A Review of the Story of Christian Theology By Roger Olson

A REVIEW OF THE STORY OF CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY: TWENTY CENTURIES OF TRADITION AND REFORM, by Roger E. Olson. Intervarsity Press, 1999. 652 pp. $34.99. This review appeared originally in Modern Reformation, July/August 2001 Historical theology is an important part of the process . . . Continue reading →

Heroes, Villains, And Pretty Packages

The dead, in other words, are people too. Scoring points on their failings does not seem to be particularly charitable or self-interested (since one day we won’t be around to defend ourselves or the limitations of our historical moment). It is not . . . Continue reading →

Fifteen (Mostly 19th-Century) Myths About The Middle Ages

There are a number of myths about the so-called middle ages: they thought that earth was flat etc. Most of these myths were fabricated in the 19th century. Why? Because that was the apex, in the West, of “Modernity,” the Enlightenment, when . . . Continue reading →

An Ogre Minding Long Term Developments

Because of this emphasis on mentalités, Le Goff preferred to speak of birth and genesis rather than origins, decline, or decadence. Hence he wrote The Birth of Purgatory (1981) and The Birth of Europe (2003) (the French title posed a question: L’Europe . . . Continue reading →

The Difference Between What We Know And What We Think We Know

…much of what is commonly written on the history and development of the western liturgy is dependent upon reconstructions…. —D. M. Hope, “Liturgical Books” in Cheslyn Jones, Geoffrey Wainwright, and Edward Yarnold, ed. The Study of Liturgy (NY: OUP, 1978), 66.

Whence “The Right Side Of History”?

This idea of history having a ‘side’, which is liberal, enlightened and so on, harks back to the enlightenment of the 18th century, to the emergence of what David Hume called ‘these enlightened ages’, in sharp contrast to the side of the . . . Continue reading →

Where Were The Church And The Truth Between The Fathers And The Reformation?

Johnny Carson was a kid from Nebraska, who hosted The Tonight Show from 1962–92. One of his more famous recurring gags was Carnac the Magnificent, ostensibly a magician—Carson had a magic act as a high school and college student—who was able to . . . Continue reading →

What Is Historical Theology?

DEFINITION Historical theology refers to the discipline of narrating the development of Christian theology. SUMMARY Historical theology is closely related to but distinct from the discipline of Church History, which is more interested in the institutional history of the church and its . . . Continue reading →

The 1619 Project Is Bad History And Boring

Thus to speak of America’s “founding” at all is necessarily to speak of what makes Americans a “people.” When Abraham Lincoln said that the nation was “conceived in liberty” four score and seven years before the dedication of Gettysburg Cemetery—that is, in . . . Continue reading →

The 1619 Project Privileges Narrative Over Facts

According to a significant number of scholars of American history, one of the most serious weaknesses in the self-described 1619 Project, which argues that racism and slavery was a central motivation for the origin of the American Republic, is that it is factually inaccurate. Continue reading