top of page

New Video Course Available!


What do you think of when you hear the word “history?” Many people think, “Boring,” or they remember a bad history class they had that was all about memorizing names and dates. What about when you hear “tradition?” Although some associate this word with happy family rituals and nostalgia, tradition can also have a negative connotation for many people, especially in a religious context. Tradition may be seen as an old, outdated way of doing things in church that doesn’t relate or connect to today’s believers.

For modern Westerners, and particularly Americans, it is in our DNA to ignore history and reject tradition. The Renaissance, Reformation, and especially the Enlightenment encouraged people to reject what has been “handed down” (which is the meaning of “tradition”) and to re-invent something better. Progress came to mean not only looking forward to a better future, but also doing so without respect to the past. In the current secular society, history is more likely to be used as fodder for supporting the latest fad than as a source of wisdom to be approached with humility and openness.

In some church circles, the study of church history has gotten a bad rap for an additional reason. The bias against church history, from a Christian perspective, is related to the idea that, after the apostolic age, there was a fall—in some versions it was sudden and precipitous, in other versions more gradual—that encompassed the institutional church at large. The solution to all present division and doctrinal controversy is, therefore, to return to the Bible without regard to the intervening centuries of church history. There is nothing positive to be learned from church history that cannot be learned from the Bible itself, so this account goes.

That approach, noble though its motives may be, has not achieved the unity that it promised, nor has it helped us understand the Bible better. Rather than forgetting our history, then, it is better to acknowledge it and learn what we can from it, both positive and negative. We are in continuity with our past, and it shapes who we are, so there is little to be gained from trying to ignore it.

Christians who study church history will have a better understanding of their identity, they will gain wisdom and perspective, they will be shaped and inspired by those who went before, they will be better able to correct the many myths about Christian history, and their faith will be strengthened in the process.

To this end, the Center for Christian Studies has released a new video learning module on church history: “The Church’s Story.” These fourteen videos offer a survey of nearly 2,000 years of church history. They only scratch the surface of the riches of the topic, but they serve as a helpful introduction for Bible class teachers and interested Christians who have never been exposed to church history or as a refresher for others who have. The module can be used to equip teachers or as the curriculum for a class. Each video is accompanied by an outline and discussion questions for use in groups and classes. Visit the CCS YouTube channel to see excerpts of some learning module episodes.

When a congregation subscribes to the video learning modules, church members get 12-month access to all the videos in the CCS library, including all videos that will be added during that period.Click here to get 70% off the regular subscription price, available for a limited time.


bottom of page