History Books

January 4, 2016

For Christians, History May Be Meandering, but It Has a Purpose

David Graham in The Atlantic thoughtfully responded to my affirmation of Christian confidence about history (reacting to his critique of secular “right side of history” political rhetoric) by quoting Anglican Bishop Tom Wright:

“The resurrection of Jesus is the only Christian guide to the question of where history is going,” Wright concludes. Any Christian interpretation of history that doesn’t speak to that destination seems beside the point — and risky, too. The examples Wright cites seem to demand humility. Even if “all designs against His plans [are] doomed to failure,” [Tooley quote] that leaves a great deal of uncertainty about what happens between now and the Second Coming. I’m willing to bet the path won’t be a straight, predictable, or always reassuring one.

Rod Dreher in American Conservative also responded with helpful reflection:

Remember too this wrinkle in Christian time: that according to Christian belief, just before the End of History and the Final Triumph of Jesus Christ, the world in general will be in unprecedented turmoil, and the church in particular will undergo the worst persecution in its history. Those who will die for their faith in those days will absolutely be on the right side of history, though it may not seem so at the time.

They are both right of course. Although God is Lord of history, and Christians know by faith the final victorious outcome, the path there is crooked and often full of suffering and martyrdom.

But should Christians simply defer their hopes about human destiny until the end times? Is there an overall discernible trajectory, positive or negative? Christian commentary, especially among English-speaking Protestants, about God’s perceived hand in the ebb and flow of momentous human events used to be far more common. This analysis seemed to become unfashionable after WWI.

Read the rest on The Stream.

One Response to For Christians, History May Be Meandering, but It Has a Purpose

  1. CDGingrich says:

    As Dallas Willard so clearly taught, God established His Kingdom on earth when Christ lived, died and arose. We who love God and follow Christ are blessed to be members of His kingdom. Some day, He will come again and complete the process. But today, we still live in His kingdom.

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