It seems that every high school history teacher explains to their students why history is so important and why we need to study the past.The teachers show that by learning the past we can avoid making mistakes in the future. I enjoy history, but I don’t necessarily love it. My church near Orlando has had a Sunday School block that has gone over Church History. I have found it to be extremely interesting and educational. But is that all it is? Interesting and educational? What else can we gain from Church history? After mulling it over for a while I thought that we could learn from former heresies, traditions, symbology, way of living, and Christian liberty vs antinomianism to name a few. There is no reason why history can’t become imminently practical.
So you can ask, “What is the big deal and why waste your time studying these things?” Reformed professors have taught that when a “new doctrine” or belief comes up in the church we must 1) Look to the Scripture and let Scripture interpret Scripture and 2) Look to church history to see where our Church fathers would have decided (since they are closer to the original source they would be the best to look to).
I hope to write a five part series over the next few weeks that shows how Church history has guided the way for the Church today and how we (especially in the American Church) have strayed off track from our Church Fathers and the implications of changed thinking. I hope to write on the following topics: The Trinity, Inerrancy of Scripture, Orthodoxy vs Orthopraxy, Cessationism, and Ministering to the Poor. Looking at this list it seems like a very daunting task, but I am excited to learn about these things and hopefully share some helpful insight on our History…our Family History. It is from history where we learn and not repeat history’s mistakes.