The Importance of History

A Protestant Approach

Why Should I Care About Church History?

It opens us up to new ways to understand the Bible. We are not the first people to read the Bible. Many, many people, past and present, have read the Bible and considered what it means. There is so much to learn from others who have come before us. Sometimes this brings a clarity to the text that we couldn’t see before. Sometimes this challenges our assumptions, as our cultural biases can distort the meaning. Sometimes this edifies us and builds us up. There is so much to learn from the many Christians who have come before.

A Protestant Approach to History

The Bible serves as a filter for accepting doctrine. A key principle for Protestant thought is that the Scriptures alone are trustworthy for doctrine to lead us into salvation. This does not mean that Scripture is our only source of doctrine, but rather that it serves as the metric by which we measure other doctrines. We can use history, philosophy, science, and more to develop our understanding, but we test all things against the Scriptures.

Faithfulness to Christ

In all things we are to be faithful to Christ. Whether we are Protestant or not, we are called to love one another and serve the poor. Reading the Scriptures and reading the history of the Church, we see that these two things are imperative. If you are Protestant as I am, I seriously encourage you to read and respect important figures throughout history. If you don’t know where to start, check out my book recommendations and the articles I have written on the councils. As we learn, let it not just sit in our heads, but draw us to deeper love and affection of Christ and our fellow humans.

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