I knew that C.S. Lewis and I had more in common than our Christianity when he said, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." Welcome to a celebration of faith, tea, and the written word. I'm always engaged in a book, and whether it's one I'm reading or one of the inspirational historical romances I write, there's always a cup of tea close by. Join me in a cup as we chat about faith, our favorite books and the exciting places our reading and writing adventures take us.

Monday, November 12, 2012

History will Teach us Nothing, Right?

Another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. Judges 2: 10

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:14-15

Before I turn on my computer, I...

I bet you thought I'd say pray, huh? Well, yes, I do, but I also do something else which isn't nearly as noble. I own a page-a-day calendar of "stupid things people say." Every day offers a funny quote, misprinted menu item or answers people have given on quiz shows or exams which aren't quite right. For example (please know I am not making fun of anyone here):

Game Show Host (I won't identify which show): When counting down, what whole number follows 37?

Contestant: Er, 19.

The history questions always seem to stump people, too:

Ye olde Wittenberg Door, from wikipedia
World History Final Exam: In 1517, what did Martin Luther nail to the door of a Catholic Church in Germany that, among other things, protested the selling of indulgences?

Student's Answer: Jesus

(Umm, yes, Jesus was nailed to wood, but it wasn't in 1517. And ... oh, never mind.)

Sometimes we hear these types of  questions regarding historical facts that honestly sound familiar. We should know them, but we just can't quite name the answer. Other times, we honestly don't care about things and people and events that occurred centuries ago.

Does history matter anymore? Perhaps I shouldn't ask that here at the Inkwell. We love our history days and fight over them on our calendar. But in general, do you notice a dearth of historical knowledge / understanding in our culture? Schools aren't entirely to blame. Yes, they face budget cuts and are required to teach more and more subjects, but how many times have you heard adults bemoan history as boring and irrelevant?

Not to sound like a frumpy geezer, but don't we need to learn about the past in order to know where we've been and recognize where we're going?

As Christians, I would argue we shouldn't remain ignorant of the rich history of our faith, recorded for us in the Bible. Since the creation of the world, God has been active in the lives of His people. He has worked through governments, battles, victories, defeats, homes, communities, and hearts for thousands of years, moving His people closer toward the fulfillment of His will.

The history of our faith isn't a dry record of long-distant events. It's a tapestry in which we're threads, as precious to the complete picture as those who went before us. Looking at what's gone before us can strengthen our faith, teach us where we're headed, and draw us closer to the God who rules over time.
The Western Wall at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, from wikipedia

So when they were in the desert, where did the Israelites get all the gold for the Ark of the Covenant? Why is the Temple such a big deal, even today? And what was it Martin Luther nailed to the Wittenberg Door?

Pick up your Bible and a book on Church History. I promise you won't regret it.

And who knows? It might come in handy on a game show, too.

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