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One wonders as an author, at times, what is the point of spending the effort to carefully construct a book’s argument, including all of the necessary emphases, qualifications, and nuances, when snarky reviewers go on to misrepresent the book and dodge its main argument? I ask myself that now, having just read Robert Gundry’s review of my book, The Bible Made Impossible. Book authors who are unhappy with reviews of their work responding with long, point-by-point replies are annoying, so I will not do that here. Suffice it to say that Gundry evades the central critical point of my book, focuses on side-issues concerning certain constructive suggestions offered in the second half of my book (which, btw, I do not say will “solve” the problem), and in the process lets himself and readers off the hook for explaining how biblicism could be possible, given evangelicalism’s pervasive interpretive pluralism. His review is shot full of the kind of diversions, evasions, misrepresentations, fuzziness, and catching-the-author-in-faux-contradictions that have now become a pattern in negative reviews of this books, ones which, evidently, do not want to actually face and answer its central argument. The name dropping is also amusing. But in the end Gundry is simply wrong. Biblicism of the kind I describe is real, widespread, influential, and, yes, impossible. The question is whether evangelicals have the intellectual integrity to face and deal with that reality. Gundry apparently does not. Other readers interested in these matters, however, I hope will not be deterred by his grumpings, but will actually carefully read and judge The Bible Made Impossible for themselves.
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