I will be using the month of April to write about how events of history were guided by God's providence to produce the real life events that set the stage for gospel proclamation. This is a view of history that is quickly being lost in our society today.
A problem with history is our desire to 'find the next new thing' in the annals of the past. I am reading a biography of Napolean right now and I am struck by how many times the writer says, "We used to believe this... but now we feel this way." Now that statement would be good if there was solid evidence to support that change and indeed we should always let the facts shape our perception.
But my experience has been- "Well this just couldn't have happened because of...." and what they present is highly subjective and based on presuppositional opinion. Over time, these opinions - undergirded by impressive degrees- cause the conventional wisdom to be altered more under consensus than cogent truths.
"Jayopsis" means Jay's view...and I will be honest, my pre-supposition is based in the existence of a living Creator Who has clearly shown Himself in space, time, and history. I fully accept the Bible as His revelation to man... and today I begin with History as His story:
I start my historical view based on the middle east- particularly the peculiar story of the Jewish people and all the tribes and nations around them. I take the 5 Books of Moses (1 author, not many) to be excellent history of the creation and fall of man. All human beings are decendants of the original parents- Adam and Eve and offspring of the flood survivors- Noah and his family.
The more a person begins to see the Nation of Israel as a people that God chose to reveal Himself to- call unto Himself,- and prepare the world for His message of salvation in the person and work of Jesus Christ- the clearer the current condition of the world becomes. The Bible is the foundational history book:
It tells us Who God is
It tells us about the nature of man- how did things get so messed up?
It tells us about God's provision and His plan
It tells us what is our duty now
It tells us what is coming next
One exciting thing about reading old literature (like Shakespeare for example) is that human nature is still the same. Yes, technology has changed (Amen to that!) but the basic heart desires and cycle of life- conditions of existence- are so consistent that we recognize pride, jealousy, immorality, charity, frustration, fatigue, hunger, anxiousness in all of our tales of old.
One final factor in C.S. Lewis' conversion was how enthralled he was with redemption stories. And one day, Tolkien asked him, "Jack, why do you love the stories of myth but won't give yourself to the real story of redemption that all of these others allude to?" (my paraphrase)
I say the same to you..... as you read my blog over the next few weeks- ask yourself a question. Would I be at least willing to consider the Biblical world view and the life and message of Jesus?
Again to paraphrase Lewis, we believe in Christianity like we believe in the sun. Not so much that we see IT, but the fact that by it we see everything else. God's story makes the most sense of where we are and who we are. And, if God allows, one day you will be able to exit your own miserable story and walk in His. And trust me, it is one glorious walk!
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