Back in January, I had the privilege of speaking at the Northwest Expositor’s Seminar just outside of Portland, Oregon. In addition to the main topic that I was invited to address, I was also asked to be prepared to recommend and briefly summarize a few books that are outside my field of scholarship. In reality, almost nothing that is non-fiction is really irrelevant to a historical theologian. But I get the idea—something not directly about church history or Christian theology.
In fact, I quite enjoyed the preparation and came ready to talk about some of my favorite books. Sadly, and for no apparent reason, I became violently ill and was prevented from speaking for only that one session. The next day, after my recovery, I even offered to abbreviate my final session in order to make room for some book recommendations, but no one took me up on the offer. So here I provide something that I would not have done in the limited time I had there—a selective summary of and then brief riff on themes related to Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business(1985).
(If you have never read this book, please, don’t delay, open a new browser window right now and go purchase this book. Then come back and continue reading.)