I am always leery about overly criticizing the “times”, and “this generation” because those criticisms are so often exaggerated. You have all heard these criticisms before, and you all know people who genuinely believe that things have never been worse than they are right now. Quite frankly I think that statements like these are devoid of any historical context. I do concede that sin is terrible, but it must be said that sin has been equally terrible throughout history. The problem, to reference Rush, is that most people’s historical context goes back to when they were born. A number of people who talk about how bad things are right now are probably thinking back to the 50s here in America (it was a conservative era of patriotism, and a culture of church-goers), rather than thinking back to Sodom or first century Corinth.
That being said, I now come to my criticism of the current generation of the Church; the church today seems to lack any significant knowledge of church history. I am not suggesting that we place church history on a par with Scripture – which is probably the precise fear that drives many away from the study of Church History. However, as a college professor used to say to me, “it is important that we stand on the shoulders of the giants from the previous generations learning from their successes and failures.”
If I had to venture a guess I would say that the majority of Christians today have never even heard of the Nicene Creed. In all likelihood most Christian will never take the time to look at the great Creeds of the Church, nor will they ever take the time to study the doctrinal clarity expounded upon in the great confessions – i.e. the Westminster Confession or the London Baptist Confession.
It is with this in mind that I am planning a new series of posts. Beginning this week I will devote one post each week to work through some of the significant confessions and creeds from Church History. I have not decided what day we will do it on yet (probably Tuesday or Wednesday).
We will begin this series by working our way through the Westminster confession of faith. Stay tuned for more information…