My son Vince is determined to drag me into the 21st century! This past week we began a podcast titled “The Persistence of Christian Memory.” If you’re like me, you might be saying, “What is a podcast?” It’s like a radio program, but you can listen to it and access it at the convenience of your schedule, not a set broadcast time. It is a digitally recorded conversation on the internet that can be downloaded to a computer, cell phone, or other device. Our series of recordings will deal with topics of conversation drawn from Church history and Restoration history studies. We hope to produce one episode per week.
Why should people listen to a program talking about Christian history? Many years ago, James W. Shepherd said, “If God overrules in human affairs and teaches men by means of history, then he who faithfully records historic facts fulfills an important service in the education of men.” I believe God values history and wants mankind to value it. Think of the memorials God gave to His people for remembering. An important part of Christian worship is the partaking of the Lord’s supper which looks back to God’s saving work in sending His Son to the Cross – 1 Corinthians 11:24-26.
One of my instructors in Restoration history, William Woodson, once gave a lecture offering the following considerations for making a study of one’s spiritual heritage.
- Roots – How have we arrived to the place where we are today spiritually? How has Scripture been handled so that faith and practice can be known?
- Resources – There is a vast amount of material that has been produced by the people seeking a return to New Testament Christianity. The writings of previous generations can inform the present generation.
- Realism – In any fellowship, there is a tendency to sanitize our heroes. An honest study of people reveals their flaws as well as their admirable qualities. However great an individual might be, they are not Christ!
- Reminders – As we face troubling issues today, we are reminded that God’s people have been through difficult times in the past. We can keep faith when we are tried, just like they did.
The podcast can be accessed at https://anchor.fm/vince-daugherty. I hope to have a link to it set up on our website and some other places soon to ease your access to it. I hope you will tune in and tell others about it. May God help us to use every avenue for sharing Christ with others.