Vital Lessons From Church History with Dustin Benge and Dale Partridge

by Dale Partridge

How can church history strengthen the church today? What can we learn from the bold men and women of old for the days ahead of us? Which heresies and false doctrine can we avoid by looking at those who protected truth before us? In this episode of the Theologian Series, pastor Dale Partridge interviews Dr. Dustin Benge about why all Christians should study church history.

Dr. Benge is the Provost and professor of church history and preaching at Union School of Theology in the United Kingdom. Dr. Benge is the author of several books and is the host of the Walking Worthy podcast. In this discussion, Dustin and Dale discuss why Christians must seek to have a working knowledge of Church History and how having this knowledge can protect themselves and their families against false doctrine and bad theology.

Questions Answered this Episode

  1. We live in a time where the church at large avoids the field of church history, entirely. In fact, many modern Christians cannot tell you anything about the Acts church, the early church fathers, the middle ages, the reformation, the puritans and the great awakening, the revivalists of the 1800s, or even the church of their grandparents. Can you tell us why church history is something every Christian should study?
  2. Many modern Christians are attracted to modern churches. However, these modern churches can feel detached from church history. They write their own statements of faith, they have no denominational heritage, they have no clear commitment to historical theology and as a result, they produce Christians who think and behave as if they are the first Christians on earth. So, my question is, why is it important for modern churches to attach themselves to Christian history? That is, why should pastors be reminding their congregations of their spiritual family tree?
  3. When you begin to study church history, you quickly notice that it’s a study of God’s work through incredible individuals. You begin to learn of men like Polycarp and Augustine and Luther and women like Joan of Arc and Lady Jane Gray and Susanna Wesley. Why should modern Christians be familiar with these significant characters throughout church history? In other words, what is the benefit of reading about these individuals? 
  4. 150 years ago the sources of information were very limited. As a result, false teaching and heretical theology had fewer ways to be passed along. But today, with social media, podcasts, online sermons, an abundance of books, documentaries, and movies the average Christian is bombarded with false ideas and bad theology on a weekly if not a daily basis. How can church history and specifically a grasp of historical theology help modern Christians to identify false teaching, refute it, and present truth from the Scriptures? 
  5. If you had to choose three individuals from church history to study who would they be and why?

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After watching or listening to this episode, what is your opinion? Do you have any questions or comments? Maybe you have something to add to the discussion? If so, let us know in the comments below.

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