Monday, April 23, 2012

Michael Sean Winters Slams Ross Douthat's New Book

I have yet to read a positive review of Ross Douthat's new book, Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics.  Now Michael Sean Winters joins the chorus.  You can read his entire review here, but here is the conclusion:

My problem with Douthat’s book is not that his opinions differ from my own. My problem is that he does not seem to have any idea what he is talking about. In the West, there has been no universally accepted authoritative voice on orthodoxy since the Reformation. “What am I to do when many persons allege different interpretations, each one of whom swears to have the Spirit?” asked Erasmus in 1524. But Douthat does not see the larger picture that he aims to explain, and his treatment of his subject is so pitifully mistaken in things large and small that what we are left with is a meandering, self-serving screed. The book has the same reliance on private judgment that anyone who was really concerned with heresy would recognize as part of the problem, not part of the solution.