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Evangelical Futures

Thanks to B&C for the generous notice given to our book Evangelical Futures in the May/June number ["How Should Evangelicals Do Theology?"]. I would have been more grateful, however, had the first respondent, Harriet Harris ["Stop Fretting About Sure-Footedness"], herself exercised a little hermeneutical generosity. Instead, I find my own small contributions to this volume—an editor's preface and an essay—misrepresented every time she refers to them. Determined as she seems to be to sort the essays into just two categories—those she likes and those she doesn't—she has relegated mine to the latter category. She is entirely entitled to dislike my work, of course. But readers of B&C are entitled to reviewers who play fair with the objects of their criticism. At the risk of testing readers' patience, I select just two examples out of half a dozen.

First, Harris chides me for dismissing feminist theologians for too narrow a field of theological inquiry, as if I am indifferent both to feminism and to social implications of the gospel. Yet my essay explicitly asks, "Where is the theology … that starts with evangelical premises and pays attention to gender, to power, to women, and to other subjects overlooked by male-dominated theology?" Second, she sidesteps my opening section on the crucial place of Christ and Christology in theology, as if I am determined to champion biblicism as "the kernel" of theology over against Christ himself. Really! To maintain her charge of biblicism, she ignores several mentions of the work of the Holy Spirit and of the importance of spiritual experience in the Church for theology, such as the following: "Recent Christian work in epistemology … has been reclaiming spiritual experience as cognitively important, not merely personally moving. … The worthiness of spiritual experience as a theological resource is not in question here." I did not say everything I could say about theological ...

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