History: The Great Deception
or the Great Design?
These principles were derived from the text that follows.
They should be understood and used consistent with that
1. God determines history, not in foreknowledge, but
plans all events in history to determine His final stages
for the history of mankind. In God, there is no past,
present, or future, as the great “I AM.”
2. The people and events that are recorded, as “history,”
is totally determined by one’s philosophy of life or
worldview. Secular historians will ignore the movement of
God in history: His people, His Church, and His providential
3. God has a plan
for every individual of the human race and his every thought, word, and action. All are necessary
to complete the most simple detail of His plan.
4. Most of the
"good" things that mankind has experienced
was caused by the
obedience of God’s people through God’s great plan of
salvation in Jesus Christ. This "good” includes
capitalism, representative government, civil liberties,
abolition of the slave trade and human sacrifice, world exploration,
elevation of women, elevation of the common man, the
Renaissance, and Reformation. These accomplishments
are "good" only when they are governed by explicit Biblical
principles. And, certainly, mankind is able to pervert
every one of these to ungodly purposes.
One particular of
this “great good” is universal public education. There is no
other philosophy of life or religion in the history of
mankind that supplied the impetus for
5. The dominant theme of the history of mankind is the
Revelation of Jesus Christ and the
salvation of God’s
6. Christians have been and are persecuted because they
are a threat to the ruling powers when they are obedient to
the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Currently, their threat
is almost harmless in the United States and in the West
because of their disobedience.
7. One of the great tragedies and misunderstandings of
God’s Word has been the persecution of Christians by other
Christians over religious issues, for example, the burning
of Protestants by Roman Catholics during the Reformation and
the Killing Times of the Covenanters by the English.
Of course, theology was often just an excuse for tyrannical
power and personal gain by those in power.
8. The Dark Ages (or Middle Ages) were actually the
progressive age of the light of the Gospel, as most of
Europe had been overrun with barbarians. Yet, during this
time it eventually produced Scholasticism, the Renaissance,
the Reformation, and all the great things that have come
from those events. That is not to say these seeds were
evenly distributed. Certainly, in many areas there
continued to be ignorance, illiteracy, superstition,
barbarianism, and tyrannical governments.
9. While church history has held some prominence among
Christians, God’s Providence in world history is almost
unnoticed today, mostly caused by the secular writing of
history in the 19th and 20th
centuries. Today, some Christians are beginning to recover
this providential perspective, for example, Vision Forum’s
10. While evolution would have mankind increasing in
intelligence, the Creation account would have Adam as the
most intelligent man that ever lived, even after the Fall.
This high intelligence would have continued in Adam’s
immediate descendants who lived for hundreds of years. Man’s
intelligence is actually decreasing, as the effect of the
Fall continues. Archeological evidence is accumulating to
prove the high intelligence of man before and after the
11. There is increasing archeological and scientific
evidence of a “young earth,” very close to Bishop Ussher’s
12. Chapters 1-11 of Genesis are true. When properly
understood, they have always been compatible with the best
understood theories of science and archeological
explorations. Until the Church proclaims this part of the
Bible as true, her message of salvation will be limited in
needs to be re-defined with Biblical criteria.
History: The Great Deception
History is perhaps the most subjective of disciplines. If you
were to write all your thoughts in the past 24 hours (actually
more like 16 hours because sleeping time), you would fill a
considerable book. Then, as a large appendix, you could write
about what you actually did. Any of the seven billion or so
people on earth could do the same. And, all that for only one
day. Multiple that by 60, 70 or 80 years and likely there are
not enough computers on earth to contain all the information.
Then, add in all the people of history! Then, add in all their
perceptions of what happened. All this history would be a
staggering amount, indeed!
Now, pour that through the finest of sieves into one or
several books. That is your history text. History is the
highly selective account of billions of lives, actions, and
things over several thousand years of earth history. Most
likely, should the Lord tarry, I will not be mentioned by
historians in the next millennium or even the next century.
Neither will you, the reader. Yet, our lives have great
significance, if for no other reason than the children that we
bear. But, even they, will not likely be cited by historians?
Why not? I love my children and grandchildren. Along with my
wife, they are my dearest possessions on earth. Yet, historians
will not care, no more than they are likely to care about you
and your progeny. (I am limiting history here only as
secularists see it. Certainly, our greatest worth, as
Christians, is found in God’s love and plan for His own. I have
focused on that dimension in what follows here.)
Historians write about the great events of history, or they
write about their particular interests. For example, there are
historians of the world, of nations, of city-states, of small
towns, and families. There are even biographies in individuals.
Further, there are histories of disciplines: economics,
chemistry, medicine, psychology, etc., etc. There are histories
of inventions: tools, engines, ships, weapons, airplanes,
toothbrushes, toilets, etc., etc.
I have belabored enough! History is what an individual or
group wants it to be. It reflects their interest and values.
It reflects their beliefs. It reflects their agenda.
And, what they have chosen to write about, reflects their
And, thus, we confront the writers of history. Historians
have written from within their worldview to advance their
interests, values, beliefs, and worldview. And, thus, we
have the historical texts of our times with the dominant
worldview of humanism. (See elsewhere what is humanism vs.
secular humanism.) Within this worldview, Jesus Christ becomes
an insignificant itinerant preaching peasant, the Middle Ages
become the Dark Ages, the Reformation is hidden behind the
Renaissance, and the United States had no Biblical basis.
Providence, Predestination and Free Will
Now, I am not about to get into the theological debate
between predestination and free will. But, there are some
inescapable realities of history on which all Christians should
agree. One is that the end is determined by the beginning.
Regardless of your eschatological position, all Christians agree
that Christ will return to earth -- the parousia or Second
Coming. That event will happen according to God’s plan. My plan
is to place a period at the end of this sentence -- after I
complete my plan of thoughts. Then, I have a plan to complete
this paragraph, then, this chapter, then this book. Everyone who
works, including the homemaker, makes a plan. It may be
haphazard, but nothing is accomplished without a plan.
I live in a well-designed house that has been modified over
the years. Its original design had a plan. That plan has been
changed at least twice. The most complex of buildings has a
plan. No skyscraper was ever built without a highly complex
Now, buildings are inanimate objects. A plank or a brick will
stay exactly where the builder places its it. But, humans will
not stay put! They are not even the same yesterday, today, or
tomorrow. Some speakers use the illustration of heading cats.
Try herding people, as tyrants have done. Well, you know the
results. It cannot be done in the long run.
But, God has a plan for the history of the human race. He
will culminate that plan by his design in the future. So,
regardless of one’s eschatology, He has a plan. He has spoken;
he has decreed!
And, if there is a plan, inescapably, every detail must be
planned. What do you choose as your endpoint for Christ’s Second
Coming? The fulfillment of the Great Commission? If so, imagine
the details that have to be worked out to get the gospel to
every person and tribe. Each life has to achieve certain ends:
survival of illnesses and accidents, a job by the parents to put
food on the table, learning how to raise children by the
parents, genetics to provide intelligence for the future
evangelists, and a willingness to go. Multiply those scenarios
by the millions. Then, add in all those thoughts that we
reviewed above that must make myriads of decisions to result in
those acts. Complex does not even begin to describe the
But, there is more. There must be modes of travel to get
evangelists where they need to go: horse-drawn carriage, steam
engines, ships, and airplanes. Someone must invent these means
of travel. Someone must invent and manufacture the printing
press, inks, paper, boxes, and computers for these evangelists
Well, you could choose other endpoints than The Great
Commission, but the same almost infinite complexities would
still have to be fulfilled.
Thus, to say that God has a plan inescapably means that
billions of thoughts and actions must be controlled for God to
arrive at His endpoint(s).
But, then, he said all this more simply. “Are not two
sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to
the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of
your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of
more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29-31). The teaching
about sparrows is obvious. How can we know all the sparrows and
other birds that exist? But, a subtlety about the hairs of our
head may be missed. With meticulous care, one could count the
hairs on a person’s head, so what is the big deal? Well, we lose
a number of the hairs on our head every day. By the time that
you finished counting, the number would have changed! So, not
only does God know at any point in time, He knows moment to
After this lengthy introduction, what conclusions can we
History is determined by the future. “The future is
logically first, but not chronologically.” From the salvation of
souls to the subduing of all nations under His feet, God has
planned the end from the beginning. This plan is not His
foreknowledge of events, but His planning the final stages of
history, as He has determined the outcome! (For God, history
does not exist. He is at once “the same yesterday, today, and
forever.” His knowledge never changes, so for Him, all things
are now. Thus, His declaration to Moses at the burning
bush, “I AM.”)
Thus, creationism is determined by God’s plan for the
future. Creation had to be carried out with the most
intricate design to achieve God’s final plans for mankind’s
And, God has a plan for every individual of the human race
and every thought, word, and action. All are necessary to
complete the most simple detail of His plan.
The title of this section
is the same as the title of a book by D. James
Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe. In their focus on evangelism and
personal righteousness, Christians are prone to miss the great
historical impact of Jesus Christ’s life, his teaching, and
regeneration of His people. Kennedy and Newcombe list the
following (p. 3).
Hospitals, which essentially began during the Middle
Universities, which also began during the Middle
Ages. In addition, most of the world’s greatest
universities were started by Christians for Christian
Literacy and education for the masses.
Capitalism and free-enterprise.
Representative government, particularly as it has
been seen in the American experiment.
The separation of political powers.
The abolition of slavery, both in antiquity and more
The discovery of the New World by Columbus.
The elevation of women.
Benevolence and charity; the good Samaritan ethic.
Higher standards of justice.
The elevation of the common man.
The condemnation of adultery, homosexuality, and
other sexual perversions. This has helped to preserve
the human race, and it has spared many from heartache.
High regard for human life.
The civilizing of many barbarian and primitive
The codifying and setting to writing of many of the
Greater development of art and music. The inspiration
for the greatest works of art.
The countless changed lives transformed from
liabilities into assets to society because of the
gospel. (For example, the descendants of Jonathan
Edwards and a criminal of his time)
The eternal salvation of countless souls!
Further, I would like to add to or expound on this list:
Human sacrifice. “Human sacrifice was a religious
rite practiced in every country, by every religion until
Christianity appeared” (Otto Scott, back cover). This
practice included the supposed great “civilizations” of
many historians, the “grandeur” of Greece and “glory” of
Rome. These two "cultures" also included slavery
and "torture as an instrument of the courts." (Ibid.)
abandonment and exposure were almost universal before
cultures were exposed to Christianity.
Consistently, "None of the great minds of the ancient
world -- from Plato to Aristotle to Seneca and
Quintilian, from Pythagoras and Aristophanes to
Livy and Cicero, from Herodotus and Thucydides to
Plutarch and Euripides -- disparaged child-killing in
any way. In fact, most of them even recommended
it.... They blindly tossed lives like dice."
(George Grant, Third Time Around: A History of the
Pro-Life Movement from the First Century to the Present,
(Wolgemuth and Hyatt, 1991), page 12.
Limited governments created by common law and Lex
Rex, e.g., the Magna Charta
World exploration prompted by evangelism, e.g.,
Christopher Columbus in the Americas and Hernando Cortez
Dates in history were ordered. Time is B.C. and A.D.,
before Christ and anno domini (in the year of our
I am aware of the many of the controversies that surround the
item in this list. Some I will discuss here and elsewhere. For
others, I invite you to read Kennedy and Newcombe’s book and
scores of other books which give more extensive and substantive
reasons that the above are facts of history.
One of the greatest dangers to Biblical thinking is that
“What is, is what ought to be.” There is no other philosophy
of life or religion in the history of mankind that supplied the
force for universal education than Christianity. God planned
for His people to know His Word. The New Testament was written
in the koine Greek, the language of the common people of
the Roman world in the Middle East, not classical Greek.
And, how did Greek come to be the common language of that
time: Alexander the Great! God used the ambitions of a
thoroughly pagan military leader (who later claimed to be a god)
to bring most of the Middle East under Greek dominance. With
that dominance came the common language of the Greeks. This
language provided for the Gospel be written in the language of
the common man and allowed a large geographic location, central
to the world, readily reachable by that language.
As Christianity began to grow in that God-provided culture
medium, it provoked the common man to learn to read. To
paraphrase the above proverb, it is difficult to get understand
that “what is, is not what has always been.” Until the
Reformation (see below), there was essentially no reason for
most people to be able to read and write. In virtually all
societies, there were castes (even if they were not called
that). Most people had no money, so there was no reason for
mathematics. Most people did not even own themselves, either
through outright slavery or their position I society being
already fixed by their birth. So, there was no reason for
learning anything more than their simple tasks in life. Their
religion provided no real hope or aspirations. Entertainment
could be provide by others in the way of plays or traveling
I recall somewhere that Augustine was startled when he saw
his teacher, Ambrose, sitting and reading a book. He had heard
books read aloud in public, but had never thought that a book
could be read for one’s own edification! Of course, he went on
to read -- and to write -- many books of his own. But, his is an
example of the reality of “book-learning and -reading” in his
day, even though he was of an educated class.
Roman Catholic Church used the Latin translation of the Bible
and its favored priesthood to keep the Bible out of the hands of
the common people. Further, the Church believed that only the
priests could properly understand the Scriptures.
And, thus the Dark Ages were dark because the Bible has kept
from the common people. But, God’s Word intended for God’s
people could not be kept under a bushel, even one as large as
the Roman Catholic Church. Its seeds began sprouting with John
Wycliffe, John Hus, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and other
translators of the Bible. With the invention of the printing
press and the translation of the Bible again into the language
of the common man, a universal desire and impetus for universal
education began and birthed the Reformation.
Christians as Martyrs and Enemies of Earthly
The dominant theme of the history of mankind according to the
Bible is the Revelation of Jesus Christ and the salvation of His
people. All evangelicals would agree. But, Christians have
not been popular in many (most?) societies in history. Rather
the opposite, they have been severely persecuted with virtually
every torture known to evil mankind. All evangelicals know this
martyrdom. In the 3rd century, Tertullian said that
“the blood of martyrs is seed” (of the church).* Again, this
statement is commonly accepted among Christians of all times.
But, what may not be readily recognizable in an historical
context is why Christians are persecuted. Practiced in a
consistent and biblical way, Christians are “to live peaceably
with all men” (Roman 12:18). Indeed, the law of love extends
even to enemies.
Christians, by and large, are persecuted because they are a
threat to the ruling powers! As is being discussed
throughout this book, the Bible defines the stark contrast of
light and darkness and goodness and evil. Darkness hates the
light. Powerful people hate those that will not bow the knee to
the god of Nebuchadnezzar, the gods of Rome, the racism of
Hitler, or the communism of Stalin. Beginning with the Hebrew
midwives, God has instructed His people to “obey God, rather
“… the world has struck at (Christians) because is has
recognized the power in them” (Rushdoony, Salvation and
Godly Rule, Ross House Books, 1983, page 359).
God’s people are under a set of laws that sometimes differ
with those of the state. (The extent of those laws I will
discuss elsewhere in some detail). Again, Christians are
generally called to be the best citizens that a ruler could have
(Romans 13:1-7). Yet, that ruler wants absolute obedience. He
knows that the Christian cannot give that total allegiance. So,
the persecution of Christians by the state is actually a
premise consistent with their worldview.
This begs a question of Christians in the West. Why are they
not being persecuted? Some would say that we are, but
discrimination is not persecution! I will posit two reasons. 1)
The influence the Reformation still lingers in the West,
particularly in the United States. The Reformation spawned the
most thoroughgoing worldview in Christianity since it began.
While its doctrinal basis has virtually disappeared, its social
and legal effects of tolerance remain.
We face an interesting divergence of scenarios. If Christians
return to the complete worldview or one better (which I think is
possible), building on their mistakes and keeping their
principles that were correct, then what will happen? Either,
they will once again force darkness to persecute them or they
will reform society and the state.
At least in the United States, it is possible that the
freedoms of religion in this country can be restored. But, it
will not happen unless “judgment begins at the household of God”
(I Peter 4:17). That is, His people confess their failure to
live consistent with His truth, primarily His commandments and
statutes, and begin to live in that way.
I don’t know which will happen! I hope, pray, and work with
diligence that the our freedoms can be restored. But, the more
serious issue is not whether persecution will occur but whether
Christians will come to understand their failures in the
Cultural Mandate. If they don’t, persecution may be avoided. The
state will have nothing to fear! There will be no light to their
Another possible scenario is that Christians will persecute
their own. Those without the light will join with the forces of
darkness to persecute their brothers and sisters. This
persecution has already been played out through between the
Roman Catholic Church and Protestant churches in history. I fear
that this is the most likely event in our times.
(One could debate whether true Christians can persecute other
true Christians. “To whom much is given much is required.” The
apostasy of those who once believed is worse than that of
pagans. God gives them over to their wrath.)
The Dark Ages of the Light of the Gospel
The Dark Ages or the Middle Ages are various dated from the
Fall of Rome in 476 A.D. to around 1000 A.D. or 1500 A.D. Again,
such dating is concerned with one’s priorities and biases in
historical accounts. But, just what was happening during this
time relative to Christianity in Europe?
While the “civilizations” of Greece and Rome were in their
flower, there were barbaric hordes all over the British Isles
and Europe. The Irish, Celts, and Scots were small tribes and
clans with not loyalties other than to their own little bands,
and sometimes betrayal even within families. There were the
warring Germanic tribes and the raiding Norsemen, who were
feared by all of Europe. Slaughter, rape, pillaging, human
sacrifice, enslavement, and worship of all kinds of strange gods
were common everywhere.
Fast forward to the 12th-15th century.
The barbarians are gone. Civilization is beginning to flourish
with its evidence of increasing liberties for the common man,
great architecture of the Cathedrals, art, literature, science,
music, and the chivalry shown to women. It is the eve of the
Renaissance and the Reformation.
Barbarism to advancing culture and civilization in 500-1000
years, depending upon location. What happened? How did the mire
of humanity presage the Enlightenment? Christianity!
While Protestants have rightly condemned excesses and wrong
theology, with the development of the Church came missionaries
with a hunger to convert souls. With the Christ of the
Gospels came all His fruits, listed above. And, He came with
the Bible only in hands of the priests. He came with all the
imperfections and heresies of the Roman Catholic Church. But, He
came with sufficient light to transform the British Isles and
Europe to the dawn of the greatest achievements of mankind and
the liberty that would eventually be the United States.
Church History vs. World History
Perhaps, church history has obscured God’s Providence in
World History. While there are numerous books on church history,
there are none of which I am aware that delineate God’s
Providence in world history over long periods of time. There are
many that focus on American history and the removal of God and
His Word from the founding of the colonies to the writing of the
Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. There are more
focused books on individuals and short periods of history,
especially the Reformation. But, where are those similar to
Western civilization history texts for high school and college
classes? There is evidence that they will be forthcoming.
In July 2006, Vision Forum sponsored its History of the World
Mega-Conference with 65 presentations by 12 speakers who have
unique areas of study within world history. All history was
covered, from Genesis 1 to the 400 year anniversary of the
founding of Jamestown in 2007. It is hope that these speakers
will continue to write and publish, especially into both concise
and detailed books for Christians of all ages.
Genesis 1-11 have always been controversial in the Christian
community. I will mostly deal with the so-called “problems”
presented by modern science in that section. Neither is this the
place to discuss the unity and coherence of the Scriptures.
However, as history in compiling a complete worldview, a brief
mention of this period of history is necessary. And, the only
written history of pre-Flood times is the Word of God.
John Morris estimates that there were one billion people on
earth at the time of the Flood. Their civilizations would have
been highly advanced, not “hunter-gatherers”, as evolutionists
would tell us. They were builders of cities, workers of bronze
and iron, herders of cattle who dwelled in tents (not caves),
and players of complex musical instruments (Genesis 4:16,
20-22). John Reed has written a fictional account of the
building of the Ark, infusing the probable technologies that
made the functioning of the Ark possible.
The post-Flood world has considerable archeological evidence
for advanced civilizations. As archeology over the past two
hundred years has challenged and lost to Old Testament history.
So, evolution is falling to archeology, proving the Biblical
prediction of advanced technology among peoples who were closer
to the intelligence of Adam and therefore less influenced by
decline in genetic intelligence. Also, their longevity allowed
decades longer for men to live and develop their ideas.
There is archeological evidence of great ships that sailed
the seas of the world, even positing a pre-frozen map of
Antarctica. Great architectural and botanical accomplishments of
Babylon, the Mayas, and Aztecs. Many hieroglyphic accounts, as
well as scientific evidence of interaction of men and dinosaurs
(Job 40:15-24). Other items include flush toilets, complicated
aqueducts, pyramids of Egypt, Gardens of Babylon, stone monsters
of Easter island and man others.
Evolution has man emerging from the ooze, living in caves,
becoming a hunter-gatherer, then becoming agricultural, and
later becoming technologically capable. The Bible and archeology
has man living with hunting, farming, and complex technology
from the beginning.
Notes from a century
ago. Herman Bavinck made
these comments more than a century ago.
The quality of the
civilization which we find in the land of Shinar (Genesis
14), in so far as science and art, morality and
jurisprudence, commerce and industry are concerned, reached
a height which, the more we come to know it from
excavations, fills us with amazement. Just how and
when it arose, we do not know; but the general idea that the
farther we go back, the coarser and more barbarous the
people we encounter will be is totally discredited by it.
So long as we do not entertain all kinds of fantastic
notions about the uncivilized state of the so-called
"primitive" peoples, and guided by history (of the
secular variety - Ed), we try to penetrate through to
the past, we are confirmed in the idea of Scriptures that
the oldest period of Noahic humanity, what with the
initiative of such men as Nimrod, stood at a very high level
civilization did not remain confined to the land of Shinar.
As mankind spread out more after the confusion of tongues,
they settled widely separated parts of the earth. It
is no wonder that these tribes and peoples, living their
isolated lives, cut off from all commerce with other
nations, and wrestling always with a wild and inhospitable
nature, remained on the level of culture at which they
began, or, in historical instances, even below it.
Such peoples we speak of in historical studies as "primitive
peoples," or "uncivilized peoples," but such designations
are really misleading and inaccurate. For, among all
these peoples, we find the characteristics and properties
which are the basic elements of civilization. They are
all human as distinguished from natural beings; they all
have consciousness and will, reason and understanding,
family and community, tools and ornaments.
Further, there is
so much difference among these nations that it would be
impossible to point out the boundary between the "civilized"
and the "uncivilized" peoples. There is a remarkable
difference in culture among the bush-folk of South Africa,
the population of Polynesia, and the (Black) races.
Irrespective, however, of how they differ, they have a
common fund of ideas, traditions—concerning the flood, for
instance—of memories and hopes. These point to the
All this is even
more true of the so-called "civilized" peoples, the Indians
and Chinese, the Phoenicians and Egyptians. The
foundations of the world-picture, the Weltanschauung, which
we find among all these peoples, are the same as those which
are called to our attention by the excavations in the land
of Shinar. This is the origin of all culture, the
cradle and nursemaid of mankind. It was from central
Asia that mankind spread out; and from this center mankind
took along with it those elements of culture which are
common to civilized peoples, and which each of them
independently and in its own way brought to further
development. The ancient culture of Babylon, what with
its writing, its astronomy, its calendar, and the like, is
still the basis upon which our culture is built. (Our
Reasonable Faith, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1977,
References: Chittick, The Puzzle of Ancient Man.
Phillips and Whitcomb’s lectures at Mega-history conference.
This question must be asked in the context of a chapter on
history. However, its answer is best left to a study of
sociology, as it has greater application there. But, one must wonder
about the concept of “civilization” in which virtually every
culture and nation practiced human sacrifice, sometimes by the
tens of thousands (Incas and Mayas), prior to the introduction
of Christianity. In Greece and Rome, wives and
children were property to be used at the whim of the “husband,”
sometimes even in human sacrifice. Unwanted children were
often "exposed," that is, left to die after being abandoned in
the street, wilderness, or even the city's trash dump.
Justice was often the whim of the King, literally having the
power of life and death over everyone in his kingdom.
Although the author may
not have intended that the following be a definition, it seems
quite definitive. "In any given society, civilization
represents, in continuous terms. the sum total of its spiritual,
intellectual, ethical, and institutional values, which in
varying degrees will permit those living in it to develop as
completely and harmoniously as possible.” Jean DeCarreaux,
Monks and Civilization (London: George Allen and Unwin
Ltd., 1964), p. 15.
For more on "civilized"
and "uncivilized," see Bavinck's quote under
above. Also, see
Giving Thanks for Western Civilization.
For more on Western
Civilization and the role of Christianity, see
The Case Against Western Civilization.
The Best History Lessons Ever!
The Impact of Christianity on the World in History