Earlier this week I was very happy to find a letter from NYU with a review of The Mainline included. The review appeared in the Voice of Reason, the chief organ for Americans for Religious Liberty. As their website (http://www.arlinc.org/) notes:
"Since it was founded in
1981 Americans for Religious Liberty
steadfastly supported the constitutional principle of
separation of church and state that is the indispensable
guarantor of religious and intellectual freedom, religiously
neutral democratic public education, and individual freedom of
What intrigued me was that, and I don't think I'm off in saying this, an organization of the Religious Left, who often find common cause with Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (a group I talk about in The Mainline) was among the first to review the book. As an author, I am always interested in reading reviews of my work (whether they are glowing or not in their tone). And considering some of the arguments I made or allude to in the book, I was also intrigued to see what ARL's Al Menendez would have to say.
The review itself was a straightforward discussion of the main arguments of the book. Including linking it to the wider literature on Mainline decline, but also acknowledging that I make a case for a new line up for the Mainline in the twenty-first century. As an author, I greatly appreciated the fact that Mr. Menendez appreciated (or "got") my main points. I am also happy that the book was being reviewed and looked at by a wide audience of people across the political and theological spectrum (or at least, so I imagine). That is a good thing. One of my hopes in writing the book was to prompt this kind of dialogue (in addition, of course, to selling a few copies as well), where we can understand a shared (if not always common) past.