I’m preparing for the annual Evangelical Covenant Church Midwinter conference. It’s a conference for pastors. They can connect with each other and hopeful be refreshed by the speakers and workshops put on by our denomination. They also run their orientation courses during this time for pastors who didn’t attend North Park Seminary, the denomination’s seminary. Since I didn’t attend North Park, I’m taking an orientation course this upcoming February called, The Theology of the ECC.
I have completed some of the required reading for the course, and I’ve been surprised by how much I’ve enjoyed it. They have us reading articles and sermons from pastors and scholars who served in the ECC over the last 150 years. What I’ve found surprising is how relevant the content is. I’m shocked to find 120-year-old sermons in which these pastors masterfully articulate issues that I assumed where new to our cultural milieu.
This highlighted the issue of what I’ll call era-ism. It’s a sort of prejudice against older eras that have gone before us–a form of bigotry that discriminates against those not found in our own generation or era. We (or at least I) at times have assumed that our technological advancements and wealth of historical resources guarantees we are constantly progressing in the ideological conversation. This means the books written this year on Jesus must be of greater erudition and therefore greater value to me than books written 100 years ago on Jesus. Or, so the reasoning would go.
But it’s been refreshing to see that this is not the case. These devoted Christians writing many years ago have provided wonderfully relevant insights into my present day spiritual walk. I’m glad to have been challenged by something old. 🙂