In our culture, in this generation as children of the enlightenment, we have disconnected ourselves from history and we have set ourselves adrift upon the unpredictable waters of relativity. We have fooled ourselves that there is nothing to learn from the study and appreciation of history. The words of one speak for so many: “History is more or less bunk. It’s tradition. We don’t want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history worth a tinker’s damn is the history we made today” (Henry Ford in an interview for the Chicago Tribune, May 25th 1916).
My fifth foundation is that there be a reconnection to history. For believers there is a necessity to learn from the heritage of Christian men and women who have walked out their faith before us. Psalm 78:3-8 connects multiple generations, those passed, those who are living, those who are young, those who are yet to be born; encompassing five generations of past, present and future. They are all to be taught the faithfulness of God and the unfaithfulness of their predecessors, our lesson is to take from history a confidence in the Lord to take care of His people and a warning from the short falls of others.
3 Things that we have heard and known,
that our fathers have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.
5 He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
6 that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
7 so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;
8 and that they should not be like their fathers,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
whose spirit was not faithful to God.
I hope that we can find in this generation a reconnection to our predecessors and teach future generations accordingly. I will endeavor, with the Lord’s help, to write on key figures of Historic Christianity, those who have held the line when others would compromise, those like Athanasius, Latimer, Luther, Bonhoeffer and many others. Those who we can take courage from and join with in continuing to serve the Lord with gladness.
Go to Foundation 6 to read more.