Podcast Review: Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History

I recently stumbled onto Hardcore History by Dan Carlin. Overall, after listening to only two episodes, my recommendation is a hearty YES. I received a recommendation to listen to his series on World War One, and that's what I am doing. So, yeah, I'm writing a review after only two shows...but that's about six hours worth of lectures.

I know nothing about Carlin's personal qualifications or bona fides with regards to teaching history, but I have found him energetic and enthusiastic, which makes him easy to listen to. Whether or not this academic or another thinks he's a qualified teacher, he very much is a qualified story-teller, and this is what he does. He tells stories. True stories, yes. But stories nonetheless. He is an engaging narrator.

I am learning once again that public school ripped me off. Or, rather, they ripped off my parents who paid into them. I was not taught history.

From a worldview analysis standpoint, sadly Carlin is a materialist. Whether he would call himself an atheist or an agnostic is neither here nor there; bottom line, he thinks history just kinda happens, for some reason or for none.

#publicschool ripped me off. I was not taught #history.—Gordan Runyan

In his first podcast about WWI he comes closer to brushing up against ultimate truth than with which he is probably comfortable. He admits there that the number and startling nature of the coincidences that made WWI happen were of such a quality that it tempted him to believe in things like predetermination. The Christian concept he found himself wrestling with is Providence. The unseen hand of a transcendent intelligence, moving pieces across the world as if on a chess board in order to make a particular thing happen, boggled his mind.

In the end, though this sort of evidence was plain to him, he chose to stick with "logic" as his worldview. Of course, this is where we want to cue the erstwhile presuppositional apologist to inform Mr. Carlin that his materialistic mindset cannot account for things like the laws of logic. To deny the existence of God is to deny the "logic" of trying to live and think logically.

Frankly, to deny the existence of the God of the Bible is also to rid yourself of the one thing that can give any kind of meaning to the study of history itself. How logical is it to devote yourself to the study of history when history is a totally random and purposeless thing that means nothing? It is akin to devoting one's life to studying the manner in which the bubbles fizz upward in a newly opened soda.

This glaring issue aside, I do recommend you give a listen to Hardcore History, and start with Part One of the World War One series of lectures.


Gordan Runyan

Gordan is a husband of 31 years, and the father of 3 daughters. He is the pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Tucumcari, New Mexico. He and his wife host the Worldview Media Podcast, where they analyze movies and other entertainment through a Covenantal lens. He is the author of the book, Resistance to Tyrants: Romans 13 and the Christian Duty to Oppose Wicked Rulers, and the young adult action/adventure novel, The Groaning Man.

My Website: http://reconstructionistradio.com/worldview-media-podcast/