Redeeming Our Thinking about History: A God-Centered Approach

Vern Poythress

Crossway

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Why Is It Critical for Christians to Study the Past?

How does knowledge of the past shape Christians’ views of God, Christ’s redemption, and humanity as a whole? In his new book, Vern S. Poythress teaches Christians how to study and write about the past by emphasizing God’s own command to remember his works and share them with the next generation. Readers will explore concepts such as providentialism, Christian historiography, divine purpose, and the 4 basic phases of biblical history: creation, fall, redemption, and consummation. By learning how to appropriately study history, believers will begin to recognize God’s lordship over all events and how even minor incidents fit into his overarching plan.

Chapter 1: The Importance of History
 
Part 1: What We Need in Order to Analyze History: Essential Resources That God Supplies
Chapter 2: Experiencing History
Chapter 3: Foundations for Historical Analysis         
Chapter 4: Spiritual Antithesis: Darkness and Light 
Chapter 5: Reductionistic Historical Analysis
Chapter 6: Understanding People     
Chapter 7: Understanding Historical Causes
Chapter 8: Miracles   
 
Part 2: History in the Bible: How the Bible Goes about Writing History
Chapter 9: Unity in Biblical History    
Chapter 10: Diversity in Biblical History        
Chapter 11: The Uniqueness of the Bible     
 
Part 3: Understanding God's Purposes in History: Divine Purposes—and Our Limitations—in the Study of History  
Chapter 12: God in Biblical History   
Chapter 13: Cautions in Understanding Divine Purposes    
Chapter 14: The Value of Recognizing Divine Purposes     
Chapter 15: Biblical Principles Guiding Historical Understanding    
Chapter 16: Academic Historical Analysis    
Chapter 17: Pressure toward Religious “Neutrality” 
Chapter 18: Applying Principles from Revelation     
 
Part 4: What Does History Writing Look Like? Examples of Challenges in Writing about Particular Periods
Chapter 19: Christianity in the Roman Empire
Chapter 20: Interpreting the Reformation and Beyond
Chapter 21: Histories of Other Civilizations  
 
Part 5: Alternative Versions of How to Think about History: Competing Ways of Doing History among Christians
Chapter 22: Five Versions of Historiography
Chapter 23: Evaluating Providentialism        
Chapter 24: Other Versions of Christian Historiography      
Chapter 25: Perspectives on Historiography
Chapter 26: Further Reflection on Providentialism   

Appendix: Providence according to Mark Noll
Bibliography
General Index
Scripture Index


  •  Paperback
  • 256 pages
  • March 2022
  • 9781433571442