By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog:
Most adults probably know by now that the story of the first Colonial Thanksgiving was a little more complex than that learned as a child. To catch up see Robert Tracy McKenzie, The First Thanksgiving: What the Real Story Tells Us About Loving God and Learning From History (2013). There are young people, however, who have learned an equally simplistic (and even malevolent) story in which the colonists and pilgrims were genocidal maniacs. Check your child’s history books. If one of them is Howard Zinn’s, A People’s History of the United States your child is being taught one of those discredited narratives.
Apart from cultural and political arguments over American colonial history, however, Christians do well to appreciate the necessity and power of being thankful. Even among Reformed people gratitude as a motive for the Christian life seems to have fallen on hard times. One need not look far to see various alternatives being suggested. It has been said to me quite plainly that the Heidelberg Catechism (1563) is a “Lutheran” confession and that the old Reformed schema of “guilt, grace, and gratitude,” the three parts of the catechism (and arguably the outline of the book of Romans) are either passé or make sanctification a “second blessing.”