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Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Scholarship of Faith Integration


The German historian, Leopold Von Ranke, noted the following: “Every epoch is immediate to God, and its value is not based on what emerges from it, but on its very existence.” My assignment was to respond to Von Ranke’s thoughts. I have done so by drawing on four observations made from the OT book of Esther. These observations pertain to truth, years, obscurity, and heroes; all of them matter to God and all of them should matter to the historian. In a sense, these four elements are the raw materials, or building blocks, of history in any generation. I conclude by suggesting Von Ranke leads us to three affirmations: (1) God is aware of and present in every epoch. (2) Every epoch has inestimable value. (3) Existence, by itself, implies and confers value. No one is better equipped to understand and interpret these matters than a Christian historian, firmly rooted in God’s Word. Such an endeavor is a worthy and noble calling.


The Leopold Von Ranke Lecture delivered at the Phi Alpha Theta Induction Ceremony, for Olivet Nazarene University’s chapter of the History Honor Society on October 1, 2023.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.