Don't Need to Know History, Think Again! (When Did We Start Leaving Reality?)

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We live in a time where people use magical thinking, they have divorced themselves from reality. If they say they are a woman when they are actually a man they "THINK' by saying it it makes it so. In the same vein if a politician says the election was rigged when it was not that makes it so ad nauseam....

"History, as nearly no one seems to know, is not merely something to be read. And it does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do." James Baldwin

People often say they don't need to know about History, history is boring or irrelevant. Church history, national history even family history are not valued. As we as a people and a nation continue dumbing down we know less and less about everything that is part of the fabric of our society.

People often protest the erasing of history but this is a misnomer. What they really mean is heritage which is a contrived sense of history, an alternative reality. And heritage can be conflated and twisted into many things, things which are actually racist or phobic in some way.

In our culture today filled with a mass of gullible and often indifferent people reality is being willfully replaced with lies and falsehoods. The politics of today are a clear example. Large segments of the population willfully promoting false history (encouraged by a totalitarian former President) to gain clout or power, to get back what they perceive they have lost.

We begin the lie by abstracting reality. Wendall Berry makes the case well:

"Abstraction is the enemy wherever it is found. The abstractions of sustainability can ruin the world just as surely as the abstractions of industrial economics. Local life may be as much endangered by "saving the planet" as by "conquering the world." Such a project calls for abstract purposes and central powers that cannot know, and so will destroy, the integrity of local nature and local community." from the article: Out of Your Car, Off Your Horse

Christians do not create or promote lies!

John 8:44

"You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

As Christians we lead a life of faith which is more often than not imperfect. We are all the worst of sinners. Our heroes are the worst of sinners like us. They cannot help us only Christ can.

The reality of specific history rejects alternate realities that we create to pridefully get our way. If we accept the reality of the past we help shape the present and the future in a more Christlike way. Christ did not make up a bogus heritage or false history nor did his followers.

Carl Trueman states there are unavoidably subjective realities in the interpreting and writing of history. “History,” he says, “is not simply a collation of facts which can only be related together in one valid narrative”. When we look at the past we must “rule out of bounds the possibility that there are a potentially infinite number of sometimes contradictory yet equally valid ways of talking about the past”. Trueman points to the theories suggesting that Elvis is “still alive and well and working as a shelf-stacker in a supermarket.” as examples of how we deconstruct reality. Trueman warns against “a kind of epistemological nihilism that has so relativized everything that access to the past in any meaningful way is virtually denied”. Historical deconstructionism and “epistemological nihilism,” is rampant in our culture and even in the church.

The reality is we need to know history, our nations history, our family history and the history of our faith.

To do otherwise is to side with "The Father of Lies".

Histories and Fallacies: Problems Faced in the Writing of History by Carl Trueman

The Wages of Spin: Critical Writings on Historical and Contemporary Evangelicalism by Carl Trueman

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