Sep 28, 2012
neil

Need persuading of the value of Bible college? David Bebbington offers just one piece of advice…

David Bebbington is author of Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s and Professor of History at the University of Stirling. In a recent interview with Nick Tucker at Oak Hill College he offers the following perspective on the vital need to have a good grasp of Church History;

I don’t think that people should be blinkered by one point in time – the present. I think it is an enormous diminution of human stature only to be aware of the present. To have a sense of how things have come to be as they are seems to me to be extraordinarily important and only so can one understand anything about the human condition. The dimension of time is part of being human and therefore we must all be historians. The better historians we are the better for humanity.

We might go on to suggest that pastors must be historians for the sake of our congregations and community! Whilst theological training can be undertaken in a growing number of ways whatever training we receive Bebbington’s words are a reminder that we cannot afford to underestimate the need for a grasp not only of the Bible, culture, systematics, but the history of God’s work, witness and wisdom through his church. As Bebbington goes on to note Church History is a reservoir of good ideas which we ignore at our peril.  Just one reason why we must train those we ask to lead God’s people well.

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