I’m almost done annotating Dane Ortland’s popular book Gentle and Lowly. I plan to publish a thorough review, in several installments, during the month of May. In anticipation of that series, I want to communicate three things.
First, I remain perplexed at how fickle the Reformed world, at large, has proven to be towards shiny objects. I was under the naïve assumption half a decade ago that the American Reformation of the roots of Protestantism was excellent and inevitably long-lasting. Instead, it has proven itself to be susceptible to various shades of glitter. For Evangelicals, perhaps the lure of Reformation theology was always something flashy. I’m speaking in a sweeping, general way, not about specific people, necessarily, but I think Gentle and Lowly fits squarely in the middle of the shiny objects.
Second, one of the central issues of this book features the simplicity and impassibility of God. My Reformed Baptist brethren have done superb work on this subject, and I recommend that anyone planning on reading my review digest this lecture and this panel discussion. This interview may also be helpful.
Third, I read Gentle and Lowly last year. I was immediately disinterested and could not understand the buzz around the book, but was not aware of anyone in my range of mentors who held my conviction. Given that I am still relatively young and unexperienced in life, theology, and exegesis, I opted to keep my mouth shut unless someone wiser than I led the charge. Grace to You did just that last month (read here). I know that the review was critical of the book, but I have not read it. I’ve also caught wind that Douglas Wilson is preparing some type of review, but I do not know what his take is/will be. The line I am walking is this: I am not charging into a needless battle as a controversy-loving vigilante, but I am also not parroting what I hear from others. Next month, I will contribute to a public critique of Ortland’s book, and I will be solely responsible for the critique.
Let the games begin.