History: A Student's Guide

By Nathan A. Finn, Series edited by David S. Dockery

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Knowledge of the past is integral to understanding the present and looking forward to the future. An appreciation of what came before is indeed foundational to nearly every other field of study.

This guide by professor Nathan A. Finn explores the nature of history and historical context, compares different schools of historical interpretation, and addresses contemporary issues related to the intersection of faith and history. This volume will help students critically engage with history in the light of God’s providential care over the past, the present, and the future.

Part of the Reclaiming the Christian Intellectual Tradition series.

Read Chapter 1


Nathan A. Finn

Nathan A. Finn (PhD, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the dean of the School of Theology and Missions and professor of theological studies at Union University. Nathan lives in Jackson, Tennessee, with his wife, Leah, and their four children.

Product Details

Category: Academic
History & Biography
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 112
Size: 5.25 in x 7.75 in
Weight: 4.2 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-3763-X
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-3763-9
ISBN-UPC: 9781433537639
Case Quantity: 112
Published: January 31, 2016

Table of Contents

Introduction: History and the Christian Worldview

  1. Understanding History
  2. Historical Interpretation
  3. Faith and the Historian
  4. History: An Invitation


“I heartily recommend Nathan Finn’s brisk and thoughtful History: A Student’s Guide. I do not know of a better introduction to historical studies, or a more cogent assessment of how Christians should think about history.”
Thomas S. Kidd, Research Professor of Church History, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, Thomas Jefferson: A Biography of Spirit and Flesh

“Nathan Finn’s adept introduction to the art and discipline of history and historical scholarship will provide many students, especially those with explicit faith commitments, with the resources needed to participate in the ongoing conversations of the guild.”
Richard A. Bailey, Associate Professor of History, Canisius College; author, Race and Redemption in Puritan New England

“This mature, thorough, and insightful Christian treatment of history and the historian’s craft will prove to be an indispensable tool for students. In this concise and engaging book, Nathan Finn employs characteristic wit and wisdom as he guides his readers through the essentials of understanding the ‘foreign country’ of the past. Here’s a book every aspiring historian must read.”
John D. Wilsey, Associate Professor of Church History and Philosophy, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, God’s Cold Warrior and American Exceptionalism and Civil Religion

“Nathan Finn has contributed an excellent resource for introducing students to the essential principles and responsible practice of historical studies from a Christian perspective. The text is filled with colorful illustrations from contemporary popular culture that give it a timely relevance while also containing loads of timeless wisdom. History: A Student’s Guide deserves a long tenure as an essential text for Christian reflections on the nature and doing of history.”
Scott Culpepper, Associate Professor of History, Dordt College