My experience at the new Cokesbury

Today I needed to purchase the texts for my upcoming class on the New Testament so I turned to the internet and, the online presence of the soon-to-be-closed Cokesbury bookstores.  According to leadership at UMPH (the United Methodist Publishing House), is poised to compete with Amazon or Barnes & Noble.  Well Neil (Alexander, President and Publisher at UMPH), I hate to break the news to you, but if my experience today was any indication, you just need to go ahead and shutter the whole works right now.  I would imagine that the property at UMPH headquarters in Nashville, with its proximity to the new convention center, would make a pretty penny for the UMC if we were to sell it in the current market.

The class that I am taking is COS311-New Testament I at United Theological Seminary.  The text books are all common and respected titles.  At, I could only find 4 of the titles.  I could only locate 2 of those tiles by their ISBN.  I did not have this problem at Barnes & Noble or at Amazon.  At both of the commercial sites I was easily able to find all of the texts by ISBN without fail.  To top it off, the cost of the 4 books that I could locate at came to $133.88 before tax.  The cost at Barnes & Noble was $110.75 and the cost at Amazon was $110.72, both before taxes.  Plus, I would get free shipping at all but Cokesbury.  Needless to say, did not get my business.

What can we expect in the future?  If my experience today is any indication, I don’t really hold out much hope that there is much of a future for Cokesbury.  And when the lights are turned off, I have to wonder just what kind of future there will be for Wesleyan theology without a voice.  And that is the biggest disappointment of all.