… an unintended effect is a real effect, which may be welcomed without prejudice to intended effects. … facing such an unintended effect and sensing the presence of an intrusive subjectivity, modernist historical criticism, like virtually all modernist criticism, catches itself in time, and muffles its inclination to join in the discussion as one might muffle one’s inclination to join in a laugh at a funeral. The critic may find the joke funny, but to laugh at it would interrupt the ceremony—or, in this instance, retard the collective enterprise. Postmodern criticism—going nowhere, we might say—feels no such inhibition. More important, it has time to linger over distractions and chance arrangements that, like a sunset, are intended by nobody, but may lift the spirits of anybody willing to be led outdoors for a look.

– Jack Miles, in Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God, pp. 331-332.