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Social & Historical Commentary

History is a uselessstudy without interpretation and analysis. Especially for Christians,an understanding of the past must go beyond surface-level facts to behelpful; with understanding, however, studying history is one of the best ways we can spend our time. Not only does it reveal the nature of man and time,history shows us who God is and howHe's guided the progress ofhumanity from Creation to the present day.

Secular writers make a big deal about "objectivity." They say wecan only trust historians without a vested interest in their topic, that we can only know what "really happened" if we're given the facts alone, presented dispassionately and without appended observations. This is patently absurd. Everyone has an angle, and that angle will influence their perspective no matter howhard they try to remain neutral.

That's not to say weshould throw objectivity to the winds—it is important not to gloss the bad bits or make the good parts better than they actually were, and we ought to seek factual accuracy as much as possible. However, it's also true that we shouldn't apologize for passing judgment on the past, for showing where man's attempts at greatness and truth fail utterly whenever they diverge from God's established Law and Truth.

As Christians, we think it's particularly important to read history through a lens. Not a distorting lens, of course, but one that brings folly and sin to light while simultaneously illuminating good. Americans tend to take a lot of things for granted, from the moral necessity of the Revolution against England to the importance of personal autonomy and rugged individualism.

God's people can't afford to think as nationals of any stripe. We must think like Christians, analyzing history (and everything else) by the standard set by Scripture, not by our own political or sociological views. The books in this section are intended to help us achieve that goal, to look at the past and see how man's rebellion is consistently thwarted by the all-powerful hands of Yahweh, who made mankind and his acts, and who controls the destiny of every individual, every nation, and the entire universe down to the last detail.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.

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Parent Categories
Social & Historical Commentary
7 Items found Print
5 Cities That Ruled the World
by Douglas Wilson
from Thomas Nelson Publishers
in Art & Culture (Location: C08-01B)
Birth of the Modern
by Paul Johnson
from HarperCollins
Social Commentary for 10th-Adult
in History for Adults (Location: CLT-HIS)
Black & Tan
by Doug Wilson
from Canon Press
for Adult
in Clearance: Christian Books (Location: C01-CHR)
Feminization of American Culture
by Ann Douglas
from Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Social Commentary for Adult
in Culture & Discernment (Location: C08-01D)
History of the World in 6 Glasses
by Tom Standage
from Walker and Company
for 10th-Adult
in History for Adults (Location: CLT-HIS)
Modern Times
by Paul Johnson
from HarperCollins
Social Commentary for 10th-Adult
in History for Adults (Location: CLT-HIS)
Worldly Saints
by Leland Ryken
from Zondervan
Social Commentary for 11th-Adult
in Puritan History (Location: C06-03D)