How Should we Teach Church History In the Churches?

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Hardsheller, Dec 18, 2003.

  1. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
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    I'm bringing up this topic in this forum because of a statement made by a pastor in another forum on a topic that is now closed.

    He said something to the effect, "I have pastored for 15 years and my people would not know who Calvin or Arminius were if I mentioned their names."

    Are we really educating our church members when we refuse to introduce them to Church History? Baptist History? :confused:
     
  2. Matt Black

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    HS, I heartily concur with your sentiment! Only trouble is, church history means different things to different people. EG: a Landmarker-Successionist is going to teach a very different version than someone who regards the Baptist movement as the product of the Radical Reformation or English Separatism, a pre-trib, pre-mill Baptist will teach a different version from someone who regards hat position as a Darby-Scofield 'deviation' from historic Baptist teaching, and so on...

    But I agree, the amount of ignorance of Church History is scary

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  3. Bethelassoc

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    I've done my unbiased best to teach church history and historical doctrines to our congregation. I feel that even if the history goes against what we believe, it must be told so all will have a better understanding of it and be better suited to take it on.

    I want my church to know the "why" of everything possible. I concur with Paul's statement, "Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren..."
     
  4. Elk

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    Frankly, looking back at Christian history can be a very tramatic experience. There was much conflict of doctrine, and it appears that there was much "un-love", unreconciliation, hostility, and so forth.

    But...
    after a while, when one starts wondering if all this was a move of God or not, and one starts looking at the fruits and tests the spirits...then (I discovered) peace enters.
    For God is in control.
    As for me, I have found that God put me on this path of looking back and I discovered to my complete surprise that the Lord was leading me to peace by looking back.
    I truly believe that there are many victims of all this past hostility and so forth, that has caused people to wonder about many doctrines of the church, especially doctrines that are over-emphasized or the opposite...downplayed.

    I have discovered that one of the worst things to do when going into an environment where there are people is to tell someone what denomination you are of...it is instant division among Christian people. And that is so sad.
    Perhaps we should keep them guessing, and just let our lights shine.

    I highly recommend teaching Christian history, but give overviews. For example, look at Christian history books, how it started, how the book ends. Perhaps when the study has concluded, people would be more able to see where the Christian church is going, which would be very beneficial. There is much work to be done. But the truth is, it is all about love.
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    We have evening classes that deal with in-depth and difficult subjects (way beyond the pale of Sunday School). Church History is one of them - actually TWO. One course pre reformation and one post.

    We adapted material from http://www.gospelcom.net/chi/
    for classroom use. They also have bulleting inserts that are slick, glossy, full-color and extremely fact-filled.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
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    Great Resource! Thanks.

    "A Church without a sense of Church History is a Church buffeted in the winds of culture."
     
  7. Elk

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    Yes, Dr. Bob Griffin,
    THANK YOU FOR THE LINK! Wow.
    Thanks so much.
     
  8. Singleman

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    I'm all for teaching church history (not just Baptist history), but I'm not sure how much interest there is in the subject.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. gb93433

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    People have noticed how much I have mixed it in the sermons and Bible studies I lead. I think it can be quite interesting when people see how much we struggle with the same or similar things that Christians did in the past. Because of history we have the privilege of seeing how a particular doctine or emphasis has affected the church in a certain way.
     
  10. rsr

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    Singleman said:

    Probably more than you would think. Americans are congenitally averse to history, so the story goes, but the successful works of authors such as Stephen Ambrose, David McCullough, James McPherson, Doris Kerns Goodwin, James Davis and Shelby Foote (among others) proves that it's not futile.

    Teaching church and Baptist history should be mandatory, not optional, IMO. If they can listen to a sermon on tithing, they can listen to a sermon on history.

    A good dose of John Clarke, Isaac Backus, John Leland, Mullins and Hobbs does the Body good, and why not should our people have the experience of Tertullian (be careful there), Augustine, Jerome, Francis of Assisi, etc.?
     
  11. Taufgesinnter

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    I plan to offer Sunday school classes that'll use David Bercot's Will the Real Heretics Please Stand Up? and A Glimpse at Early Christian Church Life as textbooks--one per semester.
     
  12. Dr. Bob

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    Since I have a love for history, I find NO SERMON without 3-4 lengthy stories, analogies, parallels, illustrations from history.

    It is really fun (in my mind) to focus on one era of history and bring every part of the sermon to light in relationship to that era.

    Sometimes general (Roman, WWI, Civil War), sometimes related to literature (like Iliad, Thucydides, Shakespeare), sometimes to historical figures (Augustine, Moody, Nehemiah).

    History is a window, letting in light on the Word.
     
  13. Charles33

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    Hey, great book. I met David Bercot, and stayed at his home after reading his book. I was friends with another buddy who was in his church in TX at one time. This was my first look into the actual teachings of the early fathers, rather than just the course of history.

    I gotta, say however, that it is not for the faint of heart. A Baptist is not going to feel real good after reading this stuff. Aside from the content, David has a great approach I think to the logic of particular arguments against early Christian teachings.

    If one is going to say that what they taught was heretical in nature, I say one has to consider the whole picture of the day. And these earliest writings are quite moving to the heart.

    David's approach is to take the untiy of teachings across the mainline of early teachings, very early teachings, and contrast that with some modern theologies. Still, if nothing else, it is a great start into understanding the big names in the early patristic writings.
     
  14. Frogman

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    Thanks for the resource Bro. Bob.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  15. Bro. James Reed

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    While I think knowing our history is a good thing, and should be a big part of any Baptist's life, I would not agree to devoting an entire sermon to nothing but our history.

    Paul says that he knew nothing but Jesus Christ and him crucified. If the preaching is solely on what has happened after the bible was written, isn't it speculation rather than doctrine?

    I like Dr. Bob's use of a few short stories in a sermon, to help the congregation to relate to the point being raised, but an entire speech devoted only to history is something better left in the classroom, or at least after church.

    Martha Stewart: "It's a good thing." History, that is. I wonder if she said that when the verdict came back. ;)
     

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