The Biblical Structure of History (18): Chapter 15, Progress

Gary North – November 16, 2021

For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody (Isaiah 51:3).

For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14).

A. Covenant Model, Part 5

Part 5 of the biblical covenant model is succession. The system of covenantal sanctions in part 4 benefits covenant-keepers and hampers covenant-breakers. This creates the conditions favorable to increased dominion by covenant-keepers. This dominion produces positive effects over time.

Part 5 of biblical social theory is inheritance. Covenant-keepers progressively inherit the earth. Covenant-breakers are steadily disinherited. “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just” (Proverbs 13:22).

Part 5 of Christian historiography is progress.

B. Progress Described Biblically

Isaiah 51:3 describes a future society. This society is described in terms of restoration. God restores society to be like the garden of Eden. This is the imagery of the world before the fall of man. As part of God’s curse on mankind, the world outside of the garden was turned into wilderness. It became difficult for man to cultivate. The curse imposed a major economic loss on mankind. Man would have to work by the sweat of his brow to grow food. The curse increased the costs of production. It encouraged cooperation, economic specialization, and increased output.

Isaiah understood that the people of Judah would recognize the story of the fall of man in Eden. Their parents had told them this story. So had the Levites. They understood that the world they lived in was under a curse. They also understood that it is the task of covenant-keepers to work to restore a world comparable to the garden of Eden. This takes time and effort. It takes capital, especially accurate knowledge. It takes all of the benefits of civilization. It is a long-term task.

Habakkuk reminded them that this dominion process applies to the whole world. Dominion was not a geographically limited assignment given to Israelites to restore only the tiny nation of Israel to fruitfulness. The whole world had to be restored. But how? The heart of the dominion covenant is adherence to God’s law: point 3. This is the way in which people gain the blessings of God: point 4. These are not limited to spiritual blessings. They are comprehensive blessings that apply to every area of life. Man’s sin in the garden was a comprehensive rebellion. Therefore, God’s redemption of mankind in history also is comprehensive.

Habakkuk told the Israelites that the whole world will see the glory of God. This glory will be comprehensive. He reminded them that their task in life was to extend this knowledge of God to those outside of Israel. This was an evangelical function. The nation of Israel served as a kind of cultural boot camp. It was to become something like a re-creation of the garden of Eden. It was a to be a training ground for covenant-keepers. Their work will be successful, he assured them. This was a vision of worldwide redemption. The prophet said that this vision will be fulfilled in history. Biblical progress means the redemption of the world. This will be comprehensive. It will apply to every area of life that is presently under the dominion of sin. There will be no safe zones for sin.

C. God’s Visible Kingdom

Evidence of God’s comprehensive redemption will be widespread knowledge of the word of God. Dominion is not merely technological. It is covenantal. At the heart of the covenant is God’s law-order: point 3. Adherence to this law-order is the basis of positive sanctions in history: point 4. This is the message of Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28. The Israelites understood this. Moses had told the generation of the conquest that this was the case. Each successive generation was told what the conquest generation had been told. Jeremiah reminded Judah of this message. The nations outside of Israel will see this redemption of Israel. “Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he. Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all” (Jeremiah 31:10–12). This message gave Israelites hope that the whole world would understand that God is in charge of history, and He directs history to favor His people.

Later in this passage, we read a prophecy regarding the law of God.

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more (Jeremiah 31:31–34).

The Epistle to the Hebrews cites this prophecy as being fulfilled by what takes place in the hearts of Christians. This is the promised New Covenant.

For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: (Hebrews 8:7–10).

Then it announces this regarding Jesus: His footstool victory through His law in covenant-keepers’ hearts.

But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more (Hebrews 10:12–17).

Jeremiah’s prophecy to Judah regarding the law in men’s hearts has been definitively fulfilled by the church of Jesus Christ. All of the prophecies associated with the rebuilding of Zion now apply to the church. The task of the dominion covenant still applies to all mankind, but God expects His New Covenant people to use His law-order as their tool of dominion. It was a tool of dominion for Old Covenant Israel, but the Israelites continued to violate these laws. God divorced Israel in A.D. 70: the fall of Jerusalem to Rome’s legions. Jesus had warned the Pharisees of this divorce. God will create a new nation, He said. “Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof” (Matthew 12:43). That nation is the church. This is why Paul called the church “the Israel of God” (Galatians 6:16). We know what the fruits will be: worldwide dominion. These will be the same fruits that had been promised to Israel. The kingdom of God will be visible to the whole world. Until it is, Christians’ task of dominion is not over.


D. Kingdoms in Conflict

There are two kingdoms: the kingdom of God and the kingdom of man. The kingdom of man was established by a covenantal agent of Satan: the serpent. Such an oath was implied, but it was not formal. This was implicit: the right of man to everything in the garden, including the forbidden tree. Adam through his actions passed judgment on the word of God. He decided that he would test the word of God. Perhaps the word of God was not autonomous. Perhaps it was not authoritative. It was merely one opinion among two. The serpent had offered one interpretation. God had offered the other. Adam decided that he would run a test to see whose word was accurate. He was the arbiter. He did not act in the name of the serpent or Satan. He acted on his own authority in his own name.

God has established His kingdom. He has established a law-order governing this kingdom. He presented this law-order to the Israelites at the time that they covenanted with him by oath at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19–23). Moses read those laws to the generation of the conquest four decades later. The Israelites were required by God to adhere to the laws that God had given them. God promised positive sanctions for obedience. He promised negative sanctions for disobedience.

Paul compiled two lists of laws whose violation identifies covenant-breakers. He said specifically that covenant-breakers are headed for destruction because they violate these laws. That is to say, there are negative sanctions associated with violating these laws, and God imposes those sanctions in history.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them (Romans 1:28–32).

Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine (1 Timothy 1:9–10).

The Bible teaches that there are rival kingdoms that compete for dominion in history. They do so in terms of rival systems of ethics. The conflict between the two kingdoms is not primarily based on power. It is based on ethics. The kingdom of man does have a tendency to manifest itself as a power religion. But the Bible makes it clear that this strategy of dominion eventually fails. “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright” (Psalm 20:7–8). “Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors” (Psalm 73:18–19). The biblical basis of long-term dominion is obedience to God’s laws.

E. Covenantal Success

A Christian historian should begin with this premise: there has been no change in the concepts of covenantal success and failure with the coming of the New Covenant. There is ethical conflict in every area of life between the two kingdoms. A Christian historian should understand that there has been an escalation of conflict because of the New Covenant. The conflict has spread outside the borders of Israel ever since the days of Augustus Caesar. There has been an increasing self-consciousness on the part of both covenant-keepers and covenant-breakers about the nature of the conflict. Each side becomes more self-conscious about implementing its worldview at the expense of the other. Renaissance humanists were far more self-conscious than their predecessors. Enlightenment humanists were more self-conscious than Renaissance humanists.

Humanists in the nineteenth century became more self-conscious than humanists in the eighteenth century. Humanists in the twentieth century continued this increase in awareness regarding the threat of Christianity to the extension of the kingdom of man. But, with each escalation of self-awareness, humanists have become more irrational. The confidence of Renaissance humanism is no longer widespread among humanists in the twenty-first century. The epistemological and moral acids of deconstructionism and postmodernism have undermined humanism. These acids have barely touched Christians. Among those Christians who did not go to graduate school, these acids have had almost no effect at all.

There is a familiar saying among humanists: “Man’s technological knowledge has outpaced his moral knowledge.” This is surely an accurate assessment. It has been accurate for as long as civilization has existed. There is a reason for this. The division of labour increases specialization in production. Men then trade with each other. The benefits from the division of labor and trade have combined to persuade men to cooperate. They sell their ideas. They cooperate with each other because this increases their output and therefore their wealth. Technological knowledge has therefore advanced far more rapidly than ethical knowledge has.

Men are ready to fight at the drop of the proverbial hat. James was correct: “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (James 4:1–3). War comes from sin. Men are not equally ready to cooperate with each other in areas outside of market exchange. God understood this when He cursed the ground (Genesis 3:17–19). This curse forced men to cooperate with each other in order to increase their wealth. So, there has been steady technological development throughout the ages.

This is why men’s technological knowledge always outpaces their ethical knowledge. Covenant-breakers’ ethical knowledge is based on theft. Self-proclaimed autonomous man possesses no knowledge that he has not stolen from God. He is a thief in every area of life. From the day that Adam and Eve stole fruit from God’s tree, man has been a thief. There has always been extensive technological development in the area of warfare. In this area of life, men have progressed technologically from the beginning. They want to be able to fight more efficiently. The military victors take the wealth of the losers. But the price of this victory is destruction. War is destructive.

There are two major economic processes at work in history. One process favours cooperation through voluntary trade. The other process is warfare, which rejects cooperation. It is destructive. Trade is not destructive. Members on both sides of a voluntary transaction hope to improve their wealth. If they do improve their wealth as a result of a transaction, they seek to make another transaction. Cooperation increases wealth in the camp of the covenant-keepers as well as the camp of the covenant-breakers. Both kingdoms prosper economically.

A Christian historian who looks at the history of technology will find that covenant-breakers seem to be the pioneers in technological innovation. There is an economic reason for this. There are more of them to become pioneers. There is a greater division of labour within the camp of covenant-breakers. But both sides win when either side gets richer. Productive technological techniques are difficult to monopolize. Good ideas spread rapidly. Success is imitated in the realm of economics.

In contrast is the realm of evangelism and conversion. This is competition for souls. This form of competition is what economists call a zero-some game. One kingdom wins when an evangelist persuades someone in the other kingdom to defect. Thus, in matters of confession of faith, the warfare is more obvious than in matters of economic trade and technological advancement. Christian evangelism invites covenant-breakers to bring their talents and wealth under God’s authority. It invites them to become God’s servants. Converts move from death to life. John the Baptist announced: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). So, Christ’s kingdom expands through evangelism. This is non-violent warfare.

Jesus made it clear that covenant-breakers who sin against God knowingly come under greater negative sanctions than those who sin against God less knowingly.

But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more (Luke 12:45–48).

With greater wealth and greater knowledge comes greater responsibility. This is a fundamental principle of life. Most societies understand this. People teach this to their children. But covenant-breakers do not recognize this truth in their own lives when they prosper. Their success leads them into disasters. This is what Psalm 73 teaches. Success for covenant-breakers is a slippery slope. It confirms their covenant. They are deceived by this confirmation.

A Christian historian should look at the past in terms of the success and failure of individuals and especially societies. He will find that periods of great success for a covenant-breaking society are followed by society-wide disaster. This is the message of Daniel regarding the four beasts, which were kings. “These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever” (Daniel 7:17–18). There will be ten successive kingdoms. They will all fail. “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him” (Daniel 7:27). This is the pattern of history. “Thus saith the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him” (Ezekiel 21:26–27). This speaks of Jesus Christ.

F. Optimism and Commitment

Someone who believes that his efforts are doomed to failure in his own lifetime may be willing to sacrifice a great deal for the sake of the long-term results of his efforts. This was certainly true of Communists in the first half of the twentieth century. But if someone believes that the long-term results of his efforts are as doomed as the short-term results of his efforts, he is unlikely to make a major commitment, which involves a major sacrifice. He is far more likely to seek ways to conserve whatever he possesses. He does not want to place all of his assets on the line for the sake of a cause that is doomed to failure. A popular American phrase says not to throw good money after bad. Another phrase says not to throw money down a rat hole. Entrepreneurs are optimistic about the future. They are convinced that their next venture is going to be successful, and maybe stupendously successful. They are willing to face the burdens of uncertainty about the future because they expect to profit mightily from the success of their present sacrifices.

This outlook applies to Christian historians. Someone who thinks that no one will pay any attention to his publications is unlikely to sacrifice time and money in order to master the documents required to present a coherent narrative of the past to the public. If he also believes that Christianity will be unable to extend its influence around the world in every area of life, he has little incentive to study the past in search of evidence that earlier Christians firmly believed that Christianity will extend its influence around the world in every area of life. A Christian historian who is pessimistic about the efforts of Christians to build a Christian civilization has to regard the optimism of earlier generations of Christians as misplaced. They did not understand what he firmly believes, namely, that covenant-breakers will be victorious in history. If he also believes that covenant-breakers will systematically persecute Christians, he is even less interested in sacrificing in the present in order to develop narratives about Christianity’s past. The best that he will be able to say about the optimists of the past is that they had the right attitude, but bad eschatology. They were consistent with what they believed about the future, but they misunderstood the future. They expected Christian victories, not defeats. Poor, misguided souls.

One reason why I hope that readers of this book will take seriously Chapter 5 on inheritance is to persuade them that the New Testament clearly teaches that Christianity will be successful in the future. The inheritance left by Christians to successors will not be transferred to covenant-breakers. On the contrary, the inheritance left by covenant-breakers will be transferred to Christians and to Christian civilization. The Christian historian who believes the message in Chapter 5 will be more willing to sacrifice time, money, and emotional commitment to investigating the history of Christianity’s influence in developing Western civilization. He will be more ready to confront the humanist interpretation of Western civilization, which de-emphasizes the contribution of Christianity and emphasizes the legacy left by classical civilization to the West.

Humanists are losing faith in the future. They are also losing faith in Western civilization. The top American universities ceased requiring a course in Western civilization in the 1990’s. Postmodernist historiography has called into question the historiography of the modernists, the Enlightenment, and the Renaissance. This creates a tremendous opportunity for Christian historians to re-interpret the history of Western civilization in terms of the contributions of Christendom, which is what Renaissance historians dedicated themselves to refuting.

G. Christian Revisionist Historiography

The necessary initial task is to reinterpret the history of Western civilization. This is because humanists have begun to abandon the battlefield on which they fought a successful series of campaigns, beginning with the Renaissance. The humanist version of Western history was that the classical heritage was foundational to the creation of Western civilization. Therefore, the Christian version of Western history must make the case that Christianity, not classical culture, is the primary inheritance of the West.

This revisionist program has two components: offensive and defensive. The offensive program is to show that the Bible is the basis of Christendom. Christianity has imported technologies from other societies. There is always sharing of technologies across borders and cultures. The offensive campaign must show how Christians developed a civilization that we call Christendom. It was primarily biblical, but not entirely. Christian historians must show that the crucial elements of Christendom came from the Bible, not from Greece and Rome. They should show how Christianity applied biblical principles in order to build a unique civilization in the West.

There are very few books on this. This has not been the way that Western civilization has been taught since the Renaissance. There should be detailed studies of monastic technological development. These have been produced by humanists. We need more of these studies. There must also be studies on how biblical principles affected the development of both civil law and canon law. There are few studies on this. There should be studies on how biblical laws establishing private property led to increased trade and increased technological development. This kind of research is going to take generations.

Then there is the defensive component. Yet, even here, it is mostly offensive: a frontal assault against classical culture and classical civilization. The operational model is the book by Charles Norris Cochrane, Christianity and Classical Culture: A Study of Thought and Action from Augustus to Augustine. It was published by Oxford University Press in 1940. It has been reprinted by Liberty Press. It is a detailed study of the moral and intellectual collapse of classical culture at the beginning of the Roman Empire. This book must not simply be read; it must be mastered. A serious historian will follow the footnotes. Another useful book is Ethelbert Stauffer’s Christ and the Caesars (1955). It shows that the conflict between church and state was at bottom a conflict over rival views of salvation. This battle is reflected in the history of Roman currency.

To understand the failure of classical culture, Christian historians must read accurate accounts about classical Greece. The first thing they have to understand that its creative period lasted for only about a century: 450 B.C to 350 B.C. Greek culture was committed to constant warfare, and this warfare ultimately weakened Sparta and Athens, so that the Macedonian army was able to conquer Greece without a great deal of trouble in the mid-fourth century B.C. The place to start is Greek religion. Religion is the place to start every history of society. The historian must read Fustel de Coulanges’ masterpiece, The Ancient City: A Study in the Religion, Laws, and Institutions of Greece and Rome (1864). That will dispel the notion that Greece and Rome took seriously the Olympian gods.

What they took seriously were demonic beings that surrounded them on their own property. These were the gods of the underworld. For confirmation of this thesis, historians must read the works of the remarkable and generally forgotten historian, Jane Ellen Harrison. She wrote in the early 1900s. She was a master of Greek poetry and Greek pottery. She also emphasized the centrality of what she called the chthonic gods of Greece. Also crucial is the book by Jacob Burckhardt, The Greeks and Greek Civilization. He gave these lectures from 1872, and again in 1874, 1878, and 1885. They were edited and published in 1998. A Christian historian should read Plato. But, before he reads Plato, he should read the 1945 book by Karl Popper: The Open Society and Its Enemies, Volume 1. It is a devastating critique of Plato as a defender of tyranny.

The Christian historian should ask the following questions:

What were the legacies of Greece and Rome that shaped the early church? What is the evidence? What were the legacies of Greece and Rome that shaped the medieval church up to about 1100? What is the evidence? Were these legacies positive when compared with the Old Testament and the New Testament? Or were they mostly negative?

Next, a Christian historian must study the Renaissance. This should begin with a detailed examination of books written by Francis Yates. Yates showed that it was not just Greek and Roman culture and philosophy that the Renaissance humanists revived. It was also Greek and Roman occultism. Begin with her book, Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition (1964). That book created a paradigm shift among historians regarding the rationalism and commitment to science of Renaissance humanists. She was a careful historian. She worked with documents that humanist historians had ignored or had not known about. She extended her studies into the Enlightenment. Also important is the short book by Stephen McKnight: Sacralizing the Secular: The Renaissance Origins of Modernity (1989). Then read his book, The Modern Age and the Recovery of Ancient Wisdom: A Reconsideration of Historical Consciousness, 1450-1650 (1991).

Two crucial books on the world from the French Revolution to the present are these: James Billington’s Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith (1980) and Paul Johnson, Modern Times (1983). Billington begins with the French Revolution and traces the revolutionaries to Lenin in 1917. Johnson begins in 1916.

If you do not feel competent yet, do not worry about it. With sufficient study, you can become competent. You may be regarded as an amateur, but this should not bother you.

H. Publishing Agenda

You do not need to be a professor in a college to teach history. If you limit yourself to a few dozen students in a college classroom, you are limiting yourself far too much. Your audience will be much too small. Think big. Think YouTube. The first step in any publishing agenda should be to identify your audience or audiences. Each book, article, online video, or podcast should target a specific audience.

YouTube has proven that a man who is willing to study the details of specific historical topics can gain an enormous audience. A good example is The History Guy. Some of his videos have been watched by 500,000 viewers. They are usually about 15 minutes long. He just sits in front of a camera and talks. He then edits in public domain photographs or maps. The narration carries the presentation, but the support materials add credibility. Another example is Simon Whistler, who has 3.3 million subscribers.

There are dozens of extremely lively videos on American history by John Green. Green is a gifted novelist for teenagers. He is a multimillionaire, as is his brother, who co-produces the videos. There are multiple series of courses. In 2020, his 49 videos in American history had been watched by 47 million people. His targeted audience is high school students who are studying for the AP or Advanced Placement exam. These videos are nothing like any course you ever had in high school.

These teachers have reached more people than any other teachers in history, with one exception: Salman Khan. The Khan Academy in 2020 had almost 2 million full-time students taking video-based courses around the world. He has revolutionized education.

We need 12-part Sunday school courses on church history. They can be talking-head videos. They can be screencasts. Screencast technologies are inexpensive, and they are effective for teaching. You simply narrate what is on the screen.

It is relatively inexpensive to have books typeset. They can be published on Amazon as Kindle books. They can be published as print-on-demand books, which can then be sold through Amazon. If you can write a book, you can get it published.

There is plenty of demand for free courses that target homeschooled children.

Each YouTube video should have a link at the end that leads the viewers to your free WordPress.com website.

I. Christian Discipleship

Do not go to the trouble of producing a video until you know what you want the person who watches the video to do at the end of the video. Obviously, you want him to watch your next video in the series. I am speaking about what you want the person to do after he has watched all of the videos in the series.

You are making these people responsible for implementing changes in their lives as a result of having watched your videos. There is no escape from this law of human action: with greater knowledge comes greater responsibility. You should have a specific action agenda for members of each audience. Maybe they should read another book. But that only postpones the day of reckoning. At some point, people have to put the knowledge that they possess to productive use for building the kingdom of God. Christians should not be content to be consumers of anything, including information. They should put this information to productive use. Viewers should be encouraged to recommend your videos to other people. They should become evangelists. We need Christians who understand the history of the church’s impact in building Western civilization. We need Christians to gain confidence in the long-term potential for their own efforts. They need to understand the growth of the kingdom of God in the past so that they can commit personally to the growth of the kingdom of God in the future.

Your goal should be to train leaders. They must discipline themselves in a program of self-improvement. Their goal should be recruiting and training disciples. Christian discipleship involves far more than a program to share the gospel of personal salvation. Christian discipleship must train leaders to serve as agents of the kingdom of God. There is a division of labor in this kingdom. Different people have different gifts. They have different opportunities. You should train them to recognize what their skills are and how they can put these skills to effective use in their circumstances.

Basic to Christian leadership is an understanding of the history of the church as an institution, but also understanding the history of Christian civilization. Christians should understand Christendom. This has not been taught in the churches over the last four centuries. It surely has not been taught in public schools. It has not been taught in Christian schools. Your presentations on history should be part of a much broader program of Christian discipleship and leadership training. I wrote a book about this: The Five Pillars of Biblical Leadership (2021).

Conclusion

Humanism is now in defensive mode. It dominates the institutions of higher learning and public education. It dominates what are called the mainstream media. But their audiences are shrinking. A kind of disintegration is taking place. This disintegration became visible in 2011: the so-called Arab Spring. It was an unorganized revolt against Middle Eastern governments. It began to spread. This has been chronicled in a 2014 book by Martin Gurri: The Revolt of the Public. Social media available on smartphones have begun to fragment the establishment’s near-monopoly of control over the flow of information. It took less than a decade from the development of YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to overturn governments in the Middle East and around the world. It happened without warning.

The Internet has created opportunities for evangelism and education on a scale unparalleled in human history. It is time for Christian historians and Christian storytellers to take advantage of this opportunity.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s