Historical Evaluations of Christian Thought

What we believers have today as the consummation of biblical interpretation relies in great part on a substantial historical process, and it is worthwhile to consider the details of that process and how it has yielded what we now possess. In evaluating the history of Christian thought, we consider Paul’s word concerning the Old Testament to be relevant to Christian history as well: “These things...were written for our admonition, unto whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Cor. 10:11). Much of what we have inherited from the past centuries aids us in our present Christian and church life, but mistakes have also been made, which we do well to avoid today. And while this is true in a general sense, it is hardly of practical value without a reasonable and detailed evaluation of the past. What are the particular things from the past that are beneficial to us today and worthy of our acceptance, and what are the specific things that we should never repeat in our understanding and teaching? Not to ask and not to answer these questions are to turn away from help already gathered in the Body of Christ, which is one universally and across the ages. This series of historical evaluations of Christian thought aims to ask and to answer these questions topic by topic.

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