My children range in age from almost teenage to over twenty. My baby, however, was conceived in the early 1980s, first came to light in 1998, and went public in 2002. Here’s a picture of my baby:
Haven’t seen many purple babies? Oh well.
Some babies are able to grow up and live a normal life. My baby is now old enough to be getting some criticism. As the father, it’s sometimes hard to hear criticism. But as a father, I also know that criticism means people are paying attention to my baby. It’s criticism that will help my baby grow up and mature.
Right now I’m reading Kevin Vanhoozer’s The Drama of Doctrine: A Canonical Linguistic Approach to Christian Theology. Vanhoozer’s written a pile of books – to my one – and his baby is not only more brightly colored than mine, it’s also much longer and more detailed. I’ve read almost a hundred pages so far, not enough to make a fair judgment yet. I can say that I like much of what I see in it.He clearly picks up some of the ideas I mention or hint at and develops them with much more detail. I’m not bothered by that (a) because mine was a revision of my dissertation and it was thus more limited in its conception, and (b) I didn’t want to go into that much detail. Sometimes adding great detail is a virtue. Sometimes its just more detail. At the least he’s better at the detail than I am.
I just discovered a couple of weeks ago that Anthony Thiselton argues with me in his latest book, The Hermeneutics of Doctrine. I first read Thiselton back in seminary. He’s a real heavyweight when it comes to theological hermeneutics. I haven’t gotten my copy of his book yet so I don’t know what he has to say about my baby (and its arguments) yet, but I’m just happy he read it and thinks it worth arguing with.