Singer & McAtee on Historiography

“Without the Biblical doctrine of God, a valid interpretation of the realm of history is impossible. It is the sovereign God who created the world, and by His creation brought history into being. In creation, God gave meaning and purpose to the world. It is ONLY in this setting that man can meaningfully interpret and understand history. In his understanding of the Trinity, Augustine furnished the Christian study of history with an insight lacking to classical students. The Trinitarian God in Augustine solved the problem of the one and the many in ancient philosophy and made history possible to a Supreme Being rather than to fate or chance. It is this Supreme Trinitarian Being who created man in His image and thus conferred meaning and purpose upon human existence. History is not subject to the dictates of fate, which is neither the beginning nor end of the historical process and which cannot give to it any purpose. In these doctrines, Augustine rescued historiography from the grip of the classical concept of determinism which could only render history meaningless and irrational.”

C. Gregg Singer
Christian Approaches; Philosophy / History – p. 28-29

Without a Sovereign God determining history and meaning, all man is left is history by impersonal fate or impersonal chance. Interestingly enough, when God is eliminated from Historiography then fate and chance together work as limiting concepts that provide the framework in which history is penned. So, despite the idea that fate and chance are opposites, fate and chance work together as two wash-women taking in each other’s wash off the line. Pure chance will finally slip into fate and pure fate will finally slip into chance.

All of this means that we must read history through a definitively Christian theological grid which means that we will come to different conclusions from historians who are not epistemologically self-consciously Christian. Historical events then will be for the Christian historian interpreted diametrically differently than for the non-Christian.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

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