in recent days, i’ve been reading a number of book reviews on some of my favorite books – books that have influenced and formed me deeply in my own journey of faith. these are books that litter my apartment, with broken bindings and protruding post-its stuck in between dog-eared and marked up pages. i’ve read and re-read and highlighted and annotated these works from authors i greatly respect – a few have even become close friends.
and now i’m reading their book reviews. but only the bad ones.
that is not to say these reviews were poorly written, although in some cases that may be true. but i’m only reading the ‘thumbs down’ and ‘one out of five star’ types. i’m reading blog posts that claim all sorts of things about these authors and their works, spending time with the critics of these books in part to prepare myself for the bad reviews my book may get.
accusations of apostasy. heresy. watered-down christianity. appeasement and capitulation to culture. ad hominem attacks in an effort to discredit the message.
these reviews aren’t charitable – in fact, some are downright rude. unapologetically so.
so i take a deep breath and i think about john 21.