10. It can motivate and inspire our ministry and spirituality.
How? In particular, inspiring stories of saints. In general, by inertia.
9. Step into a stream of Christian mentors.
Mentors with the best creds are often dead; history gives us access to them
8. It affects us whether we know it or not, so weÕre better off knowing it.
Just like family history, the more we know the less it controls us & more it helps us; e.g., caught in debates, patience about certain issues, appreciate it
7. Foster Community with Christians over time.
Usual community; community over space; community over time; identity!
6. Broadens our horizon of the forms Christianity can take.
WeÕll see all kinds of Christianties – compass points, Europe/Africa/Asia
5. To keep us from re-inventing the wheel and to identify dead ends.
Church History is a treasure trove of practical wisdom
experience / reflection on experience / reflection on anotherÕs experience
4. The Enemy knows it.
Dan Brown isnÕt the e, but the e uses people like him to deceive and confuse
3. It helps us understand why Christians behave and believe the way they do.
How? by walking thru the steps of the development of practice and doctrine
2. Because Christianity is a historical religion.
Jesus was a historical figure born from a historical people (Israel) who began a historical community of witnesses (Church) which works toward the culmination of history in the coming kingdom of Jesus; aka: the story of the church didnÕt end at Acts 28
1. Because we serve a Living Lord.
Jesus Christ was raised from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of the father; with all its sidetracks and errors, the history of the church is the clearest most explicit continuation of JesusÕ ministry of reconciliation