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Thursday, July 24, 2008

RBL review of Boer

There is a very polemical (and a bit odd) review of Roland Boer's latest book, Rescuing the Bible, by D. A. Carson. An authority no less than NT Wrong has fired back and makes some very telling counter arguments. Wrong said that Carson volunteered to review the book but (and I ask out of some ignorance), isn't there much more selecting reviewers by RBL these days (can anyone clarify?)? If this is the case, is Carson not a strange choice given Boer's background and interests in Marxist and critical theory. Not that different people shouldn't be allowed to review different books but it seems like a strange choice. Likewise, it would be an odd choice if Boer was chosen to review Carson on (say) divine sovereignty and human responsibility? I mean experts on Markan historical criticism tend to be chosen to review works on Markan historical criticism. I dunno, just an observation. But there are implications because I would have liked someone to critique and engage with Boer on his intellectual foundations and even the very genre of 'manifesto'.

To use an old phrase, Boer can defend himself so I won't defend Boer's book or Marxism (don't worry I won't be defending Carson either). Besides, Wrong has exposed some serious problems in the review. In the sprit of recent postings here, let's look at reception. It may not be much but it ain't pretty! And, unsurprisingly enough, it highlights some interested parties and those who want the Bible to support a certain position (clue: not Boer's).

Mike Bird mentioned the review and quoted the scathing remarks at length but made no particular judgment himself. In the comments, 'Wow! What a review! That was refreshing.' I'm not sure how it was refreshing (it was critical of a left wing and secularising position - how is that refreshing?) but presumably the rhetoric of the review has roused one interested party. Not the only one... Andy Naselli claims that, 'The analysis and conclusion are refreshingly blunt'. More refreshment! In the comments the support gets weirder and a mild hip-hop makeover: 'Wow. Go, Carson. Don’t even think about messing with D to the A.' Got that Boer? I wish he'd said 'you go girl!' though.

No need to read between the lines? Are other manifestos dictating certain receptions of Boer in blog circles?


Anonymous steph said...

This ecstatic endorsement of Carson's hysterical review reminds me of something. Groupies - Bauckham's clappers and cheerers, Wright's saiders and other fans. I knew I should have stayed with anthropology or history.

July 25, 2008

Blogger N T Wrong said...

Woot woot, Steph!!

Bishop N. T. Wrong
Free Universalist Interfaith Church
Durham, North Carolina
Steph groupie

July 25, 2008

Blogger N T Wrong said...

RBL confirms that the book was assigned to D. A. Carson for his review by one of the editors. Incidentally, this is the case for the vast majority of reviews on RBL.

July 25, 2008

Blogger Bryan C. McWhite said...

You go girl.

Clearly people don't get faux hip-hop white boy sarcasm. I'll have to try something else. Let's see...

Steph, your mom's a groupie.

July 25, 2008

Anonymous s said...

I don't have a mom. Must be His Eminence's mom. She's a Jimi Hendrix groupie.

July 25, 2008

Blogger James Crossley said...

Thanks Wrong. That makes it all particularly unusual.

Bryan: don't worry I was teasing and trying my own stab at American pop culture. And a 'you go girl' is always appreciated on this blog.

July 25, 2008

Blogger Roland said...

Hi everyone, if you want to see my calm and sober repsonse to Carson's rabid right wing rant, go to www.stalinsmoustache.blogspot.com


August 07, 2008

Anonymous Christopher Shell said...

(1) The Bible is a 66-volume multi-author (but largely single-culture) library.
(2) To make the generalisation that the entire thing is univocal or that the entire thing can be called 'multivocal' is the height of generalisation, ie the height of unscholarliness.
(3) That is, unless any such generalisation is based on a thorough thematic study - which is sure to prove the mind-blowing point that *both* plenty of it is univocal *and* plenty of it is multivocal.
(4) One can only guess that those who say it is in its entirety (66 books start to finish) not univocal at all, or not multivocal at all, are showing us nothing but their own wishes or ideologies. Emotionally based or psychologically based - but not scholarship.
(5) Therefore isn't it obvious that insofar as their generalisations are not based on hard and comprehensive data (and I am sure that there is an extent to which they are - but only a limited extent) then Boer and Carson are as bad as each other.
(6) People support one or the other depending on their individual psychologies or pre-existing political or other ideologies. But that is not disinterested scholarship either - the very reverse. Nor is a presupposition a conclusion - the very reverse.

August 14, 2008


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