No matter what some students might think, history was not invented to make middle and high school students crazy.
It was George Santayana who said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This is sometimes rendered as “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” No matter how you phrase it, this aphorism, if true suggests the study of history is a useful thing. But what about people of faith? Do we also need to be aware of, or even study, history? The short answer is a resounding, “Yes!” The long answer is not we study history because I like it.
We study history because without some sense of history we can’t know who we are. I am not suggesting it is critical for everyone to study geopolitical history–battles, kings, queens, governments–but rather it is critical for us to have some idea of where we come from. We also study history so we know where the groups, denominations, cultures, nations, etc. we are part of came from.
We also study history for encouragement, ratification of what we are doing, and to avoid others’ mistakes. All in all, I make a better case in either sermon than here so give one or both of them a listen and let me know what you think.