“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” George Orwell penned this in his classic novel, 1984. Can the same be said of God’s people regarding their knowledge of church history?
Perhaps the greatest battleground in apologetics today revolves around the early history of the church. Many students of the Bible are content to honor the authority of Scripture as God’s Word straight from Jesus Christ. Some say that if all you need is the Bible, why trouble yourself with church history?
However, the Bible as we have it today did not drop down out of the sky. During the early centuries of the church, Christians passed down the teachings of those earliest apostles to make up the New Testament. The Old Testament was borrowed from the Jewish community. Put together, the Scriptures as we have them arose out of the spiritual life of the early church. If we fail to grasp a hold on this earliest Christian history, we risk falling into a type of Orwellian trap that would make discussions about the Bible… sadly…. useless.