When an author starts a text, one expected perspective is that
he will be neutral
and just present the facts. The writer should be a third
person. The classroom teacher or
college professor is challenged with the same position, since
he or she might influence the
formative minds of his students.
I submit to you upfront and from the beginning that this is a
near impossible tenet
to be impartial, unbiased, and totally objective. I
appreciated Vern Bullough's statements,
when he said, "everything seems to be relative to the
point of view of the observer.
Presuppositions do play an important role...it is impossible
to have a "view from
Anyone worth their salt has a zeal, a passion, a persuasion
that makes them
interesting. Can you imagine Dan Rather or Sam Donelson being
accused of bland
neutrality. Oprah, Rosie, Phil Donahue, Rush Limbaugh, Jerry
Falwell and the like all have
followers, who faithfully watch their shows just because of
this appeal. The listener
expects some degree of persuasion.
Any public forum whether it be the news, or the entertainment
field, or a public
speaker ends with an opinion. It is a part of the
responsibility to stand in front of any
assemblage and perform.
As one prepares, studies, practices, develops that public
presence, he or she
reaches a conviction and even a confidence that they have
something worthwhile to say. I
find that the better educated people, such as teachers-professors,
and the professional types, are usually well read and well
informed; and they have a point
Even the audience is going to grant approval based on the
emotion displayed by
the presenter or the resulting impact on the listeners. You
usually hear: wasn't that a good
sermon, or did you like that movie, or what did you think of
the program. Right now you
are already starting to form your conclusions whether this
book has your interest, and if
you are going to continue further into these opinions.
As a college graduate and a classroom teacher for 36 years no
one ever told me
that I was being indoctrinated or inculcated by those teachers
or the books, but I sure
disliked the ones, who would not give their opinions. I
mistrusted their subtle intents and
their hidden dockets; and I wondered, "What do they
Today we find a strong emphasis on "the agenda."
There is almost needs to be a
warning or a disclaimer on every PBS documentary, radio-TV
show, movie, book, etc that
it's slanted toward their favorite opinion. USA Today has
daily columns in every section
which specialize in reviewing the news from their point of
view, but no one calls it
prejudice or even hints at partiality. Al Neuharth encourages
a "forum" of opinions.
If the presentation involves a historical event, then it
probably has some revisionist
perspective. Someone claims to have new evidence or an updated
version, but certainly it
must have the hype packaging so others will watch it or read
it. No one ever claims to
have a distorted view of history that it is twisted to justify
their narrow position.
This brings me to the main perspective that motivates this
book. There is a school
of thought that believes God is being driven from the public
school classroom, and
Christianity is being deliberately purged from our textbooks,
and those academic atheists
are corrupting our morals by omitting religion from our values.
At this point from what you have read you would not expect me
give an opinion of
bland, lukewarm neutrality.
The textbook never was a source of much God stuff.
Historically it has been a
collection of people, places, dates, and events. The three G's
of Gold, Gospel, Glory never
put much gospel in the textbook. Manifest destiny emphasized
land expansion not the
God-given right to the land. It is almost never written that
the President was a devote
The main source of biblical material came from the teacher and
the students, who
interjected their personal information. The most memorable
statement that I remember
from my high school teachers was made by Mr. Simkims, a
science teacher. When he
started to teach evolution and to show the movie Hemo the
Magnificent, he gave this
disclaimer, "Before you run to your preacher and say that
I'm against The Bible and I'm
teaching evolution, let me say that evolution is only a theory."
Can you imagine that kind
of warning from today's science teachers. It's only a theory!
Let's face the facts. Today
evolution is taught as the only logical explanation for the
God is a God of history. When one reads The Bible and the
massive details in the
stories and the lives of the people and nations particularly
Israel, the response is almost
why is it so verbose. One verse sticks out to me. In Acts 17:26
Paul writes that God has
determined the times and the places where people will live and
move. We have God-given
In my teaching career I taught the flow of history from two
The first method was the sequence of historical events that
had cause and effect so the
past bumped the future along. I ended up almost emphasizing
the old posthole method of
stop-action or a time-frame position around the person or the
events during that date in
The direction of history was like a ripple effect. I could
choose any individual,
event, date, idea, movement, etc and then tie it to the next
era. It was an endless
glorification of the past that only led to the present.
History really had no ultimate goal
that I was leading toward except the present.
My second method was a panoramic position or a view of history
from a beginning
to an end. It wasn't until I became a born again Christian
that this view dominated my
philosophy of history.
The question of "how the world began" certainly
influences a teacher's vista
through the flow of history. The evolutionists tell us that
life began with slime in a sunlit
pool of water. The creationists say that God spoke everything
into existence in six days.
Either starting point leads to a pre-supposition that sways
the historian's overview
throughout all of history. Regardless of what chronological
trail the historian pursues, I
want to ask, "what is the final goal of all this?"
Is mankind to exist continuously? Are we
making progress and improving or not? Will the world just
continue until it wears out or is
used up. Or will some violent men end up destroying the world
with a nuclear war?
My perspective of history can be best explained by this
example. President John F.
Kennedy was visiting with Billy Graham. Kennedy, a keen
history student and the author
of Why England Slept and Profiles in Courage, asked Graham,
"Where do you see history
leading?" The world famous evangelist answered, "History
will climax with the personal
return of Jesus Christ." The President acknowledged that
this outlook gave a perspective
to history. I, too, cherish Rev. Graham's position, but it
also defines the boundaries and
the framework for a comprehensive historical philosophy.
Our nation still sings "God shed His grace on thee."
We claim to be "One nation
under God." We know that a politician is on his last
paragraph, when he invokes, "And
God bless America." If this is true, then historians
should be able to justify the viewpoint
with the events and individuals in American history. As David
Maines calls them, we
should make "God sightings."
I appreciate the Hebrew writers in the Old Testament because
they interpreted the
past events and their present condition in terms of God's
covenant with them, and their
obedience or disobedience to Him. As a student of history, who
believes that there is a
God in control of world events, then I must search to evaluate
the times by asking,
"What is God trying to say to us through these events?"
With this providential intervention viewpoint I agree in part
with Shakespeare that
"Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some
have greatness thrust upon 'em."
I do not believe that great men or women make the times and
the seasons. Events provide
opportunity for great people to come to the forefront. Again
people are restrained by the
Acts 17 verse. Besides there is only one great man in history
- Jesus Christ, and were it
not for two events - the crucifixion and the resurrection, He
would not be a great man.
In writing this historical survey I intend this book to be a
supplement to American
history textbooks. I, also, anticipate that the reader is
either an experienced US history
teacher or he or she is informed and knowledgeable on the
topic. I will not cover some of
the details of US history. Hopefully, this is mostly
I am challenged from the OT writer Isaiah (43:9) "Let all
nations gather together
and let the peoples assemble. Who among them can declare this,
and show us the former
things? Let them bring their witnesses to justify them, and
let them hear and say, It is
My thesis is that the USA does have a great Christian
heritage, and numerous
Christian individuals have contributed to that heritage. We
are a Republic with Christians,
who have made an impact. Also, the Creator of this universe
has blessed and
providentially worked in this nation for His purpose.
Many voices are crying out that US history today fails to tell
the truth about these
facts. The Christian past is either untold, omitted,
forgotten, de-emphasized, even
distorted, but it is certainly neglected in many textbooks and
only given tokenism.
We need a summons like from the Jewish writers and events as
in the Passover and
Joshua's stones upon entering the Promised land...Remember!
When your children
ask..Remember! The history that we are expected to remember is
NOT about the great
Christian legacy or about the Christians, who have been a
force for good, but it's a
rewritten and revised version by today's courts, textbooks,
and curriculum writers.
Regardless, I need to remind myself and the reader of the
great story of Esther and
the Jewish Feast of Purim. Amazing providential events took
place throughout the story to
Mordecai, Esther, Haman, and even King Ahasuerus, who couldn't
sleep. God was never
once mentioned in the book. Nevertheless, He was always at
work in those events. The
same is true today whether we write it or not in our books or
newspapers. He always
works through the lives of believers and non-believers to
accomplish His purpose.
I originally selected the ten chapter format because there
appeared to be cycles like
the book of Judges. First a period of spiritual fervor and
blessing, then a falling away, then
a revival of spiritual activity, then religious regression,
and the cycles continued to repeat
the pattern. But the Philistines and the Midianites never took
over the USA, so I chose to
survey the five spiritual revival eras and the five search
settings between them.
Nevertheless, I have researched to "remember" that
America does have a Christian
tradition and, but more than that - it has been a nation with
Christians, who did make a
difference in the development of this Republic.
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