Americans are ambivalent about the past. They watch the History Channel and episodes of a costume drama like Downton Abbey, and they flock to Civil War battlefields and compile their genealogies on ancestry.com. But they also tend to fall asleep in history class. Americans are enchanted with the past but suspicious of formal attempts to study it.
Christians should love history. Ours is a historical faith, oriented around the life of a man who lived 2,000 years ago. Our scriptures tell of the ancient interactions between God and a chosen people. Even as they point us to a future final consummation of God’s kingdom, they encourage us to tell our children about the wondrous things God has done in the past.