A Word from Alexis Clarke
Whether I am investigating the mystery of the Ancient Egyptian pyramids or learning about WWI battle strategies, I have a lifelong love of the history of the world and our interactions, as humans, within it. I had this enthusiasm long before I even knew the Lord and at the age of sixteen, I became a Christian and fell in love with history all over again. I attended a public high school and after I started following Jesus, I began studying ancient Israel in my senior History class. I was astounded that we were using the books of Kings and Chronicles as the two main sources in our study. Surely my faith and the world’s history didn’t align?
Looking back, I realise that completing the 4-unit Ancient History course consolidated my faith more than I understood at the time. It was shortly after this course that I realised that teaching history, using the Bible as not only an historical source, but the source, was something I wanted to pursue. I wanted to teach ‘His’ story from a biblical worldview.
World history is a story of wonder and horror, and at Kuyper, we teach both. We also teach discernment and learning from the mistakes of others throughout time. Learning history helps us to understand how the world has been shaped by our actions. It acknowledges that we too are part of what could be called ‘an ongoing history’. As we join the continuum of human experience, we each contribute to the history of this world. We have been and are becoming part of the narrative of God’s story. Our young historians in secondary school are encouraged to critique the past in order to recognise our absolute need for a Saviour. We also discuss and explore how we can be reconciled to Christ after we disobey Him. History continually points back to Him!
James Leonard cites an article in his blog that discusses why history must be taught from a Christian worldview. He confirms the importance of teaching it to your children (besides the fact that it is just an awesome subject!). I have included some of his points below:
- History is linear. It begins with creation and ends with Christ’s return.
- History is directed and orchestrated by God. More than just a collection of names and dates, history is a story and therefore must be interpreted so that we can see God’s purposes woven throughout.
- History requires moral judgments, and proper judgments require a biblical perspective. History is made alive when we debate the decisions of generals or the actions of tyrannical kings and then learn from it.
- Ancient history requires interaction with Israel. It’s impossible to study ancient history without studying Old Testament Israel, and there are massive worldview implications for whether one chooses to see ancient Israel as the chosen people of God or just another nation in the ancient world.
- Jesus is Lord of history. Our seven-day week is patterned off God’s creation in Genesis 1, and our system of dates is based on the arrival of Christ as the central event of history.**
We need to continue teaching the wonder and horror of history so that our students and the generations to follow will share the Lord’s narrative with others and show “the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.” (Psalm 78:4)
**From: Leonard, J. (2020). Homeschool History Curriculum from a Biblical Worldview. Basic Christian Education, https://www.basicchristianeducation.com/blog/2020/08/26/homeschool-history-curriculum-from-a-biblical-worldview Accessed 02/05/2021. Garris, J. (2015). Six Reasons Why History Must Be Taught From a Christian Worldview. Teach Diligently: Resources for Christian Education, https://teachdiligently.com/articles/six-reasons-why-history-must-be-taught-from-a-christian- worldview