Darrell Reimer, online friend of many years, is a great source of provocation and encouragement — by way of example — to keep consideration of the various Christianities of one’s experience (not necessarily to be read ‘adherence’) fresh. Something he gave only glancing mention to over the summer, an L.A. Review look at Tom Holland’s recent popular treatment of Western history as Christian history, has been particularly productive for me in the last couple of months, albeit in a funny sort of indirect way. Having Holland’s book’s appearance on the brain led me to borrowing it from the library (I have it next to me now, renewed several times if still, I confess, mostly unread). Having Holland’s book at hand made me more than perhaps usually attentive when my girlfriend mentioned that her dad was by coincidence just then reading Diarmaid MacCulloch’s popular history of Christianity. I’d never read MacCulloch (nor watched the hit BBC series based on that book), so I got to looking into him a bit. That led me to his 2012 Gifford lectures (also tied to a book). I’ve taken in those six talks now several times — he’s great to listen to, obviously finds some real delight in the form — and moved on since to the audio version (via Scribd) of his history of the Reformation / Counter-reformation period in Europe.
22 Jan 2021