Andrew Perriman is the creator and primary contributor of the incredibly successful Open Source Theology website. His latest book, Otherways, is a collection of his essays on that site.
It lacks the footnotes of an academic book, even though this may be especially required when a topic is as involved and novel (to many) as Perrimans' eschatology. This naturally reflects the website, but - strangely - the book lacks the multi-author feel and dynamics that a site would have. Why Perriman didn't include some other authors, at least in snippets, or comments, I'm not sure.
The essays in this book have been left, by and large, unedited. That makes sense of the nature of the book, but also lead to a few frustrations for me. I can't see much reason not to add footnotes, perhaps as a response to comments that were left on the original essay. For example, in the online comments to some essays, Perriman eventually backs down from his initial position, or adds some very helpul clarifications. Could this not have been fruitfully discussed in a footnote?
Andrew starts us off with a parable, entitled, Paths in the forest, which sets the tone for what is to follow:
'Scripture is like a forest. As people explore the forest, they tend after a while to follow the paths that others have taken, simply because it's easier. So the paths get well-worn and eventually become the definitive and orthodox way of getting around the forest. In fact the paths have become so well established that cartographers produce maps, which leads to the sad phenomenon of people staying at home with their maps and never feeling the need to venture into the forest at all.
...It would be nice, in a way, if we could leave the forest alone for a while, let the undergrowth regrow, let the old paths disappear, and then start again, so that we come to know the forest for the first time' (p. 9).