It's easy to relegate geography to elective status, or to think one or two semesters is enough to cover the world and the United States. What we seldom remember is that the study of the land and people of Earth is necessary for a proper understanding of many other subjects, and that any hope of current events knowledge is pretty much a pipe dream without a good knowledge of (at least) countries and regions.
In the old days, geography was considered one of the most important topics. It was studied seriously along with history, geometry, music and rhetoric, and a person proficient in it was considered valuable in an advisory capacity to politicians and rulers. These days, it seems like most politicians don't know the difference between Georgia the state and Georgia the country.
Why is geography so important to know, especially when we have Wikipedia to tell us everything? For one thing, Wikipedia could black out at any second and leave us fact-less. For another, trying to learn history without any sense of its geographical settings is like learning to read without knowing what any of the letters represent.
For Christians, there's a more compelling reason. Of course, we need a sense of the terrain of the Near East to understand a lot of the events and imagery of Scripture, but more immediately we need to understand the physical and cultural characteristics of the world as it is now in order to develop efficient and plausible strategies for evangelism and outreach.
History is an integral part of this equation. The cultures of today were shaped by their past forms, and both ancient and modern societies are largely the product of the land and climate in which they exist. We can't hope to properly understand the present without first understanding what has gone before, and we can't really understand the past unless we have a feel for its geographical context.
Geography study isn't simply cyclical, however. Knowing more about God's world is one of the ways we can glorify and worship Him, and geography helps us do just that. Whether we're appreciating the diversity among cultures,learning to connect capitals with their countries, or absorbing the beauty of Mongolian deserts and Brazilian jungle, it isn't God's creation we're celebrating, it's God Himself.
We're doing our best to carry a wide range of products, from atlases and maps, to country-specific guidebooks and coloring books, to manipulatives and games. Whether you want to study the Bible, history, science, culture, or literature, you need to study geography as well. What we offer is designed to help make doing so fun and relatively painless.
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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