By Dale Dykema & Alan Strange
Onlythe sovereign God knows in exhaustive detail what happened in thepast. We need the humility to admit that this is true. Thus, wecannot produce a perfect and comprehensive text even with theChristian approach. We can be confident, however, that certainprinciples are true and reliable. We can learn to measure the factsby the standard of God's Word.
Aworthwhile study of history is more than simply collecting the facts. It also involves learning to analyze the interpretation given in thebooks. The great writer and theologian, Cornelius Van Til said,"There are no such things as brute facts." By this hemeant that no fact can be separated from interpretation, no fact canstand alone, and no fact stands behind God or behind His cause orcontrol. No history book can give "just the facts." Theauthor inescapably will present his interpretation with the facts. Even his choice of what to include and what to leave out of the factshas to do with interpretation of history.
Forexample, humanistic history writers would imply to us that the birth,life and death of Jesus Christ were relatively unimportant matters. By saying little or nothing they have made their point. They haveattempted to erase truth that threatens them.
Asecond example might be taken from the tendency of writers whointrude current political ideas on past events. They readcontemporary racial or economic views into the ancient world and thusdistort the facts.