We have a slogan which hangs in every classroom from fourth grade through high school. It reads: God is behind the scenes, and He is moving all the scenes He is behind. Our motivating thought is for students to begin to see that nothing happens in isolation or by chance. God is in control of history. Although there are cycles of rebellion, repentance and redemption, the flow of history is not cyclical but linear. We say it is linear because it has a beginning, a middle, and it is moving unerringly toward a definite end. The beginning was when God said Fiat lux, the middle was when Jesus Christ cried out over the Father abandoning Him on the cross, and the end will be when Christ appears to judge the quick and the dead and ushers in the New Heaven and the New Earth. All events fit in with God’s purposes in bringing about His ultimate plan for the end of this age. This is truly His Story.
Social studies and history are exciting subjects. Children are exposed to the flow of history and see their country and their place in history as part of the whole picture. They begin to see for themselves what happens when certain absolutes are missing and a Christian worldview that gives value to life is absent. Older students need to realize that we are in a war over ideologies that have significant implications for our lives and our society. We need to arm our students with the tools they need to recognize and defeat the worldviews found in our secular culture. All history must be viewed as the sovereign rule of God over the affairs of men. All men and nations are accountable to Him.
A proper understanding of history is built around the key events of Creation, Man’s Fall into sin, the Flood (destruction), New World (restoration), the scattering of peoples (Babel), the Cross of Christ, and the Return of Christ. Because of sin and grace, history is a conflict between the children of light and the children of darkness. Students need to be equipped to study the vain attempts of apostate men to build the kingdom of man.
But above all, they should learn that history has one center and purpose: God’s plan is to sum up all things in Christ (Eph. 1:10). Consequently, its meaning and interpretation must be understood in terms of Christ. It is more than a chronicle of names, dates, places and events. Its meaning is found in the redemptive work of Christ and how He is building His church. Because of this, church history is an integral part of studying history.