I love love love history. it fascinates me and has for a long time. my first history obsession was the pioneers, hours of playing the organ trail, 4th grade social studies was dedicated to the Native Americans and the push west, and of course the first series I ever read the little house books. this was followed by an obsession about slavery and the civil war, which was followed by reading every book written by a survivor of the Holocaust and other things that happened in world war II.
The thing about history is that there were people who lived before us. people who were part of the faith. one of my favorite series that i read in high school was a series of books which followed a family from the puritan settlement of Boston to the Vietnam war. it was fascinating and written about a christian family. but then i discovered other pieces of church history Amy Carmichael, Martin Luther, John Wycliffe, and hear about the Martyrs of ancient times.
and then of course this mysterious age called the middle ages which in protestant circles and most modern circles is deemed unimportant. a time of barbarism, the church completely corrupted, every one dying of plague, and of course no scientific exploration. a Dark Age in which man was ignorant and stupid blindly believing everything the church said.
But then I started to learn about how the dark ages weren't so dark, in fact the term dark ages came from the enlightenment period when the past was what was holding us back. but things happen, in fact this was a high time for theology and philosophy. and well of course my current love of medieval literature. People lived and the church was actually doing what it could to preserve culture.
So as I studied and continue to study these and earlier fathers of the church I find more value in them then Martin Luther or John Wesley- I don't think they would mind that too much sense they were both students of the early church fathers. My first church history professor said at the Beginning of his first lecture: "we can not for get that we are dwarves standing on the shoulders of gaints"
I can not stand the general understanding of the modern protestant church which seems to continue the propagate that the history of the church is Paul and the apostles then complete and total tyrannical control by the Roman Catholic Church then Luther. I'm much happier in a church that remembers its place in history.