The Kregal Pictorial Guide to Church History 1

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John Hannah, the Church History Professor of Dallas Theological Seminary, centers history on Jesus Christ, and he introduces his brief 24-page sweep of Church History with these words,

“The focus of all history is captured for us by the apostle Paul when he wrote to the Romans, ‘From Him and through Him and to Him are all things’ (11:36 NASB). History is about the triumph of God.” p. 4

Two points: 1) Hannah believes our secular postmodern milieu, the classroom of the academy and popular social media, along with broadcasts of radio and TV, falls flat when we take up the question: What is the purpose of history? He says today’s world separates facts from meaning. What’s on his mind? Make history what you wish. Figure it out. Toy with it. Apply it—all to your liking. 2) The Christian approach radically differs. To work with historical fact in a Christian way aims to restore God’s interpretation. History is his story. The Christian works with the assumption that God exists, and his wisdom, power, and love govern all creatures and their actions. The whole of heaven and earth yields to his truth, learning and living concerning these four matters:

a) he is the one infinite-personal God who exists Father, Son and Spirit, and he created all things ex nihilo

b) there’s the depth and pervasive moral cosmic ruin stemming from man’s sin

c) there’s the wonders of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ of Nazareth

d) there’s the coming eternal state marked with end-of-time judgment and the blessed hope of being in God’s presence forever

Hannah would surely affirm: History’s Creator and Governor stands outside of history; and therefore, he guides it and gives meaning to it. His short 24 pages might be called God’s Pictorial Providential History of the Church.