Ole Gunnar Solskjær Has Been Appointed As Manchester United Manager

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has been appointed as Manchester United manager for next three years. He scored 126 goals in 366 appearances for United between 1996 and 2007 and also managed the club’s reserve team until the end of 2010. He was appointed caretaker manager on 19 December 2018 and won his first eight games in charge on the way to an overall record of 14 victories and two draws in 19 games, amassing more Premier League points than any other club during that time.

“From the first day I arrived, I felt at home at this special club,” said Solskjær. “This is the job that I always dreamed of doing and I’m beyond excited to have the chance to lead the club long-term and hopefully deliver the continued success that our amazing fans deserve.”

Ed Woodward, Executive Vice Chairman, comments: “Since coming in as caretaker manager in December, the results Ole has delivered speak for themselves."
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Lawmakers In Parliament's Lower House Of Commons Defied May's Plea To End The Political Deadlock That Has Plunged Britain Into Crisis

The Lawmakers in parliament's lower House of Commons defied May's plea to end the political deadlock that has plunged Britain into crisis and defeated her withdrawal agreement by 344 votes to 286.

There is speculation that MPs might be asked to vote on the withdrawal agreement but not the further "political declaration". Labour said that would lead to the "blindest of blind Brexits".

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer said both European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had stressed that the withdrawal agreement and political declaration - outlining how UK-EU trade, security and other issues could work - were part of the same "negotiated package".

He said to separate them "would mean leaving the EU with absolutely no idea where we are heading ... we wouldn't vote for that".

The PM's deal includes a withdrawal agreement - setting out how much money the UK must pay to the EU as a settlement, details of the transition period, and the backstop arrangements - and a political declaration on the way the future EU-UK relationship will work.

British MPs has however rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's EU divorce deal for a third time, opening the way for a long delay to Brexit -- or a potentially catastrophic "no deal" withdrawal in two weeks.

It is yet another blow to a prime minister who has all but lost control of her government and the Brexit process -- particularly after she offered to quit if MPs backed the deal.

Stepping Out In Faith

Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1

I have discovered the secret of a successful Christian life. Are you ready for it? It is living and walking by faith every day. It is consistency. It is staying with it.

Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Or, as the New Living Translation puts it, "Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see."Faith enables us to treat the future as present and the invisible as seen. Faith sees what could be. Faith does things. Faith takes action. Faith takes risks. Faith leaves its comfort zones to do things for the Lord. And faith that doesn’t produce works is a faith that doesn’t work.

When we step out in faith, God will work. But if we don’t step out in faith, then really not much is going to happen. God works through people who walk by faith. Hebrews 10:38 says, “The just shall live by faith." Those who step out in faith do move mountains. Feelings come and go. We cannot attach our Christian experience to how we are feeling emotionally in the moment. We must learn how to walk by faith. We must believe the word of God.

Prayer: Lord, increase my faith.

Scriptural Reading: Hebrews 11:1-3
By Faith We Understand

1     Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

2     For by it the elders obtained a  good testimony.

3      By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
NKJV

Reference: Living Word Devotional

Ibn Khaldun: An African Contribution To Islamic Theology, History And Political Philosophy

The thrust of this study is an examination of some aspects of the life and thought of Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), the great Tunisian Scholar, sociologist, philosopher and a person who has been adjudged by many as the greatest Arab historian. Ibn Khaldun’s ideas are also important for us in this context because of the exceptional nature of his thought especially in matters of historiography and political theory. His significance derives from the fact that, in spite of his attachment of Islam, he developed one of the earliest non-religious philosophy of history while simultaneously rejecting, too, as hypothetical the ideal state of the Muslim philosophers (falasifa). His theory of the state was constructed within the larger context of his novel study of civilization, his “new science”.
Ibn Khaldun was born in Tunis in 1332 A.D to a family of very proud ancestry that had a tradition for having held high administrative and political posts for over four centuries under the Umayyad, Almoravid and Almohad dynasties. In his autobiography, at – Tari bi-ibn Khaldun, Ibn Khaldun described his father as a man of letters, law theology and as somebody whose knowledge of Arabic was deep.  In Ibn Khaldun own words:
He was outstanding in his his knowledge o Arabic and had an understating of poetry in its different forms and I can well remember how the men of letters sought his opinion in matters of dispute and submitted their works to him!
From his father, Ibn acquired his love or education and knowledge
BACKGROUND TO IBN KHALDUN’S THOUGHT
Like medieval historiography which was influenced by Christian doctrine, oriental historiography, was influenced by Islamic doctrine.  But unlike Christianity, Islam is history-conscious. Although the early Muslim view of the purpose of history writing was to obtain pleasure of Allah, the Qur’an stresses the need for historical knowledge, especially to teach morals.  The Qur’an does not believe that nature or the will of Allah works blindly as there are certain historical reasons leading to every change or revolt.
Also, for the life of Prophet Muhammed there is sufficient evidence that he was well informed about the life and teachings of other prophets before him.  As a result of historical references in the Qur’an, the early Muslim writers showed keen interest in history. Furthermore, the idea of the continuity of priesthood as presented in the Qur’an led to a realization of the importance of history.
Moreover, in the pre-Islamic Arab society, history had a place.  There were narrators who in some ways practised history. In fact, history was used as a means of propagating political and religious ideas.  Unlike Christianity, Islam is essentially a literary activity. The sense for history and the need for history developed as part of the Islamic doctrine.  But Muslim historiography began essentially with the advent of Islam and very meager information is available about the pre-Islamic period.
Initially, Muslim historiography flourished on its own without any foreign influence.  But as the frontiers of Islam expanded foreign elements from Greek and Christian writings crept into the Muslim writings.  Nevertheless Muslim historiography was able to develop its own characteristics. Islam encouraged the presentation of the traditions  of the Prophet as well as the historical anecdotes, biographies, genealogies and accounts of Muslim conquests. The early Muslim historiographers began the vigorous attempt at historical presentation.  There were also attempts at verifying the events recorded. This was done by the institution of a system by which an event is transmitted through a chain of authorities. This was mainly because Muslims were primarily interested in the original wordings of the Qur’an.  Thus an important aspect of Muslim historiography is the emphasis on accurate reporting.
Thirdly, the Muslims also developed principle of screening available historical data and careful evaluation of sources.  Because of the need to keep closely to the wordings of the Qur’an and the Hadith, Muslim writers engaged in historical research to obtain as many versions of an account as possible.  These versions they would subject to rigorous screening to obtain the accuracy and authenticity of one. But to allow the reader to examine and evaluate their judgement they often gave all versions collated thereby giving later historians raw materials.
The main interest of Muslims scholars in historiography was in acquiring detailed and authentic knowledge of the events which were directly related to the teachings of the Prophet and his close associates.  This was because the Qur’an and the Hadith were the two antecedents by which events in any part of the Muslim world were judged. There was no distinction between history and religions.
As Islam expanded, the search for more traditions to the life and teachings of the Prophet increased.  With this increase, the method of analysis and style of presentation changed. There was a distinction between historical literature and religious literature.  The historical literature became more secular in approach and wider in scope. The events in the historical literature were compiled in chronological order while those in the Hadith were arranged subject wise.  Thus came the parting of ways between religious literature and history.
In their treatment of history, the early Muslim writers gradually advanced from a local or parochial outlook to a broad universal one.  The earlier attempts were unrefined to particular groups or tribes but with the expansion of Islam the concept of tribes or groups was broadened to that of rendition and there were attempts by some writers to synthesize the various local histories into comprehensive histories.

IBN KHALDUN:

Ibn Khaldun is generally regarded as a historian, philosopher and sociologist.  He was born in Tunis in May 1332 and received education based on the studies on the Qur’an and Hadith.  Among his contemporaries, he stood in a class of his own because of the massiveness of his literature, the secularization of his thoughts and the scholarly presentation of his materials.  The major ones among his books include Ibar (Universal history), the Muqadimma, the Ihata, a commentary on the order and outline of logic, a treatise on Hadith, among others.  The greatest of Ibn Khaldun’s works was the Muqadimma, which gives a very comprehensive account of North African history.  A lot of information is owed to the book for our knowledge of North Africa especially before the 7th century Arab conquest.  The work was of high quality, factual and analytical, especially with those aspects dealing with Islam in North Africa. While the book according to modern standards can be condemned as mere compilation, there is no doubt that the book thundered historical development at the time it was written.  It was a good example of excellent scholarship. In fact, in intelligence, experience and imagination, Ibn Khaldun equaled Thucydides and Machiavelli. Thus he was referred to as a giant in Muslim historiography, just as St. Augustine was the greatest writer of the Christian historiography.
However, the fame of Ibn Khaldun did not derived from the superiority of skill as an empirical historian, rather it was as a philosopher of history that he distinguished himself.  According to him, the Muqadimma is an introduction into the historian’s craft.  In the Muqadimma Ibn Khaldun elaborated the main principles of his philosophies which by all account stand above those of his philosophies which by all account stand above those of his predecessors and contemporaries and has not been equaled since.  His philosophy of history was based on the systematic attention to elaborate the nature of human society with the view of equipping practicing historians with a criterion by which recorded events and changes in history can be studied and judged.
Like St. Augustine, Ibn Khaldun was moved to historical scholarship by the prevailing circumstances of his time.  He was disillusioned with the decline of classical Islamic civilization, but unlike him, rather than explaining the misfortunes of Islam in Allah, he sought solutions from history.  Nevertheless some of his work, according to him, even in history there are divine intervention which cannot easily be removed. To Ibn Khaldun, history is a discipline firmly rooted in philosophy.   It is not a narration of events but involves an accurate perception of the forces and origins of events. He demonstrated this conception of history in his attempt to find the causes of the declined Muslim civilization.  Another contribution of Ibn Khaldun to historiography is that he gave certain factors as limitations to historical works:
  1. Partisanship on the part of the author.
  2. Overconfidence in the veracity of sources.
  3. Paul to understand events in their proper context.
  4. Failure to understand the nature of the report.
  5. Ignorance of the nature and mode of culture.
To produce a good historical work, Ibn Khaldun advocated an extensive material from many sources, a critical analysis of these materials, cross-checking of these materials, orderly presentation and the study of past works in order to avoid the mistakes of preceding writers.  In his works Ibn Khaldun tried to avoid things he criticized in his predecessors and to follow the pieces of advice he gave. No doubt Ibn Khaldun was not an armchair historian. He went out to collect materials from private hands and libraries all over North Africa. He travelled widely to have first hand experience for closer observation.  In fact, he refused to discuss events on which he had scanty information and which concentrated on the Maghrib. In this regard, he surpassed St. Augustine as the Bible properly interpreted was his main source. He also critically examined his materials and refused to accept any evidence at its face value no matter its source. Besides, he realized that mere exhaustive collection of materials cannot lead to a rational and accurate presentation without the historian using his speculative mind to bear on them.  Another area where Ibn Khaldun excelled his generation was his great concern for objectivity. He was remarkably detached from the events he narrated and wets an impartial observer. In spite of religious disposition and political experience, Ibn Khaldun’s work was not a praise of any individual nor for the defence of the Islamic State, but was simply a presentation of human activities at the time.
Furthermore, realizing that  historical event cannot be understood in isolation from environmental conditions.  He interpreted his materials within the geographical context within which they took place.  This he did excellently well in the treatment of the influence of geographical environment on the Bedouin Arabs.  Moreover, his realization of the interplay that environmental factors on historical development, led him to the belief that general laws could be propounded on historical development led him to believe that general laws could be propounded on historical development.  Thus he propounded Hasabiyyah, i.e., group factor as a basic factor in historical causation.  By this Ibn Khaldun had taken history a long way by not keeping to providence or the will of Allah.
Ibn Khaldun is a theorist of the modern state.  This conception of the state, however, is not borne out of Islamic orthodoxy but squarely located within the context of his “new science”, the study of culture. To Ibn Khaldun, the falasifa ideal state was unacceptable while giving preference to the only states he recognized: the Siyasa diniya, a state with close affinity to the Khilafa or Imama of the furish, and Siyan Aqliya, the power state founded upon Imman reason.
Ibn Khaldun’s unhesitating preference is for the power-state and he succeeded in describing its nature and organization with great candour. Although he was unmistakably clear of the primacy of the state built on the prophetically revealed law, he insisted with great conviction in against the philosophers – that prophecy is organization in a state.  As far as he in concerned the power – state is man’s natural and logical response to his needs as a rational, social being; moreso when empirical evidence reveals that the majority of mankind exists without prophets. In such societies, rulers exercise authority by power and / or Asabiyaa, which unites their supporters and provides group cohesion. In Ibn khaldun’s theory of the state, Asabiyaa gained a decidedly prime position as the motive – force of the power – state. For Asabiyya is a corporate feeling, a common bond arising, in the first instance, from blood ties cum family tradition and forging a sense of social solidarity. It provides for unity of purpose, common action and constitutes on  indispensable driving force in the formation of states and dynasties. Its aim is mulk,  dominion.
Asabiyaa provides enabling teeth to the necessary restraining force. At first, it sustains the ethnic chieftain, who is primus  inter pares,  and maintains his authority through the Asabiyya that animates his family and clan. Subsequently, the chief aims at sovereign power and employs this powerful feeling of solidarity for his own ends. Indeed, Asabiyya is a concept of Ibn khaldun that has attracted the hostility and condemnation of Orthodox Muslim philosophers who regarded it as antithetical to the teachings of Islam. Yet, Ibn khaldun remains undaunted arguing that Asabiyya is even vital to the success of prophecy and dawah, the call to religion. Nonetheless, he was realistic enough to recognize that urban life is a threat to Asabiyya as it leads to the erosion of power and influence of the ethnic chieftain.       
Closely related to the theory of Hasabiyyah is the idea that history moves in circles.  He believed that every civilization has a rise, growth and decline.  The significance of this is that it clearly shows Ibn Khaldun’s concpetion of history as an objective explanation of causes and courses of event.  Lastly, it must be recognized that the Prolegomena of Ibn Khaldun is one of the most important works of historiography. In it he emphasized the importance of sociology to history.  He sought to study the past not only in terms of the actions of individuals but also through an analysis of the laws, customs and institutions of the different people as well as the interaction of the state and society.  Just as Ibn Khaldun had no known predecessor in the history of Muslim thought, so he had not worthy successor.

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Remember Me Oh Lord

MEMORISE:
And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged; Genesis 8:1

READ: Exodus 2:23-25

23 And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.

24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.

MESSAGE

When the Bible says that God remembered an individual, a group of people or Covenant, it does not mean that He is forgetful. How can one who created memory forget something? It is impossible for God to forget anything. The phrase “God remembered” simply means that God decided to show Mercy at that point in time. God will show you tender mercy to you today in Jesus’ Name. When the Bible speaks of God remembering Noah in Genesis 8:1, it is referring to the favor that God bestowed upon him. God put Noah in the ark, as there is no way he would have forgotten him there. God follows his own time table for all events in the world. When it was time for Noah to come out of the ark to fulfill his Divine Destiny, God swept into action and Noah and all the creators in the ark where restored to the surface of the Earth. On the other hand, when God decides to abandon an individual, probably as a result of his or her Disobedience to His word, the people of the world will say that God has forgotten him or her, like he did when he left the people off a Ephraim alone to wallow in the terrible consequences of the apostasy in Hosea 4:16-19.

Define remembrance can also mean God rising to fight on behalf of an individual or a nation, in response to their cry, as he did for the children of Israel in today's Bible reading. God will will remember you and fight for you today in Jesus' Name. Are you passing through the turbulent waters of life? Since Noah did not perish in the flood you will be divinely remembered, and you will not drown in Jesus' Name. This is because the Lord made you this promise in Isaiah 43:2:

“When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee:”

Are you experiencing the fire of affliction? God will remember you today in Jesus' Name. A widow was on the verge both losing everything her husband left behind for her, because a bank came around claiming that her husband owed them a huge sum of money, which she knew nothing about when he was alive. The Lord intervened in such a way that the book of remembrance was divinely opened, and it was discovered that instead of owing a debt, her late husband was actually owed by the bank. At the end of the day, this widow became so rich that poverty became a stranger to her and her children. It is pleasant when God remembers an individual and fights on his or her behalf. Nehemiah understood this, and that was why he prayed that God should remember him for his good works (Nehemiah 13:14). When God remembers your good works, He gives you a sumptuous recompense, like he did to the midwives in Egypt (Exodus 1:17- 20). Do you have any good works you can call on God to remember?

PRAYER POINT:
Abba Father, please remember me for good today in Jesus’ Name.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:  1 Thessalonians 5- 2 Thessalonians 3

Jeremiah 7:27-8:3

HYMN 1: THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSINGS

1. There shall be showers of blessing:
This is the promise of love;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
Sent from the Savior above.
o Refrain:
Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need:
Mercy-drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead.

2. There shall be showers of blessing,
Precious reviving again;
Over the hills and the valleys,
Sound of abundance of rain.

3. There shall be showers of blessing;
Send them upon us, O Lord;
Grant to us now a refreshing,
Come, and now honor Thy Word.

4. There shall be showers of blessing:
Oh, that today they might fall,
Now as to God we’re confessing,
Now as on Jesus we call!

5. There shall be showers of blessing,
If we but trust and obey;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
If we let God have His way.

Reference: Open Heaven Daily Devotional by Pastor E. A. Adeboye

Know Who You Are

BIBLE TEXT: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Knowing who you are in Christ is so vital; it’s a prerequisite to having the right attitude towards the challenges you might face in life, and living above circumstances. There’re many who aren’t enjoying the blessings of Christianity, because they don’t know who they are in Christ; they don’t understand who the Christian is. They think, for example, that a Christian is a religious person; someone who goes to church; no! He’s much more.

A Christian is someone in whom Christ dwells; someone in whom, and through whom, the Kingdom of God is manifested; a carrier of divinity. Once you come to terms with this reality, your life will take on a new meaning, and you’ll live joyfully every day, irrespective and independent of circumstances. This is why it’s so important that you understand God’s Word, what He says about you, and then live accordingly.

The Bible says Jesus wasn’t only delivered to death on account of your sins, He was also raised for your justification (Romans 4:25). What does it mean to be justified? It means to be declared “not guilty”; meaning that in the mind of justice, in the eyes of God, you never sinned; therefore, no charges against you.

Now you can further appreciate why the Bible says you’re holy, unblameable and unreproveable in the sight of God (Colossians 1:22). It’s because the Christian is a new creature: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

You’re a brand new species of being that never existed before; that’s why God can declare you acquitted, because there’s nothing to judge since you have a brand new life.

Your justification isn’t because Jesus “paid” for your sins; He did that for the whole world of sinners, but the Christian isn’t a sinner; he’s a new creation; a product, not of the death and burial of Jesus Christ, but of His resurrection! You came from the resurrection.

You’re the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, graced to reign and exercise dominion over Satan and circumstances. Hallelujah!

CONFESSION
I walk in the light of my justification. My life is an expression of God’s righteousness; I’m the seed of Abraham; therefore, I live above lack, sickness, disease and defeat! I’m victorious all the way, serving the Lord joyously and gloriously, in Jesus’ Name. Amen!

FURTHER STUDY:
1 John 5:4 KJV
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

1 Corinthians 6:11 KJV
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

1 Peter 2:9 AMPC
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God’s] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Reference: Rhapsody Of Realities Daily Devotional by Pastor Chris

Creator and Sustainer

Today's Scripture: Hebrews 1:1–4

Bible in a Year: Judges 9–10; Luke 5:17–39

"The Son is the radiance of God’s glory . . . sustaining all things by his powerful word." Hebrews 1:3

Working with a magnifying glass and tweezers, Swiss watchmaker Phillipe meticulously explained to me how he takes apart, cleans, and reassembles the tiny parts of specialty mechanical watches. Looking at all the intricate pieces, Phillipe showed me the essential component of the timepiece, the mainspring. The mainspring is the component that moves all the gears to allow the watch to keep time. Without it, even the most expertly designed watch will not function.

In a beautiful New Testament passage found in the book of Hebrews, the writer eloquently praises Jesus for being the one through whom God created the heavens and the earth. Like the intricacy of a specialty watch, every detail of our universe was created by Jesus (Hebrews 1:2). From the vastness of the solar system to the uniqueness of our fingerprints, all things were made by Him.

But more than the Creator, Jesus, like a clock’s mainspring, is essential for the function and flourishing of creation. His presence continually “[sustains] all things by his powerful word” (v. 3), keeping all that He has created working together in all its amazing complexity.

As you have opportunity to experience the beauty of creation today, remember that “in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). May the recognition of Jesus’s central role in both creating and sustaining the universe result in a joyful heart and a response of praise as we acknowledge His ongoing provision for us.

What in God’s creation has caused you to worship Him? Why?

Lord Jesus, thank You for caring for and sustaining Your creation and for the intricate detail in which You created it. We love You and we praise You. Thank You Lord. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen!

  • Our Daily Bread By Lisa M. Samra

Christian (Medieval) Historiography

The Greco-Roman historiography was succeeded by the Christian medieval historiography. The age was characterized by the writings of many church fathers such as Origen, St. Werdne, St. Seneca, St. Augustine, St. Theresa, Festus, Julius Africanus, Ambrose, Eusebius and Arch-bishop William of Tyre. Of all these Christian fathers, Eusebius and St. Augustine were the greatest. The Christian historiography also had a number of characteristic features.
The first feature of Christian historiography is that it was not critical in outlook. This is not surprising as the attitude of the founder of Christianity – Jesus Christ  was unhistorical. For instance, he told his disciples that “You Must be born again”, urging them to forget about the past and look forward to the kingdom of God. Christianity lay emphasis on faith and thereby discourages any attempt at enquiry. Consequently, there was no critical analysis in the writings of the Christian fathers. They merely added their religious view point to materials collected from other sources. In fact, throughout the age, the Donation of Constantine  was dogmatically accepted as the basis of Pope’s authority. The Christian writers were mere commentators and not historians and they wrote mainly to defend and expand the Christian faith. “The History of Deeds Beyond the Seas”  by Arch-bishop of Tyre  is a good example.
Another feature  of this historiography was its universalism; Christianity looked at all men as members of a single family. Thus the histories of the church fathers concentrated not on a particular society but on mankind as a whole. For example, Venerable Bede wrote what could be regarded as the first history of Christiandom whilst Festus Julius Africanus attempted to date the origin of the world. Eusebius of Caesarea, in his Chronicle, also set himself the task of composing a Universal History where all events were brought within a single chronological framework instead of having events in Greece dated by Olympiads and events in Rome by the CONSULS.
Another feature of Christian historiography was the massiveness of religious pamphlets: Origen’s commentaries on the Song of Songs, St. Augustine’s Confession and Eusebius’ Chronicle and The History of the Church.  No doubt, Christian Historiography placed emphasis on faith rather than reasoning. As St. Augustine wrote “One must first believe before one understand”.
Providence was another feature of Christian historiography. Quite unlike Herodotus, history was not conceived in a humanistic manner; no concerned with activities of man per se but with a plan already mapped out by God which man must follow blindly. For example, history, according to Augustine, was the majestic unfolding of a divine plan in which the appearances of the church marks a decisive moment. He laid such stress on the Doctrine of Original Sin and the Patristic Doctrine.
Finally, the church fathers like Bede attempted to unfold the plan which God had mapped out. He divided history into two periods with the birth of Christ as a watershed. The first was the forward looking period before Christ in which man walked blindly in darkness. The second was the backward looking period after Christ. (ANNO DOMINO). This introduces an intrinsic element into History (eschatology). The Christian writers looked into the future like a prophet whereas the historians’ proper business is to master the past as a key to the understanding of the present and possibly the future.
THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF SOME CHRISTIAN FATHERS TO WESTERN HISTORIOGRAPHY  
Eusebius
Eusebius, “the father of ecclesiatical history” , was born C. 250, probably  in the city of Caesarea in Palestine. We know that as a young man he was prominent in the household of Pamphilus of Caesarea, a teacher and theologian who had assembled a large library upon which Eusebius was later to draw in writing his histories. Eusebius entered the priesthood and after some years of travel and imprisonment and threatened martyrdom during the decade of Diocletian’s persecution of Christians (303-313) he was consecrated Bishop of Caesarea (314). In 325 he assisted at the council of Nicaea the violence of the theological controversies then racking the Church. At that time, too, he was apparently the ally and counselor of the great convert to Christianity, the Emperor Constantine, at whose side he sat during meetings of the Council and whose friendship he maintained until Constantine’s death in 337. Eusebius himself died  339.
In the midst of his very active career Eusebius had managed an impressive literary achievement. He wrote numerous works against pagans  and heretics, many theological treatises, and essays of Biblical  exegesis, forty-six works in all, of which only a small number have come done to us.  Among the books we have are two histories: the Chronicle, written in 303 but repeatedly revised down to 325, and The History of the Church (or The Ecclesiastical History, as it is variously called), written and re-edited between 311 and 325. The Chronicle is Eusebius’ contribution to historical chronology  for the correctly perceived that an accurate chronology is  essential to historical studies. Eusebius drew upon classical and Christian historians and chronographers and assembled a composite chronology, arranged in a parallel columns, of all the ancient kingdoms. The historical development which these columns appear to depict is one of gradual, ineluctable movement toward the Christian era. History, mathematics, geometry, all neatly compressed within this chronicle, reveal the Providence of God at work guaranteeing the triumph of Christianity.
Eusebius, in the Chronicle, sought to demonstrate the Christian goal of history not through appeals to received authority or pious hopes but rather through the presentation of historical facts. This attitude was carried over into his History of the Church. Eusebius was conscious of the fact that the Church in his time had undergone and survived intact a period of harsh persecution. He also had suffered for his beliefs and yet kept the faith. But the age of persecution, the testing time, had given way first to an age of toleration, then to one of official acceptance; from Church Persecuted to Church Triumphant.
The historical  record, Eusebius could legitimately  maintain, surely indicated “the gracious and favouring interposition  of God”. Eusebius thus turned with confidence to secular history, locating  the Christian Church within the context of the Roman Empire. In his  History of  the Church,  he relies heavily on the Bible, particularly the New Testament, and Philosophy. The great library  of Pamphilus served him in good stead and we know he used the church library and royal archives at Edessa. Convinced sources with a scholarly reserve and respect for methodological correctness not otherwise to be expected from a high official of the Church writing of the institution whose mission was his life. He collected the important documents pertinent to his History, weaving many of them into this narrative; he exercised notable caution whenever his sources presented him improbable or contradictory accounts; he sought after and often enough attained accuracy in his own account.
The history of the church is an “Apology” but it is a critical apology, the work of a historian engage. Eusebius could afford to be critical, for looking at history, he drew comfort from it. His Church had weathered the storm, Christianity had been adopted by the Roman Emperors and honoured by “the most populous of all nations, and most pious towards God, alike indestructible and invincible in that it ever find help from God,” In this hour of triumph, Eusebius composed The History of the Church, confidently placing Christianity securely within the traditional context of the “eternal” Roman Empire. Before the century was out, however, another great churchman and historian, Augustine, was to find it necessary to recast the history, and, more, the interpretation of Eusebius. But he was to build on the achievement of that “most important and reliable historian of the ancient Church”.
ST. AUGUSTINE AND CHRISTIAN MEDIEVAL HISTORIOGRAPHY
Biographical Profile  
St. Augustine was an African, one of the renowned African church fathers, catholic bishop, doctor of the church, theologian – philosopher and, Augustine inarguably the greatest African contribution to Western thought.
He was born at Tagaste,  Numidia (Now Souk-Ahras, Algeria) on November 13, 354AD. His father was Patricius, a traditionalist Roman official while his mother, Monica, was a zealous Christian and she was instrumental to Augustine’s late but total acceptance of the Christian  faith. In early years, Augustine was traditionally, known by the Latin name Aurelius Augustinus.
Augustine started his formal education when he was about 11 years old at Madauros where he gained a deep knowledge of the Latin literature. In fact, he later received a thoroughly literary education with strong emphasis on the Latin masters: Cicero, Virgil, Terence and Parro.
Augustinianism
Although St. Augustine devoted the bulk of his time to Episcopal duties, he was also a gust literary man. It is said that his written works filled fifteen standard Encyclopedia volume, many of which now form a substantial part of the basis of medieval theology. Some of his works were also polemics against the Donatists, Plegians and Arians. Indeed, his autobiography, Confessions, completed in C. 390, is certainly one of the classics of Western literature. One of the most independent thinkers in the history of Western thought, St. Augustine in his City of God (413-426) wrote a magnificent philosophical history and the meaning of history and of Christianity. Among other major works by Augustine are; On the Trinity (400 – 416), On the Happy Life (386), On the Immortality of Soul (387), On Free Will (389-395), On Nature and Grace Soliloquies (387), On True Religion (399-391).
Although the above list is not exhaustive of St. Augustine’s works suffices it to say that the doctrines originated or developed by him is called Augustinianism. St. Augustine, “the greatest of the doctors of the Church,” died on August 26, 430 AD, while his ‘beloved city was being overrun by the Vandals. In fact, after the conquest of Carthage and Hippo the Vandals destroyed all of it except Augustine’s Cathedral and library which were left unscathed. According to existing tradition,  the remains of St. Augustine rests in Pavis, Italy, while the date of his death is celebrated an his feast.
THE POLITICAL THEORY OF ST. AUGUSTINE’S CITY OF GOD
St. Augustine’s City of God was primarily motivated by the accusations of traditional man against Christianity, after the sack of Rome, that the empire had been immune from foreign invasions until it embraced Christianity and forsook her ancient gods. In this work St. Augustine presented an articulate defence of the role of Christianity in the Roman Empire. He denounced the power of the pagan deities and even affirmed that those deities were incapable of defending themselves against temporal calamities. He tried to show that temporal authority was of little importance. What was more important was spiritual salvation which could be procured only through Jesus Christ. Although much as his work could be classified as theocratic, there are certain doctrines embedded in these arguments which are very important from a political angle. In the City of God, he developed the idea that there is a heavenly city and earthly city. These two cities are two societies and members of each city are bound together by common love.
Members of the earthly city live and pursue matters of the flesh or appetite and their reward is anguish and eventual damnation but members of the City of God  are those united in true love of God and their desire and will is to obey God; their true home is heaven; their reward is everlasting bliss. Although members of the City of God might be on earth, they are only on pilgrimage to heaven.
His earthy city is not exactly conterminous with the state because in the state we have people who are not necessarily members of the city, i.e. Christians and people who have the grace of God. These people belong more to church than the city. But the similarity between the earthly city and the state is a very close one. Similarly, the heavenly city is not exactly like the Church because the City of God has members and people who were not members of the church on earth e.g. the departed saints, good angels and those who lived in the pre-Christian era. But again, the similarity between the church on earth and the city of God is a very close one, for the Church is a channel through which the grace of God flows to the members of church on earth. Therefore for practical purposes, one might almost say that the City of God might be the church and that the earthly city was the state. But it should be borne in mind that they are not exactly identical.
For St. Augustine, the state would not have been necessary but for the original sin As a result of the original sin, man had become degraded and wicked and it became necessary to form a state to provide opportunity for man to obtain a partial remedy for his sin. Therefore, the state has its origin not in nature as Aristotle has maintained. The state is natural to men, it had arisen from sin. The state therefore is an unfortunate necessity brought about by the fall of man and it exists to provide a partial remedy for the conflict and the discord caused by the original sin of Adam. The State is not a moral agent and cannot set standards for the citizens. This, again, marks a radical departure from the concept of state as an ethnical institution in the past. Whereas according to Aristotle, the state is the source of moral values for all the in the state and therefore its main function is to mould the character of the citizens and control the system of education, law and order. But since the state now has its origin in sins it is therefore incapable of giving moral guidance to the citizen.
In relation to St. Augustine’s concept of origin of state is his concept of justice. To him, justice is conformity to order, and he believed every society could necessarily have a certain amount of order. Yet justice can both be relative and absolute depending on the type of the society. In a family there can be some amount of justice because there is some order necessary for the family.  But such justice in the family is only relative to justice found in the society which is larger than the family, e.g., the state.
Also justice that can be found in the state is only relative to justice which can be found in the universal society of men and it is only the justice of the universal society that is absolute.  St. Augustine affirmed that any society without justice is no society at all and any state, therefore, without justice and order cannot be a state.
Any justice which a state can achieve must be in conformity with the absolute justice of the universal society, otherwise any laws made by the state against the natural and absolute principle of justice of the universal society would be invalid and irrational because the absolute justice of the universal society is the justice of God.  He rejected as sheer nonsense any kind of justice that takes man from the true God and gives him to the condemned fiend.
Ancillary to the concept of justice is the Augustinian concept of peace.  To him, peace lies in a system of harmonious relationship involving order and concord, and like justice this peace of earthly city is a relative one involving the satisfaction of physical desires and emotions but this peace is relative and we have absolute peace only in the heavenly city and this involves true and perfect union in the love of God.  This peace is absolute.
But St. Augustine maintains that the peace of the earthly city is essential for the attainment of   peace in the heavenly city but it is the peace of the heavenly city that is more important. This peace represents the final goal of man especially for man because Christians can only receive salvation by the attainment of this heavenly peace.  Apart from the considerable impact of these ideas on the development of political theory, his description of the earthly and heavenly cities may be strange to anyone with very little religious inclination and to the Christians, it cannot be too easy to see the practical working of the heavenly city in the world.
But probably most striking is the idea implicit in his development of the relationship between the earthly city and the city of God. St.  Augustine maintains that the laws of the earthly city, and by implication the laws of the state, must not conflict with the laws of the heavenly city, and by implication the laws of the church.  In this way, St. Augustine seems to have set up two separate authorities. On the one hand you have the church supreme in religious matters. The church leads man to the highest goal – salvation and it also achieved perfect justice and perfect peace.  The church therefore has more important duties to perform than the state and it would be the duty of the state to assist the church in achieving the noble goal of man.
In addition, even the authority of the state in secular matters is not unlimited for the laws, regulations and orders issued by the state should be in conformity with the standards of absolute justice and heavenly peace which can only be found in the city of God and in the church. To all intents and purposes, therefore, it is the church which is supreme over the state in this dichotomy of powers.
Another implication in the theory of St. Augustine is that of the principle of individual conscience especially for the Christian.  For the Christian is a member of two societies the state and the church. As he represents the citizens obviously he has some loyalty and allegiance to the state but this provides a partial remedy for his unlimited sins and also enables him to embark on his pilgrimage to the true home of Christians in heaven. Apparently, the Christian citizens cannot be expected to obey any laws of the state which will hinder him in his true worship of God to attain his goal in the world beyond.  He therefore reserves the right to disobey such laws that prevent him from attaining salvation and absolute peace. This is the principle which was later developed into the principle of individual conscience – a theory that has gained ground till modem times, even till today.
So far, St. Augustine cannot be credited with originating these ideas because he was virtually interpreting the concepts of natural law from a Christian point of view.  However, his theory of the supremacy of the church was eventually developed into the concept of papal plenitude of power – which is the idea that full and absolute power belongs to the Pope by virtue of being the head of the Church and the direct successor of St. Peter.  Also the idea that the state was not natural to man was later developed by philosophers in modern time such as Locke, Hobbes and Rousseau and even Hegel. These philosophers believed that the state has to be created in order to rectify certain weaknesses in man.
For the greater part of the early medieval period St. Augustine’s ideas held sway especially his theory about the authority of the Pope.  It was generally believed that the Pope was largely responsible for spiritual matters and that the emperor was only supreme in temporal matters.  The two spheres were however dependent on each other. The emperors needed the priests and bishops for the sake of eternal life, as much as bishops and priests needed the state in order to ensure law and order.  But it was also generally believed that the spiritual sphere was more important and that the state would have to consult the church before taking any action which might involve the Holy See. This in actual practice meant that the Church and Pope had the right to supervise the state even in temporal matters.  This ultimately led to the Pope having full authority both over the Church and the state. The idea that the Pope had two powers was further supported by other arguments.  It was said that Christian community was one and it was only reasonable that the Pope should direct the entire affairs of this Christian community. It was also argued that the Pope was the direct successor of St. Peter, the Vicar of Christ who received the keys of the Church.  It was also argued that the emperor Constantine handed over all his political and temporal powers to the Pope at the time of Coronation and as a result of his Donation, the Pope had become the inheritor of all temporal powers in addition to the spiritual powers which he had inherited from St. Peters and Christ.  All through the medieval times people generally believed in the supremacy of the Pope, with the corollary of the supremacy of the church over the state.
There were however some thinkers who challenged the papal plenitude of powers, but their influence was inconsiderable and it was not until the close of the medieval times that the voice of dissent became loud and clear.  Until then, most people stood for the church against the state and supported the theories of St. Augustine.
CITY OF GOD: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF WESTERN HISTORIOGRAPHY
In the City of God, St. Augustine propounded the first and outstanding philosophy of history.  First, there was a serious and conscious effort on his part to organize human past in terms of significant periods; though the categories employed were biblical.  He, in fact, utilized the account of creation in Genesis as a key to the division of world history. In the context, the first “day” is the first period from Adam to the flood, the second from the flood to Abraham, and subsequently, there are three epochs which take us down to the coming of Christ; one from Abraham to David, a second from David to exile in Babylon, and the third extending to the coming of Christian faith.  The sixth epoch, spanning from Christ’s birth to the culmination of history in the Second Coming, was the period which occupied medieval historians and chroniclers. Whatever, may be the weakness in St. Augustine’s periodization of history, it still remains an attempt to meet the historian halfway in their “study of society in time perspective.
Another contribution of St. Augustine to Christian – Western historiography is that he demonstrated that historical knowledge was possible.  In his Patristic Doctrine, he launched attack against the substantialist idea in Greek thought that the historian could not know the substance.  He contended that only God is eternal, unchanging and fixed; all other substances are changing. Since all things are created they could be probed, studied and understand.  This was a profound revolution in historical thinking.
Again, St. Augustine was an advocate of universalistic concept of history.  In the City of God, he offered a new interpretation of the history of mankind.  Not satisfied with rebutting the “pagan” assault on Christianity, he postulated a philosophy of history which exonerated Christians and sought to persuade “pagan of the truth and justness of the Christian view.”  Thus the first chapter of his work opens with a discussion of “that most glorious society and most celestial city of God’s faithful, while the last chapter concludes triumphantly with the internal felicity of the City of God. Human history took on a new meaning and direction with St. Augustine’s City of God. Just like other Christian fathers, St. Augustine believed that all men are created equal in the sight of God, there is no chosen people, privileged race or class.  All peoples and all nationalities are involved in the working out of God’s purpose and therefore the historical process is everywhere and always of the same kind. The idea overcomes not only the characteristic humanism and the substantialism of the Greco-Roman historiography but also its particularism.
However, Augustinian interpretation of history has its own shortcomings for the practice of history.  In the City of God the history of the temporal city was relegated to a secondary, irrelevant position while that of the celestial city gained primacy.  It was better and safer for mankind to sojourn in the eternal rather than the ephemeral city. Thus, history became a specifically Christian drama with the implication of consigning to a state of irrelevance all those subjects and themes historians had attached much importance to the Persian War, the rise and growth of the Roman Empire, etc. In the unfolding scenario, the events of Augustinian importance included the Fall of Adam, the Incarnation, the Resurrection, the Promise of the Second Coming, etc.  In short, St. Augustine subordinated history to the service of theology.
Above all, St. Augustine was a bad historian as his attitude to historical facts was always one of preconceived, predetermined theoretical bias; one must first believe (he wrote) before one may understand.  Besides, no matter the weight of any historical evidence or force of any argument, the Bible remained to him the most impeccable source of authority. In spite of the methodological shortcomings of St. Augustine, his analysis of the historical process became the accepted and undoubted interpretation of history among the Catholics for more than 1000 years.  Besides his magisterial philosophy of history, the Christian West also adopted his views on the state and society, on human sexuality, on the relationship of Christians to the Earthly City. Indeed, so great was the impact of St. Augustine throughout the Middle Ages that great thinkers of the period appealed to his authority. His influence was clearly over-whelming in the works of St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Albertas Magaus, Peter Lombard, the numbers of the Franciscan and Victorian schools while St. Anselm was only formally Augustinian.
Undoubtedly, St. Augustine remains Africa’s greatest contribution to Catholicism and even Western thought.  He was also one of the greatest and influential figures in the history of thought and his fame rested on his monumental History of the Church and City of God.

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Preliminary Chapter INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY