Somebody once suggested that the most accurate chart of the meaning of history is the set of tracks made by a drunken fly with feet wet with ink, staggering across a piece of white paper.They lead nowhere and reflect no pattern of meaning.Henry Ford said that history is bunk (That’s is rubbish).Is this so? It is a question that matters enormously when we think about the meaning of our existence.
The Bible presents to us God's answers to human isolation and meaninglessness. It tells us of God's love. It effectively locates us in history. It gives us bearings.Biblical religion is historical and the God of the Bible is the God of history.But one factor more than any other sets Judaism and Christianity apart from the religions amongst which they flourished at the time of their writing. It is this.The surrounding nature religions were cyclical and had no meaning. Birth death & rebirth. Humanity was going nowhere. Modern humanism is like this too in many ways. Christianity is different.There was a beginning and there will be a decisive end to this world as we know it.
Some people think of the Bible as a trackless jungle full of contradictions; a tangled undergrowth of unrelated ideas. In fact it is quite the opposite.One of the chief marvels of the Bible is its coherence.The whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation tells the story of God's sovereign purpose of grace and His master plan of salvation through Christ. The history the Bible records is /Salvation History,/ a salvation achieved by means of historical events.
As I read history it seems to me that whoever it is that writes is a child of the conditions in which they were raised, and that determines the perspective from which they write. The Bible is presented to us as having been written by God.It seems to me we have a choice when we read the Bible. Do we believe that it is just the product of human beings who are caught in their own particular culture?OR.... is it truly inspired by God, despite it's cultural setting.If this is so then it is intelligible today & timeless like God in the truths it speaks of.As Christmas approaches let’s remember & understanding afresh the centre point of the Bible, the coming of Christ as a baby and his future coming. Let us worship Him in spirit and in truth while we have time.
The Revd. Ross Hathway