Responding to Public Criticism

“A number of people have asked if I plan to respond to some of the more public criticism of my and my friends’ work. Defending oneself is never very effective, it seems to me, although sometimes it must be done (I think of Paul in 2 Corinthians, for example). People who publicly disagree with your original statements are generally even less likely to give a follow-up a fair hearing. And people who did not read you fairly or carefully the first time around are likely to do the same the second time.

Fortunately, a number of scholars and leaders – some I’ve met, others I haven’t – are writing some helpful replies to some of the criticism we’ve received. Also, a few of us are working on a short joint statement that might help quell some of the misstatements and unfair judgments that have been made. I’ll post the statement here when it’s completed.

But even where we’ve been treated less than fairly, there’s much we can learn from our critics – and it’s good when there is vigorous dialogue on important matters.” ~ Brian McLaren

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