This series on Don Everts is by Chris Ridgeway, a friend and seminary student. His review is more of a critical interaction with the book and I want to thank him for these reviews. We’re both wondering what you think of these books and how you think they are addressing our postmodern situation?
Everts, Don. The Old Man Living in My Head: One Guy?s Musings About The Bible. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2007. Welcome to Don Everts? head. He?s been giving tours via a new series of booklets by InterVarsity Press. His second effort is called The Old Man Living in My Head, and it really is about tiny old man, more or less. Everts wants to discuss the Authority of Scripture, but this idea sits on a couch, smiles, coughs, and argues with the other virtual ideas hanging out in Everts? mental living room.
It?s a clever scheme, and not a little bit addictive to picture Humanism walking in wearing a Star Trek unitard or Youthful Cynicism brush his unruly black hair out of his eyes. Each idea takes on a personality – albeit stereotyped ? and listens to the elderly character named The Old Man Clutching the Big Black Bible tell the story of God.
And he tells it well. The language is fresh ? God whispers in our little ears, Jesus has ?student followers,? and the church is charged as the ?Keeper of the Sentence?. But Everts? mental occupants are unimpressed ? and he has them quiz the old man through a range of relevant questions. Didn?t the authors of scripture stand to profit from creating a religion? Hasn?t academic criticism destroyed the Bible? If the Bible is so clear why is the church so muddled and divided?
But here?s where Everts? answers (via The Old Man) start losing their charm. He advocates a plain meaning of the text, and casts detractors as willfully blind — leaving little possibility for faithful disagreement. Being ?biblical? becomes easy and effectively brushes aside the difficult work of hermeneutics. At the end of the day the old man?s answers are simplistic, unsatisfying, and perhaps even reflect the classic ?scandal of the evangelical mind? ? of which we seem to be receiving a na?ve tour.
~ Chris Ridgeway