6/10/14 Josue 20
“History is written by the victors”, a young man named Josue, 20, told me in an outreach conversation at a park. As a high school history teacher myself, I know where he got that idea from, and I think there is a lot of truth to it. As I’ve observed trends in education over the years, I see that the emphasis in this age of Google is away from the acquisition of knowledge about history, like historical dates and trivia which are now just a mouse click away, and trending toward the development of critical thinking skills and the ability to recognize biases and to analyze relationships between one body of historical information and another. Critical thinking skills are good, but the downside of this emphasis is to devalue historical certainty and to uphold historical criticism and doubt, and this is the value I see being taught in the classrooms of most secular younger teachers coming out of our universities today. In their students, young people like Josue, it creates a distrust of any authority, including the Bible and Christianity, and this is what I came up against as as I shared the Gospel with him. I spoke to this, asking how he knew any historical information at all, helping him to see he generally trusts it on the basis of the word of reliable sources. I talked about how the Bible is unlike the telephone game, how it doesn’t get corrupted over time because each new translation is compared to original source documents rather than just the last corrupted source, and how the history of the Bible could not be written by the victors because so very often it presents the people of the Bible in a very unflattering light, something no “victor” would dream of doing. We have to be ready to “give a reason for the hope that is within us”, so touching on apologetics such as this is important. But apologetics can only get us so far before it turns into an endless debate or an argument. The bottom line is, What about our sin? What about a right relationship with God? What about eternity? These were the most important things we talked about, and the issues I believe the Holy Spirit will use to speak to Josue’s heart.