Tuesday, Nov 26, 2019. Let us talk about history and its relationship to my own life. What is my involvement? Is history really important?
It is a good question! I think we should take it serious and try to list the possible answers.
Importance of History …
I live here and today. What do I care about what has been before? What do I care about what could have been, or what will be? I am here now. I am not eternal (at least it is difficult to say something about eternity). So my only concern should be what is now. Reality counts. Nothing else?
But I am not just a cow, eating grass. I am more than some dump animal, not thinking about the past and the future.
Humans have abilities which go beyond those of animals. That does not mean that our abilities would not have some type of reflection in animal life. Animals also act. Animals also feel. Animals also can think to some extend. But all these abilities are much further developed in humans.
And with human abilities comes the interest in history. We have questions. We ask where we came from. Even if we live here and today, there is still the need for more!
Is history important for my life? Is it important above the mere fact that we are interested in history?
But how can you separate our interest from our actions? We need to understand development of things, to think about actions. We want to do. We want to control. We want to plan. The basis of plans is the history of plans.
Learning needs history! We cannot learn something without knowing how it was before. Memory. Even emotions. They are all linked to the past.
The Bible …
The biblical books range far back into the past. They start with history in the Old Testament. They tell the story of creation. They start with history in the New Testament. They tell the story of Jesus, where he came from. The biblical books know that we are curious, and that we need history to determine our position today.
But let us come back to the question, why history might be important for me today.
The New Testament teaches that the story about Jesus is important since Jesus lives today. He is there, here and now. You could talk to him. He is there by his spirit, the holy spirit.
The biblical books are not historical in the sense that the things they talk about are dead now. They are not dead, they are alive! The experiences of the people of the Old Testament are alive, since God is alive and the holy spirit is alive.
It is good to ask why history is important. To me, it became very important when I started to understand that the experiences of the people in the past are my own experiences. They can help me today, since the situation is the same. God is the same. And God still wants to link up with humans.
The history becomes very interesting when it is the history of someone you love. Or when a good friend appears there, acting and talking. This is world history to me now. Christ Jesus has been there. His spirit talked to the church fathers, to the people of Israel thousands of years ago. And he is still talking today, through his spirit. These are far reaching claims. They are not my claims, these are the biblical claims. They coincide with Christian experience ever since. There is a lot to explore! (Roland Potthast)
This is part of the trilogy project “Faith of a Scientist”.