But their situation and mine is not the same, for they, opening the old histories and chronicles could as if gathering from some great meadow, weave some small crown at least for their work. As for me, what shall I do, who, having no predecessor, have, as the saying is, the worst possible master, namely myself, and yet I must acknowledge that Eusebius Pamphilus in the ten books of his Church History has been of the utmost assistance, and the works of various among those of whom we are to write, often testify to the dates of their authors.As someone who is part of the free-church expression of Christianity, I recognize there is a tendency for me to think that I have no predecessor. Challenges to Christian thought and practice seem novel. This apparently is not new. Jerome felt alone in relaying historical biography of those in Christian history before him. Yet he is not alone.
Thomas Oden believes that part of the problem within modern Christian theology comes from a desire for novelty over continuity with Christian tradition. (After Modernity… What?: Agenda for Theology, rev. ed., Grand Rapids, MI: Academie Books, 1990, 22) This desire for novelty fails to acknowledge the illustrious men and women in the history of Christianity. The goal of this blog will reflect on the following issues:
- continuity and discontinuity within the Christian tradition,
- matters of importance to historical research within the Christian tradition,
- discussion of genetic patterns within Christian thought,
- proper research, information literacy, and attribution of ideas, and
- general issues related to theology, Christian history, and theological librarianship.