Peter Enns admonishes Carl Trueman, Owen Strachan, and yours truly for critiquing Rob Bell’s forthcoming book before even reading it. I would agree with Enns that it is unwise and unfair to criticize a book that one hasn’t even read. But since not one of the three of us has actually criticized the book, I have to wonder why Enns’ has said that we did. All three of us were explicitly offering brief commentary on the trailer, not a definitive analysis of the book itself.
Enns appears to be under the impression that evangelical reviewers are chomping at the bit to give nasty reviews of Bell’s book. But I don’t think that is the case at all. In fact, I predict that Bell’s book will be greeted largely with a collective yawn from conservative evangelical reviewers. There won’t be an outcry like there was last time. Why? Because Bell’s reputation as a heterodox theological liberal is now well-known. Why belabor the point?
That is why I don’t expect to see a flood of urgency among evangelicals to critique his new work. My hunch is that a few trifling comments about the book’s trailer may be the extent of the attention that folks like myself give to Bell’s book. We’ll see.