What’s so important about studying the history of the Christian faith? The thought of spending hours learning about facts, dates, places that no longer exist and dead people doesn’t sound appealing.
What’s the value of spending time in the past, removed from a future that is difficult to manage, quoting theologians of antiquity, when much of society either won’t (or can’t) comfortably discuss their own theological doctrine? Those are valid questions, worthy of practical answers.
It isn’t Christians that have been creating, building and spreading the church for the last 2,000 years – it’s been Christ. The Christian faith revolves around His Word, accomplishing His Will, and trying to be more like Him. He’s the Father to the Christian flock, the Body of Christ, and studying the history of the evolution of our faith – Historical Theology – is akin to learning about the genealogical branches that make up our Family tree.
Brothers and sisters in Christ should know their family’s history.
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Jesus knew what He was doing when He called disciples from the margins of society, when He set the stage for Paul and Peter to argue at the Jerusalem Council in 48 AD, and when the Church was losing its way prior to the Protestant Reformation. For those who yearn for the “Golden Apostolic Age,” there wasn’t one.
Despite that, our Christian history has been amazing.