Today was another day at sea as we travelled from the Faroe Islands toward Iceland.
There were three lectures today.
I had picked up on the biases of one of the lecturers in his previous lectures and it was even more conspicuous today in his talk on the Vikings.
If I had known nothing about the Vikings or Christianity, it would have been easy to conclude from the lecture today that the Vikings were a relatively peaceful, enlightened, and technologically advanced people forced at the point of a sword to convert to a barbarian religion (Christianity).
This is why it is so important we have Christian historians who have an obligation to God to recount history honestly. Without a fear of God to be honest, every self-interested motive has the opportunity to currupt a faithful retelling of what has been.
I remember a book I read on Nero. Historians pretty much agree, without exception, that Nero was a bad dude. But this historian’s theses was that Nero was misunderstood, and that he really wasn’t that bad a guy. My guess is this historian felt the need to have a different take to try to get a book published and make a name for himself.
Why does it matter that history be told honestly? It matters because as the kingdom of God continues expand:
They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
As the waters cover the sea.
Then in that day
The nations will resort to the root of Jesse,
Isaiah 11:9-10. Knowledge of the Lord includes knowledge about what He has done in history.
It is the knowledge of Him that prompted Jimmy Carter to ask in cabinet meetings, “What is the right thing to do?” It is the knowledge of Him that leads us to ask how best to care for the poor. As Eric Metaxes pointed out at he National Prayer Breakfast in 2012, while we might disagree on how best to care for the poor, we can credit Christianity for the fact that we are even having the discussion.
People need to understand that Christianity does not just heal the soul; it heals the nations. For people to know this, credit must be given where credit it due. As that happens, nations will resort to the root of Jesse and the knowledge of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.
Or, we could still be worshipping Thor and practicing human sacrifice. GS