Friday, June 10, 2011

Not Really a Big Deal

We live in an era where almost every event and individual is over-sold and over-hyped. Most events - and most people, for that matter - are really not that important. Including you and me. (My sneaking suspicion is that Facebook has had something to do with this, but I have to consider it further). Perspective on ourselves and our age is available by the bucketful in church history.

Carl Trueman in The Price of Everything, does not disappoint in reflecting on our age and its need of perspective:
We live in a Warhol world where everybody wants their fifteen minutes of fame, preferably while still here to enjoy it. You can see this even in writing style. Too many theologians think that the first person singular pronoun is like a main verb: no English sentence is properly complete without one. It derives from overestimating the importance of the here and now; or, to put it more pointedly, the importance of ourselves and our contributions.

Church audiences are apparently the same: we want our man or our woman of the here and now to be the next Luther.
Too true. So what are we to do, Carl?
And that is why church historians play such an important role and our cynicism is such a boon. Church history keeps things in perspective. Through reading the texts and studying the actions and events of the past we can truly say that we have seen it all before. Thus, whatever it is that the latest guru is suggesting, it definitely will not work as well as expected, probably will not work at all, and anyway it will be a hundred years or more before we can say whether it made a real difference or not.
Read the rest of his article here.

And read Church History! Maybe wade-in with the archives of Christian History & Biography? It's not just good for the sake of intellectual growth, it's good for your humility and your perspective before the providence of God.

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