I’d like to offer an apology for publishing on my blog the review found below of Dan Brennan’s new book, Sacred Unions, Sacred Passions. I used language that was not conducive to a good dialogue about the book itself, and let my own preoccupation with some issues I had interfere with making a just critique of the book. Next week, I’ll try to write a more thorough response to the book and address more specifically why I wasn’t satisfied with it, not just some of the stylistic and other difficulties I had (though I did mention a couple of them below).
I do not think the book was poor, poorly written, or poorly argued, entirely. I will admit that I came to the book already in a certain frame of mind regarding the overwhelming number of “authors” one now finds on the web. It seems to me that there is an overabundance of white, male, Christian “writers, speakers, and theologians” out there. Everybody seems to have ideas and think that they’re worth publishing in a book, and therefore we have an overabundance of white, male, authors writing books that simply fill shelves. This demographic fact has ways on my mind whenever I consider the possiblity of writing something in the future. Don’t get me wrong, my life has been well-formed by such authors, including my own father, but it seems they come a dime a dozen. I get pretty ired when I read a blog by some young white guy who wants to be the next Shane Claiborne and so he titles himself an established speaker and writer because he keeps a blog and speaks at a church from time to time, really titling himself what he wishes he were (maybe he ought to just put, “Shane Claiborne wanna-be…” or insert your favorite world famous theologian). I don’t think Dan Brennan fits into that box, but admit that glancing at the cover and never having heard of the publisher, I had my prima facia doubts.
Therefore, I began reading SUSP with that question in mind: did this need to be written, is it contributing substantial new arguments or ideas, and is it distinct as a concept or topic? Like I said below, I agree with the basic thesis of the book, but it never sold me on those 3 questions. I was overly harsh in my critiques of the writing style and its reasoning; probably my posture in reading the book and my dissatisfaction with it overall made it easy to make stronger criticisms.
I will try to respond more to the content of the book in a future post.