Thursday, August 31, 2023

Historical Thinking: August 31 2023

Thursday's post series is going to develop into one I'm going to call "Historical Thinking." Why? Because I'm a historian. Not in my spare time, but my academic training runs on two tracks: theology/ministry and history.

And since I spend most of my time, and most of this blog, on theology, I thought I'd bring a bit of history into the mix. Some of the time I'll focus just on the facts of a situation. Other times, I want to talk about methods and analysis and how we learn from history.

Meanwhile, let's start with reasons. Why do this?

First, there are a lot of appeals to history in our modern culture. How many times have we heard someone raise "Be on the right side of history?" when trying to make a moral point? Or how many social media posts allege that Joe Biden is "the worst president in history?" or that Donald Trump was "the worst president in history?" (As if Martin van Buren had never been born, honestly, people...) If we're going to appeal to history, we need to understand it.

Second, much of what we have learned about history is a bit oversimplified--by the way, the YouTube channel for "History Oversimplified" is hilarious. But we tend to sacrifice facts in favor of a narrative that fits our mood.

Third, history is fun. We just forget that sometimes :)

That's what I've got on this. Feel free to shoot me history questions or opinions...I'll be glad to argue about anything :)

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