Issue #12: Brian, what do you mean by this?
Generous Orthodoxy, 35: “Beyond all these warnings, you should know that I am horribly unfair in this book, lacking all scholarly objectivity and evenhandedness. My own upbringing was way out on the end of one of the most conservative twigs of one of the most conservative branches of one of the most conservative limbs of Christianity, and I am far harder on conservative Protestant Christians who share that heritage than I am on anyone else. I’m sorry. I am consistently oversympathetic to Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, even dreaded liberals, while I keep elbowing my conservative brethren in the ribs in a most annoying – some would say “ungenerous” – way. I cannot even pretend to be objective or fair. This is simply an inexcusable shortcoming of the book that serves no good purpose, unless by some chance it could generously be included under the proverb, ‘Faithful are the wounds of a friend’ (Proverbs 27:6 NASB). Even so, will I be grateful and gracious when this friendly wounding is generously reciprocated?”
Is this postmodernist irony? sarcasm? or gamesmanship? None of which stems from genuine listening or speaking that is the implication of loving the Other with whom we speak and to whom we write. Please Brian, tell me – what do you really mean?