One of my favorite Christian social critics is Eric Miller, a professor of history at Geneva College. (Full disclosure–Miller is a good friend and we are editing a collection together on Christianity and the historian’s vocation. He also looks just like the documentary film-maker Ken Burns).
Not only is Miller one of my favorite stylists, but his prose always penetrates deeply into the human condition.
Today I read two of Miller’s pieces from Christianity Today. The first is a review of James K.A. Smith’s Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation. If you are interested in the whole worn-out topic of “Christian World View” you should read Smith’s book and Miller’s review. The latter is a great example of the historian taking the philosopher to task for failing “to foster a richer, more filial sense of our present connection to previous epochs, persons, and discourses, honoring the organic, earthy realities of our historical lineage and making more evident our debt to those we follow.”
I also revisited a piece Miller wrote a few years ago entitled “Why We Love Football.” Here Miller is at his best–writing from the earthy realities of his Western Pennsylvania home. He urges us to consider our idolatry and challenges us to find grace in the realities of our everyday existence, including football and his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers.
Keep an eye open for Miller’s forthcoming and much-awaited biography of cultural critic Christopher Lasch. I am predicting this book will get a lot of attention.