Book Review is a "News Update" over at The Living Church
OK. I am filled with envy. Tobias Haller's book, "Reasonable and Holy: Engaging Same-Sexuality" has been "reviewed" by Dr. Ephraim Radner and the whole thing considered a "News Update" by the Living Church.
Then again, maybe I'm not so envious. Reviews are not news, and The Living Church knows that. The news is that Radner and one supposes TLC really really really don't like the content of Haller's book and more the content of Haller's existence.
How else to explain a review that goes on at some length to show that (i) the book is thin - short, made up of "several articles" from his blog and odds and ends of sidebars, callout paragraphs and vague discussion questions, (ii) not nearly scholarly enough, being "a mishmash in terms of sequence," "not particularly novel," lacking in "studied consideration of the topic in terms of Scripture and tradition," (iii) thin logically, blog like, with out "scholarly fundation," and (iv) is mostly a "handbook for pro-gay advocates in the church."
On this last point Radner graciously senses that the "book does its job well." But on all other maters, "a tissue of "maybe" is what Radner finds. The rousing conclusion of all this is that "One sorry side effect that has come from the migration of theological argument to the debates of the blogsphere...is just the loss of context for the extend kinds of scriptural reflection reflection that Pope John Paul II in fact offered in the addresses collected in Theology of the Body. The arguments over same-sexuality and marriage deserve such continued reflection. Haller's book will have its uses, but not in that context."
The problem is that Tobias So the nub of Radner's problem with Haller's book is that his writing moves beyond reflection to engagement with the issues "on the ground." The book is not scholarly and reflective, it is topical and active. Haller is alive and well, a priest of the church, speaks engagingly and might actually make sense to people thinking through some of the issues about same-sexuality in the Church. He is therefore dangerous. So the news is, dear friends, that Tobias is dangerous.
No, maybe I am indeed envious. I've always wanted to be considered dangerous. My friends have all the fun. How else to explain the wry wisdom of Haller's blog posting on the doings in England?