Many people don't know this about me, but I am a history buff. I find history fascinating! Ancient history, biblical history, history of philosophy, historical theology, western-culture history, Church history, and contemporary history. I love all of these! I have 4 volumes of history books and 2 historical encyclopedias in my personal library. Reading history is like watching a good movie with a riveting story line...but in a book. I'll watch history shows or films and listen to audio lectures too. Books, however, just taste better to my brain and imagination.
In this blog, particularly, I simply want to share my 11 reasons for why I value and love Church history. Since I am a "generational cusper" (born in 1980)—I'm at the tail end of Generation X (I'm their little brother or cousin) and the beginning of the Millennial Generation (I'm their big brother or cousin)—I've observed how many believers around my age and younger tend to pass over the importance of knowing our history. Hopefully this brief blog will spur on another (whether older or younger) to reading, learning, and appreciating our history as Christ-followers.
My 11 Reasons...
- Church history reinforces my dependency upon God's sovereignty and comfort in His sovereign plan.
- Church history validates my belief and hope in God working through His Church for the holistic redemption of others—even in our failures, dysfunction, and shortcomings—and for His glory.
- Church history educates me in my ignorances of how our present Church came to be and how to learn from the mistakes of our past.
- Church history grounds my apologetics and polemics in that even though our understanding, application, and explanation of God's truth have evolved throughout the course of history, God's truth in His Word and the essential truths of our Faith have not.
- Church history deepens my appreciation of all who came before (known and unknown) that expended and sacrificed greatly for the present advancements of our Faith we now live in/with.
- Church history arouses my righteous anger toward the sins and stupidity of the Church, my need to repent of my contributions toward the sins and stupidity of the Church, and my voice to speak against us repeating the same or similar sins and stupidity.
- Church history moves me to lament over the Church's divisions and injustices, which keeps me humbled, sensitive, and in intercession.
- Church history drives me to forgo the pettiness and over-complications of the present Church in how we "do church" and are to "be the Church".
- Church history impassions me to want to do my part in our Church history through my pastoring, discipling, & raising up solid Gospel-centered, biblically-sound believers during my lifetime.
- Church history reaffirms that I cannot waste time because soon my present will be the past and I will have either spent it vainly or spent it for the glory and advancement of God's kingdom.
- Church history entrenches the indispensable truth that the Gospel must be the only lens through which every born-again Christian views all and does all in this life.
This is what I get from Church history and why I love Church history.