What is History, and how important is it? This may seem an unnecessary question; and yet, many people have a shallow and limited appreciation of both the nature of the study of history, and of its relevance to them.
For the Christian, History is the study of remembering the mighty deeds of God. The importance of history is strikingly illustrated in the opening chapters of the book of Deuteronomy. Moses is about to turn over the leadership of the nation of Israel to Joshua. It is vital to note that in preparation for giving the people the terms of their new life in Canaan, he begins with an rehearsal of the history of their travels to date. His tone is that of a command and an urgent plea as he reminds them of God’s care, administered both by cursings and by blessings. Many times he uses phrases such as, “You saw with your own eyes…” and, “You must never forget…” He sums it up by saying, “You have had sure proof that the LORD is God; there is no other.” The Israelites are to remember God’s mighty deeds, because those mighty deeds are their sure proof that they serve the true and living God. They are to remember God’s ability to bless, to conquer, and to annihilate. If they forget, they may turn after other gods to their own destruction. But if they remember, they will be faithful.
So, is the study of History still as essential today? I believe it surely is. First, gratitude binds us to remember God’s mighty acts on our behalf. Second, our own faithfulness depends, to some extent, on how truly we understand the past. And third, we cannot possibly understand our place within our era without a solid comprehension of what God has already done for His people–for us–throughout all the years which have preceded us.
Course Summary and Profile:Age Range: 14 and up Topic: World History Duration: 2 years
This is a two year World History course which is designed to follow “redemption history” primarily, while including highlights of political and natural history wherever possible. The readings taken from primary sources give us windows into the lives of those who have come before us. Our other goal is to give the student a general framework of World History which will lay a foundation for further studies in history.
Required Texts (Year 1):
- Bible (Genesis-II Chronicles)
- David Rohl, A Test of Time: The Bible, from Myth to History; also sold in the US asPharaohs and Kings: A Biblical Quest. **David Rohl at Amazon**
- Herodotus, The Histories
- Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War or
- Arrian, Campaigns of Alexander (also known as “Anabasis of Alexander”)
- Caesar, The Conquest of Gaul (also known as “The Gallic Wars”)
- Tacitus, Annals of Imperial Rome
- Bible (the Gospels)
- Wall Chart of World History, ed. Edward Hull
Required Texts (Year 2)
- Bible (Acts, Romans, Hebrews, II Timothy)
- Josephus (selections)
- Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History
- Rule of St. Augustine and the Rule of St. Benedict
- Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy
- Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People
- Einhard and Notker the Stammerer, Two Lives of Charlemagne (Penguin Classics Edition)
- Chronicles of the Crusades, ed. Elizabeth Hallam
- Chaucer, Canterbury Tales(readings to be announced)
- Luther, To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, The Babylonian Captivity of the Church, and The Freedom of a Christian
- Book of Common Prayer and 39 Articles
- Covenant & Crisis In American History: An Anthology of American Poetry and Prose Illustrating Six Eras in American History, Ed., Dennis Oliver Woods
- William Shirer, Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941
- The Goebbels Diaries 1942-1943, trans. Louis P. Lochner
- The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, Philip Jenkins
Other books and readings to be announced. See also World History II Syllabus