Why You Should Care About The Christian Past

 By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog:

Church History Is Family History

The value of church history is not always immediately obvious to everyone. In particular, Americans seem generally allergic to history. This is true of American Christians who are influenced by the American prejudice against history. Look at the History Channel (but only briefly). How much actual history do they show? Pawn Stars, American Pickers, and Ancient Workouts. I watched a lot of Pawn Stars and even visited the shop in Las Vegas (while passing through). It is smaller than it looks on television.

American Christians (and Christians of all other nationalities and times) should care about history and even learn a little of it. Why? The Christian religion is a historical religion. In 1931, J. Gresham Machen (1881–1937) wrote,
The student of the New Testament should be primarily an historian. The centre and core of all the Bible is history. Everything else that the Bible contains is fitted into an historical framework and leads up to an historical climax. The Bible is primarily a record of events.1

He continued by explaining, quite correctly, that the–
modern church is impatient of history. History, we are told is a dead thing. Let us forget the Amelekites and fight the enemies that are at our doors. The true essence of the Bible is to be found in eternal ideas; history is merely the form in which those ideas are expressed. It makes no difference whether the history is real or fictitious; in either case, the ideas are the same.

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