Believe it or not, history was one of my least favorite subjects in primary and secondary school. I did not understand the relevance of a bunch of dead guys for my life!
After I became a Christian, I began to learn about the history of Christianity. It wasn’t until my college and seminary days where I was able to study the history of the church in more detail. My Christian faith changed my perspective on history in general, and especially church history. Through my studies I came to learn that church history is very important.
God is sovereign over all things. He orchestrates all events. But these events are not limited to what is written in Scripture. The providences of God in Scripture are only a tiny portion of His acts. A study of church history is a study of the unfolding of the providence of God in the history of His church. History (and church history) has been called “His-story.” As a Christian, therefore, church history is important because it is a testimony to the acts of God in His people throughout the centuries. This is one of the reasons church history is important.
Though church history is important, it does not mean that every Christian needs to be a church historian in the formal sense. Only a small minority of Christians become church historians.
But what it does mean is you should appreciate church history and have a basic level understanding of church history. Christianity is itself a historical faith. Every second past the second now is history. In fact, by the time you read this blog, five minutes has gone into history. And, mind blow: God was orchestrating my writing this blog and your reading this blog for His own wise and eternal purposes!
Christian, why not read about the providences of God through His church in history? Doing so will increase your knowledge, wisdom, and love for the God who “works all things after the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11).
For a brief tour of church history, see the fourteen-part teaching series here.