An interjection: did Randal Rauser do his readers a disservice by co-authoring a book with a layperson?
Over at Debunking Christianity , a blog I once frequented authored by someone I once respected, there's been a controversy over the fact that the book I'm currently reviewing, An Atheist and a Christian Walk into a Bar , was co-authored by Justin Schieber—someone who has no formal training in theology. The implication is that this makes the book too lopsided, because Randal Rauser is a doctoral-level academic theologian. Was he picking low-hanging fruit by co-authoring his book with a layperson? First, I'm highly confident from my reading of the book that Schieber was by no means out of his depth, and that Rauser himself would laud the discussion as spirited and thought-provoking. (And, contrary to what my readers might expect, I don't think a clear "winner" emerges from the book.) Furthermore, the book is intended for laypersons, not academics. But the question here is broader: do laypersons have any business engaging academics in the first place? Everyo