The Importance of Church History

“The notion that we read the New Testament exactly as the early Christians did, without any weight of tradition coloring our interpretation, is an illusion.  It is also a dangerous illusion, for it tends to absolutize our interpretation, confusing it with the Word of God.

One way in which we can avoid this danger is to know the past that colors our vision.  A person wearing tinted glasses can avoid the conclusion that the entire world is tinted only by being conscious of the glasses themselves.  Likewise, if we are to break free from an undue weight of tradition, we must begin by understanding what that tradition is, how we came to be where we are, and how particular elements in our past color our view of the present.  It is then that we are free to choose which elements in the past – and in the present – we wish to reject, and which we will affirm.”

–Justo Gonzalez, The Story of Christianity, Volume 1 (Peabody, MA: Prince Press), p xvii.


~ by toddbumgarner on September 14, 2008 6:36 am.

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