A New Kind of Christianity: response to public attention

The NPR piece on A New Kind of Christianity created a lot of response, like this:

Heard your interview on NPR this morning and thought it was great. I know you are getting intense criticism from the “brethren” but don’t lose heart! I was just having a conversation with a group of friends that have “left the evangelical church” and they are finding great encouragement knowing they don’t have to walk away from faith and you are inspiring many of them (BTW – all ages not just young adults).

More after the jump, especially from Baptists.

Referring to the recent NPR piece on my new book, a Baptist scholar writes:

I heard NPR report this a.m. relative to Al Mohler’s attack on you, apparently in a conference called to denounce you and your work. By that action you have ascended toward sainthood with many of us. Welcome to the pantheon of folks Al has singled out as destructive to God, the world and other things. For Al, Christ’s death not only placates divine wrath, but is beneficial only to a tiny minority of the elect. Nonetheless, his system is collapsing and he’s not sure what to do.

Another Baptist writes:

Dear Brian,
I recognize that you will probably not receive this email, but I couldn’t help but zip you this brief note.
I’m sitting here listening to a Podcast from Southern Seminary regarding your new book. As I am listening to the “discussion” from “moderator” Mohler and others, I can’t help but wonder if they read the same book as I did.
I suppose I’m not surprised by the reaction, but it makes me sad. Apparently you said nothing “new” or nothing “Christian” in your text – that you need to “repent” and “come to faith.” No panel members had anything positive to say – not one thing. Of course, there was no one to represent your views in the “discussion.” Is this what Christian critical thought has become?
The more they found wrong with your text, the more I became suspicious that the fair and balanced panel, was neither fair nor balanced – in fact, they seemed a bit desperate… but for the life of me, I cannot figure out why. I can’t say that I do not have issues with several ideas you have presented in the new text, but good grief – why can’t talk about it rather than vilify?
Feeling ashamed of my “Tradition”

Another response:

I was on the net the other day and saw on NPR where a southern baptist seminary (in Louisville, I believe), during one of the chapel services, held [a panel of] professors who were ripping on a book you wrote (and ripping on your character as well). Ironically, the article made me want to read your book….
Further, I am sorry that they attacked your writings and character without having you present to defend yourself. A very unChristian thing to do. They kept saying “Don’t read it” and stuff like that. It reminded me of how the Catholic Church practised the same thing and that made everyone go out and try to read the “condemned” writings. You would think that the men at the seminary who teach church history would have actually learned from church history. But it just goes to show that those with PhDs, well, that doesn’t mean they’re always very smart. 🙂