Category Archives: History

Paul and the Giants of Philosophy | Reflections & Notes

Joseph R. Dodson and David E. Briones, eds. Paul and the Giants of Philosophy: Reading the Apostle in Greco-Roman Context. IVP Academic, 2019. (177 pages) [Download all the tables here] REFLECTIONS In the decades of reading and studying the Bible,

Paul and the Giants of Philosophy | Reflections & Notes

Joseph R. Dodson and David E. Briones, eds. Paul and the Giants of Philosophy: Reading the Apostle in Greco-Roman Context. IVP Academic, 2019. (177 pages) [Download all the tables here] REFLECTIONS In the decades of reading and studying the Bible,

The Late Birth of a Flat Earth | Article

I was recently in a lecture where the mythology of a flat-earth belief was referenced as being supported by and a buttress for religious dogma. I’m continuously amazed at how this mythology persists, and this post is my contribution at

The Late Birth of a Flat Earth | Article

I was recently in a lecture where the mythology of a flat-earth belief was referenced as being supported by and a buttress for religious dogma. I’m continuously amazed at how this mythology persists, and this post is my contribution at

The Color of Compromise | Reflections & Notes

Jemar Tisby. The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism. Zondervan, 2019. (253 pages) REFLECTIONS We should all be unsettled at our history; the ancestors and ideologies that have preceded us. We should be equally dispirited

The Color of Compromise | Reflections & Notes

Jemar Tisby. The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism. Zondervan, 2019. (253 pages) REFLECTIONS We should all be unsettled at our history; the ancestors and ideologies that have preceded us. We should be equally dispirited

The Triumph of Christianity | Reflections & Notes

Rodney Stark. The Triumph of Christianity: How The Jesus Movement Became The World’s Largest Religion. HarperOne, 2011. (506 pages) REFLECTIONS Religion is often stereotypically dismissed as myth. But what if the academic history told about religion is actually itself the myth? My

The Triumph of Christianity | Reflections & Notes

Rodney Stark. The Triumph of Christianity: How The Jesus Movement Became The World’s Largest Religion. HarperOne, 2011. (506 pages) REFLECTIONS Religion is often stereotypically dismissed as myth. But what if the academic history told about religion is actually itself the myth? My

21 Lessons for the 21st Century | Reflections & Critical Notes

Yuval Noah Harari. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. Spiegel & Grau, 2018. (372 pages) REFLECTIONS If a book sits on a shelf and no one reads it, does it make a sound? p. 326 If you want provocation, look no

21 Lessons for the 21st Century | Reflections & Critical Notes

Yuval Noah Harari. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. Spiegel & Grau, 2018. (372 pages) REFLECTIONS If a book sits on a shelf and no one reads it, does it make a sound? p. 326 If you want provocation, look no

Enlightenment Now | Critical Reflections, Critical Reviews, & Notes

Steven Pinker. Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress. Penguin Random House, 2018. (556 pages) CRITICAL REFLECTIONS There are several possible approaches to the dilemma of this juncture in human history. Some panic. Some celebrate. Some hope and

Enlightenment Now | Critical Reflections, Critical Reviews, & Notes

Steven Pinker. Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress. Penguin Random House, 2018. (556 pages) CRITICAL REFLECTIONS There are several possible approaches to the dilemma of this juncture in human history. Some panic. Some celebrate. Some hope and

The Passion of the Western Mind | Reflections & Notes

Richard Tarnas. The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas That Have Shaped Our World View. Ballantine Books, 1991. (544 pages) REFLECTIONS This may be my top favorite book ever. The mere scope of the project is astonishing, and

The Passion of the Western Mind | Reflections & Notes

Richard Tarnas. The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas That Have Shaped Our World View. Ballantine Books, 1991. (544 pages) REFLECTIONS This may be my top favorite book ever. The mere scope of the project is astonishing, and

Why On Earth Did Anyone Become A Christian in the First Three Centuries? | Notes & Critical Review

Larry Hurtado. Why On Earth Did Anyone Become A Christian in the First Three Centuries? Marquette University Press, 2016. (144 pages) Larry Hurtado’s blog; For one thing the question as posed by Stark and most other scholars who have addressed earliest

Why On Earth Did Anyone Become A Christian in the First Three Centuries? | Notes & Critical Review

Larry Hurtado. Why On Earth Did Anyone Become A Christian in the First Three Centuries? Marquette University Press, 2016. (144 pages) Larry Hurtado’s blog; For one thing the question as posed by Stark and most other scholars who have addressed earliest

David Christian: The History of our world in 18 minutes | Transcript & Highlights

First, a video. Yes, it is a scrambled egg. But as you look at it, I hope you’ll begin to feel just slightly uneasy.Because you may notice that what’s actually happening is that the egg is unscrambling itself. And you’ll now see the yolk and

David Christian: The History of our world in 18 minutes | Transcript & Highlights

First, a video. Yes, it is a scrambled egg. But as you look at it, I hope you’ll begin to feel just slightly uneasy.Because you may notice that what’s actually happening is that the egg is unscrambling itself. And you’ll now see the yolk and

Moral Combat | Review & Notes

R. Marie Griffith. Moral Combat: How Sex Divided American Christians & Fractured American Politics. Basic Books, 2017. (395 pages) REVIEW I would consider categorizing this book as a “journalistic lamentation.” Griffith’s research and reporting is quite incredible. I can only imagine

Moral Combat | Review & Notes

R. Marie Griffith. Moral Combat: How Sex Divided American Christians & Fractured American Politics. Basic Books, 2017. (395 pages) REVIEW I would consider categorizing this book as a “journalistic lamentation.” Griffith’s research and reporting is quite incredible. I can only imagine

The Rise and Fall Of Adam and Eve | Quick Review & Notes

Stephen Greenblatt. The Rise and Fall Of Adam And Eve. W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2017. (419 pages) QUICK REVIEW This is one of the most comprehensive and eye-opening historical narratives on the subject of Adam and Eve I’ve ever

The Rise and Fall Of Adam and Eve | Quick Review & Notes

Stephen Greenblatt. The Rise and Fall Of Adam And Eve. W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2017. (419 pages) QUICK REVIEW This is one of the most comprehensive and eye-opening historical narratives on the subject of Adam and Eve I’ve ever

TED | Gus Casely-Hayford: The powerful stories that shaped Africa

Now, Hegel — he very famously said that Africa was a place without history, without past, without narrative. Yet, I’d argue that no other continent has nurtured, has fought for, has celebrated its history more concertedly. The struggle to keep African narrative alive has been one

TED | Gus Casely-Hayford: The powerful stories that shaped Africa

Now, Hegel — he very famously said that Africa was a place without history, without past, without narrative. Yet, I’d argue that no other continent has nurtured, has fought for, has celebrated its history more concertedly. The struggle to keep African narrative alive has been one

Homo Deus | Notes & Critical Reflections

Yuval Noah Harari. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. Harper, 2017 (449 pages) 1 The New Human Agenda For the first time in history, more people die today from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die

Homo Deus | Notes & Critical Reflections

Yuval Noah Harari. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. Harper, 2017 (449 pages) 1 The New Human Agenda For the first time in history, more people die today from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die

Sapiens | Notes & Critical Review

Yuval Noah Narari. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. HarperCollins, 2015. (443 pages) Sapiens home page; Gates Notes; John Sexton, The New Atlantis; Ezra Klein, Vox; Timeline of History Years Before the Present  (Sapiens | Years Before the Present .pdf) 13.5

Sapiens | Notes & Critical Review

Yuval Noah Narari. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. HarperCollins, 2015. (443 pages) Sapiens home page; Gates Notes; John Sexton, The New Atlantis; Ezra Klein, Vox; Timeline of History Years Before the Present  (Sapiens | Years Before the Present .pdf) 13.5

The Mystery and Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls | Notes

Hershel Shanks. The Mystery and Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Biblical Archaeology Society, 1998. (246 pages) INTRODUCTION Between the early 1950s and 1956, archaeologists and bedouin vied with one another to find more scrolls, and eventually a library of over

The Mystery and Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls | Notes

Hershel Shanks. The Mystery and Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Biblical Archaeology Society, 1998. (246 pages) INTRODUCTION Between the early 1950s and 1956, archaeologists and bedouin vied with one another to find more scrolls, and eventually a library of over

Boxers & Saints | Reflections

Gene Luen Yang. Boxers & Saints. First Second, 2013 (336 pages) Seattle pi review by Jeff Provine; NYTimes review by Wesley Yang; Download a Teacher’s Guide; National Book Review lecture and trailer; I’ve included a significant portion of the NPR

Boxers & Saints | Reflections

Gene Luen Yang. Boxers & Saints. First Second, 2013 (336 pages) Seattle pi review by Jeff Provine; NYTimes review by Wesley Yang; Download a Teacher’s Guide; National Book Review lecture and trailer; I’ve included a significant portion of the NPR

The Imitation Game | Notes

“Sometimes it is the very people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.” Are you paying attention? Good. If you’re not listening carefully, you will miss things, important things. I will not

The Imitation Game | Notes

“Sometimes it is the very people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.” Are you paying attention? Good. If you’re not listening carefully, you will miss things, important things. I will not

How The Irish Saved Civilization | Review & Notes

Thomas Cahill. How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland’s Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe. Anchor Books, 1995. (245 pages) — Notes — Nothing that is worth doing can be

How The Irish Saved Civilization | Review & Notes

Thomas Cahill. How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland’s Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe. Anchor Books, 1995. (245 pages) — Notes — Nothing that is worth doing can be

Sophie Scholl | Review

Sophie Scholl – The Final Days (Wikipedia entry) [NR], 2005 This movie is about the last days in the life of Sophie Scholl, a 21-year-old member of the anti-Nazi non-violent student resistance group the White Rose, part of the German

Sophie Scholl | Review

Sophie Scholl – The Final Days (Wikipedia entry) [NR], 2005 This movie is about the last days in the life of Sophie Scholl, a 21-year-old member of the anti-Nazi non-violent student resistance group the White Rose, part of the German

Masada | Notes

Yigael Yadin. Masada: Herod’s Fortress and the Zealots’ Last Stand.  Steimatzky Ltd., 1997. (272 pages) 1 The challenge * Western drop to the Dead sea is more than 1,300 feet. * 66 AD, the Jewish revolt flared up into a

Masada | Notes

Yigael Yadin. Masada: Herod’s Fortress and the Zealots’ Last Stand.  Steimatzky Ltd., 1997. (272 pages) 1 The challenge * Western drop to the Dead sea is more than 1,300 feet. * 66 AD, the Jewish revolt flared up into a

Did Jesus Exist? | Notes & Review

Bart Ehrman. Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth. HarperOne, 2012. (361 pages) [many thanks to Janelle for our copy!] Introduction When mythicists use the term [myth] they often seem to mean simply a story that has

Did Jesus Exist? | Notes & Review

Bart Ehrman. Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth. HarperOne, 2012. (361 pages) [many thanks to Janelle for our copy!] Introduction When mythicists use the term [myth] they often seem to mean simply a story that has

TED | Neil MacGregor: 2600 Years of History in One Object

The things we make have one supreme quality — they live longer than us. We perish, they survive; we have one life, they have many lives, and in each life they can mean different things. Which means that, while we

TED | Neil MacGregor: 2600 Years of History in One Object

The things we make have one supreme quality — they live longer than us. We perish, they survive; we have one life, they have many lives, and in each life they can mean different things. Which means that, while we

Paper Clips | Review

Miramax, 2004. [G] As a part of their study of the Holocaust, the children of the Whitwell, TN Middle School try to collect 6 million paper clips representing the 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis. Beautiful. Several themes emerge

Paper Clips | Review

Miramax, 2004. [G] As a part of their study of the Holocaust, the children of the Whitwell, TN Middle School try to collect 6 million paper clips representing the 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis. Beautiful. Several themes emerge

Understanding Biblical Kingdoms & Empires | Notes & Review

Paul H. Wright. Understanding Biblical Kingdoms & Empires: An Introductory Atlas & Comparative View. Carta, 2010. (40 pages) On the Edge of Empire in a Land Between …the overall pattern in the historical record of the peoples of the ancient

Understanding Biblical Kingdoms & Empires | Notes & Review

Paul H. Wright. Understanding Biblical Kingdoms & Empires: An Introductory Atlas & Comparative View. Carta, 2010. (40 pages) On the Edge of Empire in a Land Between …the overall pattern in the historical record of the peoples of the ancient

As A Driven Leaf | Notes & Review

Milton Steinberg. As A Driven Leaf. Behrman House, Inc., 1939. (480 pages) This is a historical fiction story of Elisha ben Abuya, based upon historical records, but pieced and crafted together by the author with some elaborations and dismissals. Thus

As A Driven Leaf | Notes & Review

Milton Steinberg. As A Driven Leaf. Behrman House, Inc., 1939. (480 pages) This is a historical fiction story of Elisha ben Abuya, based upon historical records, but pieced and crafted together by the author with some elaborations and dismissals. Thus

The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time | Notes & Review

Will Durant, John Little, ed. The Greatest Minds and Ideas of all time. Simon & Schuster, 2002. (127 pages) I recently discovered Will Durant and his work, and will be engaging with it for the next several years. Very readable,

The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time | Notes & Review

Will Durant, John Little, ed. The Greatest Minds and Ideas of all time. Simon & Schuster, 2002. (127 pages) I recently discovered Will Durant and his work, and will be engaging with it for the next several years. Very readable,

Jesus and the Victory of God | Notes & Review

N.T. Wright. Jesus and the Victory of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God, Volume 2). Fortress Press,1996. (741 pages) It was serendipitous for Wheaton to be holding their Theology Conference featuring Wright, and particularly this work. Audio available

Jesus and the Victory of God | Notes & Review

N.T. Wright. Jesus and the Victory of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God, Volume 2). Fortress Press,1996. (741 pages) It was serendipitous for Wheaton to be holding their Theology Conference featuring Wright, and particularly this work. Audio available

The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization | Notes & Review

As someone who is not as well versed in this area of history, I must take caution as to the bias and presentation of programs like these. The Netflix reviews are helpful for keeping that in mind, as many are

The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization | Notes & Review

As someone who is not as well versed in this area of history, I must take caution as to the bias and presentation of programs like these. The Netflix reviews are helpful for keeping that in mind, as many are