“Twenty-first century Christians stand on the shoulders of far more saints than those mentioned in the Bible. To acquaint oneself with church history is to meet one’s parents. Those who’ve gone before us make it easier for us to live our faith, because we see in their legacy the church’s progress along the race laid before it. And if nearly three thousand years ago King Solomon was able to say, ‘There is nothing new under the sun,’ how much more true is that today?
It is a particular American conceit, wrapped up with our existential individualism, that we are unlike anyone before us, and that today’s problems are unlike those faced by people before us. King Solomon did not live to see cloning, egg donations, plastic surgery, brain-dead hospital patients, nuclear waste or other technology-wrought moral questions, but human nature remains substantially the same as in his day, and the real questions of life and death are the same.
At most we have to tweak or interpret what our ancestors already discovered. There is no human development we can possibly think of that hasn’t already been addressed by other Christians… The danger in the American church is less that we believe wrong beliefs than that we believe them all by ourselves.”
–Paul Grant, Blessed Are the Uncool: Living Authentically in a World of Show (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 90-91.