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

Shamblin, founder of the Weigh Down Diet, included comments on the Weigh Down Web site that have prompted questions, reported ChristianityToday.com.

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

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

"Gwen has touched the lives of untold thousands of people," said Michael S. Hyatt, executive vice president and publisher of Thomas Nelson. "However, because of the recent controversy created by her doctrinal positions, we do not feel that we can go forward with this project."

In the same e-mail--now deleted from the Web site--Shamblin wrote that Jesus would not want Christians to uphold doctrines not found in the Bible.

"If God wanted us to refer to himself, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as the `trinity,' he would not have left this word completely out of 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 ministers ranging from Episcopalians to Baptists.

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

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

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