Here at The Christendom Curriculum, we recently received a message with this question:
"Why do you promote a focus on Europe and the US and not other parts of the world? I mean...wasn't Jesus himself from Asia? I get a focus on the US as our country, but why Europe over the rest of the world?"
This was my reply:
Because we are ethnically, linguistically, historically, culturally, and religiously European.
We know our own people best. Further, it seems to us that it would be a bit arrogant to presume to focus on an educational presentation of non-Christian, non-Western cultures.
Jesus was from Israel, to be sure, which is not in Europe. He is not a European (nor is He African). He is what we would call Middle Eastern. He is an Israelite, a son of David and Abraham.
But the New Testament has a surprisingly European foundation. It's written, not in Hebrew, but in a European language (Greek). The Son of God appeared in the midst of a European empire, and the Gospel was carried on European roads and in European ships. Paul was redirected from further eastward missionary activity by a vision of a European man. And the one man who wrote more of the New Testament than any other was Luke, a European.
These facts give us no cause to boast, but rather to be humble and thankful. Historically, so far, "the faith is Europe, and Europe is the faith," as Hilaire Belloc put it.
But in the future, all nations, European or otherwise, will become beautiful and wonderful civilizations under the influence of Christ and His Gospel. The focus on Europe in the past two millennia is historical, not theological. Christ is for all peoples, not just ours.
In The Christendom Curriculum, we do of course talk about other cultures and non-Western nations as they relate to our own story. We harbor no animosity toward people who look, live, or speak differently than us. We hope for peace among the nations, and for the love and truth of Christ to bring healing to every people on the face of the earth. We treasure the unique cultures of every people, and want them protected and preserved.
But again, we do focus on our own people and story, as that is our duty to our children, and to God.
Further, we recognize that there is a concerted effort at present to demonize American and European civilization as somehow inherently or uniquely evil. We reject this project as itself despicably evil; therefore, our focus on American and European civilization is also, in part, an important aspect of that rejection. In short, we will not join in as the corrupted worldlings dogpile on the most hated people on the planet.
Update: In response to this, I received the following note from a different person: "This was an answer to a question I had myself. Thank you so much for taking the time to explain thoroughly where and why the focus is European."
We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!