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More Than Dates and Dead People: Recovering a Christian View of History Paperback – September 20, 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
The author takes you through a series of reasons it is important to understand the history of a nation in order to understand its current events and values. He gives some background of the history of the United States as an example.
He writes the book from a Christian standpoint, and includes facts about history that are interesting.
The author includes books for further reading, Web sites about history, and quotes about history from famous/infamous people, as well as the Bible.
The book could be improved if it were updated. For instance, the book was written in 2000 and it mentions modems which fewer people use. One of the links was outdated, but it had a page referencing the new Web site. Because it is a book about history, it is still relevant even with the few minor needed changes.
Even if you are not Christian, Mr. Mansfield's method of dissecting history is spot on: you only need to understand 5 arenas as you examine the people and times of the past: 1) religion; 2) culture; 3) Law; 4) education; and 5) art.
What is religion? It is "ultimate concern." It is that to which men willingly give their lives, what occupies their thoughts, their money and their time. No society or individual is free from it, including Richard Dawkins.
What is culture? According to Mansfield, culture is "religion externalized." Differences between cultures are simply the expression of ultimate concerns that permeate a society. Understanding different cultures requires looking at the next three aspects (law, education and art).
What is law? It is a culture's attempt to set standards of moral behavior, to deal with matters of truth, fairness, and justice. I must quote Mansfield here: "You will sometimes hear people say, 'You can't legislate morality.' This isn't true, though. In fact, morality is all you can legislate. For example, why don't we have laws that require pink flowers in all second-story windows boxes? These laws sound silly, don't they? And the reason they sound silly is that they have nothing to do with morality, with right and wrong. That's why we have laws that deal with murder, stealing, personal assault, and discrimination.Read more ›
It got only 4 stars because it was too short. I wanted more however, the author gave the reader the tools to do it on their own.
A Must Read for all History Buffs
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Only a fool would believe the legitimacy of this book. I thought we moved beyond the age of predetermination. Read morePublished on February 17, 2012 by Jacqueline Sterrett
I am quite the history buff, however, setting that aside I am very pleased with this purchase. I liked the book so much I made it required reading for my kids. Read morePublished on September 23, 2011 by David S. Horton
If you are alive and realize your life is more than just dates, then it only follows that your personal history is foremost a story and not a set of disconnected facts. Read morePublished on July 4, 2008 by S. Seigel