Tuesday, August 31, 2010
For those out there that are Civil War buffs as well as disciples of the prince of peace I want to call attention to Mark Noll's The Civil War as a Theological Crisis. Noll is one of the foremost historians of religion in its North American contexts and has done us all a huge service in this small (200 pages) and very insightful work. The Civil War was for all intents and purposes a religious war in many ways akin to those in Europe. The religious dimensions of the war have often been minimized and even downright denied by much 20th century scholarship. Noll explodes this myth and does it soundly. Of particular interest to those who take following Jesus seriously, Noll's chapter on "The Crisis over the Bible" is worth ruminating on at great length. Put this one on your to read very soon list.
Over the last decade Thomas Cahill has become one of my favorite writers. His "Hinges of History" series has been a delight to read, entertaining and informative. His Mysteries of the Middle Ages and the Beginning of the Modern World is larger than his previous volumes and it is beautifully and lavishly illustrated. I love it for the medieval art alone! People were not as dumb in the "dark ages" as popular mythology would have us believe. Again one can not read through this period of history and not at the same time learn something of the ways of God's ever flawed people in this world.
Sometimes it is interesting to hear about what others think about certain books or authors. One author that has been influential in my "scholarly" development has been Gordon Fee. His book, with Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth changed forever how I read the Bible. Fee's works are some of the preeminent examples of not only what scholarship is but what faith scholarship must be. So it was interesting to me to come across this short interview with him on who he finds to be stimulating. Enjoy. Blessings and Shalom.