There’s Nothing New Under The Sun

I’m proud of myself. Just look at the picture of how thick this book is! I’m proud of myself because after a year of slogging, I finally finished Ron Chernow’s New York Times bestseller 730 page biography on Alexander Hamilton. This is the book which inspired the Broadway hit Hamilton. I enjoy reading historical biographies because I learn so much about leadership and human nature. As the philosopher George Santayana once observed, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” History teaches me the things to avoid and the pitfalls of arrogance, but it also teaches me to relax as I look at current events. Chernow writes a livid account of the first 30 years of American history. It’s an account that is filled with political enemies, libel and slander of political rivals, free speech intermingled with media outlets (newspapers) set up with the express purpose of only spewing out one political viewpoint, and the defense of political honor through dueling where people actually died. If you remember your history, you remember that a duel of political honor between Hamilton and Aaron Burr is the very thing that ended Hamilton’s own life. It’s crazy! But as I read the account of our history I was encouraged to see that our republic survived the very things we’re all concerned about in our own time. Yes, it is right to pray that we can navigate our way through the current divided climate and do our part in working to achieve “a more perfect union.” At the same time it’s good to remember that this republic survived even greater polarities of political opinion than exist today. This republic has survived media outlets that were birthed with every intent to not to tell the actual news, but to spew out only their own worldviews while demonizing all other views (fake news before our current conversation about “fake news”). Reading the history of Hamilton I was reminded again of something Solomon wrote in the bible; What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time. Ecclesiastes 1:8-9

About Andy Lewis

Andy is an author, pastor, and musician who lives in Santa Cruz California. Currently he serves as lead pastor at Faith Community Church in Santa Cruz
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