Christianity, Liberalism and the New Evangelicalism
For Christians, the past should always be instructive. When we look back to the Old Testament, we see how much of Old Testament faith and life was nurtured by remembrance of times past. The Passover, that most wonderful and central of Jewish celebrations, was designed specifically to remind ancient Israel of the miraculous deliverance which God had wrought; then the psalms, those communal songs and poems which were central to Israelite praise of God -- and which should still be central to Christian praise today -- often look back to the past to remind the congregation of acts both of human sin and divine grace and salvation, provoking thereby both repentance and faith. The past may be a foreign country, as L.P. Hartley famously wrote, but it is not so foreign that it has not been a constant resource for the church throughout the centuries.