When you hear “Biblical Worldview” or "Christian" followed by "history" in the same sentence, associations immediately spring up in your mind.
- Perhaps you think a Biblical Worldview in history means the history of the Bible and the church.
- Or perhaps you think Christian history means telling history from the perspective of Christians.
- You may think these terms implies a bias towards Christians and an attempt to glorify the church's role in history.
- Or perhaps you have no idea of what is really meant by these terms.
Depending on your background and previous experiences you may have a positive or negative impression. That is exactly why we want provide some definition as to what we mean when we describe a "Christian analysis of history" or "Biblical Worldview in history".
A true Biblical Worldview in history goes beyond "historical events"
Sadly, often what is meant by a "Biblical Worldview in history" is simply looking at secular and sacred events side by side, or interpreting events through a Biblical grid.
However, if we stop there, we miss the most glorious and truly God-exalting view of history. We fail to see HIS story. We see the church's story or man's story, but we don't really see God's story unless we look for God's heart in history.
And that's what we believe a truly Biblical Worldview in history is all about ... a Christian analysis of history that encompasses seeing the full perspective of God's work in the world.
The Bible as History
The Bible clearly places itself in the category of a historical document. It provides historical details which inescapably intertwine its stories with the events of "secular" history. Moreover, the Bible indicates that God's work in history did not stop with the recorded events of the New Testament.
There is a deep connection between the affairs of men and the purposes of God—which continues to the present. And, because Christians view God as active and present in our world, there is a clear connection between the Christian faith and history—the essence of a Biblical Worldview in history.
The question is, how do we go about uncovering that connection?
The answer is examining three levels of Christian history. Each level builds upon the other. Each takes us to a different dimension of understanding God's work in history.
Three Levels in History Revealed's Biblical Worldview of history
Level 1, Connecting the Chronology, providing:
- An amazingly deeper appreciation of the history in the Bible as it is seen in its historic context
- An interweaving of secular and sacred events in a way that makes the Bible come alive
Level 2, Tracing the Ideas, providing:
- An ability to analyze how ideas do have consequences
- An opportunity to see the impact that Christianity has made on Western Civilization
Level 3, Seeing God's Heart, providing:
- A chance to see God's character, His faithfulness, love, and mercy displayed in the pages of history
- The opportunity to apply what we learn in our own life
Biblical Worldview Level 1: Connecting Chronology
The first step is interweaving secular and sacred events.
Have you ever wondered what impact the Exodus had on the Egyptians? What happened the night of Belshazzar’s feast? Who was King Cyrus, whom God specifically names in the book of Isaiah?
These questions and others point us to the reality that Biblical stories took place within the pages of real history. Putting Bible stories within their historical context makes them come alive! It is one of the most exciting parts of uncovering the connection between the Bible and history.
Continuing on through history, the events of the historic church are interwoven with secular events. Setting the development of the church in the context of history will enable you to see the impact of the historical church on the surrounding culture and vice versa.
As you see the spread of the gospel—the growth of missions, the controversies and divisions, the great revivals, and more—in light of contemporary events in history, you will finally be able to connect the dots and get a glimpse of the bigger picture of God's work in the world.
This level of history will help you and your children answer such questions as:
- How do Bible stories like those of Joseph, Daniel, and Esther fit into the pages of history?
- How did the developments of the Greek and Roman empires pave the way for the spread of the gospel?
- What impact did the early church have on western civilization?
- What is the significance of the missionary movements and revivals which are often overlooked in secular history?
Biblical Worldview Level 2: Tracing Ideas
The second level of the Biblical Worldview of history seeks to discover the impact that ideas have on people and events.
Have you ever paused to consider how our view of the Bible influences the way we see government, justice, social development, art, music, education? What we believe impacts everything we do. That holds true for every religion, philosophy, and culture.
Tracing ideas through history allows us to examine their impact on people and events, discovering that "ideas have consequences."
For example, when we consider the French Revolution, it is important to understand how the powerful ideas being discussed in French cafes deeply influenced the events which followed.
And, just as the Bereans of the New Testament, we seek to evaluate these ideas in light of the Scriptures. In essence, we use the grid of a Biblical worldview to analyze changing and developing philosophies and beliefs in history.
This level of history will help you and your children learn to ask such questions as:
- What philosophies or ideas lay behind this historical event?
- Does this particular event, though it is labeled "Christian," truly reflect a Biblical worldview?
- How have secular ideas impacted the Church?
- How have Biblical ideas impacted the surrounding culture?
Biblical Worldview Level 3: Seeing God's Heart
The third and final level of Christian history looks for God's faithfulness to all peoples throughout the ages. This level of history moves beyond the scope of man's influence and impact. God has a purpose that is greater than the plans of man. And ultimately it is HIS story!
Therefore, this level of Christian history seeks out the evidences of God's heart—revealed in revivals, missions, and mercy ministries—and how that has affected the world.
For example, when we see the incredible timing of the powerful Pyongyang revival of 1907 in Korea and realize that it occurred within the brief, 5-year window of peace between the Russo-Japanese War and the Japanese occupation of Korea (which lasted 35 years), we begin to glimpse a measure of God's faithfulness, compassion, wisdom, and grace.
This is the most amazing and profound level of Christian history that is revealed in a Biblical worldview. A glimpse of God's heart for the world is one of the most life changing things you will ever encounter.
This level of history will help you and your children to consider such questions as:
- Where, even in the darkest moments of history, do we see God?
- How was God preparing His church through these events?
- How did God use this event for the spread of the gospel?
- How did God demonstrate His faithfulness in this area of history?
- How does this glimpse of God's character affect my life?
Join us for this truly life changing adventure and catch a glimpse of HIStory!