I hope I can write a coherent post without naming this person. The reason I'm not naming him is that I feel it could be viewed as "damning with false flattery" when it's absolutely not my intention to do that whatsoever.
In fact, this post is not about him at all. At least not about him as a person. I think it's about him as a symbol, though.
Everyone loves him. Heck, I love him, I really do. The man is an incredibly gifted Christian scholar and he's incredibly gifted at communicating his ideas to the proverbial person in the street or the proverbial person in the pew. And he's opened up new worlds of understanding to me as - I'm quite sure - he has done for many others. There is no "but" that follows this paragraph; unqualified admiration chez PamBG - long may he live, long may he publish, long may he open up new theological insights to the Church.
What I've noticed, though, in my trawls through blogdom is that there are lots of people who are waving various theological flags in the Christian theology wars who seem to want to claim him for their very own poster-boy.
This makes me wonder again about the utility of these theology-wars. My gut instinct is that if factions who hell-bent on denigrating each other (and I'm not just talking about the h-topic) all want to claim him as a theologian who really understands where they are at, maybe just maybe we're not actually as far apart as we like to make out? Maybe just maybe our own theological necessities are actually nit-picking rather than necessary.
What is it about the human psyche that makes us think that we can only be good in the light of the other guy being bad?