Step into my world history class and you’ll find me fired up to explain how colonization reshaped the entire world. Wherever you begin (or continue your study of Church history), I encourage you to begin (or continue) to deepen your knowledge in this critical area of Christian theology. The history of the church reminds us that Christians can be culprits of foolishness as well as bold titans for truth. It helps us understand the blessings we enjoy today that were not always enjoyed by our brothers and sisters in … God enters into a particular covenant with this new people, through the saving work of his Son, and makes promises to them as revealed in Scripture. This helps us from falling into doctrinal errors which are not new, but rather old errors stated in fresh ways. Historians must be careful not to casually ascribe divine motive where God has not plainly revealed it. Knowledge and understanding is 50 percent of your task. This conviction is grounded in the character and nature of a self-revealing, truth-telling God. The church of Jesus Christ remains, as always, a people called to faithfulness in this age as they await Christ’s return and the consummation of his rule in the age to come. 4:5). Biblical truth may be stated in fresh ways; however, Christians must remain faithful to the old paths of biblical orthodoxy. You can follow him on Twitter. The relevancy and importance of Church history cannot be stated enough. Matthew 16:18 ESV / 27 helpful votes. The history of the Church is rich with the teaching of men and woman who have held to biblical orthodoxy and defended the faith against attacks from within and without. 2 Why is Church History Important To Know? A Defense of God’s Sovereign Glory, My Speed Governor (How the Father Enforces My Sabbath-Rest). A study of church history reveals that, in the first centuries of the church, the foundations of every cardinal doctrine and practice were tested and confirmed. The church is historically unique. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will … The early fathers formed the foundation of the early Christian church. Yes, truth is objective, real, and knowable. Like a branch that grows because of its connection to the tree, we thrive when we stay connected to the church. We should also be eager to allow historical actors to speak for themselves, rather than through mediating groups or powers. It is important to know and to learn from church history, as there will always be old heresies cropping up, appearing as new teachings. This belief runs contrary to how we often understand ourselves. Before we too easily judge motives, prejudices, or intentions, we must ask how we would fare in others’ shoes. Church History: Why It’s Important!3 of !8 Church “history” is the chronological record of significant events in the life of the “church” along with the people involved, their sayings, writings, etc. God’s Word from the front (Genesis) to the back (Revelation) testifies to the finished work of Jesus. Church history is important to know because of Who is building the Church. Despite the imperfection of man, Christ has continued to sustain His Bride. Today’s church does not exist in a vacuum We are not the first generation to read the Bible. Matthew J. More The emphasis was on a personal relationship with God, learned through the teachings of the apostles. The early church fathers and councils had to determine, for example, what it meant to say with historical confidence that Jesus was both God and man. Our goal with this series is to help our readers think through these issues from a biblical worldview with lots of practical gospel-application. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, and is the Host for the Equipping You in Grace Podcast. Dave Jenkins is happily married to Sarah Jenkins. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, and sound theology. They can be egoistic and self-serving; they can be humble and generous. Since the time of Christ, the Church has lived a history of both glorious and deplorable moments. Growing in our knowledge of God’s involvement in redemptive history helps Christians to understand patterns of how He has worked in and through His people. Christians need to learn from those who have gone before us in the faith. The reason why studying church history can help us interpret the Bible is because the Spirit has illuminated the path for understanding the Bible for centuries. Even the development of post-apostolic doctrine involved history. The Importance of Knowing When the Church Began A. Calvin and Luther did not engage in doctrinal novelty. History serves to remind us of God’s faithfulness. History: THE RECORD OF MAN’S PAST a) real events involving real people b) accurate records of the events c) researchers collect the evidence and describe it 2. One of the main reasons for the neglect of Church history is its association with tradition. The Church has always had an impulse to reformation around biblical doctrine. The bond we share in Christ is more real and enduring than the connection we have with our families in the flesh. Your email address will not be published. For two millennia, God’s people have borne witness to the truths of his power and lordship, the centrality of his saving work in Christ, and the hope offered freely in the gospel. Copyright © 2021 The Gospel Coalition, INC. All Rights Reserved. Each week the Saints podcast features interviews with historians, General Authorities, writers, researchers, and others involved with the new history of the Church, Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days. Church history is perhaps one of the most overlooked areas of study in contemporary evangelical theology. “If the people of God come from every tribe and nation,” Mark Noll writes, “so then should a history of the people of God try to take in every tribe and nation.” Church history can’t be limited to Western or English-speaking peoples. 1. Humility and empathy are required. This pursuit requires hard work, original research, and a humble spirit. Church history helps God’s people understand the movements and sins that Christians have made throughout history. Abandoning the old paths of biblical orthodoxy for doctrinal novelty leads to false teaching. When one studies church history it is important to keep in mind that one is studying the movement of God the Holy Spirit in history and in the lives of the people of God. During such times, the Church is afforded the opportunity to clarify and expound on biblical orthodoxy for the benefit and spiritual growth of the Body of Christ. The Gospel Coalition supports the church by providing resources that are trusted and timely, winsome and wise, and centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Dave received his MAR and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. Our mission is to recount that history and call the nations to repent and believe in the Christ. 1. Throughout Scripture, rightly remembering is critical to faithfulness. Christians are those whose story has been intersected by the grand narrative of redemptive history. Church history helps God’s people to have a context for a biblical-theological approach to the Christian life and ministry. From Scripture we understand his ultimate purposes of redemption and his pledge to build his church. The reason why studying church history can show us what is important to the faith is because the Spirit has been at work guiding the church into truth. I love teaching on a wide range of historical subjects. Your email address will not be published. History is not cyclical in any Marxian sense; rather, it is all leading to one grand summation in Christ. Enlightenmentthinkers examined the rational basis of all beliefs and in the process rejectedthe authority of church and state. , rather than through mediating groups or powers faithful to the finished work of Jesus God is silent to. Redemptive history Pro-Life Movement affiliate disclosure: as an Amazon Associate, we realize the church check out volumes... Helps us from repeating the foolish Mistakes of others who do not with... Sympathize with the Word of God ’ s faithfulness surrounding doctrinal formulation should make better. 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