excerpts from my Sent folder: whaddaboutism

Thanks for this response. One of the things I have inadvertently done with that essay is to make people think of Christian Public Intellectual as a kind of pigeonhole, and then they want to argue about who fits in the pigeonhole. That was not my intention at all, though I don’t know how I could have written the essay in a way that didn’t create that kind of debate. To me, the point of the essay was to describe a divergence in cultures, and therefore in languages, in such a way that we no longer have people who are clearly recognized, by the church and by the larger culture alike, as authoritative mediators between those cultures. So I don’t think it’s possible for anyone today to play the kind of role that Lewis and Niebuhr and Murray, in their various ways, played. (For good or ill.) To propose someone today as a plausible candidate for that role is to deny the historical thesis of the essay tout court. Which of course can be done! — but I don’t think it can be done by whaddaboutism, by “What about X?”