Friday, May 1, 2009

Lesson 6 – History: Whose story?

A. Whose story is this?Isaiah 46 >> God is speaking to the children of Israel.
Sovereignty >> God is in control
God is fulfilling his purpose and is carrying out a plan.

God’s plan unfolding
Galatians 4:4 >> But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law

B. The plan of God· All the elements of time: past, present & future
· Principle: What you believe in the present is of the past.

C. The power of historical revisionism
History can be re-written to believe stuff in the present to point a position.
Rigoberta Menchú, was the winner of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy on behalf of Guatemala’s marginalized Mayans.David Stoll raised awareness and provided evidence to show that the story set forth by Menchu (in her autobiography: ''I, Rigoberta Menchu”) is not entirely accurate: The Rigoberta Menchú controversy

His work made front page news in the NYT on December 15, 1998:
TARNISHED LAUREATE: A special report; Nobel Winner Finds Her Story Challenged

Professor: "Whether her book is true or not, I don't care" – "what is important is getting students to believe what we want in the present"

Omissions identified in history textbooks:
Notice the following three examples from American history works:
We whose names are under-written . . . do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine our selves together into a civil body politick. MAYFLOWER COMPACT, 1620
Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? . . . I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death?

. . . ART. I.—His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States . . .

What was omitted from these important historical quotes?
We whose names are under-written having undertaken for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith and honor of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colonie in the Northern parts of Virginia do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politick.
Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death?
In the name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity. It having pleased the Divine Providence to dispose the hearts . . . ART. I.—His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States . . .
The omitted segments are those that indicate the strongly religious nature of American government documents and leaders. Also regularly omitted from texts is the fact that gratitude to God was central to the first Pilgrim Thanksgiving — and the fact that in 1782, the Congress of the United States was responsible for America's first English-language Bible; and that in 1800, Congress voted that on Sundays, the Capitol Building would serve as a church building and that by 1867, the largest protestant church in America was the one that met inside the U. S. Capitol; etc.
The context of History:
Historical context is the political, social, cultural, and economic setting for a particular idea or event. In order to better understand something in history, we must look at its context – those things which surround it in time and place and which give it its meaning. In this way, we can gain, among other things, a sense of how unique or ordinary an event or idea seems to be in comparison to other events and ideas.

Does it matter if we re-write the history of the beginning?
Instruction to the guards à Go re-write history
Matthew 28: 11-15 à lies about history à a lie is historical revisionism!!!

D. Veracity of God’s Word
Why is it that the only book that comes under attack is the bible from historical revisionist activists but not Plato’s books?

Do you believe in Plato?
Ancient documents:
Iliad & Odyssey >> two ancient Greek epic poems dated between late 9 BC & 8 BCCaesar's Gallic Wars >> lasting from 58 BC to 51 BC
Pliny’s History >> Naturalis Historia >> an encyclopedia written circa AD 77 by Pliny the Elder.

Number of early manuscripts:
New testament à 24000 manuscripts

There’s an objective to Historical Revisionism:He who controls the past controls the future.

E. God’s mandate to RememberMemorial stones >>
Joshua 4:1-7
Jewish Tassels >> Numbers 15:38 >> The tassels were to be worn to remember God’s commandments.
Passover >>
Deuteronomy 16:12 >> Commemorate the Exodus from Egypt and the liberation of the Israelites from slavery.

Our Problem:
· Forgetting what we should remember
· Remembering what we should forget
· We have a tendency to remember our boastful accomplishments.

Theodore Dalrymple >> Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass
· Life is a biography >> Video: Dalrymple & Guinness on History
· The past is the key to who we are
· The end of England’s children
· The Decay and Fall of the West - An interview with psychiatrist and thinker Dr. Theodore Dalrymple.

F. What is the meaning of life? (Question to focus group)
· I don’t know
· Making the decisions
· To use what God has given us and give him glory as much as possible
· Have a good time
· Love and to be loved
· There is no meaning to life
· To be selfish or to do good

If the meaning of life starts with you, then the meaning of life seems shallow.

The battle against the nature of God

H.D. Wells: “The frantic director”

G. Providence at work
Acts 4:27-28

· The Mayflower: A church relocation effort
· The pilgrims view of the providence of God.

Ahab and the purpose of God >> 1 Kings 22
"A certain man drew a bow at random …" [verse 34]. The point is that, under the sovereign control of God, nothing happens "at random." As the Lord says in Isaiah 46, "I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass." Our destinies are in His hands, and we cannot change this no matter how we try to "fiddle" with the past by re-writing history to fit in with our own plans.)

H. Antinomies & Paradox
We are subject to the sovereignty of God
Jean Francois Lyotard

I. The battle over History
Truth (Reality) vs. Lie (Illusion)

Photo Albums are extraordinary – each picture has a story behind it.
God has a great photo Album!!!
We all suffer from natural myopia:
We are caught up with our own little story except the great story of God.
Stepping stones – We should see ourselves as part of His story.

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