6 Things I’ve Learned about Teaching History to 6-Year Olds

A rare Anxious Bench parenting post: six things that Prof. Gehrz has learned about teaching history to his six-year old twins [Read more…]

Soviets and Sassenachs: My Two Favorite Historical TV Series

In the first two posts in this series, I’ve suggested that historical movies — and TV shows, for that matter — might best be judged by asking four questions: Are they entertaining? (understanding that there are multiple meanings to the verb “entertain”) Are they truthful? (but in terms of “verisimilitude” more than “accuracy”) Are the makers genuinely interested in the past [Read More…]

What Makes for the Best Historical Movies? (part 2)

Two more questions to ask of historical films: Are its makers actually interested in the past on its own terms? Are they provoking historical thinking? [Read more…]

A Whale of a Tale: A Pastor’s Guide to Historical Research, Part II

In 1891, the British whaling ship Star of the East was slammed by the tale of a harpooned sperm whale somewhere near the Falkland Islands. Two of the sailors, including a man named James Bartley, fell over board. The whale soon died from the harpoons and the sailors, unable to find their capsized crewmates, began [Read More…]

The Historian and Imago Dei

Two weeks ago I wrote in this space about the relationship between the historians work and the reality of human sin.  This week, I want to focus on the historian’s work as it relates to the Judeo-Christian belief in Imago Dei.  Those committed to the Judeo-Christian tradition believe that God has created humans beings.  In [Read More…]

Sin and the Historian

This semester I am teaching a sophomore seminar entitled “Historical Methods.”  Since I teach at a Christian college, we spend a lot of time in this course thinking about the relationship between Christianity and the practice of doing history.  This morning I taught a wonderful essay by George Marsden entitled “Human Depravity: A Neglected Explanatory [Read More…]

Engaging the Past, Engaging History

I was going to write about the GOP Convention today, but I found the following topic more interesting: Over at Books and Culture, Nicholas Wolterstorff reviews Mark Noll’s Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind.   For Christian scholars, it doesn’t get any better than this.  For the past generation, Noll and Wolterstorff have been [Read More…]