Barrett, Michael P.V.
The Word of God exalts history and calls us to study it, yet the prevailing attitude among many Christians today is that the study of the past is good for only collecting bits of entertaining trivia. Asserting that "meditating upon God's works and servants in history is not optional for the Christian but an important part of covenant faithfulness to the Lord", church historians Joel R. Beeke and Michael A.G. Haykin present seven benefits for the Christian who studies church history, and they provide practical suggestions for how they get started.
History Has Meaning Under God’s Direction
History Teaches Us Valuable Lessons
History Builds Humility and Gratitude
History Liberates Us From the Tyranny of the Present
History Acquaints us with the Wisdom of Other Christians
History Offers Models for Imitation
History Stirs us to Praise God
Conclusion: How do I Start?
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones once said that what the church needs to do most all is “to begin herself to live the Christian life. If she did that, men and women would be crowding into our buildings. They would say, ‘What is the secret of this?’” As Christians, one of our greatest needs is for the Spirit of God to cultivate biblical godliness in us in order to put the beauty of Christ on display through us, all to the glory of the triune God. With this goal in mind, this series of booklets treats matters vital to Christian experience at a basic level. Each booklet addresses a specific question in order to inform the mind, warm the affections, and transform the whole person by the Spirit’s grace, so that the church may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.
Joel R. Beeke (PhD, Westminster Seminary) is president and professor of systematic theology and homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary; a pastor of the Heritage Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan; editor of Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth; editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books; and a prolific author.
Michael A. G. Haykin is professor of church history and biblical spirituality at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.
“The Christian life, though filled with joy, can be difficult and perplexing. Too often followers of Christ seek to live it on their own, apart from the wisdom and examples of those who have sought to be faithful to Christ in other ages. In your hands is the work of two seasoned pastor-historians who will spur you on to study church history for your benefit and the good of those around you.” — Shawn D. Wright, associate professor of church history, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary