Thursday, November 02, 2006

Naïveté Is Not Equal To Innocence

Over the last ten years I've read Alan Wolfe's work with interest (none of the books, mind you, but the articles he's done for The Atlantic, etc.). I doubt I've seen anyone who stands outside the Evangelical Culture work so hard at understanding these people and giving their point of view a fair hearing. It's not uncommon, however, for me to sigh as I read: having had some experience from inside that culture, I've often thought his empathy bleeds too frequently into sympathy. Still, empathy for anything "other" is in short supply these days, and his demonstration of it is welcome.

Slate links to this Wolfe review of former Washington insider David Kuo's biography of disenchantment. (It's at TNR, so you'll have to register or resort to one of those "already-registered" websites). If Wolfe's take is accurate, my use of "disenchantment" may be premature. I get the feeling Wolfe read the book, pounded his fist on his desk, then rolled up his sleeves and got to work. Not that I still didn't sigh from time to time, but I am gratified to see Wolfe take on one of North American Evangelicalism's most hallowed sacred cows: naïveté.

No comments: