Why Christian History Matters

Posted: August 5, 2011 in christianity, history

Andrew Jones:

…I would argue that the connection between history and Christianity is essential. Because the Incarnation was nothing less than the entry of God Himself into the stream of human history, it affirms the reality and value of the lived human experience. The Second Person of the Trinity affects our salvation not as an abstraction, but as a human life. In becoming a son, a friend, a teacher, in speaking our language and mourning our dead, God affirmed the temporal and social reality of our being. In entering our history at a specific time, in continuity with a meaningful past, and proclaiming a future of consummation, Christ repudiated the classical understanding of cyclical and ultimately meaningless history and codified the Jewish understanding of history as the story of God and His people, a story with a beginning and an end. Christianity has temporality in its essence.

With this in mind, the Christian ought to read all history as salvation history, and understand Christianity itself as having duration. It seems to me that a description of Christ that does not include his birth and childhood, while not necessarily wrong, is certainly incomplete; and, likewise, an understanding of Christianity that does not include its history.

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