Thomas Nelson Cancels Weight-Loss Book Amid Trinity Controversy
(RNS), Sept. 12--Thomas Nelson Publishers has canceled the contract for thenext Christian weight-loss book by author Gwen Shamblin, who has beenaccused of rejecting the doctrine of the Trinity.

Shamblin, founder of the Weigh Down Diet, included comments on theWeigh Down Web site that have prompted questions,

She posted a weekly e-mail message on Aug. 10 that prompted thecontroversy.

"As a ministry, we believe in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit,"Shamblin wrote. "However, the Bible does not use the word `trinity' andour feeling is that the word `trinity' implies equality in leadership,or shared Lordship. It is clear that the scriptures teach that Jesus isthe Son of God and that God sends the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit doesnot send God anywhere. God is clearly the Head."

On Sept. 8, Thomas Nelson halted publication of Shamblin's new book,"Out of Egypt," which was scheduled to be sent to bookstores in lateSeptember.

"Gwen has touched the lives of untold thousands of people," saidMichael S. Hyatt, executive vice president and publisher of ThomasNelson. "However, because of the recent controversy created by herdoctrinal positions, we do not feel that we can go forward with thisproject."

In the same e-mail--now deleted from the Web site--Shamblinwrote that Jesus would not want Christians to uphold doctrines not foundin the Bible.

"If God wanted us to refer to himself, Jesus Christ and the HolySpirit as the `trinity,' he would not have left this word completely outof the Bible," she wrote.

Shamblin told Christianity Today she thinks some people have been"on a witch hunt" and she continues to get support from ministersranging from Episcopalians to Baptists.

"People don't care about this," she said. "They don't care about theTrinity. This is going to pass. What the women want is weight loss. Theycare about their bodies being a temple and their lives turned over tothe Lord. That's what my ministry is about."

Shamblin's book, "The Weigh Down Diet," has sold more than 1 millioncopies since it was published in 1997. Tens of thousands of churches--including thousands of evangelical ones--hold Weigh Down Workshopgatherings in their buildings each week.