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Teaching Classical History to Christian High School Students

Written by Gary North on October 24, 2015

Understanding history requires an understanding of facts. An event is understood in terms of lots of events immediately before the event you are studying. Facts do not stand alone.

There are lots of facts — oceans of facts. Not all of them have left written records. Others have left conflicting records. You must sort out true from false facts. Then you must sort out relevant true facts from irrelevant true facts.

You must remember these facts.

You must be ready to revise these facts.

You must be ready to revise your interpretation of these facts.

If there is agreement on facts, why is there no agreement on almost anything associated with the 9-11 terrorist attacks? These events left lots of records. How do we explain the following records? A few hours before the attacks, a series of 40 linked random numbers generators located all over the world began to generate non-random numbers in ever-greater numbers that moved up the chart in a pattern? This peaked an hour after the attacks. No one can explain them, so they are ignored.

The classical world left few historical records. These records represent fragments of what happened. Most of them are from Athens and Rome. They tend to be literary. There are broken fragments of pottery. There are remains of architecture.

The humanists who have used these fragments to teach generations of students the history of Greece have been careful not to translate the more salacious passages, mostly involving sex, much of this homosexual. Classical history is a deliberately whitewashed history — literally. The Parthenon on the Acropolis of Athens was painted with bright colors, not the austere, seemingly rational white of today.

The classical Christian curriculum whitewashes this history even more. It is written so as not to reveal the deeply rooted conflict between Jerusalem and Athens: biblical religion and culture vs. classical religion and culture.


Here is how I would teach American history, world history, all history: in terms of the five-point biblical covenant model. I teach the history of literature this way on the Ron Paul Curriculum. I teach government and economics this way.

1. Sovereignty: “Who’s in charge here?”
2. Authority: “To whom do I report?”
3. Law. “What are the rules?”
4. Sanctions: “What do I get if I obey? Disobey?”
5. Succession. “Does this outfit have a future?”

I would examine each institution at any point in history in terms of these five questions:

1. Who did they say was in charge?
2. To whom did they report?
3. What were the rules?
4. What did they get if they obeyed? Disobeyed?
5. Why did it fail? Or succeed?

These are simple to ask, but difficult to answer. They are never self-consciously asked by historians. The Christian historian must spend years trying to find the answers. So far, no one has. There is no history textbook structured by these questions.

(For the rest of my article, click the link.)

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