A New Kind of Christianity: More reviews and responses

Andrew Perriman offers a question-by-question series of reviews here …
This response from a reader in Texas – especially interesting are his reflections on the recent SBTS panel:

Probably like many others, I felt compelled to read your new book simply because of all the intense debate. I have read about six of your other books, so I was not a stranger to your approach to the gospel.

(More after the jump)

I love a spirited discussion among people who are passionate about they believe, and who have thought deeply and deliberately about those beliefs. So from that standpoint alone, you have earned my admiration.
I also appreciate the gracious way you have handled the attacks on both your writing and yourself. That alone has taught me much how I ought conduct myself.
For me, the most appropriate response to “A New Kind of Christianity” is not to agree or disagree with what you say, but simply to allow myself to be challenged and to wrestle with these same issues.
In reading the various discussions of your book on the blogosphere, it struck me that most people are oblivious to the influence that personality and tribal identity have on our thinking. I relate to how you write partly because I am a fairly creative, intellectual, intuitive kind of guy and it’s easier to see things from your point of view. That doesn’t make you or me a better person, it’s just the nature of personality. If I was a more structured, practical kind of thinker, I might easily reject what you have to say just because I don’t have to tools to see things the same way. But I might be a hell of a better accountant than you’ll ever be.
The tribal part has to do with the limits we perceive that we are not willing to cross. I might be highly creative, intellectual, etc. but I might remain so entrenched within a certain religious or ideological tribe that I simply focus my personality on defending that tribe.
I found the So. Baptist Theological Seminary panel discussion particularly fascinating in that sense. It seemed liked the leaders of a tribe were reacting to a perceived threat. How else can one explain the oddness of these academics taking up their intellectual arms in a public forum for no other apparent purpose than to preach to the choir before them?
It was fascinating but also very sad. I wondered what percentage of the audience had read your book, or ever would after such an indoctrination. Yet they gladly cheered on those academic gladiators in that one-sided arena.
At the same time, I realized that these are people that in another context I might easily consider to be paragons of the faith.
Thanks again for your work, and may God continue to give you the grace to deal with the various attacks on your faith and character.