Tom Holland as Archetypal Pilgrim Longing for the West's Lost Enchanted Home
Over-Ripe Modernity's Challenge to Resolve Myth and History
Today's video is a commentary on @UnbelievableJB with @holland_tom and @AndyOllerton
Why is @holland_tom of particular interest to me? He wrote an outstanding book that makes the secular case for the roots of our civilization in the crucifixion and resurrection stories of Jesus Christ Dominion, and he honestly and publicly articulates the voice of a generation of individuals who are attracted to living out the story of Christianity but often skeptical of Biblical story telling's correspondence to physical history.
The questions surrounding Bible stories and physical history (what Modernists consider "real") is something church leaders need to continue to work through. It became the wedge between the modernists and the fundamentalists. There are deep philosophical reasons for this that the church hasn't fully resolved. Modernists can sometimes drift off into a gnostic mythicism that leaves us secular moral tales unable to grapple with the physical world.
Fundamentalists unconsciously found themselves having to double down on an ironic physicalism because culturally that was the only way a historical witness to Jesus' miracles and resurrection could continue to be taken seriously. This split has defined the church since Darwin "showed" you didn't need a conscious, agentic "God" to account for the complexities of nature including human development. Over-ripe Modernity has now brought us to a place where this issue needs to be more seriously addressed. The issue is so difficult it will take a generation of people working it through together to make progress. The time is now, and the leaders are starting to emerge.
What forces the issue is the evolution of the bifurcation of the Bible from "history". Modernists split the moral witness of the Bible from its historical/physical witness. Modernists kept Christian moral teaching through the Cold war because we drafted God to fight for us like an Avenger against "Godless Communism". When after the Cold War the focus turned to religious fundamentalists God was pushed out the door.
Many in the West imagined their humanist morality was self-evident. These were derived from "Enlightenment" leaders who somehow developed science and morality in a Christianity-safe clean room.
Tom Holland as a lover of antiquity began to doubt this story.
Holland is now challenging Christian leaders to grapple with uncomfortable but crucial questions that must be answered, such as whether the character of God in the Old Testament like the Bible's other heroes is morally flawed?
This kind of fair, honest inquiry is EXACTLY what the conversation needs. Cradle Christians often don't dare ask questions like these because they lose status with their fellow church people but these are the questions that haunt interested skeptics.
Churches and leaders that can't enter this estuary of honest inquiry in a fresh and compelling way are turning their backs on a generation of people longing to live into the most hopeful foundational myth in the world.