The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

Coming soon . . .

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Written by Jeremy Walker

Friday 4 October 2013 at 18:50

Posted in Book notices

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  1. You didn’t actually post a link here to your Ref21 article on Gurnall on celebrity pastors. So, on the rather tenuous assumption that The New Calvinism Considered might also include some attention to this phenomenon, I thought I would stick this comment here.

    Whenever these sorts of discussions crop up, I’m invariably reminded of a striking paragraph from Mary Cosh’s Edinburgh: The Golden Age (Edinburgh: John Donald, 2003), p. 30:

    The focal point of the Presbyterian church service was of course the sermon. It is hard today to appreciate the enthusiasm with which society in general flocked to listen eagerly to sermons that might easily last two hours, often twice in a day, and the adulation, almost hero worship, lavished on the preachers of the time. Congregations hung on their every word, and good preachers were discussed with as much earnestness as fine actors, their doctrines dissected, their delivery critically analysed and their every foible and idiosyncrasy—facial detail, hair, expression, changing emotions—implacably noted. Religious writings are full of meticulous accounts of the incumbents of every church, sometimes in merciless terms.

    As it happens, she’s describing mid-18th Century Edinburgh, during the “Scottish Enlightenment”!

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. Indeed.

    David Reimer

    Tuesday 15 October 2013 at 18:31

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