Claim #2: It’s out of date.

It’s not my fault there was a delay in publication. If I’d have updated it, Rollo or others would be crying “it was changed!” Nothing to see here.

Rollo then later in an addendum complains that I did know all along that some things about Dehlin’s views had changed, and that I mentioned and footnoted this. One can’t win.

If I’d updated it, I’d have been accused of altering my paper. If I don’t, I’m accused of ignoring important data. So, I split the difference, say I’m not updating but direct readers to the fact that some things have reportedly changed—and some things haven’t.

This is, I point out once again, a review of:

  1. 2 Mormon Stories Podcasts
  2. 2 Interviews of Dehlin
  3. Things Dehlin wrote or said elsewhere in approximately the same timeframe that bear on (a) and (b);
  4. Things Dehlin referenced (e.g., MormonThink) in (a) and (b) to assess reliability of the material he provides.
  5. A later-added review of a Mormon Stories survey

The current state of affairs has nothing to do with the above. If Dehlin has altered his views, I presume he would be grateful for his mistaken, previously-expressed views to be critiqued thoroughly, so unwary readers or listeners will not be misled. However, since the items in (1) and (5) persist on his website and Dehlin does not think there are anything wrong with them that warrants retraction or correction, I suspect that isn’t the case.

Rollo and others could avoid these mistakes if they’d abandon the false conviction that the review is of John Dehlin. (I realize that such a view is a convenient smear, and so some are loathe to part with it.)  It isn’t. It’s of (1), (2) and (5) above, and (3) and (4) things that bear on the claims made therein.

Thus, my review doesn’t really care where John’s personal view(s) are right now—they are beyond the scope of the material being reviewed.

A review of written or spoken material is never “out of date”—I could review Brodie’s 1947 book, and doing so is still timely, because the book is still in print and available to an audience. If my intent was to review Dehlin’s intellectual stance or development, it would perhaps be dated, or at least incomplete. But that was never my intent.

And, finally, the choice to use present or past tense is really one of style. I could as easily write:

  • J.R.R. Tolkien says that he stopped writing for a long time once the Fellowship reached Balin’s tomb in Moria.
  • J.R.R. Tolkien said that he stopped writing for a long time once the Fellowship reached Balin’s tomb in Moria.

Its a question of style, and I found the first simply flowed better.