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God: Missing in Action from American History by David Barton (First published in the June 2005 issue of The NRB Magazine magazine): American history today has become a dreary academic subject. Yet, most who are bored by American history view Bible history quite differently: they love the stories of David and Goliath, Daniel and the lion’s den, and Peter walking on the water. So it’s not that people don’t enjoy history, it’s just that they don’t respond favorably to the way American history is currently being taught. One reason Bible history is interesting and American history is not is that the Bible (as well as American education during its first three centuries) utilizes biographical history - that is, it presents history through the eyes and life experiences of those involved (i.e., the biographies) rather than through the recitation of a string of dates and places. It is the difference between reading the stories in Guideposts and the numbers in a phone book. Looking at history the way God presents it is exciting and informative; and in numerous verses, God even commends its study: “Remember the former things of old: for I am God” (Isaiah 46:9); and “Call to remembrance the former days” (Hebrews 10:32); etc. But why would God want us to know history? The Apostle Paul answers that question in 1 Corinthians 10:1: “All these things happened unto them for example; and they are written for our admonition” (see also Romans 15:4: “Those things written aforetime were written for our learning”). In short, we learn from history; and what we learn affects our behavior. American leaders long understood this Biblical truth. For example, Thomas Jefferson noted: “History, by apprizing them [students] of the past, will enable them to judge of the future.” And what can be learned by being “apprized of the past”? According to Benjamin Franklin: History will afford frequent opportunities of showing the necessity of a public religion from its usefulness to the public; the advantage of a religious character among private persons; the mischiefs of superstition; and the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern....