I’m a few weeks into teaching Heritage Studies 2 to my oldest daughter. One day as we started our history lesson after family worship, my daughter exclaimed, “I learned this in Bible class!” (That’s because our second-grade American history textbook began with creation.) She was surprised to be learning something in history class that she learned from the Bible.
As a parent, I was pleased that my daughter recognized our study of American history started with a historical account from the Bible because my wife and I have committed to give our children a biblical worldview education so that they will view each subject by faith. When we study history, faith demands we begin the study with creation, understand humanity in light of creation, and see civilization through creation.
By Faith Begin History with Creation
When I took world history in high school and college, the textbooks began with civilization in ancient Mesopotamia. My Christian teachers dismissed evolutionary “prehistory,” but they never replaced these myths with the account of the beginning of human events in the Garden of Eden. When we as parents start to teach “history” without the creation account, we treat it as a secularist would, as something other than an account of how the world actually began. I want my children to approach all subjects by faith. That means taking creation seriously in their history course.
By Faith Understand Humanity in Light of Creation
Secularists try to find ways to define humans. They sometimes call us tool-using-creatures or symbol-using-creatures. Without the creation account, we have a poor basis for understanding human beings. How can our children properly study a subject that records and interprets human events yet doesn’t define our humanity? Our history textbook taught my daughter that we’re all created in God’s image and that God gives us two important directions: fill and rule the earth. While the Fall (also covered in our textbook) twisted us, our identity is still rooted in the one in whose image we are made and the directions He gave us in the beginning. Creation is foundational to understanding that humans and humanity are the central focus of historical study.
By Faith See Civilization Through Creation
In general, secularists claim that humans started to congregate and plant crops, which in turn led to civilization. They claim civilization allowed for occupational specializations, such as priests who invented gods. In contrast, the creation account tells us that God ordered humans to “exercise dominion” over the earth. In the first generation, people began cultivating crops (Cain) and practicing husbandry (Abel). Even when murderous Cain began founding cities, he did so because of God’s call to rule over the world. Civilization didn’t beget God, instead God’s direction to man gave rise to civilization.
As my daughter continues to study American history, these foundational concepts are central to her understanding of the events and people we will learn about. My wife and I want our daughter to view history through the lens of faith. That’s why we want a history text that begins with creation.
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