The biblical view of history stands in sharp contrast to all philosophical approaches to the problem of the meaning of history. It supplies the necessary elements which they lack. And it resolves the seeming paradoxes upon which they come to failure.

The Christian conception is actually not a philosophy of history at all. Rather, it is a theological interpretation. Its basic presuppositions are not those of human reason or experience, for they rest upon the great doctrines of the Scriptures. It shares no common ground with philosophical interpretations, except the facts which it seeks to interpret. Such biblical doctrines as the sovereignty of God, the divine creation and government of the world and man, and the inspiration and infallibility of the Scriptures are not only theological postulates, but are, at the same time, the presuppositions on which alone a truly meaningful interpretation of history can be erected. These fundamental doctrines shed light on the very essence of the historical process.


The sovereignty of God guarantees the possibility of history as objective truth and therefore as an intellectual discipline worthy of the mind of men. Without the exercise of divine control over the world and over human actions, history would be unintelligible and its study a veritable impossibility. If God were not sovereign and if this sovereignty were not directly exercised in his decrees of creation and providence, the historical process would have neither a directing force nor a controlling agency, and it would be “without form and void.” This doctrine makes it both possible and necessary to affirm with certainty that history has both a purpose and a goal, and the consciousness of this meaning moves ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.