls us to explore and bridge the space between academic communities shaped by confessional faith and those shaped by secular pluralism.

Historically speaking, it helps to understand that from the start IVP received something of a British genetic endowment through our association with IVP-UK, which already had years of experience working in the university vineyard. This has contributed to a frame of mind that is not necessarily determined by the old fracture points established by the North American fundamentalist-modernist controversies. Nowadays we find ourselves in a new era of evangelicalism in which we have wider company. But our British endowment helps explain our past and present posture even if now we are enjoying the fruits of a broader renaissance of evangelical scholarship of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

We like to think of one of the functions of IVP Academic as facilitating broader conversations that are taking place in the academy and the church. In nonessentials we wish to avoid the polarizing, sharply poised either/or mentality that characterizes some evangelical discourse. On some topics, in some fields, we may publish views, or a range of views, that stand in the “moderate center” between so-called conservatives and liberals. We do so standing foursquare on our doctrinal basis and convictions. But we also acknowledge that intellectual humility demands we recognize that certain truths and issues are far more complex than we might grasp at any one moment.

So too we recognize that while some things are nonnegotiable, we nevertheless carry with us some notions that are artifacts of long forgotten controversies and misplaced allegiances. While not assuming truth is always in the moderate center, we try to avoid reactionary thought on the right or on the left. We ask ourselves, could it even be that on some issues, shards of truth are scattered about and must be collected from all sides and reassembled? Frequently in our publishing decisions we’ll reflect on whether a book is just rehashing an old and tired debate or actually holds the promise of advancing the conversation, maybe even providing a new starting point. We place a high value on the latter while continuing to recognize that books that consolidate and repackage the known, or apparently “assured results,” of scholarship, will continue to play an important role.

Posted by Dan Reid at June 11, 2007 9:12 AM Bookmark and Share

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