“What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” (Eccl 1:9)
This refrain from the beginning of Ecclesiastes is music to a historian’s ears. The cliché “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it” may ring true for those who ignore the past. The modern church often falls into the trap of chronological snobbery, assuming that current intellectual pursuits are inherently superior to the past. This causes pastors and church-goers alike to forego thousands of years of wisdom in favor of the newest scholarship.
In his new book, Church History for Modern Ministry, Pastor Dayton Hartman argues that church history is not old news, but a vital component of a healthy ministry. The previous struggles and conflicts of the church can help us refine and reform our doctrine and worship today. In this practical and engaging book, Hartman shows us that a deep understanding of our past can help us address contemporary issues facing the church.