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"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope...
May 9, 2022

Are You a Chronological Snob?

It’s easy to look back on the generations who have gone before us and think, “I’m so glad we've figured things out.” There’s a name for this—chronological snobbery, and unfortunately, it’s a problem for Christians as well.

Today, it’s rare to spend time reading Polycarp, Augustine, or Ireneaus. We’d much rather read modern thinkers who have studied the great church fathers, chewed on their thinking, and made it palatable for our generation. But, as Brad Gray in his article for Mockingbird argues, we are losing something in translation, namely a robust theology and faith in the providence of God. 

Pile of ancient books in front of windowWhen we study the early church and the patristics who followed, we see a radical shift from studying history as a story that makes sense of what happened to the ongoing and ever-working providence of God who works all things for His glory and our good. Gray says, “An essential quality of the early church, therefore, was an abiding belief in the fact that there are two distinct threads of history that are ever and always being interwoven as our days march ever onward. There is the thread that we see, the visible, tangible thread of what’s apparent. At the same time, however, there is another unseen thread that is constantly being crisscrossed in and over our days — the invisible thread of providence that we can only believe in (2 Cor 5:7).”

Firmly resting in the providence of God can be hard these days. We are faced with enormous suffering, plagues, climate change, roiling political scenes, and unprecedented mental health crises. But as Gray argues, this is exactly why we need to immerse ourselves in a theology of glory—constantly looking and believing in the reality that God is at work, bringing glory to Himself and transforming us into His likeness. 

Christian Union seeks to instill this kind of rich theological thinking into students at some of the most prestigious universities in the country. Through rigorous Bible courses and thought-provoking leadership lecture series, Christian Union is training students to think beyond history and look for the promises of God at work in a broken world.

Read the full article here.