Dr. Jared Burkholder, program director for History and Political Science and History Professor at Grace College, Winona Lake, Ind., recently contributed an entry to the publication, Faith and History: A Devotional, edited by Christopher Gehrz and Beth Allison Barr. The book is a collection of short pieces that integrate historical reflection with study and prayer. Burkholder and the other contributing authors are part of the Conference on Faith and History (CFH) — an organization comprised mostly of Christian historians.
“I don’t know of any other book like this,” stated Burkholder. “The past has often been used as a source of inspiration and even Christian reflection, but since all the authors are professional historians by trade, the pieces offer considerable nuance and go beyond simple platitudes or inspirational anecdotes,” he explained.
“The past is much too complex to provide easy lessons the way most people think it does. But it does open up a window into the many layers of human experience and the tensions of living in a fallen world,” said Burkholder. “And it’s here among these layers that we find a lot to meditate on,” he said.
The book is specifically geared toward those with an interest in history, but according to Burkholder a history professor, anyone could use it as a daily source of meditation for their Christian walk.
Burkholder’s contributing entry is entitled: “Seek the way of Peace.” His writing describes a group of Moravian Christians who faced a difficult moral dilemma in the midst of 18th-century frontier wars and prompts readers to meditate on what it means to be peacemakers in difficult situations.
The entry concludes by asking the reader to reflect, “When, if ever, is violence acceptable or necessary?” and “What does it mean to trust in God’s protection in messy situations of conflict?”
“We can’t always know the answers to these difficult questions,” said Burkholder, “but we should still seek God’s heart and do our best to prioritize peace.”
Copies of the devotional can be pre-ordered for $14.95 at www.baylorpress.com/