Do you think polemical reviews stimulate more Liahona-level contributions?
That's a fantastic question, Reverend. The answer is probably "yes". We've had some discussions with J Green and parallel to this FAIR is all pretending they're invested in a scholarly tone, but I really don't think the nitch of apologetics in general is scholarship -- well, there ARE some obvious reasons why. I think the readership of the Review generally speaking, likes seeing the scholars, the intellectual giants of FARMS -- as they so bill themselves -- crush critics, questioning members, and "folk" members, as many apologists hatefully refer to them.
I agree. Remember how that one wealthy LDS called D. Michael Quinn a "nothing person"? What do you want to bet that he's a Liahona-level contributor?
I think that one of the key historical puzzle piece in all of this--as was suggested to me by Dean Robbers--is SHIELDS. You have to remember that, orignally, SHIELDS was pretty much the only game in town, and this was before the apologists learned to conduct themselves online (so to speak).
Of course, as the declining page counts and diminishing readership indicates, the market for polemics is contracting. The game is changing.
Yes... Though it's tough to read the crystal ball at this point, imo. FWIW, I was alerted to a potential "changing of the guard" at the MI in the coming months. Of course, I have no idea if it's true or not. I may post on this later.