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Michael Bird Responds to SBL Leadership over IVP

October 20, 2016

While we have not yet seen a formal announcement from the Society of Biblical Literature, their leadership is supposed to have banned IVP over its recent clarifications on human sexuality. Michael Bird has responded to the SBL leadership in an open letter

Fifth, and somewhat baffling, is what you [John Kutsko] wrote to IVP. You said that SBL was committed to: “a variety of critical perspectives …  diversity of participation and unhindered critical discourse …  free inquiry and expression.” John, mate, I don’t want to be confrontational, but can you explain to me how does banning a publisher from the annual conference increase the diversity, free inquiry and expression of SBL? It does the opposite, it cabines diversity, it censures certain elements of belief, and inhibits free expression. Let me be clear, to ban IVP from the annual convention does not safeguard the academic freedom of SBL members, it amounts to censorship, which many of us are very, very sensitive about..

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